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Cypress Cove - first time visit to a nudist resort.
February 2002

I visited Cypress Cove as a single for several days in February, 2002. Although I have been to clothing-optional beaches many times and have gone to a couple of c/o swim nights, this was my first visit to a nudist resort.

The resort is much larger than I expected -- picture a large subdivision. It takes about half an hour to walk the perimeter of the developed part of the property. A tall wall on the side nearest the highway and an entrance gate with a security guard ensures privacy. There are about 80 motel rooms, 170 rental campsites for RVs and 230 individually owned residences, and all streets are paved. When full, there are more than 1000 people on the property. The resort is very clean and well maintained, and the staff is both professional and friendly.

Cypress Cove’s motel-style accommodations are well-maintained two-storey buildings with eight units on each side of the building. Half are two-bedroom suites and half are rooms. The rooms have two double beds, full bath, a small refrigerator, television and phone. The only difference that I noted from a conventional motel is that there’s no need to close the drapes in case anyone sees you when you are undressed.

When I checked in at the office, there was no mandatory tour of the property, or recitation of rules. On request, I was supplied with a couple of information sheets outlining expectations and etiquette. As a single, I felt perfectly welcome and comfortable.

The information sheets state that nudity is acceptable and encouraged at all times and places, with the single exception of dances held at the Lakeside Restaurant. Nudity is mandatory around the swimming pools, and is strongly encouraged for recreational activities. As with all nudist places, you are reminded to sit on a towel always, for sanitary reasons. No need to bring your own - you can use one supplied in the room.

I was there midweek, and saw mostly couples aged 45 and older. As I was leaving on Friday afternoon, the place was filling up, with some younger people and kids arriving. The temperature was a bit cool, ranging from mid-40s at night to 75 in the daytime. As a Canadian, I found that I was comfortable nude when the temperature was mid 60s. Not so most of the residents. During my stay, naked people were in the minority, even during the warmest part of the day. I expect that there’s much more nudity in hot weather.

I stayed nude most of the time (except during the cool evenings) and felt comfortable, not out of place, even if the majority of people were clothed. The only exception was when I visited Cheeks bar/casual restaurant at the end of Happy Hour wearing only a T-shirt, and found that everyone else was fully clothed (I assume because of the cool temperature outside). I enjoyed being nude while walking the streets of the property for exercise, playing basketball, sunbathing poolside, and eating in the restaurants.

The developed part of the property borders on Brown Lake, a surprisingly large natural lake owned by Cypress Cove. I spent about an hour canuding around the lake and saw several alligators, four babies on the shore, and a 5-foot adult sunning on a log. Nearing the end of my trip, while trying to exit a small bay against a stiff breeze, I managed to fall out of the canoe. Remembering the alligators, I was quick to get myself to shore, thinking that one might find my privates attractive as a pre-dinner appetizer (picture those snapping jaws). Later, a staff member told me that people swim in the lake all the time and that the alligators are more afraid of us than we are of them.

There’s lots to do for recreation in addition to what I have mentioned above: tennis, swimming, pitch & putt golf and much more, and also a spa. There are many organized activities - six to eight each day: yoga, pizza night at Cheeks, kids activities, to name a few. Most recreational equipment and organized activities are free.

After about fifteen minutes at Cypress Cove, I found that I paid very little attention to whether a person was nude or clothed. But every now and then, I would survey the scene and ask myself: “What is wrong with this picture? Oh yeah -- some of these people are naked.” It reminded me of the dream experienced by many people of being naked in public while everyone else is clothed. Thinking back on the scene, a better question to ask myself would have been: 'What is right with this picture?'

Some memories/images that I have retained:

* At any given time, there were quite a few tradespeople on the property, going about their business. I guess that they are well acclimatized to the nudity.

* I found it a bit surreal, but very pleasant, to go for a half-hour walk, unburdened by clothes, through the streets of the permanent residents area. Someone, most likely clothed, would meet me walking from the other direction and we would exchange greetings -- kind of like at home, except that here I was naked!

* Over here is a group of two couples chatting on a corner, with three people fully dressed and one completely nude. Over there are four people playing doubles tennis, two dressed in whites and two dressed in skins.

* I walked over to the Lakeside Restaurant for breakfast naked, followed the hostess through the restaurant to my table naked, placed my order with the server naked (me not her) and ate my meal naked. There was a napkin on the table, but it seemed silly to place in on my lap.

Cypress Cove is a great place to stay if you are visiting theme parks south or west of Orlando. However, it is a 40 minute drive, in traffic, to Disney World. So you have to make a choice: you can stay at Cypress Cove, or rent a room at one of the Disney Hotels for at least double the price AND be required to keep your clothes on. This resort serves as a model of how things should be in the real world - the choice to be nude or clothed in everyday life.

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