FLORIDA BEACH AND WATERWAY FACTS
Wherever you go in Florida, you're never more than 60 miles from the beach. Sand beaches, a Florida signature, account for 1,100 miles (1,770 km) of the state's 1,800 miles (2,898 km) of coastline. Florida has more than 8,460 miles (13,620 km) of tidal shoreline, second only to Alaska in that category. Florida beaches are home to 80 percent of loggerhead turtles in the United States. In May 2002, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Northwest Florida's Port St. Joe was rated the No. 1 beach in America by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University, known to the world as "Dr.Beach." Sanibel Island is one of the 10 best beaches in the world for shelling, with more than 400 species. Florida is home to six underwater preserves: the Wreck of the Half Moon, Urca de Lima, San Pedro, The City of Hawkinsville, USS Massachusetts, SS Copenhagen and SS Tarpon. The coral reef found in Key West is the third largest in the world, and the largest in North America. Florida has nearly 8,000 lakes of 10 or more acres in size. The Saint Johns River in northeast Florida is one of the few rivers in the world that flows north instead of south. The world's deepest freshwater spring is Wakulla Springs near Tallahassee. The city of Lakeland in Polk County was named so because there are 19 lakes within city limits. There are more than 800 Florida Keys, stretching more than 180 miles! Key Largo is the longest key at 30 miles long and a half- mile wide. DeFuniak Springs is home to one of the two naturally round lakes in the world, Lake DeFuniak.
FLORIDA NUDE BEACH FACTS AND QUESTIONS
The naked truth about taking it all off
While sunning in the altogether gives you a sense of freedom, nude beaches are not without rules - even if they are written in the sand. To ensure you, and those around you, enjoy the clothing-optional beaches, we've answered some of the most commonly-asked nudist questions:
What should I bring to a nude beach?
Bring the things you would take when visiting any beach - a bathing suit and T-shirt (to walk through the parking lot and clothed areas) hats, snacks, drinking water, sunscreen, sunglasses, towels and beach toys.
Where can I get naked?
Limit nudity to the beach. Parading around nude through clothed beaches, or in parking lots gives nudists a bad reputation and can jeopardize the area's nudist-friendly status.
Do families visit nude beaches?
Nude recreation is not an adult-only pastime. It's common for families with children to enjoy a day at the nude beach. Naturism is considered a healthy lifestyle choice by nudists - not a sexual one.
Will I or my children be exposed to inappropriate acts?
Nudist beaches and clubs almost always have rules against sexually explicit behavior, sexual activity and intoxication. Innocent expressions of affection among family and couples are commonplace, but blatant sexual acts are not. People who violate these rules are usually asked to leave the beach.
Will I be stared at on the nude beach?
Nudists come to enjoy the beach, not to stare. Gawking is rude and a sure sign that a person has come for the novelty, not the experience of naturism.
What do I do if I am menstruating?
Don't skip the beach just because of your period. While most women use tampons, some opt to simply go topless and wear their bikini bottoms or shorts with whatever feminine protection they choose.
What if I get an erection?
Nude bathing isn't sexual, so most men don't experience an erection at the beach. That said, the human body isn't always controllable. If you show signs of arousal, roll onto your stomach or cover up with a towel until the feeling subsides.
Can I bring my camera?
If you plan on taking photos of nature on your way to and from the beach, bring your camera, but leave it in your bag while at the beach. If you plan on taking photos at the beach, leave the camera at home - taking snapshots of other nudists, especially without permission, is taboo.