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11042 Turtle Beach Road, North Palm Beach, FL 33408, USA
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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is located just across the intracoastal waterway from North Palm Beach. Before 1982, this was a very popular nude beach known as Air Force Beach. Prior to becoming a state park, this land was owned by philanthropist John D. MacArthur, who was fond of skinnydipping. Legend has it that MacArthur and Walt Disney swam nude at this beach in the 1960's, when MacArthur invited Disney to visit to consider building Disney World in the Palm Beach area. Air Force Beach drew upwards of a thousand naked visitors at its peak. When MacArthur died in 1981, his foundation deeded the land to the state to be established as a state park. Nude beach proponents have circulated a story that MacArthur stipulated that the state keep the beach open to clothing-optional use, but the validity of that claim is uncertain. Whatever the case, the beach's devotees were shocked when the state park department made it known in 1982 that nudity was not allowed and would not be tolerated. What was once Florida's most popular nude beach suddenly died. Today, attendance at swimsuit-compulsory MacArthur Beach is very low compared to the large nude crowds that gathered here prior to 1982.

In spite of nearly three decades of nudity prohibition, a small nudist contingent continues to hang on at MacArthur Beach. You enter the beach via a long boardwalk over a large lagoon, and most textile visitors tend to cluster near this entry point. The distance from the end of the boardwalk at the beach to the northern boundary of the park is about a mile. You'll find a few nude bathers toward the northern end, about 2/3 mile north of the boardwalk. However, the extreme northern boundary of the beach should be avoided because it abuts a residential area. Leave a buffer zone of about a quarter mile.

This beautiful beach is wild and undeveloped, and the forest and lagoon behind the beach serve to further seclude the area. Rangers will ticket nude bathers; in fact, they'll even ticket those wearing thongs and G-strings. However, they patrol on dune buggies and can be spotted from a distance. It is probably not a good idea to walk around or get in the water while naked. Keep a pair of shorts handy.

GPS: 26.8320, -80.0400

city, county, state, country  North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

classification  4 (potentially risky)

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