It’s widely known that Orange County is the national hub for drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and sober-folks alike. However, when you’re first getting sober, it can be difficult to disconnect from activities that were highly attached to your past chapters of drugs or alcohol use. Even those who are seniors of the Orange County sober community can sometimes struggle with finding ways to spice up their sobriety.

Luckily, we’re in one of the best places in the world to have some fun- no matter the type of life you lead. Orange County is a golden jewel situated between San Diego and Los Angeles. One day, you can be shopping at a local Fashion Island, while the next day you can be tanning at the beach or skiing in the local mountains. There are many places to explore in Orange County that are well in-reach and offer an ultimate level of entertainment.

Today, we’ve listed some awesome activities that are highly-regarded in Orange County to make sure your sobriety involves as much fun and excitement as possible.

1. Hiking

Whether you’re sober or not in Orange County, our locations for hiking and other outdoor activities are incomparable to most places in the world and illicit the utmost amount of pride from our residents. Some of our favorite places to enjoy a bit of nature include Crystal Cove State Beach, the back bay trail in Costa Mesa, Top of the World in Laguna Beach, and Blackstar Canyon. Other places to hike in nearby Los Angeles and San Diego counties (only forty minutes or so away) will provide some incredible sights as well.

2. Beach / Swim / Surf

Orange County is best known (by far) for its world-class beaches. Some of our favorite spots include Huntington State Beach, Laguna Beach (including Thousand Steps Beach), Corona Del Mar, and of course, Newport Beach. Plenty of services in all of these places also offer surf lessons for beginners. Often, many people come from other states to seek refuge in the sober community of Orange County, and surf

The Wedge, a specific beach in Newport Beach, is very well-known for its magnificent surfing conditions, attracting famous surfers from across the world. The waves at “the wedge” can even heights of fifteen feet! Whether you’re in the mood for a sunny volleyball game or a brisk dip in the Pacific, Orange County truly has it all.

3. Museums

Believe it or not, the OC is packed with small art museums and historical sights such as the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. This particular museum offers tons of exhibits, even including some with spectacular with Native American pieces. Laguna Beach also showcases a variety of small art galleries.

4. Visit Local Coffee Shops

As one of the highest-populated and metropolitan places in southern California, Orange County boasts a lot of coffee shops. Sit down with a friend, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in some of the coolest, hippest spots around. To grab a delicious cup of joe, we recommend: Kean Coffee, Milk and Honey, or Coffee Dose.

5. Gym

One of the best ways to help depression among many other mental illnesses, including addiction, is through the discovery and application of fitness routines. Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce depression and boost mood, as well as improve sleep and act as a very healthy coping skill. In Orange County, there are plenty of opportunities to learn a new physical activity considering it is an extremely physically-active community. An amazing place to learn amazing self-defense skills is American Gym, offering plenty of classes that can help people who are sober healthily cope with stress.

Orange County Rehab

6. Yoga / Meditation

There are tons of places locally available to reach your inner “zen” in southern California. With thousands of yoga classes available at affordable prices, and sometimes even for free, almost everyone can find an opportunity to try out this highly-beneficial practice. Yoga has been statistically proven to help those with anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders achieve higher states of stress-relief and contentment. Various wellness centers also host tons of types of meditation classes, ranging from guided meditations to breathwork classes.

7. Paddleboarding

In the harbors of many oceanside towns in the OC, plenty of places exist for different water sports. From whale-watching on the Newport Peninsula to paddleboarding in its harbor or renting jet skis, you’re bound to find the relaxing and entertaining watersport of your fancy.

8. Live Music

Live music doesn’t have to involve alcohol or drugs – it’s possible to still enjoy the experience of live music and fun on the dance floor while sober. The House of Blues in Anaheim is where so many in Orange county go for a good time. Varieties of different artists play at the House of Blues, and thousands of people gather there frequently to have fun, dance, and meet others.

9. Orange County Fair

This one only happens a few months out of the year – usually late summertime – but it’s well worth the wait. Tons of people in recovery love going to the fair to ride enjoyable (and insane) rides, eat some great fair-food and try to win prizes.

10. Farmer’s Markets

Yes, you heard that right. There are many farmer’s markets, and flea markets in Orange County, such as the Irvine Farmers Market and Costa Mesa’s Swap Meet every Saturday morning. Often these farm and flea markets involve fresh fruits and vegetables, home-made food and goods, and sometimes even small crafts.