A recent conversation with a friend made me realize that for all the time I spend planning vacations and outdoor recreation, I certainly haven’t covered it all. Or perhaps I should say that I have been covering it all! My friend, who I thought I knew very well, revealed that she grew up in a family of naturists – folks who prefer to spend their days clothing-free.
Prior to our conversation, I would have imagined that clothing-optional vacations would only take place in wild, hedonistic tropical resorts. As it turns out, naturists enjoy the same outdoor activities fully clad folks do: hiking, fishing, golf, relaxing on a beach… and destinations all around the world cater to this clothing-optional clientele. Naturist vacations even have their own name: Nakations.
For those of us unaccustomed to mingling with a naturist crowd, an extended stay at a clothing-optional resort might just be too much sharing—and too much visual overload. For those curious whether they’d love a nakation, it would be possible to try it out for a day or two, by planning a daytrip or two to a clothing optional destination within a longer vacation. After the clothing optional day, retreat to your vacation rental to regroup and decide what the next day holds… clothing or not!
Here are some ideas for clothing-optional day-trips within a short drive of beautiful vacation destinations.
HIKERS heading to Germany might want to pack their hiking boots and rucksacks (and nothing else!) for a trek through the Harz Mountains. An eighteen-kilometer trail, newly designated as clothing-optional, meanders from the town of Dankerode to Wippertalsperre. Or for a more restful German naturist experience, simply join the sunbathers in the Englischer Garten in Munich on a sunny summer afternoon.
GOLFERS go au naturel on the west coast of France at La Jenny Naturist Golf Course. Considering some golf fashions, the appearance of the golfers here may be an improvement! It’s a short course, but I’m guessing most folks aren’t really here to work on their game. Best ball, anyone?
BEACHCOMBERS don’t need to head to the Caribbean to beach it in the buff. At Haulover Park in Miami, Florida, not even an itsy-bitsy teeny-weenie bikini is required. Almost a third of the 1.5 mile shoreline is clothing-optional, making tan lines a thing of the past.
ANGLERS can fish for bass in the lake at Cedar Waters Village in Nottingham, New Hampshire – an easy drive from any of the popular recreational lakes in the state. This picturesque private park and campground truly is family oriented, and offers more than a spot to drop a line – there is an activity for every nakationer: tennis, shuffleboard, paddleboats, and more.
Suzanne Johnson lives, writes and plays in the Cascade mountains of Oregon with her family of adventure-prone boys. More of her writing can be found a SuzanneMyhreJohnson.com.