The Nude Beaches in Florida

For a state that is home to Tampa, the unofficial nudist capital of the USA, and to a great variety of nudist clubs and resorts, the number of nude beaches is surprisingly low. Four to be precise, with an unofficial 5th one. This has everything to do with the local law. We’re not going to bore you with all the specifics, but what it comes down to is that the law in Florida prohibits nudity in public places. This means that nude beaches can only exist on federal land, as in national parks, or in places where a local ordinance passed that allows nudity.

 

Honestly, knowing this upfront, we didn’t come with high expectations. We’ve been to other countries where nude beaches exist in a grey zone of the legal spectrum and most of the time this meant that they can only be found in places where nobody ever comes. Hidden coves, remote beaches only accessible by dangerous hiking trails, or the rocky ends of a textile beach. Much to our surprise, none of this seemed to be true in Florida. What we found were amazing nude beaches, often long and wide, and very easy to get to.

Apollo Beach

The 4 official nude beaches of Florida are all located on the Atlantic coast, we visited them from north to south, starting at Apollo beach. This appeared to be the least known of Florida’s nude beaches. Well, from what we heard. One of the reasons for this is the entrance fee to the national park, which is $20 USD per vehicle and valid for 7 days. Thanks to this validity period, we think that it’s especially worth it if you’re planning to visit the beaches for multiple days. This entrance fee is also valid for Playalinda Beach, by the way.

 

The beach itself is sandy, and depending on the weather the ocean can get quite rough. Nevertheless, we did find it very swimmable. Although this is not such a popular nude beach, there were quite some other nudists, even on a weekday. The atmosphere is very relaxed and it’s easy to maintain distance from the other beachgoers. As Apollo Beach is located literally at the end of the road, the nude beach doesn’t really seem to have an end, so there’s always plenty of space.

 

How to get there: Access the Canaveral National Seashore Park via New Smyrna Beach and keep following the beach road until parking lot 5. Here starts the nude beach.
Facilities: Toilets on the parking lot, cleaner toilets in the visitor centre.
What to bring: Sunscreen, drinks, food, chairs and umbrellas.

 

 

 

Playalinda

The second nude beach on our list is also located in the Canaveral National Seashore Park, but on the other side. Technically, it’s possible to walk between Apollo Beach and Playalinda, but motorised vehicles have to make a detour of about 1.5 hours. Here too, the entrance fee to the national park is $20 USD per vehicle and valid for 7 days. The same ticket can be used for Playalinda and Apollo Beach.

 

Playalinda has dunes, which makes it a bit more scenic looking than Apollo and we also found a slightly larger crowd. Other than that, both beaches are quite similar. Playalinda is at the end of the road as well, meaning that there will always be lots of space if you’re willing to walk a bit further. Parts of the beach are still recovering from a recent hurricane and are not accessible by car. Because of this, the nude beach is at the last available parking lot. Normally that’s number 13, but when we were there, it was at number 8.

 

How to get there: Access the Canaveral National Seashore Park via Titusville and keep following the beach road until either parking lot 13 or wherever the road stops. Here starts the nude beach.
Facilities: Toilets on the parking lot.
What to bring: Sunscreen, drinks, food, chairs and umbrellas.

 

 

 

Blind Creek Beach

A lot further south is Blind Creek Beach, a favourite among many residents and tourists in southern Florida. This is the most relaxed of the two southern beaches. We had been told to visit Blind Creek Beach if we wanted to chill, read a book, and soak up some sun, and go to Haulover (see further) for a more busy and party atmosphere.

 

Even though Blind Creek Beach was quite busier than the northern beaches, it was indeed very relaxed and the ocean appeared to be less rough. One of the big advantages of this beach is that there are no entrance or parking fees. At the moment, the facilities only include porta-potties, but we heard that soon there will be a better parking lot and real bathrooms and showers. It’s recommended to visit Blind Creek Beach during low tide when there’s a lot more space.

 

How to get there: Access the beach road via either Fort Pierce (coming from the north) or Stuart (coming from the south). Follow the road until you see the Blind Creek Beach signs. There’s only one parking lot, so you can’t miss it.
Facilities: Porta-potties on the parking lot, more to come soon.
What to bring: Sunscreen, bug spray, drinks, food, chairs and umbrellas.

 

 

 

Haulover Beach

Haulover Beach probably doesn’t need an introduction, it’s the most famous nude beach in the United States and known far beyond its borders. It’s also a more or less urban nude beach, very easy to access from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. During sunny weekend days, it’s not uncommon to find thousands of nudists at Haulover Beach, soaking up sun and dipping in the very tranquil waters.

 

This is also the beach with the most facilities. There are plenty of toilets and showers, you can buy snacks and drinks, and there are beach chairs and umbrellas for rent (at quite an extravagant cost though). We were lucky to go with friends who provided umbrellas for us. The atmosphere was as it had been described to us, very busy and a bit of a party vibe with people playing music. We also found that Haulover seems to be particularly popular among a younger crowd.

 

How to get there: Leaving Hollywood, drive south on Collins Avenue until you enter Haulover Park. Then park your car at the parking lot of the Haulover Marine Center. The fee is about $10 USD. There’s a pedestrian tunnel that takes you to the beach, the nudist section is roughly between lifeguard towers 13 and 15.
Facilities: Toilets, showers, food, drinks, sunbeds, umbrellas
What to bring: Other than sunscreen and money, you don’t need to bring much.

 

 

Passage Key

The last place on our list is not an official nude beach, but since Passage Key is federal land, nudity is allowed there and very often practised. We didn’t personally visit this beach because it can only be accessed by boat. Which we don’t have… This is the only nude beach on the west coast of Florida (for now).

 

If you do have a boat or a friend who has one, you can anchor near the island and be nude in the waist-deep water or set foot on the key up to the high tide line. Beyond that is a federal bird sanctuary.

 

How to get there: By boat
Facilities: None
What to bring: Everything

 

More beaches to come?

Florida has a very active association called the B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation, which keeps advocating for more public spaces that can be enjoyed in the nude. Currently, they are working on getting a new nude beach on the east coast. If nude beaches in the USA are important to you, you may want to consider joining or supporting this organisation.

 
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4 thoughts on “The Nude Beaches in Florida”

  1. I’m pretty sure you missed one, its just outside the naval air station on key west.
    It’s federal property so no state rules to contend with.
    It is at the end of Boca Chica Rd below Geiger Beach near the end of the stations runways. Free limited area Parking and no facilities.

    Reply
  2. So glad you two made it to America. Always enjoy reading about your adventures. Only wish you had arrived at the beginning of the summer season and not at the end. I am sure by now you have boarded a KLM flight to points unknow but the next time you are traveling to the USA let your loyal reader know as I know I and others would love to meet you.

    Reply
    • We know… Our task list for visiting new destinations is quite long and we hardly ever make it to the point “inform people in time where we’re going”. Most of the time, you only get to see it once we’re already there. Or worse, when we’ve already left. Mea Culpa. We’re well aware of this and hope to do something about it in the future.

      Reply

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