Dry January: Finding Sober Activities in Orange County

One of the first lessons learned in early recovery is to never let yourself get “too bored”. When you are no longer spending all of your time engaging in alcohol- or drug-seeking activities, you will suddenly find yourself with a lot of time on your hands. And unless you find positive ways to occupy that time, it is far too simple to fall back into self-destructive behaviors. To help with that, we have put together a list of healthy, fun, and sober activities in Orange County REAL recovery means finding ways to live a happy life without drugs and alcohol.

Hit the Beach

Two big advantages of life in Southern California are the warm weather and beautiful beaches. Whether it’s for swimming, surfing, or just hanging out, there is always a good reason to go to the beach.

Best of all, several local beaches, including Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach, are all designated alcohol- and drug-free zones.

Go Hiking

Research has shown that there is a positive association between exercise and successful recovery. So if you want to combine that with fresh air and magnificent views, then you are in luck. Orange County has dozens of picturesque hiking trails, ranging from short, low rises perfectly suitable for beginners, or long, steep climbs for expert hikers. Some of the best local trails include:

● Panhe Nature Trail (San Onofre State Beach)
● Green Route (Crystal Cove State Park)
● Tour de Trestles (Trestles Beach)
● Shoestring to Hick’s Haul (Limestone Canyon)
● Chiquito Falls (Cleveland National Forest)
● Beek’s Place (Black Star Canyon)

Soak Up Some Culture

If you prefer interests that are more cerebral, there are dozens of museums in the OC that can
fulfill any intellectual interests you may have. Even better, by discovering new interests, you
help reduce the chances of a relapse. Besides the obligatory art and history offerings, there are
several unique-to-Orange County specialty museums, including:

● Discovery Cube (Science, Santa Ana)
● ExplorOcean (Maritime, Newport Beach)
● International Surfing Museum (Sports, Huntington Beach)
● Lyon Air Museum (Aerospace, Santa Ana)
● Ocean Institute (Maritime, Dana Point)
● Pretend City (Children’s, Irvine)
● Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum (Biographical, Yorba Linda)
● Surfing Heritage and Culture Center (Sports, San Clemente)

Family Fun at an Amusement Park

Whether you are a parent yourself, or you just want to provide a thrilling experience to your own
inner child, there are several world-famous theme and amusement parks in Orange County.
This kind of family-friendly experience is the exact opposite of the way you used to “have fun”
when you were actively addicted.

● Disneyland Resort (Anaheim)
● Disney California Adventure (Anaheim)
● Downtown Disney (Anaheim)
● Adventure City (Anaheim)
● Great Wolf Lodge (Anaheim/Garden Grove)
● Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park)
● Knott’s Soak City Water Park (Buena Park)
● Boomers (Irvine)
● Balboa Fun Zone (Newport Beach)

12-Step Meetings: AA, NA, AOCYPAA

One of the hardest things to do in early recovery is to meet new people and make friends who support your sobriety efforts. And while you might not at first think that you can have fun at an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting, the truth is, these groups are made up of people just like you.

At an Orange County 12-Step meeting, you will happily find people who can understand your struggles with substance abuse, who won’t judge you, and with whom you have so much in common. In addition to regular recovery meetings, there will also be mixers, cookouts, retreats, and sober holiday observances.

There are men’s group’s, women’s groups, seniors groups, and the All Orange County Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous group (AOCYPAA) is an active and vibrant fellowship specifically made up of teens and young adults.

Meetup and Get Out

If you are having trouble finding sober fun near you, put the Internet to work on your behalf. Meetup is an online community that connects you with other people in your area who share your interests and passions. No matter what you are into, there is bound to be a Meetup group for you.

Among the many, many Meetup groups in Orange County are groups focused on:

● Hiking
● Tennis
● Soccer
● Badminton
● Yoga
● Veganism
● Sober Living
● Geek Culture
● LGBT Interests
● Artificial Intelligence
● Backpacking
● Dating
● Climbing
● Board Games
● Movies
● Single Parenting
● Coding
● Minority Interests
● Science Fiction and Fantasy
● And much, much more…

The Sky’s the Limit

This list is by no means comprehensive. It is only meant to point you in the right direction so you can come up with your own ideas. Recovery doesn’t have to be boring! Orange County has an abundance of cultural, outdoor, and entertainment opportunities, so if you get a little creative, you can enjoy enriching experiences that support your continued sobriety.

If you struggle with any Substance Use Disorder and you want to reclaim everything that life has to offer, Chapman House Behavioral Health Centers can help. Since 1978, Chapman House has been the most-trusted drug and alcohol rehab program in Southern California. By combining decades of experience with the latest evidence-based treatment strategies, Chapman House can help you safely and successfully regain your sobriety, allowing you to live your best life.

If you need immediate help, contact Chapman House TODAY.

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