Sober Vacation Ideas
Here are 7 very different lists of sober vacation ideas. I included everything from mountain climbing to mission trips.
I listed sober vacation ideas that can last a couple of weeks but also have a lot of much shorter sober vacation ideas.
If I have been to the place and have good pictures, I will add them for inspiration!
I added links to a lot of the places I listed too.
The Great Outdoors
What I like about the great outdoor activities is that there are endless options for travel experiences. They provide the perfect opportunity to see new places on a budget.
Another bonus is that you don’t have to be around a lot of people or try cramming a lot of things into a big to-do list when you vacation.
Backpacking Grand Island, MI
- Charter boats
Hiking in Maine
- Salmon run or other notable seasons
- Yosemite Falls, California
- Kaieteur Falls, Guyana
- Dudhsagar Falls, India
- Angel Falls, Venezuela
- Plitvice Waterfalls, Croatia
- Bridalveil Fall, California
- McWay Falls, California
- Palouse Falls, Washington
- Niagara Falls, United States & Canada
- Havasu Falls, Arizona
- Kawasan Falls, Philippines
- Gullfoss (Golden Falls), Iceland
- Ban Gioc Waterfall, Vietnam
- Agrio Falls, Argentina
- Shoshone Falls, Idaho
- Ruby Falls, Tennessee, USA
- Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Indonesia
- Weeping Wall, Hawaii
- Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee
- Jog Falls, India
- Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
Niagara Falls, Canada
- Notable trail systems
- Mountain ranges
- Teton Mountain Range, Wyoming
- Great Smoky Mountains
- Sierra Nevada Mountain Range
- The Cascade Range
High Rock Lookout, Washington (view of Mt. Rainier)
- Rock climbing
- National Parks
Rocky Mountain National Park
Sequoia National Park
King’s Canyon National Park
- State Parks
- Blue Spring State Park, Florida
- Smith Rock State Park, Oregon
- Iao Valley State Park, Hawaii
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, California
- Baxter State Park, Maine
- Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
- Caddo Lake State Park, Texas
- Porcupine Mountains, Michigan
- Letchworth State Park, New York
- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
For a lot of people, new experiences & new places are a great idea and often one of the first steps in their recovery. You’ll be away from everyday stressors. You can distance yourself from anyone who seems to be a challenge in your recovery.
You can also gain self-confidence by seeing and doing new things. Most importantly, you’ll reinforce how amazing life is without substances.
- Can look but not climb
- Pyramids you can climb
- Mission trips
- Bucket list items- Here are just some ideas
- Sky Diving
- Bungee Jumping
- Swim with dolphins
- Go scuba diving
- See the Eiffel Tower
- Stand in the Sistine Chapel
- Hot air balloon ride
- Watch a play on Broadway in NYC
- White water rafting
- See the Statue of Liberty
- Visit a castle
- Ride a camel in the desert
- Swim with sharks
- See a black beach
- Sleep in an igloo
- Meet a famous person you admire
- Eat your favorite meal at it’s place of origin
- Order room service
- Charter a yacht
- Organize a family reunion
- See a notable Man Made Structure
- Osaka Castle, Japan
- St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia
- Casa Mila, Spain
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- St. Paul’s Cathedral, England
- Tian Tian Buddha, China
- Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
- Sydney Opera House, Australia
- Taj Mahal, India
- Westminster Abbey, England
- Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
- One World Trade Center, New York City
- Dancing House, Prague
- Chateau Frontenac, Canada
- The Colosseum, Italy
- The White House, Washington
- The Lotus Temple, India
- Sagrada Familia, Spain
- Acropolis of Athens, Greece
- The Gateway Arch, Missouri, United States
- Some of the most amazing sculptures
- Foodie vacations
- Local cultures or different cultures
- Experience religions countries
- Sri Lanka
- White water rafting
- Historical sites
- Cave Systems
Ruby Falls, TN
If you’re inpatient skip to about 1 minute in
- Hot air balloon rides
- Helicopter rides
- Storm chasing
- Stay in a house boat
- Survival camps/primitive living
- Mount Everest, Asia
- Harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Pamukkale, Turkey
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
- Iguazu Falls, Brazil
- Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
- Aurora Borealis
- Cenote Suytun, Valladolid
- Karijini National Park, Australia
- Quebrada de Cafayate, Salta
- Salalah, Oman; Middle East
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
- Lake Hillier, Australia
- St. Clair’s Falls, Tawalantenne, Sri Lanka
- Paricutin Volcano, Mexico
- Salt Flats, Bolivia
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Mental Health Retreats
These are excellent sober vacation ideas since they are centered around wellness and sometimes even your sobriety journey specifically. This is one of the best ways to make new friends in your recovery process, which is one of the most important things for a lot of people in recovery. There are usually plenty of sober activities & support groups.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to meet sober travelers that might even become incredible lifelong sober friends. The more time you spend with seasoned sober people, the more you’ll learn about sober vacations, sober cruises & other sober trips.
Some of the retreats offer professional medical advice. Many of them even have sober coaches and tons of medical professionals.
If you’re not feeling confident in your recovery it might be worth trying to take some vacation time with a clear head where you can still meet new people, see new things and have a good time.
- A yoga retreat
- Addiction treatment centers
- Sober villages
- Meditation retreats
- Wellness getaways
- Other luxury treatment programs
Theme parks for sober vacation ideas are smart because first of all you’ll be BUSY. You’ll also likely spend a fair amount of money which is going to make you think twice about wasting it on anything else & you’ll be absolutely drained by the time you’re done. Many theme parks don’t serve alcohol, if they do it’ll be inconvenient to have while you’re riding rides, etc. Plus, it’s going to cost three times its normal price.
You’re also going to be around a lot of people which for some is a good deterrent for using drugs or alcohol. The good news is theme parks have so much to offer that you’ll have a good time without them which will reinforce your sober journey.
- Disney World, Florida
- Magic Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Hollywood studios
- Disney Land, California
- Disney California Adventure Park
- Disney Land Park
- Universal Orlando resort
- Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
- Efteling, Netherlands
- Dollywood, Tennessee
- Busch Gardens, Virginia
- Six Flags Magic Mountain, California
- Universal Studios, California
- Here is another list of theme parks around the world
These are all really good ideas. Personally, I would avoid any big spring break spots, like Miami beach, San Francisco and even Key West.
The big cities have enough to do that you could easily see new places and still have an alcohol-free trip, but if you’re worred you’ll be tempted; there are plenty of other choices.
- Couple’s retreat
- Spa treatments/Spa Day
- Visit a flower garden
- Get a mountain view
- Beach vacations
- Stay at a farm
- See a bird sanctuary- or any animal sanctuary
- Thailand is known for being rejuvenating
- A bed and breakfast
- Natural hot springs
Including All the Family Members
Spending time with family can go either way. Sometimes it’s a good deterrent from using, for others it’s their achilleas heel. These don’t need to be with immediate family, or really family at all.
In fact, a lot of people in recovery have formed a new “family” & sometimes it’s key to sobriety.
So, these places can fit & entertain groups of people. So, if you’re traveling with a crew here are some good ideas.
- Road trips
- King William historic district, Texas
- Water parks
- Apple orchards
- A fish hatchery
- Pumpkin patches
First off, be honest with yourself about where you should and maybe shouldn’t go at this point in your life. Another good tip is to pre-plan and even purchase tickets or arrange travel plans before you get there.
This will hold you accountable to those activities instead of having a lot of spare time, getting bored, and potentially getting yourself into trouble. If a good nightlife seems to be your downfall, consider that when you’re planning a trip to a city.
Cities have culture, architecture, good food, and tons of things to do. You can easily spend a lot of money, so if you happen to be a shopaholic- be careful.
Personally, I don’t love cities, at all. I think they’re very stressful. They would never be something I would willingly choose, especially if I’m trying to improve my mental health.
BUT, nonetheless I have been to big cities quite a few times; my son love cities; he doesn’t get it from me.
Anyways, they do have a lot to offer. Plus, no big city is alike. If there is one thing that I do appreciate about a big city is that each one seems to have their own vibe & subcultures within them; which is quite charming.
- San Francisco, California
- Ocean City, Maryland
- Los Angeles, California
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- New York City, New York
- London, United Kingdom
- Paris, France
- Barcelona, Spain
- Madrid, Spain
- Tokyo, Japan
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Merida, Mexico
Be Weary Of these Sober Vacation Ideas
These are not the best sober vacation ideas. Some of these are typically centered around drinking or partying. Others just tend to have triggers for relapse.
If you insist on these, look for events/cruise lines that do not permit the sale of alcohol or that emphasize/encourage an alcohol-free trip.
- Any of your personal downfalls
- Casinos if you have a gambling problem
- Places you could easily overspend
- Potential PTSD triggers
- Places that may have racism/hate crimes
- Be weary of not getting enough sleep
- & not staying hydrated & nourished
- These are easy to do when traveling & only make sobriety harder
- Avoid overly stressful situations for you
- Spring break destinations
I hope these gave you plenty of sober vacation ideas & good luck to you!!
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