When I was researching a visit to Asheville for my wife and me a few months ago, I was surprised by what Asheville doesn’t have… there are no nude or clothing optional B&B’s, guest houses, pools, hikes, lakes or beaches. I have to admit that I was shocked. Asheville is the right kind of place with the right kind of people to truly enjoy and support a nudist location. Note to any entrepreneurs out there, HUGE OPPORTUNITY HERE. I posted some questions on Twitter and a few nude travel forums and all that was suggested was a nudist club in South Carolina (Carolina Foothills; I haven’t been there but several people recommended it).
Online I found two locations that had some promise. Hot Springs Resort and Spa in Hot Springs, NC and Shoji Spa Retreat in Asheville. Note that if you do an online search for Asheville and skinny dipping, Skinny Dip Falls will come up. Despite the name, there is no skinny dipping options here. 🙂
My wife and I decided to make a reservation at Shoji Spa Retreat which features outdoor, private hot tubs. When I called, I asked if there were any nude or clothing optional locations in Asheville and they told me that their Spa really was it. Although they did say if we went on a hike to a waterfall early in the morning, there was a good chance we’d have it to ourselves and could enjoy a morning skinny dip.
We were really impressed with Shoji Spa. It is a Japanese-style Spa that offers massages too. If we had more time, we would have signed up for a couples massage but instead we enjoyed the hot tub. An hour is really all you need. We were required to shower prior to entering the hot tub. We put on white robes and sandals. It really was a nice experience.
While my wife and I enjoy social nude experiences where we can meet and talk with other couples, the hot tubs at Shoji were private with a wall/fence around each one. This setting is perfect for the couple who wants to try nude recreation without an audience.
Each hot tub is bathed in the sunshine with a view down the side of the mountain. You really are in the tree tops without a wandering eye or any attention. We went to the spa after hiking all day and while the water was soothing on our aching muscles, the hot tub was actually a little too hot for a warm, humid Asheville summer’s day. We enjoyed the tub but also sitting on the side of the tub and laying out on the wood deck surrounding it.
While not the nude experience we were hoping for originally, we really enjoyed relaxing in the late afternoon sunshine and talking about our hikes and visit to Asheville. I would love to be here on an autumn day when the leaves are changing and the air is getting cooler or even better, on a snowy winter day.
My wife and I enjoy visiting nude and clothing optional beaches, resorts, B&Bs and clubs while on vacation. For us it’s an opportunity to relax and catch up while spending time together. There is something wonderfully peaceful about feeling the sun’s warming rays all over your body while your spouse is next to you. It isn’t sexual at all. It’s comforting and freeing for us.
Honestly, this is nudity LITE but a good first step. If you and your spouse enjoy this (not sure how you couldn’t), imagine spending time naked together except on a beach or by a pool and with other people around you doing the same. Not really a big leap is it?
We would highly recommend a visit to Shoji Spa & Lodge. Until someone opens a nude/clothing optional guest house, B&B or pool in Asheville, it’s your only option, but it’s a good one. They do offer lodging options.
If this is your first time reading our blog, my wife and I have been going on nude vacations for nearly 20 years. What started as a, “Do you want to try it” discussion when we were dating has turned into many great memories visiting beautiful beaches and resorts around the Caribbean, Pacific and U.S. The purpose of our blog is to provide information to other couples interested in trying nude recreation. It has been a wonderful connection point for my wife and me. It is intimate but not in a sexual way. Sexual touching and intimacy are not appropriate at the nude beaches and resorts we attend. That’s better for time spent together in the privacy of your own room.
Please let us know what you think. Any places we missed that you’d recommend?
So what’s the perfect way to relax and literally soak in Mother Nature and all of her beauty? There is no better place to take it all off and try nude recreation than a hot spring. It is the perfect low/no stress environment to see what getting naked in nature really feels like for you and your significant other.
I was visiting Santa Fe on business and had an extra day. Rather than stay in town, which is tempting because it’s a really great city to explore, I decided to see what hikes were recommended in the mountains. I quickly discovered that New Mexico is known for many amazing hot springs including several with fantastically scenic hikes to reach them and most of them clothing optional (you can be naked, topless or in your swimming suit… the choice is your’s).
The hot springs I read about really were all different. Some were very remote and hard to reach, while others were right off main roads and very crowded. Some had been purchased and turned into spas, while others were “trashed” by tourists and locals. Here is a list I found very helpful.
The one hot springs I kept reading about that appealed to me the most was the San Antonio Hot Springs. It features an amazingly scenic and beautiful five-mile hike by a creek up a canyon. The hike goes over a variety of landscapes but you’re climbing with every step up the canyon. The views are amazing.
I did the hike in early October and it was warm. I did it in late afternoon/early evening because I wanted to sit out and watch the stars fill the sky (bring a flashlight). The hike will take between 1.5-2.5 hours or however long it will take you to walk five miles up hill. Bring water. There is no water available on the hike. The hike alone was the highlight of my day, but that’s when I got to the hot springs.
The hike ends after passing an abandoned barn and cabin with four beautiful pools of water cascading down a hillside overlooking the creek and cliffs of the canyon. A hot spring fills the top pool and the water flows from one to the next. The top pool is 105 F and the temperature falls with each pool.
I was alone when I got to the springs. I took off my clothing and jumped into the top pool and enjoyed the soak while looking out at the cliffs, stream and the forest all around me. The water was crystal clear and actually a bit too warm for me. After 15 minutes, I had to take a seat on the rocks surrounding the pool to cool off. Sitting in the hot springs with stunning natural surrounding all around is an amazing feeling. The water is unbelievably comfortable and the four pools have sand bottoms so you can sit in them without the pain of a rock pinching your bottom.
I would call the San Antonio hot springs a little gem hidden in the New Mexico wilderness. You’ve really got to want to be there because it’s not an easy hike to it. From what I saw online, the springs can be very crowded. The area around the hot springs was a little beat up from the summer hiking season, but I found very little trash. The hot spring pools themselves were wonderfully maintained.
I stayed and soaked for nearly two hours, watching the sunset give way to the stars. It was an unbelievable night. My only complaints were that my wife wasn’t with me to enjoy it and that I was the only one there. The best part of social nudity is just that… social. I have yet to meet another person or couple nude in a hot tub that I didn’t enjoy talking with and sharing stories. While I was there for me, I would have enjoyed talking to other people too.
Sound like something you might want to try? I’m sure you have questions.
First off, there is nothing more wonderful than getting naked with your significant other on a beach, pool or in this case, hot springs. While you’ll be anxious at first, most people quickly realize that it really feels great. You’ll feel “exposed” and uncomfortable for a few minutes. Once the, “Are we crazy, what are we doing feeling wears off,” you’ll feel very comfortable and actually will get a rush from it. Sound cliche I know, but you’ll feel free, open and once the anxiety wears off, really good. And yes, because every guy asks about this, it isn’t uncommon to get an erection the first time you watch your significant other get naked. It will pass. Simply put a towel over your penis till it calms down or jump in the water and relaxi. This too shall pass. We recommend either going early or late to avoid other people. Just be prepared with a flashlight, etc.
Second, while I’m sure most couples who have never tried social nudity would want to be by themselves to start, if another couple or group of people are there already and naked, don’t worry about it. Just take your time and do what feels right. From our experiences most guys are all for getting naked and skinny dipping. It might take a little time for your wife/girlfriend to get comfortable. Step into the pool and relax. Once she feels comfortable (and she probably will but on her time frame) let her decide if she wants to take off her bikini top or drop her bathing suit completely. Be encouraging but not demanding. Let it be a shared experience and I promise you, it will be relaxing and fun for both of you.
So what do you do if there are other people there and they aren’t naked? Well, the decision is yours. Nudity is legal on U.S. Park Service lands so you are breaking no laws. Do what you’re comfortable with. We’ve been doing this for years and I have no problem taking my clothing off in a place where it is legal and recognized as clothing optional. That said, if someone was there with children, I would ask how much longer they were going to be there to see if we could wait them out or tell them that we intend on using the hot springs naked and discussing where we want to be and where they are. Again, the choice is yours. You’re in control.
I can tell you from what we’ve seen if there are other couples there with their bathing suits on, usually the other couples are waiting for someone to break the “nude” ice. This is what I mean. Read this Yelp Review of the San Antonio Hot Springs from Anthony J, “The three pools are out in the open on a hill side. If you are lucky like we were we saw some nudist in the springs. They were quick to get out and put on bathing suits when they saw us, but when we got to the pools they were very nice. We all had some really good conversation. After an hour of talking we all decided to go skinny dipping. The women were mid 30s and my friends and I were early 20s. That was the first time I’ve ever gone skinny dipping, and it was very enjoyable.” This happens a lot. Nudity is a big deal until you experience it and find it’s not a big deal at all.
We had something similar happen the first time we went to a very small, clothing optional beach in St. Maartin. There were four other younger 20/30 something aged couples, all in their bathing suits and bikinis on the beach when we arrived. As soon as we laid out our towels, I dropped my bathing suit and went skinny dipping in the ocean. By the time I got back to my wife, she had already taken her bikini top off and five minutes later put her bikini bottoms in her bag for safe keeping. By the time I had gotten out of the ocean for my swim, half the guys had already taken off their bathing suits and one woman her top. Within 30 minutes of my wife taking off her bikini and the two of us jumping in the ocean, all four couples were naked. By the time we left the beach, the four other couples were playing in the waves and walking down the beach in the buff like they had done it all their lives. The beach actually became pretty crowded and everyone was naked. This is a long example, but I’m surprised at how often all it takes is just one couple to get naked and everyone joins in.
Finally, and this is really important, so wouldn’t this hot spring be a wonderful place for romance, especially since you’re both naked already?
Nudity does not equal sex. All nudist will tell you one of the first surprises of social nudity is that while it can be romantic for you and your spouse, it isn’t a sexually charged environment. There is a time and place for everything and intimate touching and sex should be done in private, NOT in the open. If you’re lucky enough to have your own private pool or hot tub, go at it. But if you’re in a public place (beach, resort or in this case hot spring), it is a big no-no! Don’t ruin it for others (including families) that may surprise you by jumping in the hot spring while the two of you are getting hot. Sorry, it’s not acceptable.
So are you interested in trying a hot spring for you and your significant other? There are clothing optional hot springs in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon to name a few locations. There are a lot of reviews and locations. Some have been commercialized and you can rent your own private pool to be naked in or simply away from others. For the San Antonio Hot Springs, the address is: Forest Rd 376 (4 Miles N of FR 126) Jemez Springs, NM 87025. There is no cell phone service in this area.
More importantly, since I’m new to hot springs, if you have been to one and would recommend it as a great first time place for others to try social nudity, please send us a review and your thoughts on why it was a great first time experience for you both.
As anyone who has read our blog before knows, my wife and I are big supporters of enjoying nude vacations and getaways. For more than 20 years, we’ve found our clothing optional trips and adventures to be wonderful shared experiences for the two of us. To a couple who has never tried it before, it’s not what you would initially expect. It should be fun, exciting, freeing and relaxing. It is romantic too, but not sexual.
We started our blog nearly three years ago to encourage, answer questions and provide honest information and support to other couples who are interested in taking a nakation or trading their bathing suits for their birthday suits on an upcoming trip. We’ve found our trips to be very relaxing, romantic and freeing. It really has been a wonderful experience for us and potentially for you too.
Everyday our blog receives visits from 300-500 people interested in learning more. We invite and encourage you to ask questions. There are wonderful beaches to visit, clothing optional resorts to enjoy and completely nude vacations to discover. Please read our blog and let us know your questions and more importantly, share where you would recommend other couples go and what it was like for you.