Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Chris Watson
If you’ve gone to the beach here in Florida, it’s certain you’ve seen a lot. You know people are conspicuous about the types of bathing suits they wear. Some are conservative, but it seems most are revealing. Then there are some people that have no problem bearing it all. They may arrive at the beach dressed in a bikini top and jean shorts, for example, and then pretty soon remove the bikini top and jean shorts to reveal toplessness and an itsy bitsy bikini bottom.
There are many beaches in Florida where people of all ages like to go au natural. Most, however, are not officially designated as clothing-optional. In these beaches where nudity is illegal, you may get fined or even arrested if you are caught. There’s confusion and lack of knowledge amongst the general public with what the law states is permissible as far as nudity in a public places such as the beach is concerned.
As far as indecent exposure is concerned, Florida law prohibits the display, exhibition or exposure of an individual’s sexual organs in a public place or while in public view. In order for you to be prosecuted, however, it has to be proven that you had an intent to be lewd, lascivious or indecent. Your bikini top accidentally coming off in the water does not warrant you being arrested and charged for this crime (which is a misdemeanor) unless it can be proven you did it on purpose or with willful intent. You can also not be charged with indecent exposure if you publicly pee or are caught being naked on a beach unless the State can prove you had wanton intent.
Of course, there are nude beaches that are designated for those that want to be able to be free and not worry about indecently exposing themselves (accidentally or otherwise) to children (anyone under the age of 18). There are even beaches that allow people of all ages to be fully nude. It is advisable to ask people to exercise caution and use common sense when going to these places with young children. (Remember, you are in public and on federal lands.)
As a general rule, full nudity on public beaches in Florida is prohibited except where there is a sign indicating the beach is clothing-optional. There are a few beaches that are clothing optional and will be listed below. You are free to go topless or fully nude in these beaches and not risk getting arrested or harassed by authorities as long as you act accordingly as well.
Some Clothing-Optional Beaches in Florida are (East coast only):
- Haulover Beach (North Miami)
- Blind Creek Beach (on Hutchinson Island, situated between Fort Pierce and Jensen Beach on Florida’s Treasure Coast)
- Playalinda Beach (on Canaveral National Seashore to the south, near Titusville)
- Apollo Beach (on Canaveral National Seashore to the north, near New Smyrna Beach)
- Hobe Sound (Jupiter Island)
There are currently no legal nude beaches on the West coast of Florida.
At some of these beaches, there are accommodations such as hotels nearby and bathrooms available for use. Near-by parking and easy access are also available free of charge or for a small fee. Showers, shopping centers, gift shops and restaurants may also be available close to where you may be located.
No matter where you choose to go or what you choose to do, it is advisable to call the location or local government ahead of time to be sure of the local laws and regulations. This may spare you an unfortunate situation for yourself and your loved ones. Certain areas may not allow nude or semi-nude bathers so it is best to be informed of where you can go to be nude and where appropriately to be dressed.
Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.