By Angye Fox (

Pasco County, Florida is the nudist capital of the United States. There are more clothing-optional places in the area known as Land O’Lakes than anywhere else in the country. Why you may ask? Well, Pasco County allows full-nudity along with a full beer, wine and liquor license. So you can have a five-star luxury resort like Caliente Clothing-optional Resort with a fine dining restaurant, extensive wine list and high-end cocktails.

Where is Pasco County? It lies approximately 20 miles to the north of Tampa and has fourteen resorts situated on a six-mile stretch of U.S. 41. One reason that Pasco County is so ‘open’ with its policy on public nudity is the funds that it generates for the county.

Pasco County doesn’t have any major attractions other than the nudist resorts and campgrounds, so a substantial chunk of change is generated from the side-trips that both U.S. and International vacationers take while visiting Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal and Sea World. Europeans on holiday enjoy the familiarity like in their own countries of clothing-optional venues. These Euro-birds as they are affectionately called flock to Florida for sun, warm temperatures and naturist recreation.

Naturism or social nudism is the practice of going without clothing in social settings, generally in mixed gender groups and for purposes of good health or personal comfort. Governed by a strict set of rules, the practice of naturism or nudism is purposely non-erotic and nonsexual. Stressing naturism or nudism’s benefits to physical health and mental well-being, contemporary adherents maintain that its practice aids both exercise and relaxation while promoting stress relief, positive body image, and increased self-esteem.

The first nudist resort in Pasco County is rustic Lake Como which has been around since 1947. The Butt Hut is a favorite social gathering spot at Lake Como. The ‘family-friendly’ Cypress Cove in Kissimmee has been around since the mid 1960’s and hosts an annual breast cancer benefit called Nude-A-Palooza. October 20, 2012 is the upcoming Nude-A-Palooza event this fall.

The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) is appropriately located in Kissimmee, just south of Orlando, and their membership numbers suggest that nudism is on the rise. In the last decade, membership in AANR has been increasing particularly in the number of young people in their 20s and 30s joining the organization.

And as this demand for clothing-optional opportunities increases, Pasco County continues to deliver. First high-end resort built was Paradise Lakes in 1981 offering more in the way of homes, hotel rooms, restaurants and resort amenities than its Pasco County neighbors. In 2004, Caliente entered the scene providing a whole new kind of nudist resort complete with upscale condos, half million dollar homes, 30,000 square foot clubhouse, lush tropical landscaping and seven pools including a waterfall lagoon pool.

Currently AANR reports that nudists have 270 clubs, resorts and campgrounds in the United States to choose from. Visit Pasco County, Florida the nudist capital of the United States for the most number of options of places to skinny dip!