Americans Choosing Nude Vacations

In a trend that I have somehow missed, Americans are flocking to the nude vacation scene, according to a revealing AFP investigaton.

Americans lose their holiday inhibitions (AFP)

Photo: A nude woman stands on a ship in this undated photo provided by the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). Americans are starting to flock to beaches and country parks reserved for nudists, especially at the luxury end of the market.(AFP/HO-AANR) It is called a vacation “au naturel,” using a French expression as a fig leaf to cover up its more common name of naturism. The United States is a deeply conservative country and some inhibitions take time to cast off, but Americans are starting to flock to beaches and country parks reserved for nudists, especially at the luxury end of the market. “People are looking for a more relaxed way to spend their vacation,” according to Carolyn Hawkins, public relations coordinator for the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). “They find visiting a nudist resort, they can travel more and pack less.”

The AANR estimates that naturist clubs and beaches for those who soak up the sun “au naturel” earn about 500 million dollars a year now, against 200 million dollars in 1992. “The interest has been increasing over the last 10 years,” said Carrie Schultz, marketing director for the Caliente Resort, an upmarket nudist colony near Tampa in southern Florida, which has about 300 apartments, bungalows and houses that cost between 200,000 and 500,000 dollars.

“People who bought here used to go to the Caribbean to find nude facilities. Upscale nude resorts didn’t exist in the US,” said Shultz. “Shields are coming off. We are not afraid to run TV commercials and people know it is here. Caliente is family oriented, with a children’s playground and events for kids. In terms of luxury accommodations, we are off the scale.”

Caliente highlights how naturism in the United States has become more sophisticated to reach its market. Specialist agencies, such as Bare Necessities, based in Austin, Texas, offer cruises to the Caribbean and Europe, buying up whole ships and then selling holidays for between 800 and 5,000 dollars per person. “Nude recreation has grown so much in the US because there are more upscale availabilities, more than going to a camp site,” said Nancy Tiemann, who started Bare Necessities in the early 1990s. “Americans are a little spoiled. They want something with more amenities. When we started our business, major cruise lines would not respond, it was difficult to find somebody who would take my call.

Of course, there are 290-odd million Americans. How many of them are engaging in nude vacations is not mentioned in the report. The fact that they had to use a file photo of the nude woman pictured above may be an indication that the trend is not so large after all.

I report. You decide.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. mike says:

    Considering the size of americans, I hope most of the 290 million DO NOT flock to the nude beaches of europe. I kind of enjoy going to them w/o getting sick – although there are some awful european sights as well.

  2. Kent says:

    Too many missing facts. Further investigation is obviously warranted. Go for it.

  3. Mark says:

    Mike, don’t judge others of somethings that does not appeal to you or makes you ‘sick’. Learn how to repect other peoples opinions. At least try to understand them.

  4. Stephen says:

    Obviously the woman in the photo is qualified to pose nude. But should the fact that the rest of us aren’t model-quality prevent us from taking advantage of personal liberty? When I walk along the beach — any beach — do I have the right to say such and such a person’s appearance offends me and therefore should dress more appropriately? I would be very pompous and self-inflated if I thought I could dictate how other people should look. As much as one person has the right to wear closet-clutter, another person should have the right to wear nothing. I’ve seen 300-pounders in bikinis and I’ve seen them nude. Clothing-Optional facilites are better because at least there, I know that person is making thier own choice.

  5. Tim says:

    Nudism isn’t about perfect nude bodies. If you want that type, then porn is obviously the one for you.

    Nudism is usually for all people, old and young, fat and thin, hunky and ordinary. So anyone of any body shape can be a nudist- he or she doesn’t need to be young and have a perfect body- for people to lust over.

    So if some people still think nudism is about porn, then it’s time they start living.

  6. As the founder of the Diablo Sun Devils Naturist Club I can assure you that nude recreation is become very popular… especially with women. We enjoy being nude… it is fun… exciting… liberating… and a wonderful experience. Our club promotes naturism for women… even though our club is for everyone… and I love it. Visit our clubs web site and see for yourself..!

    Vera, the Sun Devil