Florida’s Tampa area is often nicknamed “the nudist capital of the USA”. There are several nudist resorts, clubs, and residential areas pretty much within walking distance, or golf cart distance if you wish, from each other. One of them is Florida’s oldest naturist resort, the lovely Lake Como.
How to get to Lake Como
If you’re flying in, the nearest airport to the resort is Tampa International Airport, which has plenty of connections within the USA, as well as to several airports in Canada and Europe. At less than a 2-hour drive from Lake Como is Orlando International Airport, which has more connections to different parts of the world.
From Tampa Airport, you can take the 589 and 568 roads to the resort. Coming from further south in the state, you get the choice between the scenic 275 highway or the slightly faster 75 highway.
From Orlando airport or anywhere east of Tampa, you can take the 4 freeway and hop on the 75 just before you reach Tampa. Coming from the north, you also want to take the 75 but in the opposite direction, of course.
If you don’t have your own transportation, it’s best to rent a car or camper. There are plenty of rental offices in the airports. If you don’t like to drive and aren’t planning to leave the resort much, you can get an Uber from Tampa airport for about $50 USD.
Where to stay at Lake Como
There are several camping areas at Lake Como resort, if this is a short-term visit, you’re likely to get a campsite assigned at the North Grove RV park, which is quite close to the central area. For those coming with a tent, there’s the tent camp with unserviced sites.
Lake Como Resort has two types of rentals, one is the motel located right next to the office and the central area. The spacious motel rooms have a queen-sized bed, a sitting area, an ensuite bathroom and basic kitchen facilities like a fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. The larger cabins have a separate bedroom and sitting area, a larger bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen.
What to do at Lake Como
Lake Como isn’t just the oldest nudist resort in Florida but with 200 acres also one of the largest ones. The whole resort is situated on the shore of a large lake. Kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats are free to use, and if you’re lucky you can hop on a boat trip around the lake. Swimming is not allowed because of alligators.
Most of the magic happens in and around the central area, where you can find the swimming pool, the sauna, and the large hot tub. At the Bare Buns Café, you can get lunch and dinner during weekdays (except on Tuesday) as well as breakfast during the weekend. For drinks and entertainment, there’s the world-famous Butt Hutt bar which is open daily and regularly hosts live music and karaoke on weekends.
Further down the lake shore are a playground and petanque and pickleball courts. In the southern part of the resort are tennis and volleyball courts, a golf course, and soon a brand new gym. What the people we met praised the most though are the hiking trails at Lake Como, which will take you through dense forest and around the lake. We particularly enjoyed the hike towards Sunset Point.
Around Lake Como
Florida has several official nude beaches, but unfortunately, none of them are on the west coast, where Lake Como is located. So if you want to experience nudism outside of Lake Como, the best you can do is get a day pass at one of the other nearby resorts. However, we did hear that if you have a boat, you might find a secluded beach on an island.
Even though there are no nude beaches, a visit to the Keys south of Tampa is definitely a recommendation. Especially to Siesta Key, which has several times been chosen as America’s most beautiful beach. Very rightfully so, as they have the whitest sand you’ve ever seen. For the drive south, you could opt for the scenic 275 highway crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The toll for this bridge is about $1.75, which is well worth it if you make a stop at the viewing points.
Tampa Bay has a number of theme parks, animal parks, and museums, and the famous Disney World and Seaworld in Orlando are just 1.5 hours away, so these too can be great day trips. Closer to the resort, you can visit Tampa City, have a stroll along the riverside, go to the theatre and have a bite in one of the many restaurants.
Staff & Guests of Lake Como
When we talked to several of the guests at Lake Como, we quickly noticed that there was an elephant in the room in the form of two former nudist resorts in the area that recently have taken the swingers road. This puts a different label on nudism in Tampa, and the staff at Lake Como are going out of their way to make sure that their resort remains a safe haven for families. During our stay, volunteers were setting up a Halloween trail that was no less than mind-blowing. Also when you look at the list of activities, you’ll find that really try to keep all ages entertained.
We visited Lake Como in October, at the end of the low season. Most of the people we met were either residents, long-term stayers, or visitors from Florida or the surrounding states. Soon after we left, the snowbirds were about to arrive from northern USA and Canada, seeking the nudist weather that couldn’t be found at home anymore. We heard that also the occasional European visitor finds its way to Lake Como, but that these are rather few.
Book at Lake Como
The best ways to book at Lake Como are:
Thanks to the size of Lake Como resort, it’s a place where both the active and the relaxed nudist can find joy. Whether you like early morning hikes in nature, late-night drinks and karaoke, or just reading a book next to the lake or having a dip in the pool between pickleball games, it’s all possible.
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