Hey all, new to naturism and hoping to break out of my comfort zone and go to a naturist camp or resort this spring. Here in Iowa, it's too cold to get out and I can't seem to find much here in the way of naturist retreats or anything. What should I do to start my journey?
Try joining an AANR (a national social nudist group) affiliated group. Iowa is in the AANR Midwest region. I think there is a nudist travel group in NW Iowa that is affiliated but you should be able to get info from AANR Midwest.
Finally vett everything I mean every thing you hear on this site. Understand that everything you see or hear on a site like this wont necessarily transfer to real life social nudism.
If the opportunity presents itself, try an orientation / tour visit of a resort before you go. Before the first time my wife & I stayed at resort for a weekend, we took a quick tour of the facilities a month or so prior. I called ahead to the place, told them we were passing by and would like a tour. We stopped by, spoke to the desk folks and were driven around the facilities and told of different activities. My wife was pleasantly surprised and we have been members of our resort for about five years. It was a great way to stick our toe in the water. Good luck & enjoy.
It's always a good thing when you decide to branch out and try something new, so well done on ya! I see you are in Des Moines - just three hours east of you over the Illinois border is a lovely AANR-affiliated family nudist resort called Blue Lake, a few minutes from the town of Erie, Il. My honey and I spent three days there this past summer and recommend it. Everyone was sweet and open and friendly, and their silly little manmade lake was different but nice, along with an attached sandy beach - no pool, but it was so cool to be able to sink my toes into the sand so far inland, besides my bare buns! The rooms are simple but clean, without a personal bath, though there's a (rather rustic) shared bathroom in the same building. The bath house is a little far away from the rental building and not enclosed, making for a cool experience if you're an early riser or late swimmer. They we bragging about their weekend breakfast but we unfortunately couldn't partake due to prior engagements. Lots of games to play, even shuffleboard ~ our only complaint was that their hot tub was built by Mr. Jacuzzi himself (aka old as heck) and they were keeping it so chlorinated that we couldn't enjoy it. They probably fixed that last part soon after we left. The town of Erie is just 5-6 miles away and has a little grocery store and one restaurant, but be prepared to pay very high prices for the groceries at the store, or bring your cooler full of your food and use either the charcoal or gas grills right outside the door to your room. Down side ~ they are, like most mid western nude resorts - closed most of the fall and winter, so consider contacting them in the spring and make that drive! We were invited to go to Legends restaurant by people we didn't even know within 15 minutes of arriving - now that's friendly. We stayed three days and it cost $240, total. https://bluelakeresort.org/ if this sounds like a place where you'd like to wet that nude toe.
Any resort worth its salt will have a rules of conduct page on their website, and it is always good to read through that carefully so you understand what they expect of you as to how to comport yourself on their property. Every place is different but since you are new to the naked social scene, it is best to be aware of the specifics. Glad you're giving it a try!
Resorts are great if they let you in! Per your profile you're a single male. Call first. Even as a single dad with young kids, my experience is that AANR-affiliated resorts usually require men to have a female chaperone. There are all-male resorts which are more welcoming of single men of any orientation, but be aware that they tend to draw mostly gay/bi men.
My recommendation is to find a Russian sauna or a Korean spa which are typically mandatory nude or nude friendly, though I'm not aware of any in IA. Otherwise I recommend a private or secluded area where pants are a decision that the sun and you can make together. Good luck!