Travel can open your eyes to a whole new world of people, landscapes and possibilities. You can tailor your trip to focus on your passions, whether they be nature, culture, art, nightlife, or anything in between.
Some people may travel the world in search of premium wines, dazzling drinks and hip dive bars, while others may be looking for a slightly tamer experience. Maybe you’re just not interested in alcohol, or you’re newly sober after spending years fighting addiction. Either way, there are countless ways to take in a new town without alcohol — or any other substance. If you’re in recovery, or just looking to save a pretty penny while on vacation, you can turn almost any destination into a sober holiday haven.
Nicknamed the theme park capital of the world, Orlando boasts nearly every man-made attraction you can imagine. With superhero-themed roller coasters at Universal Orlando Resort, classics like The Jungle Cruise Ride at Disney World, and conservation-focused shows and attractions at SeaWorld, you’ll never be lacking for things to do. Orlando is often thought of as a family destination, making it perfect for those looking to stay sober. But it’s also a favorite for adults seeking fun-filled days soaking in the sun or gearing up for the next big ride.
While in Orlando, you’ll probably find booze on the menu in most places, but there’s plenty to keep you occupied while sober. Getting hammered before being sloshed around on a 3D ride isn’t most people’s idea of fun anyways. And at some of the parks, like Disney’s Magic Kingdom, alcohol is harder to come by. So enjoy the magic for what it is without the need for any go-go juice.
Theme parks not your thing? There’s still plenty to do in Orlando, including the famous International Drive shopping, dining and entertainment district. A stone’s throw away from Orlando, you’ll find natural wonders like Blue Spring State Park, where you can admire manatees in the wild during the winter, or unwind in the river during the summer. Or listen in awe at the singing bells at the carillon at Bok Tower Gardens. No matter how you choose to spend your time in Orlando, there’s plenty to do without the booze.
The Centennial State boasts indoor and outdoor activities for all kinds of weather. You’re going to want to be sober to soak up all the beauty that Colorado has to offer. Denver, affectionately known as the Mile High City, has activities for adventurers, art lovers, culture connoisseurs and more. While the city is peppered with breweries, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself without the extra expense of alcohol. Bike-friendly neighborhoods like the Highlands and gourmet food halls including Denver Central Market will have you feeling right at home, without the need for bubbly. The Source is a collection of artisanal market vendors ranging from bakeries, restaurants, barbers, apparel shops, and everything in between. With a unique hotel concept opening in 2018, it’s a great starting point for your Denver adventure.
Once you’ve visited the Denver Zoo, Downtown Aquarium and Denver Art Museum, head out for a day trip to experience the natural wonder of the state. In the summer, the nearby city of Breckenridge offers whitewater rafting and ziplining. In the colder months, Breckenridge serves as an idyllic mountain town for skiing and other wintry activities. Like with any sport or active adventure, you want to be totally aware of your surroundings, so drinking is hardly an option when you’re taking in all the natural wonders of Colorado.
Round out your trip with a concert at Red Rocks, a legendary amphitheatre and park that merges music and nature to give you an otherworldly artistic experience without the need for substances. Whether you stargaze at a concert, hike breathtaking mountains, or experience the booming culture of downtown, Denver and the surrounding areas have endless options for sober travel.
San Antonio, Texas
Texas might just be the ultimate road trip state. Wide open spaces and a collection of unique cities sprinkled throughout the Lone Star State make it easy to drive to a new destination. Plus, if you’re driving through Texas, sobriety is a must. One of the state’s highlights includes San Antonio, a charming city infused with a blend of cultures dating back to Spanish missionaries. While you’ve probably heard of the Alamo, San Antonio’s draw is much wider than the classic landmark.
No substances are necessary to marvel at one of the world’s most impressive caves at Natural Bridge Caverns. If you’re looking for more history, take a leisurely stroll through the King William Historic District, where Victorian homes and stunning architecture are at the forefront. The San Antonio River Walk blends old-world charm with modern tastes with a variety of sights and dining opportunities.
If you want to kick it up a notch, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio offer thrills and spills with some of the most exciting roller coasters in the state. And don’t forget to look out for events at the AT&T Center, home of the Spurs and an impressive lineup of live shows. Cheer on your team or sing along with your favorite artist — and remember it the next day.
No matter where you travel, there are always opportunities for sober fun. You can enjoy your time without the pressures of addiction. Plus, steering clear of substances can offer flexibility in your budget to make travel accessible. If you or someone you know needs help with drugs or alcohol, The Recovery Village can help. With centers located throughout the country, including Palmer Lake, Colorado, there are programs to suit a variety of needs. Call today to learn more about personalized rehabilitation programs.
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.