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Key West Nude Beach Update

The Key West City Commission held a workshop on March 30 to discuss opening a section of beach to nude sunbathers. Naturists, many affiliated with Florida Keys Free Beaches, are leading the motion to designate 500 feet of Smathers Beach as clothing-optional along with appropriate fences and signage.

According the Key West Citizen, over 20 people attended from each side of the issue. Advocates for the clothing-optional beach stressed that nudists are wholesome and law-abiding citizens who care about the beach. Those opposed countered with questioning the wisdom of creating a beach for a “special interest group.”

Economics also factored into the discussion. Thirty-three percent of Key West’s tourists are Europeans who would find a clothing-optional beach of interest.

Options discussed were finding a different location than the proposed Smathers Beach area and instituting a trial period of one year that could be terminated at any time to test how a nude beach would fare in the area. As for now, the issue remains unresoved until City Manager Jim Scholl collects information about the option of changing the proposed site of the clothing-optional area from Smathers to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.

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21 Responses to Key West Nude Beach Update

  1. Larry W. Clark says:

    Five hundred feet of beach will be a dissapointment, especially with a hotel being nude. Get ready for 10,000 people on weekends. The hotel will be booked up almost all the time. What we really need is a section of town nude, with a bank, grocery store, post office, hotels, car rental, bicycle rental, water sports, rental etc. Modeled after Cap De Agde, Fr. That would be great. But I guess you got to start somewhere, so lets go for a nude beach, somewhere either Smathers or State park. If the hotel has signed on for nude hotel, thats a good start.

  2. David Owens says:

    I live in Largo, not Key Largo, Florida and one of the reasons I love Key West so much is the live and let live attitude of its residents. I make it a point to stay at a b&b (Marrero’s) that allows nude sunning and swimming. How great it would be to be able to add the nude beach as a reason to visit the Keys. If you need signitures for a petition, I would be more than happy to submit mine. Good luck in your endeavors. I am looking forward with great interest in visiting your clothing optional beach!

  3. jay sulkowsky says:

    Yes to the beach, what is more natural for Key West? The european tourists, the lack of such a place since Atlantic Shores is gone and the fact that you hold a certain “little festival” in Oct, that fills the island and it ain’tbecause they all want to go to Chuch on Holloween. You all have a history along these lines, are NOT a community along the interstate that tourists might just decide to get off the exit and see the area. YOU KNOW where you are going when you get to KW. Please give it a try, based on other areas you will find very little problem with this option compared to a lot of other ideas tried in various locations. See you at the Fest in Oct.

  4. Donald Steele says:

    The error I see in the conservatives argument is that [Those opposed countered with questioning the wisdom of creating a beach for a “special interest group.”] It is the persons who are wearing bathing suits that are the Special Interest Group. The nudists are just being natural.

  5. Ralph says:

    I believe that many individuals, myself included, plan their vacations, etc. around clothing optional beaches. I am on the edge of deciding where I will head come January. Will definitely be such a location. And Key West should consider that as a big revenue plus. Fort Zachary Taylor park would be just fine for the beach.

  6. Paul Nolan says:

    I am all for it. What better place than Key West. I miss Atlantic Shores were there was never any trouble. Free loving people. PAUL

  7. Chuck Elliott says:

    As a retired soldier and nature lover I find it very hard to talk honestly with fellow Augustans about nude bathing. I have taken a few open minded people down the Savannah River in kayaks and the subject of an area for nude sunbathing has come up. As of right now we are confined to kayaking nude North of Augusta Ga. I say YES to places where we can feel the water on our skin without worry of getting busted by a ranger who had a bad night. Rock on Fla!

  8. John M. Glennie says:

    I’m a Canadian who vacations in Florida, and likes to cruise the Caribbean. If there was a nude/clothing optional beach in Key West, I’d make an effort to visit Key West, FL more often.

  9. Lee Killough says:

    We live in Central Florida, but lived in Key West for over six years. The state has a million miles of beaches, and only one or two designated nude. We are all for the idea of a nude beach in Key West – and we would probably go there and enjoy it. With any luck, other areas will consider similar moves

  10. we have read this articule with great interest, this is the first we have heard of it.
    we feel like this is long overdue. with this first step we feel that kw will see that this will work quite well.
    remember closets optional means just that.
    thank you for listening
    john and aileen spencer ps we have both beeen nudeists for years and would love this opportunity

  11. Ed Kathrein says:

    Well it looks like me and my visitors from London,UK will sent the week at Haulover Beach next month. Sorry Keys.

  12. Dave Black says:

    At one time a section of Boca Chica Beach was used by the Florida Keys Naturists as clothing optional. I don’t think it was sanctioned, but at least no one bothered us. The various storms have destroyed our old spot, but there is still a large section of beach if cleaned up, would be ideal. Perhaps focus on a clothing optional beach should be switched to this area, it’s more remote and there is less government to deal with.
    I agree that more clothing optional areas should be available in the Keys.

  13. Jim from Chicago says:

    I have been going to Key West with my family since the 80’s when there were several nude/clothing optional beahes and we enjoyed them all. With the beaches becoming clothing only and the Atlantic Shores being replaced by yet another family, rental condo community/hotel, i no longer see a reason to visit the city. I look forward to the reopening of the nude beaches. On a side note, i also miss the Bohemian nature of the city…it has become too commercialized and too “family oriented”…isn’t Disney, Cape Canaveral, Naples, Daytona, Ft. Lauderdale, and most of the rest of the free world enough for the prudes? BTW, I am a family man and will raise my children in a naturist environment.

  14. my wife and i are all for nude beaches,resorts,cruising,we are starting our own catameran charter business in the caribbean and of coarse we will be doing nude charters. we are looking for investors. we are in sail magazine. check us out at
    wayne and suzanne

  15. Ray Polizzi says:

    I am a nudist who lives in Spring Hill, fl. I really believe that we need more nude beaches, in fact, I think all beaches should be clothing optional. I do not think that Key West is of any interest to me, since it is a long way from me. I do support any groups that advance nudist activities. How about a nude beach in my area???


  16. Eddie D says:

    When is Boca Chica less crowded. Is there a best time to go? Is there a ‘season’?

  17. Cody says:

    So today I walked the entire Boca Chica beach to the end. I found a nice long strip of sand near the end that I haven’t heard anyone talk about. Along the way to the end, there is also a makeshift sail boat probably made by cubans because the stitching on the floats full of foam blocks looks like it was done by hand. But anyways, To get a nice private area on that beach, walk it to the end when the tide is out so the streams coming into Boca Chica are shallow. Then after about half a mile of walking, you’ll see an almost untouched beach ready for the taking. I’ll be back there soon.

  18. Billy ray says:

    Does anyone still go out to Boca Chica?? Did local authorities crack down or can you still go o natural?? Thanks

  19. Njnude says:

    Any update on the nude beach proposal for Key West? Will be heading there in October and would like to work on my tan.

  20. Jamie Breedlove says:

    I am wondering as well about more updated information about the nude beach for Key West. As a frequent visitor for years, I always found Christmas Tree Island to be a nice little day trip where my wife and I along with friends could walk nude on the beaches or bask in the sun.

    I would love to be part of a group that would be able to get the island officially designated as a clothing optional beach area. Water taxis already provide transportation to the island and are able to return to pick up visitors. I don’t believe that commercialization would be necessary or even really advisable, but consideration could be made for sanitation facilities.

    Or, has this been approached in the past as a possibility.


  21. Howard says:

    Just heading for FL and KW in particular from the other corner of the country – State of Washington. We’re looking for clothing optional places to stay and particularly nude beaches. Hope there are some – otherwise we may pass up KW.

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