July 5 to 11 is National Nude Recreation Week, a time when naturist organizations such as the American Association For Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS) go all out to promote the benefits of enjoying life’s pursuits sans clothes. Naturists (aka nudists) have historically been a secretive lot, congregating on remote beaches or behind high fences in naturist resorts, but over the last few decades, the joys and benefits of nude recreation have become more widely appreciated, and naturism has entered the mainstream. Frolicking in the nude used to be considered the preserve of aging hippies or drunken Spring Break college students, but not anymore. Today, people are far more open to sharing their naked pursuits — check out Twitter or Instagram, and there is no end to celebrities and others boasting of how they skinny-dipped, worked on their all-over tan, or tried naked bungee jumping.
So what activities can you do naked? Frankly, anything you enjoy doing where clothes play no part in keeping you safe.
1. Get That All-Over Tan
Nothing could be easier to start your nude recreation journey. Eliminate those white bits by losing your swimsuit on a beach or in the privacy of your back yard. Not sure where the nearest clothing optional beach is? Check out the AANR and TNS websites for one closest to you. While there are relatively few “official” nude beaches in North America, there are thousands of miles of coastline and deserted inland spots where disrobing is safe. In Florida, head to Haulover Beach in Miami — a super stretch of sand where nudists and so-called textiles lie side by side. In California, seek out Baker Beach in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge or San Onofre and Blacks Beach near San Diego. Further north, Gunnison Beach in New Jersey is one of the largest clothing-optional beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting thousands of visitors on warm weekends.
Check out Everything You Wanted To Know About Being A Naturist But Were Afraid To Ask for more beach-specific and naturist resort recommendations!
2. Ditch The Soggy Swimsuit
The downside of spending a day at the beach and dipping in and out of the sea is having to wear a soggy, clinging swimsuit with sand that finds its way to every orifice and is determined to stay there, chaffing, until you finally jump in the shower. Not to mention having to perform a ridiculous routine of changing out of your swimsuit while holding a towel just in case your neighbor might spot your nipple. With no swimsuit, simply head out of the water and let earth’s most natural hair drier do the rest. Getting dressed without having to worry about a towel slipping is soooo much easier. If you’re lucky enough to have a hot tub at home, why would you wear a swimsuit? Not only is the hot tub experience better as water jets caress your body, getting dry afterward is also quick and easy.
3. Take A Naked Hike
Apart from strolling along the beach —look out for signs which designate the boundaries of the clothing-optional areas — there are many remote areas where one can hike wearing nothing but boots and a smile. The remote areas of Moab in Utah or remote stretches of the Appalachian Trail or the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail are often frequented by those who love being naked in the great outdoors. You can also hike naked in U.S. national parks. Nudity in the parks is not against federal law per se, unless there is an intent to cause harm or offend others. Local legislation may be a bit more restrictive, so be sure to check them out before setting off.
In Arizona, Redington Pass near Tucson is well established as a hiking trail used by naturists. As with any public nude activity, good planning is essential to make sure you do not offend others. Even in the remotest areas, be ready to cover up when approaching other (clothed) hikers. In Europe, join the Naked European Walking Tour for some serious naked hiking in the Alps. A more leisurely option may be to hike within the confines of an established naturist resort; Olive Dell Ranch in California, Mountain Air Ranch in Colorado, and Sunshower Country Club in Indiana all have a number of trails that can be easily hiked naked. Nude Hiking Day is June 20, 2021.
4. Play Volleyball, That Quintessential Nudist Pastime
Beach volleyball seems to have been forever associated with nudists. Many naturist resorts (including Turtle Lake Resort and Bare Oaks Family Naturist Resort) have their own beach volleyball courts, and in the summer, tournaments are aplenty. You will find a number of beaches have nets available for impromptu games, too. Less advertised but very popular is water volleyball. This is a staple pastime at almost every naturist resort where there is a pool. Everybody plays, and it doesn’t matter your level. It’s all about fun and making friends, though be warned, some clubs do take this very seriously.
5. Take A Swing At Nude Golf
Some naturist resorts in the U.S. offer space for pitch and putt (Cypress Cove Resort in Florida has a nine-hole Chip & Putt course). To get the real deal, though, head to La Jenny Naturist Resort on France’s Atlantic coast, where you can play six holes on a full regulation course wearing nothing at all. With no pockets, the question is “where do I put my tee?” (The answer is “Behind your ear.”)
6. Pickleball Is All The Rage
Pickleball — a slightly gentler form of tennis — is exploding in popularity across the nation, and not just in naturist circles. Played with small paddles and a plastic whiffle ball on a badminton-sized court, it offers all the strategy and fun of tennis but requires slightly less energy. It is particularly popular with boomers who have been ardent tennis players and are looking to slow down just a touch. Many naturist resorts are repurposing their tennis courts for pickleball and one thing is for sure — you will never be left looking for someone to play with. Be ready to play early before the heat of the day, especially if you’re checked in at a Southern resort.
7. Compete In A Nude 5k Race
On many people’s bucket list is to run a 5k race nude, and there are plenty of opportunities to get this one ticked off. What originally started as enthusiastic naturists going for a run around the resort grounds, today has become runners who want to run naked. Many naturist resorts schedule their own clothing-optional races — all open to the public. This is a great way to dip your toe into naturism since, after the race, you can stay and enjoy the rest of the day at the resort. This has been a very popular introduction to the joys of nude recreation for many “textiles,” especially as nudity is not mandatory. The races are open to runners and walkers. Sports bras may be a must-have item for some, and in case you’re wondering, men, it really is not uncomfortable, and yes, you wear running shoes. Check out this year’s races at your favorite nudist resort.
8. Get On Your Bike
The World Naked Bike Ride is an annual event held across many cities around the globe to challenge our reliance on oil for transportation. These events can attract thousands of cyclists in all states of undress. Portland, Oregon’s naked bike ride has had as many as 10,000 participants, meaning the city hosts the largest event of its kind globally. Seattle has its own annual Fremont Solstice Parade during which many folks enjoy the parade in all shades of colorful body paint. The pandemic may preclude these events in 2021, but for sure they will be back in 2022.
9. Sweat It Out At The Gym
Some resorts (Mira Vista Resort in Arizona and Laguna Del Sol Resort in California) have fully equipped gyms perfect for completing your routine workout. The only thing you need is a towel to sit on and gym shoes. No more scrambling to find workout clothes that make you look good or having to empty a smelly gym bag afterward!
10. Get Into The Garden
If you are looking for something a little more sedate, drop your clothes and celebrate World Naked Gardening day. It has been celebrated on the first Saturday of May for over 15 years as a way of promoting body acceptance. But don’t wait until May 7, 2022. Pick up your trowel and head out into your garden. Leave the hedge trimming for another day and perhaps repotting the cacti, too. If you have poison ivy in the garden, keep your clothes on!
11. Stretch And Breathe
Join millions of others who have discovered nude yoga during the pandemic. Roll out your mat in the privacy of your own home or garden or, if you’re in the UK, you can sign up for virtual group nude yoga sessions through British Naturism. Some naturist resorts will offer yoga sessions, and there are exercise studios that advertise naked yoga sessions, too.
12. Sail Away
If you are lucky enough to have your own boat, chances are you have stripped off when away from others already. If not, what are you waiting for? For the rest of us, Bare Necessities offers nude cruises, which are increasingly popular with naturists. Enjoy the company of hundreds (in some cases thousands) of fellow naked passengers aboard ocean liners steaming round the Caribbean to idyllic nude islands. For a more intimate getaway on the water, look for small boat charters where six guests or so undress and go wind jamming around the beautiful islands.
Let Nude Recreation Week inspire you to make the leap and experience the most freeing liberation and exhilaration of doing something you enjoy — naked. Experience that “aaaaaagggghhhhh” moment, and you will wonder why you hadn’t thought of doing this before. Whatever you do, don’t forget the sunscreen!