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Trip Report on Haulover Beach, Florida, USA
by Stéphane Deschênes

On a recent trip to Miami, Florida, I had the privilege to enjoy a feeling that is normally only found in Europe. I was able to sun and swim nude on a public beach and still feel normal. I didn't have to hide; I didn't have to travel awkward paths to a remote location; and I didn't have to do without the services that the textile beaches are provided. The beach which I'm describing is Haulover Beach in north Miami Beach.

The beach is actually located in one of the nicest areas of Miami Beach - Haulover Park. The park is a narrow part of the peninsula that runs between the Atlantic ocean and the intracoastal waterway. Aside from a marina, there is nothing but parkland behind the beach unlike the rest of Miami which is dominated by beach-side hotels.

The clothing-optional portion of the beach is just over 1/2 km long and is at the north end of Haulover Park. There is a large parking lot right next to the beach. Toilets and showers can be found between the beach and parking lot. Unfortunately, these are located outside the C.O. beach so you must dress to take a shower (seems ridiculous, doesn't it?).

The beach itself is very well maintained. There are garbage receptacles all along the beach and 3 large lifeguard stations dedicated to the clothing-optional section. There is a concession which sells food, drinks, and will even rent you a comfortable beach chair. ($3/day) The beach is well patrolled both by the lifeguards and the police which drive up and down regularly.

The beach was frequented by all types; young, old, couples, singles, males, females, heterosexuals and homosexuals. I met several people from other countries. As can be expected of a public C.O. beach, there were more men than women (about 5:1). There were also the 'textile beach-walkers' who came through constantly. However, because the beach has such a large, established nude population, those people looked like the weird ones. I found it interesting that the women who walked through seemed to be much more willing to look around than the men. The men tended to observe in a much more subtle way.

The fall of 1997 marked a milestone for Haulover Beach with the posting of official county signs indicating the clothing-optional portion of the beach. While the county had accepted the nude use for several years, until then they had not officially identified the C.O. portion of the beach.

All this is not surprising since that small portion of the beach now attracts over 5,000 visitors on a warm, sunny day. I am told that this makes it the busiest part of all of the Miami beaches. The north parking lot, which only serves the C.O. portion of the beach, generates nearly $1 million per year for the county. All this due almost exclusively to the dedication, persistency and hard work of the South Florida Free Beaches (SFFB).

When the SFFB started using Haulover for nude recreation in 1991, that portion of the beach was barely used by anyone and had no facilities. Initial nude use was met with harassement from the local police. Through persistent lobbying and a great deal of effort, they first convinced the authorities to leave them alone. Once established, the popularity of the beach steadily grew. More efforts on SFFB's part led the county to begin providing facilities and lifeguards.

The beach is located just north of Bal Harbour on Highway A1A. There are some hotels within easy walking distance of the beach (about 300 meters north). I stayed at the Miami Beach Ocean Front Days Inn (1-800-DAYS-INN) which was recently renovated. Prices ranged from $59 - $109 depending on season and room selected. While the Days Inn was comfortable, I would recommend staying at the Ocean Palm (305-947-5671) which is older but friendlier, has a warmer decor, is more supportive of naturists, has a heated pool, has refrigerators in the rooms, and is cheaper ($40 - $85). A 3rd option is the Varadero Beach Resort Condos (305-947-1481) which rents out small suites by the week or month. Wherever you stay, make sure you tell them that it is naturist dollars that you are spending.

I really enjoyed my break from the Canadian winter. The beach was beautiful. The people were friendly. The beach was very clean. The ocean was perfect for swimming. The water was warm and the bottom was clean and sandy as far as I could walk. But most importantly, I felt like a normal member of society who was enjoying the public beach in the most natural of conditions - NUDE.

For information about Haulover Beach, you can contact the South Florida Free Beaches at P.O.Box 330902, Coconut Grove, FL 33133, phone them at (954) 782-7400 or visit their website at

Stéphane Deschênes
Thornhill, Ontario, Canada

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