Palm Springs

Seems to be a naturist Mecca, with an assortment of naturist resorts and hotels in the area that may be rivaled (in the U. S.) only by Pasco County, FL.

In the summer Palm Springs is hotter than Hades, with daytime highs from 115 to 120 Fahrenheit. (The best season to visit, if you have a choice, is any of them except summer. However, resorts like Desert Shadows do mist outdoor areas with water to cool things off.) But in summer, somehow the news media seem also to discover the subject of naturism, and so one finds a number of news stories appearing that mostly sound as though the writer had only recently discovered naturism. Fortunately, most seem to like what they’ve found. (See this one posted here recently.)

Anyhow, in view of its summery climate, could there be many places besides Palm Springs where one might so urgently want to be naked?

Valley’s naturist and clothing-optional resorts gaining broader appeal

This article, which just appeared, from a local reporter, gives one of the better media accounts of naturism and naturist resorts. It evidences an understanding of the subject without being marred by the usual clichés (like “naked truth”).

Palm Springs has always thrived on drawing visitors with an odd assortment of attractions: lush golf courses, glamorous film festivals, raucous gay parties, rumbling motorcycle weekend, sappy Frank Sinatra nostalgia.

But one of the area’s growing tourist draws has been covered up–until now.

Today, more than 30 clothing optional and naturist resorts operate in Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City, offering venues where guests can lounge, flirt or play tennis in the buff. Along with cities like Fort Lauderdale and Key West, the Palm Springs area is at the forefront of nude recreation.

Behind high walls or out of sight in remote desert locations, one of the nation’s fastest-growing travel industries is quietly thriving here and attracting a new generation of enthusiasts.

There’s plenty of good information in the article even for experienced naturists, as the page has contact information and Web links for the leading naturist destinations in the area.

The reporter also emphasizes how families and younger people are discovering naturist opportunities:

Nude recreation is now attracting more families and committed couples, as well as growing numbers of young people who praise nudism as healthy, liberating and just plain fun.

“I obtain a totally different feeling of relaxation being nude,” says Coryn Wright, a 20-year-old from Chico who recently came to be natural at Desert Shadows for the second time this year.

“(Naturism) totally changed my self-confidence,” she says, sitting comfortably in a metal chair overlooking the pool area. “Every woman that you see in the media is skinny with big boobs. Here you can see people that are actually normal.”

Since having her first naturist experience last year, Wright has become active in spreading the word about her new hobby to friends and strangers, and she says she sees it catching on.

She recently traveled to the Goodland Country Club, a famous naturist park in Hackettstown, N.J., and met many other young people who, like her, are embracing naturist lifestyles.

Admittedly, that sounds a tad promotional, but it’s still encouraging.

Young people talk about how naturism has been beneficial for their self-confidence:

“I have a hard time being able to go to a beach in a bathing suit without guys ogling me,” says Wright, the Desert Shadows guest. “(Here) I’m way less aware of my body.”

Wright, who visited Desert Shadows on a friend’s recommendation last August, brought her younger sister Krista this time for her first naturist experience.

“It’s a little startling when you first walk in,” laughs Krista. “The hardest part is the getting naked part. The being naked part is easy.”

But four hours after experiencing the mild shock of walking out nude into the sunny courtyard of Desert Shadows, she believes that anyone can do it.

“A lot of people think being nude is being vulnerable,” she says, “but I think a lot of people would be better off doing it.”

It’s worth noting that the city of Palm Springs is very supportive of its naturist resorts. Resort operators are active in local civic groups like the Chamber of Commerce. And public officials routinely officiate at the openings of new resorts.

Nice contrast to some places we could mention.

Published July 16, 2005