Last month I embarked on an adventure that took me the farthest out of my comfort zone that I’ve ever been. When I say far, I mean uber far, like in another galaxy far. I was invited to stay at the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort and Spa in Kissimmee, Florida, a preferred location for nudist vacationers from around the world. Yep, Outdoorsy Diva went to a nude resort. I bet you never thought you would read a story like that on my blog did you? Trust, me I never thought I would be sharing a tail, I mean tale like this one. (Yes this post will be riddled with cheesy nude puns because I’m a geek and still somewhat immature even at age thirty-whatever-I-am.) Special thanks to Cypress Cove Resort for providing my accommodations in exchange for sharing my honest experience and review of their property. (Full disclosure)
The few people I told ahead of time had the same questions. “Are you going to accept the invitation?” Well, duh! Heck yes. How can I constantly preach to my readers the importance of taking risks and stepping out of their comfort zones and not being afraid to experience something new and then chicken out of this? I have to live what I preach. I saw this as an opportunity to learn up close about another way of life that I honestly knew nothing about. It was also an opportunity to confront some of my personal hang-ups and insecurities with my own body.
The next question I was asked was “Will you participate?” At the time the jury was still out on that one. I was assured that it was clothing optional but not mandatory to be naked, although preferred so that I could get the full experience. I decided to bring along my adventure buddy Niki because I knew that she would push me to be braver than I am and I knew this was on her bucket list.
I fully admit that I had preconceived notions and misconceptions about what the nude or naturist community is all about before I read up on the website. However, after reading up on it many of those assumptions and fears were put to rest immediately. They stress to first time visitors that Cypress Cove’s goal is to maintain a safe, non-threatening, non-sexual environment where guests can truly relax and feel comfortable. So this isn’t Hedonism or an orgy fest and it’s not for swingers as I know many people incorrectly assume. We equate nudity with sex, but in fact in the first time visitors welcome packet, it is stressed that the clientele is primarily couples and families and PDA should remain discreet and innocent. Discussions of swinging and recruiting are not permitted.
I breathed an immense sigh of relief when I read that because I’m not about that life at all and I certainly didn’t want to find myself in an uncomfortable conversation. Because you know, in my mind my friend and I would be hot commodities and we certainly didn’t want to spend the whole weekend turning people down. [Insert hysterical laughter here]. Clearly that would not be an issue for us at Cypress Cove.
Upon arrival to the property we had to stop at the guard’s house to check in and be granted access. They take the safety and security of their guests seriously so already I had a great first impression. Once we drove through the gates and beyond the entrance walls, we encountered the RV area and butts. There’s no warm up or slow introduction. Once you pass through those gates you are in nudist land and there were butts and boobs and other things everywhere! It’s a little bit daunting initially. It’s like driving into an alternate universe where there are zero damns given. We couldn’t help but giggle to ourselves in the car.
At check in, the front desk staff was all clothed in case you were wondering. We certainly were. The grounds staff and waiters and waitresses are all clothed as well so it’s easy to identify staff members versus guests. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. We were greeted by Carolyn, who I coordinated with to make the arrangements, and she gave us a short tour of the property and showed us where our apartment was located.
Our accommodations were the recently renovated apartment villas. It had 1 bedroom with two comfortable queen size beds, a living room, kitchen and 1 large bathroom. The living room had a sofa sleeper and table and large flat screen TV and nicely appointed decor. The kitchen had a full size refrigerator, stove, sink, and dishes in the cabinets. There was also a dining table and chairs in the kitchen area. The bedroom was large and spacious, with another large flat screen TV and a desk as well as a large closet. The cool colors of turquoise and greens gave the apartment a calm vacation feel, without being too “old tropical” looking as I encounter in a lot of Florida resorts. The entire apartment was tile. We were definitely pleased and impressed with the accommodations.
In addition to the apartment villas Cypress Cove has RV camping, tent camp sites, and hotel rooms. If you are planning a stay I highly recommend asking for a remodeled room.
The are 3 restaurants on property, the Lakeside Restaurant, Cheeks Bar & Grill by the pool, and Scuttlebutts which is more of a bar. Yes, people dine nude. I admit I never quite got used to this concept. I have a touch of germaphobia so it’s just one of those things that grosses me out. The resort definitely stresses good hygienic policy. It’s resort policy to bring a towel with you everywhere that you go to sit on.
We elected to dine in our cover-ups at all of our meals as neither of us were totally comfortable with the notion of dining in the buff. For my meal at Lakeside I had stuffed shrimp, yellow rice, and ratatouille. The shrimp was large and tender. It was an enjoyable meal for sure and our server was very friendly. Service was a bit on the slow side so if you want to save time it helps to charge your meals to your room instead of paying with a card as we did.
Breakfast is served in Lakeside as well and it was delicious. There was a large variety of omelettes and fresh juice and breakfast sides to choose from. Cheeks Bar & Grill is popular for lunch time since everyone is near the pool during the day on the weekends. We decided to order at the bar and take it with us. I had a tasty Italian sausage and sweet potato tater tots and Niki had a burger and fries. I also ordered a frozen drink. Our last meal was in Scuttlebutts where we had personal pizza and bang bang shrimp.
Things To Do
So what is there to do for fun at a nude resort? Personally I was all for taking a nap in the hammocks by the lake or napping by the pool. They also have paddle boats, tennis courts, golf, and a game room. We happened to be visiting during a volleyball tournament. This was an added plus because the tournament draws a younger clientel than usual. They have trivia, karaoke, and all sorts of activities listed in the weekend guide. There are two pools and 2 hot tubs. There’s even a playground! Remember Cypress Cove is family oriented so children are welcome at the resort.
Each weekend is themed so you can check the schedule and plan a visit during one of the themes that appeals to you. Spa services are available on site near the pool. Go and sign your name up on the board early if you want a massage because the slots fill up very fast. You can also just disconnect and take in the 300 acres of Florida beauty. It’s not like you really have a place to put a cell phone anyway. (wink wink)
Niki and I decided to check out the line dancing class. First time line dancer here! I’ve just never had the opportunity to learn. The group was all women and everyone was very friendly. Some people were fully clothed and some were only partially clothed. It was a a fun time and a workout!
We definitely didn’t just hop right in and get naked. We decided we would ease ourselves into it and build up our confidence. The first evening we went to one of the hot tubs. Towels in hand and wraps on we walked over to the pool and we were relieved to see that no one was there. We sat our things down and before I knew it Niki was headed to the shower without her towel!! So I guess we’re doing this…. I took off my wrap and walked quickly over to the showers.
Then we got into the hot tub and just relaxed. I admit it was so soothing and calming to just look up into the night sky at the stars and shed our cares. Of course it’s easy to feel bold at night without strangers around. The real test would come the next day when the resort was popping and full of people.
Early in the morning, we walked down to the beach at the lake to get pictures before too many people had emerged. Obviously I was only allowed to use my camera when there was no risk of guests in the vicinity. The resort has very strict policies in place to protect guests’ privacy. I sat in the hammock and opened up my wrap. Of course I felt strange to be sitting there exposed. Then I walked down near the shores of the lake. Talk about being one with nature? It doesn’t get any closer to nature than this.
On Saturday after our line dancing class we decided we would spend some time around the pool. This would be the moment of truth because while most of the resort is clothing optional, the pool area requires nudity. You can’t enter the water in a bathing suit of any kind. Little did we know just how lit the mid day pool party would be! There was a DJ playing music and every single chair around the pool was occupied. There were a few chairs in the sun in the grassy area next to the pool but the way our melanin is set up, cooking in the sun is not a past time enjoyed by most brown skin people. Tip: Get to the pool early if you want a seat with shade.
We settled for seats near the DJ at one of the outdoor seating tables for Cheeks, the poolside grill. This was a prime spot for people watching. If ever there was a time that I felt great about my body, this was it. Honestly, we all have the same stuff and eventually gravity is going to win. People passed by in all of their birthday-suit glory, wrinkled, sagging, perky, tanned, pale, rolls, thin, and even pierced. Every last one of those people were free from restriction and had a smile on their face. They were happy to be alive and enjoying life.
We decided we really did want to lay out in the shade by the water so we went to the smaller pool where there were far less people. Our cover ups came off, we laid out our towels, and the strangest thing happened. The Earth kept revolving; no one cared. No one looked or stared or gawked. We were just 2 more free people enjoying the Florida sunshine hanging out by the pool. It’s really a novel feeling.
We did attract a few friendly passerby who had heard about our awesome dancing in the line dance class. I guess word travels fast that the two young whippersnappers had moves. After a while it became easier to have conversations with people who were completely nude and I didn’t have to train my eyes to only look at them in the face. I recommend sunglasses to help with this.
One of the funniest things was when we came back to our apartment we both instinctively put on clothes to lounge around in. It was so funny to not get dressed to go out and get dressed when we came in. The more time we spent nude the more comfortable we felt. By Sunday morning it really didn’t phase us at all to be naked in front of other people. I went down to the lake at sunrise and had the best devotion and God-time in the stillness and the quiet. I felt so vulnerable and alive. It’s indescribable but it was a different kind of closeness.
Throughout our time there we met lots of friendly people and engaged in interesting conversations. There are some people who live there full-time year round. There are others who don’t consider themselves to be naturist, they merely enjoy the freedom and they come a couple of times a year. Some people have bought completely into the entire lifestyle with their families. We encountered 2 or 3 families with children. I met retired teachers, former military, and engineers.
There are all walks of life and occupations that frequent the resort. Though the demographic is mostly white seniors, everyone was welcoming and eager to talk to us and know more about us and how we came to find their little slice of heaven. At no time did I feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.
The most common questions I was asked by the regulars was would I come back. My answer is a resounding yes. I’ve never felt so free from burden and limitation as I did that entire weekend. I have struggled with body positivity my entire adult life because I had my son at 18 so my body drastically changed early in my life. I’ve had to live with those changes my entire adulthood.
Being totally transparent, I never came to terms with it. For me to bare it all, stretch marks, dimples, scars, rolls and everything else, took a level of courage I wasn’t sure that I possessed. I’m so happy I did it! I took away a valuable life lesson to just live and be grateful for the skin I’m in. Looks will certainly fade and it seems so silly when I look at how much time I’ve wasted agonizing over what I thought was a damaged body. There’s still a lot of youth in this body and the imperfections are just the tangible evidence of my journey and proof that I’ve lived.
I think it should be a right of passage in your adult life to do something like this that challenges your perceptions and pushes you beyond your comfort zone boundaries.
Check out Cypress Cove to get detailed information on reservation requirements and rates.
Things to pack for your first nudist adventure:
- wraps and swimsuit cover ups
- large beach towels
- insect repellent (it’s Florida)
- hat or sunglasses (because you’re human and you don’t want your eyes to tell what you may be thinking)
- pool noodles
- an open mind
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