One-hundred Naked Places… North America


100 places to get naked before you die

PART ONE: NORTH AMERICA

I have been meaning to create this list for a very long time, but it’s actually a very complex endeavor.  The very things that we may be looking for in a naturist destination are exactly the things the next person will find to be a deal breaker.  And how do you organize the list?  Put all your favorites at the top?  (Nobody will ever click through to the last page!)  Organize by region?  (France has hundreds of possibilities, while the entirety of Asia has two or three.)

It is worth noting that we began our naturist explorations in France at a time when we were wanting to find a comfortable place for a family naturist vacation with three (then) pre-adolescent children.  (You can read more about that here.)  That said, my list of naked places in North America is a bit skewed in the shadow of our experiences with naturism abroad.  And this also represents a period of nearly 25 years of trying places out.  Our first visit to Desert Sun Resort (then Desert Shadows Inn) was in 1994.  A lot has happened with that property since then, but it remains a “top shelf” destination on our list.  And so it is, that many of my one or two line commentaries are significantly dated.  (If we found a place to have a bad vibe back in the late nineties, why bother to go back for another dose of the same!)

I’ll publish these pages as I finish each region.  I suspect the number will turn out to be around 100 naked places, including those we haven’t visited yet, but hope to do so.. before we die!  And unfortunately, there are a few places that would have made our best of the best list (thinking the likes of Grand Lido Braco in Jamaica) that have since gone out of existence.  And I won’t bother to list the places I know to exist, but we simply have no desire to visit. What’s the point?   But… if you know of a place we should add to our “bucket list,” please comment below and we’ll check it out.  You’ll have a pretty good sense of our definition of naturist nirvana after combing through a few pages of my blog.

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And oh… seems we have virtually NO naturist photography from our naked travels in the US.  (Restrictions at naturist places are simply too great – and becoming more so – and many of our visits to US destinations predate digital photography.)   The photos on this page are either from our foreign travels, or in some cases, vintage photos of American naturism that I thought to be simpatico with the ambiance I wish to create here.


The list for North America… in alpha order

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Abbott’s Glen Clothing Optional Inn

Southern Vermont

Have been reading about this place for years, and it looks like a lovely destination with a nice family atmosphere.  Vermont can be tricky when it comes to weather, but they say they’re well equipped for year-round naturist living.
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Avalon Resort

West Virginia

We used to go to Avalon quite regularly, and especially enjoyed their summer folk music festival, which I think still happens.  They were changing management the last time we were there, so not sure how things are going now.  I remember decent (but simple) hotel rooms, and well equipped condo units that can be rented as well.  We’d probably go back more often, but it’s a hefty trip from where we live.
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Baker Beach – San Francisco

Northern California

Visited this iconic beach once, “back in the day!”  (Meaning maybe 20 years ago, or more.)  Lots of controversy in recent times about public nudity in the San Francisco bay area, and of course, if it’s a public beach, you have the inevitable gawkers to deal with.  I’ve linked to this, and other Bay Area locations to the nude beach pages in the Bay Guardian, which seems to be about the best resource out there right now for nude recreation in northern California.
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Vintage naturist photo

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Berkshire Vista Resort

Western Massachusetts

A beautiful little resort in the rolling hills of the Berkshires.  We’ve only visited once – a LONG time ago – but at the time, it had a great vibe with huge grassy hills for sunning and camping.  From the looks of their website, they’re wrestling a bit with “clothing-optional” policies.  But given the location and what I remember of the place, I would gladly visit again.
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Black’s Beach, San Diego

Southern California

We have been to San Diego many times, but never quite managed to make the trek up to La Jolla.  (We have an uncanny knack for arriving in San Diego during “June gloom.”)  But it’s on our list as one of three really famous naturist beaches in the United States, so we’ve got to make it happen, eventually.  The link goes to a webpage run by devotees.  That’s a good sign, I think.
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Bonny Dune, Santa Cruz

Northern California

Another link here to the Bay Guardian reviews, noting that we visited Bonny Dune a few times over two decades ago, and even back then, we were a little unnerved by the onlookers (gawkers!) who seemed a bit less than altruistic.  Beautiful beach, but we found more privacy at nearby Red, White & Blue beach which had a private access road – but today, is no longer accessible to the public.
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Vritomartis, Greece

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Club Caliente, Tampa

Florida

We have visited this resort once, within the first year of their grand opening.  From our perspective, quite a sad story as I believe the original intent was to create an upscale, holistic naturist resort in an effort to cater to an American crowd with European sensibilities!  Our one visit there was with good friends, and we both had children in tow.  The sexual undercurrent and less-than-family-friendly policies suggested the business model was already beginning to unravel – within months of opening their doors!  Check the recent Trip Advisor reviews, and you will find a significant divide between the people who still adore the place, and those who deliberately stay far, far away.  Sadly, we find ourselves in the latter group.  Too bad.
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Coventry Club and Resort

Northern Vermont

Another intriguing place we’ve been meaning to check out in snowy Vermont!  I still have a problem thinking about traveling north in search of a place to be naked and warm, but this looks like a good bet if there’s one to be had near the Canadian border.  Hoping I can move this from the wish list to a trip report in the coming year!
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Cypress Cove Nudist Resort

Central Florida

Would put this on our top shelf of naturist destinations had it not been for our last visit – quite a few years ago – with our teenage children.  It was clear the management was working hard to make this a family naturist destination, but it was also clear that the locals who owned units there were not too crazy about our kids splashing in the pool.  (I suppose any parent would say this about his own kids, but our kids really were pretty tame in the rowdiness department!)  They’ve made a lot of upgrades to the grounds since our first visit in the 90s, and you really can stay there and do the Disney thing.  Our kids are grown now…  Maybe we should check this place out again.
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DeAnza Springs Resort

Southern California

Made our first visit to DeAnza Springs last year, and I’ve got to say, it is in the middle of nowhere near the Mexican Border!  But I say that in the most encouragingly sort of way, in that the possibilities for nude hiking in the vast desert are, in fact, seemingly limitless?  And the chances are good that when the rest of the country is cold and gray, it may well be sunny and warm at this desert retreat.  The amenities are pretty basic, but the people are friendly enough, and did I mention the nude hiking?  You can read more in our trip report here.

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Desert Sun Resort

Southern California

We made our first visit to this resort in 1994, when it was still called Desert Shadows Inn.  At the time, they only had nine rooms, and were just about to unveil a new area called the Chapparal, with basic hotel rooms and a pool with a volleyball net.  I suspect we’ve been back more than a dozen times since then, having stayed in each type of the various condos and hotel rooms.  Having survived some turbulent management issues, and a resultant name change, the place remains to this day as our #1 naturist destination in the US.  That’s saying a lot, as it’s quite a journey to get there from our current place of residence.  We have plans to return in the coming year, along with blueprints to get a trip report back up online for this little naturist nirvana.
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Vintage naturist photo

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Gray Whale Beach (Devil’s Slide)

Northern California

One of the very first places we went when we were trying to find our naturist sea-legs!  INCREDIBLE location, especially on a clear day when the fog is holding back away from the Pacifica coastline.  But the problem there has always been undesirable spectators who wish to see naked humans.  And recent Trip Advisor reviews express disgust from the clothed patrons who can’t get over the naked old men roaming the beach.  Maybe it’s not that bad, but it sounds like a loosing bet to me.
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Hangin’ Loose Retreat

Big Island, Hawaii

It’s a bummer that Hawaii isn’t the naturist promised land that it apparently was until it became part of the United States.  Seems we convinced the locals that naked is evil, and today, it’s difficult to find a place to swim naked in the 50th state.  Thankfully, the folks who run this little retreat on the big island seem to be on to something.  I’m just hoping we can get there to check it out while they’re still running the place.  From what I can see on the website, it looks like the good life in real time!
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Harbin Hot Springs

Northern California

This one is tricky!  One of the first places we experienced social nudity as a young married couple, but there’s no question that the place has a different vibe!  There are a lot of interesting reviews out there on this place, with a wide range of perspectives.  (I think Felicity from the Young Naturists Association has a particularly well written review that I hope to make the subject of a future blog post.  In any event, we have been back to this place many times over the years, and indeed, it has a few idiosyncrasies.  But if you have the ability to ‘roll with it,’ it’s definitely worth a visit!

EDITOR’S NOTE: The California Valley Fire blew through Harbin in 2015 and burned the entire place to the ground, displacing the entire community that resided there. The hot springs are still intact, but all the structures were destroyed. They are rebuilding! But it will take time. You can follow the progress on their website.

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Laguna del Sol Resort

Northern California

Have been meaning to get here for year, but have never quite made it.  (One day, it started raining when we were ten minutes from the gate, so we turned around and went home!)  They seem to have a devoted following, though it’s located in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley near Sacramento.  Not sure if that’s my ideal vacation destination.  If we ever manage to get there, I’ll post a review.
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Vintage naturist photo

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Lake Como Nudist Resort

Tampa, Florida

In fairness, I have only been here on a day visit years ago, in the middle of the week.  The place was looking tired, the hotel rooms were pretty rustic, and I was a little unnerved by the local lingerie concessions operating from the permanent trailer campsites.  Again, the place seems to have a loyal following, and there’s a lot of competition in the neighborhood, but the place didn’t inspire me enough to book my next holiday there.
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Living Waters Spa

Southern California

We have only visited once, and we felt incredibly welcomed by the owners of this quiet little inn.  The only thing that knocked it off the top shelf is the location.  Palm Desert seems a million miles from Palm Springs, and if you’re in sleuthing out great restaurants and the like, there is a vast difference between the two.  We really need to go back and see what they’ve done in recent years, but we really enjoyed our stay there and they seem eager to capture a slice of this niche market.
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Lupin Lodge

Northern California

Here again, it’s been a long, long time since we’ve visited this sweet little hamlet in the Santa Cruz mountains, and at that, we stayed in a yurt, during the winter, on a cold, drizzly weekend.  At the time, it seemed like they were working hard to find a business model that would address the needs of the modern naturist, but I have no idea what’s happened since then.  But it is a gorgeous place.  We should go back some time.
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Vintage naturist photo

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Meadowlark Country House

Northern California

An intriguing little inn on the northern end of the Napa Valley that seems to be marketing to an upscale crowd with upscale pricing.  If I’m reading the website correctly, it’s the poolside that’s clothing-optional, but given the propensity of warm sunny days in that part of California, poolside would do the trick.  It’s definitely on our “TO-DO” list.

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Mira Vista Resort

Arizona

Finally made it to Mira Vista Resort this past winter – a bit off season and reaching into the midweek.  Seems to be the naked hangout for a lot of Tucson locals, but our room was very nice, and it looks like they will soon have a lot of condo units that will go into the tourist rental pool as well.  Located on the northern edge of Tuscon, there are plenty of opportunities for seeking out nice restaurants, and the February sunshine was a welcome respite from the relentless winter of the Northeast.  We’re eager to go back when the place is running at full tilt!
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Paradise Lakes Resort

Tampa, Florida

I had to ponder this one for a few minutes before deciding if this would go on the second or third tier.  We stayed there once, a long time ago, before that Caliente place opened down that road.  It was good, but at the same time, had some of those peculiar “Florida nudist resort” vibes we’ve experienced elsewhere in the neighborhood.  Was going to take the high road on this one, until I linked this post their website, which evokes an image that simply… isn’t…. us!  😦
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Penn Sylvan Health Society

Eastern Pennsylvania

I think their website pretty much says it all!  From what I have read, this was really an important place in the American nudist movement during the 50s and 60s.  Problem is, I’m not sure much has changed since that time! When we started exploring naturist Europe, we tried convincing our kids this was the American equivalent of a French naturist resort.  They didn’t take the bait, and in fact, they were right.  Maybe one day it was, but today? It’s a beautiful spot, and the people are friendly, (though decidedly on the upper end of the age demographic!)  but for us, a good bit less than a favorite destination.
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Pine Tree Associates

Maryland

Here’s another place, that when you look at their website, you get the sense they are trying to reinvent themselves.  Just a short distance from the stunning town of Annapolis, this place has loads of potential.  We visited once when our kids were quite young, but the place had a complicated and restrictive policy that only allowed a certain number of visits until you had to pay the annual fee, which was well beyond our resources at the time.  They may well have reworked that by now, and to be sure, the property is lovely, but we’ve not ventured back since that first encounter.
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Vintage naturist photo

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Red Rock Beach

Northern California

Another place we haven’t been to for a long, long time.  And when we did go, it was sort of a chilly, foggy day.  But the place had a really nice vibe back then with a crowd of friendly regulars who seemed to be watching out for each other.  You have to work a bit to get there, making your way down the beach around an outcropping of rocks.  Seems that gave the place a level of privacy that other public nude beaches don’t enjoy.
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Rock Lodge Club

New Jersey

I keep reading about this place and its role in the history of the American naturist tradition.  Haven’t actually had the opportunity to visit, but it’s on the short list – if just for the nostalgia of it all.
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Sandy Hook – Gunnison Beach

New Jersey

This place nearly got washed out to sea by Super-Storm Sandy a while back, but it seems they’re back up and running again now.  Here again, one of just a few fully vetted naturist beaches in the entirety of the United States, but quite a different vibe than anyplace we’ve visited abroad.  Eclectic might be a good euphemism for the crowd that gathers there on most weekends, which for us, was always just edgy enough to never go there with the family.  If you like people watching, this place will keep you entertained – dawn to dusk.
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Sequoians

Northern California

One of our very first outings to a traditional nudist camp.  The place is located deep in a beautiful little canyon in the hills above Hayward, California.  Twenty years ago (at the time of our visit) we had the sense the place was struggling, but a quick glance at their website suggests things are pretty much as they were two decades ago.  Seems nude hiking is possible there.  Didn’t know that back then.  Would be worth a visit just for that!
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Solair Family Nudist Resort

Connecticut

We have friends who called this their home base while their kids were growing up.  Have never quite made it there ourselves, but it seems they’ve been pretty aggressive in promoting a positive image for family naturism.  Given what little I know about the place (but my generally positive perception of the place) I’m a little perplexed by the disparity of the reviews on Trip Advisor.  Therein lies the essence of the many contradictions in the American naturist movement todayl  Nobody can quite seem to figure out what it is!

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Terra Cotta Inn

Southern California

Another place we have only visited once, but we had a nice stay there.  It’s not quite as upscale as one of the local competitors, but we have several friends who keep returning for just that reason – that it seems more personal.  What I can say is that the owners, Tom and Mary Clare, have been outspoken advocates for many years for holistic naturism, and have done a great service in getting the naturist resort concept into the mainstream public perception.  In my opinion, it’s one of the few naturist destination places in the entire country that warrants the effort to get there!

OUR UNAPOLOGETIC AND CANDID GUIDE TO 100 NAKED PLACES

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= been there, and we’re dying to go back!

Illustration+of+the+sun+with+clouds= an interesting place, but not on our top shelf

Raincould= been there, bought the postcard, but it’s just not our thing!

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= On our list to get there someday before we die

SEE ALSO:

Naked Places in Africa, Asia, and Australia

Naked Places in France

 

35 thoughts on “One-hundred Naked Places… North America

  1. […] this goes to press, I’m working on a new post called “100 Naked Places.” The list will include 71 places where we’ve been naked ourselves, 44 of which we would gladly […]

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  2. Nice collection! Sorry that you missed the gem of the Midwest, Mazo Beach in Wisconsin. The following article was borrowed from a very early website of ours and reposted on that beach’s supporter’s website (which we originally created for them).

    This being the most beautiful part of the Wisconsin River, it’s been a matter of contention for decades by those who wish to get rid of naked people. Visitation now is limited to weekends due to the actions of a minority of non-nudists who do not subscribe to naturist ideals. For the sake of political correctness, we will not identify that group of men seeking casual sex. Oops.

    In any event, this beach is well worthy of being included in any compilation of nude beaches in North America, and much more representative of social nudism than high-end resorts catering to folks who spend hundreds of dollars to take their tops off for one weekend each year. These are real nudists and we happen to be among them. http://friendsofmazobeach.wordpress.com/about-mazo-beach/

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  3. Reblogged this on All Nudist and commented:
    We commented here…

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  4. Thank you for the great places to visit as well as the ratings.

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    • Naturist Dan says:

      Thanks for reading. I realize giving ratings is a dicey business, and I reiterate that the ratings simply reflect OUR preferences of what we’re looking for in clothes-free recreation. They are admittedly subjective. But I thought that would be helpful as I post similar lists for other continents – as a reference point.

      Thanks again! 🙂

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  5. Stan says:

    I think your characterization if Gunnison is a bit off. I take the kids there every summer and there’s no reason not to. It’s got lifeguards and is patrolled by rangers. The place is ok for families. I see kids there all the time.

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    • Naturist Dan says:

      Fair enough!

      Admittedly, we are not regulars, but two of the times we have gone, we have seen some “frolicking” that would have made us uncomfortable had the kids been with us. And, in total fairness, it’s just a different vibe than we’ve experienced on the family naturist beaches in France.

      Thanks for reading my blog!

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      • stan says:

        no problem! i dig the blog. i just don’t want to discourage people with kids from going to gunnison. it’s a huge beach and as such people who think they are out of sight may push the limits. if it seems too sketchy, i’ll let a ranger know. i don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun, but i also would love to help make gunnison a place where everyone feels comfortable.

        i actually live closer to lighthouse beach on long island and am still depressed that the NPS has killed nude use there. this has made gunnison a bit more crowded than before.

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      • Naturist Dan says:

        Thanks Stan – I get that, for sure! And, in fact, I’m right on board with you on that one! And to that end, I would never want to undermine the work that SO many have done/are doing to make Gunnison a great beach (including for families!) It’s really unfortunate the naturist community has to fight so hard simply to preserve a few precious spots! And compared to most other choices on the east coast, I think Gunnison IS one of the best family destinations. Just wish there were a few more, and that these destinations saw as many families as their counterparts all over Europe.

        OK – I’ll stop beating that horse!

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      • Douglas G.P.McCarty says:

        Another great spot to get naked is Wreck Beach in Vancouver,B.C. and Hanlan Point Beach in Toronto

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  6. Thank you this is a great list .

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  7. Jason says:

    I live about 90 minutes away from Mazo Beach.I have never made the drive but I just learned of Toadally Natural Garden just up the road from me.I’ll be taking my first trip to a nudist destination this soon.

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  8. Mike says:

    I hit Gunnison beach several times every Summer,and I was always very pleased by the eclectic mix one can find there at any given time. What your review failed to mention was the lifeguards who watch over things 7 days a week from Memorial to Labor. They save a life or two every year,and also discourage overt sexual behavior,making Gunnison a fine place to go with the family. I also tried Penn Sylvan once a couple of years back,and I sadly have to agree with your assessment,although it’s worth noting that the people were exceptionally nice when we were there.

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    • Naturist Dan says:

      Thanks for your input!

      Again… we had grown accustomed to some European destinations where the crowd is often 80% families. Maybe we’ve been a victim of unfortunate timing at Gunnison. Not saying it’s a bad place. Just quite a lot different from family naturism in Europe.

      Would love to hear from others who have been to Gunnison, and some of the naturist beaches on the Cote d’Argent… with kids and the dog! 🙂

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  9. Believe it or not, Canada has naked places too. 🙂

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    • Naturist Dan says:

      Indeed! And I almost included a couple on our “TO-DO list,” (Thinking Wreck Beach in Vancouver and The Oasis in Prince Edward) but honestly, given the distance and the short summers, I’m not to sure we’ll get there. But my sense is Canadians have a more – shall we say – European view of naturism, which I find very enticing.

      I need to give this some thought! 🙂

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  10. Smoothalx says:

    Reblogged this on Naturally.

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  11. Larry says:

    Hey Dan, You’ll have to give one of our locations in the Clothing Optional Home Network a try…we have 7 C/O B&B locations in the US, 1 in Mexico and adding several by the end of 2014 in the US and Caribbean. Check them out and let us know if they meet your “Sunny” standard!

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  12. […] Naked Places in North America […]

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  13. What about Haulover beach in sunny Florida?

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  14. photography says:

    Blogs ou should be reading… […]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting
    that we Encourage You[…]……

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  15. Nature Fun Talk says:

    There’s also San Onofre near San Diego.

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  16. […] in the previous two installments of the 100 Places project, I offer once […]

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