Public nudity has been around since the dawn of time. The ancient Greek athletes competed in the nude during the Olympic games. Children have always loved the experience of disrobing and running through the house in the buff. And who hasn't gotten a thrill out of skinny dipping in the backyard pool late at night?
So, Floridians weren't the first to think this one up - though we do seem to have cornered the market on the number of nudist resorts, clubs and campgrounds in one county.
Pasco County, which lies approximately 20 miles to the north of Tampa has become a nudist paradise, with six resorts situated on a six-mile stretch of U.S. 41.
One reason that Pasco County is so 'open' with it's policy on public nudity is the funds that it generates for the county. Pasco County doesn't have any major attractions - actually other than the nudist resorts and campgrounds, I don't think there is anything else there - but a sizable chunk of change is generated from the side-trips that both U.S. and International vacationers take while visiting Disney, Universal and SeaWorld.
This is one of the few 'tourist' spots that actually existed well before Walt ever considered bringing his mouse here. The rustic nudist resort of Lake Como has been around since 1947, bringing in approximately 1500 tourists each year. The 'family-friendly' Cypress Cove in Kissimmee has been here since the mid 1960's.
The American Association for Nude Recreation, AANR - conveniently located in Kissimmee, just south of Orlando, states that nudism is on the rise. Since 1992 membership in AANR has increased 75% to around 50,000 members in 2007 and revenues related to nude recreation have increased from $120 million to over $400 million.
As the demand for higher-end resorts increases, Pasco County continues to deliver. First came Paradise Lakes, built in 1981 offering more in the way of homes, hotel rooms, restaurants and resort amenities than it's Pasco County neighbors. In 2004 Caliente entered the scene providing a whole new kind of nudist resort - one with upscale condos, half million dollar homes and a 15 acre recreational village complete with lush tropical landscaping and a waterfall at the pool.
DARE TO GO BARE
Currently AANR reports that nudists have 270 clubs, resorts and campgrounds in the United States to choose from. Curious about the nudist lifestyle? One easy way to find out about it is to experience it for yourself. Go online and preview what some of the local resorts have to offer, check out the policies and day charges then grab your towel and sun protection - go for a high spf level, remember some parts of your body have never seen the sun - and get ready to work on that all over tan!