As one of the oldest drug and alcohol treatment agencies in the Bay Area, we hear it all the time: “There’s nothing fun to do if you’re sober” or “I’m bored – there’s nothing to do if you don’t (drink, smoke pot, put drug of choice here).” For people getting sober in the Bay Area of California, this couldn’t be further from the truth. True, taking a wine tour in Napa Valley should be off the table, but there are so many interesting and exciting things to do, you won’t even miss it. The key is to think of events and places that don’t revolve around drinking or drugs, but that don’t necessarily have to be labeled as “sober activities.” Think of these as just fun activities. Here are our top 10 fun sober activities in the Bay Area:
- Fisherman’s Wharf: from the sea lions, to the Aquarium, to the carousel, there’s so much to do and see here. For more information, check out: www.fishermanswharf.org.
- Chinatown in San Francisco boasts that it’s the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Visiting will make you feel like you are transported to a different time and place. There are even scheduled scavenger hunts that take you all over this part of the city. For more information, check out: sanfranciscochinatown.com.
- Take a Cable Car ride around San Francisco (it’s $7 for a ride or $17 for a pass for a whole day). For more information, check out: sfcablecar.com.
- If you’re looking for a 12-step meeting, step into Dry Dock at 2118 Greenwich St. in San Francisco. No matter when you show up, you’re bound to hit a great meeting. For more information, go to: drydocksf.org.
- Alcatraz (need we say more?) For more information, go to: nps.gov/alca.
- Golden Gate Park has it all: the Arboretum, Academy of Sciences, Strawberry Hill, playgrounds, and even windmills and Buffalo. For more information, check out: golden-gate-park.com.
- Take the Ferry between Sausalito/Tiburon and San Francisco. It’s a gorgeous ride coming and going and there’s so much to do when you get to either side; but the ride is fun no matter what else you choose. For schedules, go to: goldengateferry.org/schedules.
- Tilden Park in Berkeley has everything and it’s mostly free or pretty darn cheap. Everything from hiking, swimming, and golf to the steam train ride, carousel, the botanic garden and the Little Farm. You’ll never be able to do it all in one day, so there are many weeks of sober trips to squeeze from Tilden. For more information, go to: ebparks.org/parks/tilden.
- Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is a must see and worth the trip. It’s truly amazing, but don’t veer away from the tour guide because you will likely get lost! To see more, go to: winchestermysteryhouse.com.
- Visit the Berkeley Rose Garden. With a gorgeous view, tennis, baseball, hiking, incredible rose gardens, and the famous “big slide” this is a great and completely free way to spend the day, or at least a few hours. For more information, check out: www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/contentdisplay.aspx?id=12048.
The point is to remember that your life doesn’t end when you get clean and sober…your life begins.