Finding new activities to participate in during recovery can be hard. Whether you’ve just entered recovery or have been going through it for a while, it’s important to find activities that can keep your mind focused on sober living. If you live in San Diego, California, there are many incredible experiences you can have sober without being stuck inside your house.

We’ve compiled a list of exciting places to explore sober activities in San Diego. Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors or sampling a new cuisine, there are plenty of things to do without the need for alcoholic beverages.

If you don’t live in San Diego, this list can be used as a reference to find similar attractions in your own neighborhood to help you stay on the sober side.

Sober Daytime Activities

1. Visit the Beach

You can find more than 70 miles of beautiful golden beaches spanning the San Diego coast from North County to the border of Mexico. Spend the day soaking up sunshine on a beach towel in the sand, or get out into the water for a swim.

You can also find some of the best snorkeling, surfing, paddleboarding and more that California offers. Most beaches in San Diego also prohibit alcoholic beverages, which makes it even easier to stay sober.

2. Go for a Hike

From beaches to mountains, San Diego has more than 120 hiking trails that offer a sweet retreat from the bustle of everyday life. The Torrey Pines Beach Trail is one of the most iconic hiking locations in the city, with a flat trail that’s perfect for beginners and scenic views of the Pacific coastline. The Los Penasquitos Canyon trail is an easy route that’s also good for mountain biking.

If you’re looking for a trail that offers a bit more wilderness, the Palm Canyon Loop is part of a desert oasis complete with palm trees, jagged rock formations and lots of picturesque scenery. Cowles Mountain offers one of the highest points in San Diego and is a favorite among locals.

Choosing any of these trails in San Diego can lead to good, sober fun and exciting personal hiking adventures.

3. Enjoy the Food

San Diego is up and coming in the California culinary arts scene with its wide selection of restaurants. There’s no shortage of pizza, burgers and tacos with baja-fried fish in the many restaurants you can find around town. Each neighborhood in San Diego offers something unique.

If you aren’t sure where to start, check out one of the numerous food tour options that are offered in different San Diego neighborhoods, including Liberty Station, North Park and more. This can help you find new restaurant locations you might have never known about otherwise.

4. Take a Yoga Class

There’s no better way to relax and unwind than rolling out a yoga mat and enjoying some free oceanfront yoga or signing up for a class. San Diego offers waterfront yoga classes that can help you combine healthy living with spending time in the great outdoors to enjoy scenic views of the ocean.

This may be one of the more beneficial sober activities in San Diego because practicing yoga is a great way to manage stress as part of a holistic approach to recovery. As a centuries-old form of exercise, yoga incorporates methods of body awareness and meditation for a better quality of life.

5. Visit the San Diego Zoo

Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo home emphasizes conservation efforts while hosting over 12,000 exotic animals of more than 650 species. Explore the animal habitats either on foot or with one of the guided bus tours.

For a more adventurous experience, try visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. As one of the largest zoos in California, it’s composed of several safari parks, including the Wildlife, Behind-the-Scenes and the Flightline, where you soar 130 feet above the ground for a birds-eye view of the savanna habitats to see your favorite animals.

6. Check Out Sea World

If aquatics align more with your interest, Sea World is a magnificent location to visit in San Diego. Catch one of its exciting dolphin and whale shows or take a minute to learn more about the organization’s sea rescue agenda.

7. Learn How to Surf

If you enjoy spending time in the ocean, surfing is an exciting activity that can help you experience the San Diego coast in a new way. Grab a board and hit the waves to cool off from the heat, whether you’re an expert or not. There are plenty of places in San Diego that offer both private and group surfing lessons that teach you the basics right out on the Pacific Ocean.

For a more casual surfing experience, you can find various rental companies throughout San Diego to borrow a board for a full or half day to enjoy the waves by yourself or with a group of friends. Surfing can become a new hobby to add adventure to your sober living agenda.

8. Experience Sailing on the Ocean

If you’re looking for an activity on the water that’s more leisurely, sailing is the way to go. Depending on your interests, you can partake in group sailing adventures to experience whale watching or a yacht excursion to catch a full view of the San Diego skyline or a visit to a seaport village.

You can also enjoy private or small group sailing adventures such as the Sunset Sails Catamaran trip that comes equipped with bow nets for sunbathing or lounging to watch your favorite ocean animals. You might even catch a glimpse of the sea turtles or leopard sharks while you’re out there.

9. Explore a San Diego Museum

Whether you’re interested in art, space, natural history or cars, San Diego has a museum for you. Balboa Park is home to a diverse selection of museums that include the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the Comic-Con Museum and the Museum of Us, which explores the human experience from multicultural perspectives.

Find one museum to spend several hours at, or visit a few locations around San Diego for a well-rounded day of learning new things and gaining new life experiences.

Sober Nightlife Options - Catching an Outdoor Movie

Sober Nightlife Options

10. Catch an Outdoor Movie

Grab a few friends and enjoy a movie under the stars for the ultimate San Diego cinematic experience. Cinema Under the Stars is an outdoor movie theater on a heated patio with lounge chairs for additional comfort. You can catch either a new release or a classic film, depending on your preference.

Sit back and relax after a long day to enjoy a sober evening of entertainment, or take out that special someone for a sober date night.

11. Enjoy a Comedy Show

The National Comedy Theater in San Diego is the place to go if you’re looking for a laugh. It offers early-evening and late-night shows, with a small concession stand where you can purchase snacks and soft drinks.

Depending on your sense of humor, you can catch a show with clean jokes that are geared more towards a general crowd or an unrated show that covers more adult topics. A comedy show makes for a fun, sober night you can share with friends or enjoy on your own.

12. Grab a Delicious Dessert

After spending the day indulging in quality cuisine, grab a dessert that can satisfy your sweet tooth and end your night on a good note. Extraordinary Desserts has two locations in San Diego and is a great place to find premium cakes, cookies, brownies, ice cream and so much more. Sober living has never tasted so good.

13. Admire the Bright City Lights

There’s always the option to keep it casual and enjoy a leisurely walk along the San Diego streets to take in the glittering city lights at night. Even with all the breathtaking sights the natural world offers, San Diego has some beautiful scenery right in the heart of its city that you can admire.

While you’re out wandering, you never know what other sober living activities you might stumble upon or what strangers you might meet for friendly conversation.

Relapse Prevention to Help You Through Recovery

Whether you’re checking out new restaurants or spending the day exploring Balboa Park, San Diego makes for a great place to engage in sober living. However, surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family who’ll assist you with sobriety is also essential. Additionally, discovering coping skills that work best for you can help with relapse prevention. Some of the coping skills that help maintain sober living are:

  • Self-care
  • Meditation
  • Joining a support group
  • Grounding techniques to deal with stress and anxiety
  • Reminding yourself how much better you feel in recovery versus how you felt before

For a successful recovery, it can be helpful to learn more about coping skills and continuously educate yourself on what relapse prevention techniques are the most effective.

Stay Active With These Sober Activities in San Diego

There’s no shortage of activities or other events to partake in if you’re looking for a fun San Diego experience that promotes sober living. Keeping busy by finding new things to do, whether on your own or with close friends and family, can lead to a more positive recovery experience.

Additional Help With Staying in Recovery

If you find you need help, Ranch Creek Recovery is here to help you access resources on relapse prevention, drug and alcohol treatment and how to incorporate a holistic treatment plan into your new life. Learn more about the programs we offer and what our treatment can look like.

If you have any questions, contact us today. We’re always happy to do what we can to help.