Whether you’re in recovery from alcohol or substance use or just want to stay away from drinks during this spring break, you’ll likely have a hard time finding sober travel destinations that give you the breathing room you need to keep alcohol at arm’s length.

Although it’s pretty hard to avoid being around alcohol completely, there are a few cities that give you plenty of opportunities to do something other than drink. To help you narrow down these cities, we list 7 sober-friendly cities you may want to consider for this spring break. 

1. Austin, Texas: A Cultural Hub

Austin is renowned for its vibrant music scene, eclectic culture, and scenic outdoor spaces. Despite its reputation as a party city, Austin offers many sober-friendly activities and community support.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions:

  • Outdoor Adventures: Enjoy Austin’s beautiful weather by exploring Zilker Metropolitan Park, where you can kayak on Lady Bird Lake, stroll through the botanical gardens, or play a peaceful round of disc golf.
  • Cultural Experiences: Dive into Austin’s rich history and culture by visiting landmarks like the Texas State Capitol and the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Enjoy the art scene by exploring local galleries or attending outdoor art events that celebrate creativity without the need for alcohol.
  • Live Music and Entertainment: Experience the world-famous Austin music scene without the bars. Many coffee shops and eateries host live music nights, offering a sober environment to enjoy local talent.

2. Portland, Oregon: Nature and Sober Fun

Portland is known for its stunning natural landscapes, progressive culture, and strong emphasis on community and individual well-being. This laid-back city offers many sober activities that encourage a connection with nature and oneself.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions

  • Nature Exploration: Embrace the great outdoors by visiting the Portland Japanese Garden or the International Rose Test Garden for a serene and reflective experience. For more active pursuits, hike the trails of Forest Park, one of the most extensive urban forests in the US, offering breathtaking views and a peaceful escape from the urban environment.
  • Art and Culture: Discover Portland’s vibrant arts scene by visiting the Portland Art Museum and the many local art galleries. The city also has unique events like the Portlandia Mermaid Parade and sober pop-up markets featuring local artisans.
  • Coffee Culture: Portland is famous for its coffee culture, with numerous cozy coffee shops that often host poetry readings, live music, and other sober events. Enjoy a cup of locally roasted coffee while engaging in friendly conversation or losing yourself in a book.

3. San Diego, California: Sun, Surf, and Serenity

San Diego is celebrated for its idyllic climate, breathtaking beaches, and laid-back, health-conscious lifestyle. This city is a sanctuary for those seeking a sober spring break, offering abundant outdoor activities, wellness-focused communities, and alcohol-free events.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions:

  • Beach Time: Enjoy the pristine beaches of San Diego, such as La Jolla Cove or Coronado Beach, where you can sunbathe, surf, or simply enjoy the ocean views without the interference of beach bars or party scenes.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Explore the natural beauty of San Diego by hiking in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve or kayaking in the La Jolla Sea Caves. The city’s numerous parks and gardens, such as Balboa Park and the San Diego Botanic Garden, offer peaceful retreats to connect with nature.
  • Health and Wellness: Take advantage of San Diego’s wellness culture by attending yoga classes on the beach, participating in a meditation retreat, or visiting one of the many health-focused cafes and restaurants that offer delicious, nutritious, and sober dining experiences.

4. Boulder, Colorado: A Mountain Retreat

Boulder is known for its stunning mountain landscapes, outdoor recreational activities, and its health-conscious, environmentally friendly community. It’s an ideal setting for those seeking a sober spring break that combines adventure, wellness, and natural beauty.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions:

  • Outdoor Exploration: Embrace the great outdoors by hiking the Flatirons, biking along Boulder Creek Path, or strolling through Chautauqua Park. The city’s proximity to nature allows for a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
  • Mindfulness and Wellness: Boulder is a hub for wellness and mindfulness, with numerous yoga studios, meditation centers, and wellness retreats. Participate in a guided meditation session or attend a wellness workshop to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Farm-to-Table Dining: Savor the flavors of Boulder with its emphasis on organic, locally sourced cuisine. The city is home to many farm-to-table restaurants and cafes that offer delicious, healthy meals without the focus on alcohol commonly found in dining establishments.

5. Nashville, Tennessee: Tune Into Sober Fun in Music City

Nashville, famous for its deep musical roots and vibrant cultural scene, is more than just a haven for country music enthusiasts. It offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a growing sober community, making it a fantastic destination for those seeking an alcohol-free spring break.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions:

  • Music and History: Explore the rich history of American music at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or catch a live, alcohol-free performance at the famous Bluebird Café, known for its intimate, listening-room setting.
  • Outdoor Activities: Enjoy the natural beauty surrounding Nashville by taking a peaceful walk in Centennial Park, home to the full-scale replica of the Parthenon, or hike the trails at Radnor Lake State Park.
  • Art and Culture: Immerse yourself in Nashville’s thriving arts scene by visiting local art galleries on 5th Avenue of the Arts District or attending a performance at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

6. Asheville, North Carolina: Embrace Sober Adventures

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its breathtaking natural scenery, vibrant arts, and laid-back atmosphere. This city offers a unique blend of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and a welcoming, sober community, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an alcohol-free retreat.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions:

  • Nature Escapes: Discover the natural beauty of Asheville with a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway for hiking, biking, or simply enjoying panoramic mountain views. The nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers additional opportunities for outdoor exploration and reconnecting with nature.
  • Historical Sites: Visit the iconic Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, to explore its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and the estate’s fascinating history without the need for wine-tasting tours.
  • Mindful Wellness: Engage in Asheville’s wellness culture with yoga classes, meditation retreats, or spa experiences focusing on holistic well-being without alcohol involvement.

7. Santa Fe, New Mexico: An Unforgettable Sober Journey 

Santa Fe, with its unique blend of Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures, offers a serene and inspirational setting for those seeking a sober spring break.

Key Sober-Friendly Activities and Attractions:

  • Artistic Immersion: Discover the heart and soul of Santa Fe by visiting its world-renowned art galleries, museums, and markets. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the annual Indian Market offer a deep dive into the region’s artistic heritage without the distraction of alcohol.
  • Cultural Exploration: Explore Santa Fe’s historic sites, such as the Loretto Chapel and the Palace of the Governors. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural diversity.
  • Natural Wonders: Connect with nature by visiting the surrounding landscapes that have inspired artists for centuries. Hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains or visiting the Bandelier National Monument provides a sober and enriching outdoor experience.

Having A Safe, Sober Spring Break Is Possible

Whether you do it through a sober travel company or by planning on your own, these 7 cities offer some of the most supportive environments for people in recovery through a combination of green spaces, food, coffee and mocktails, and a variety of cultural and artistic attractions that will make an alcohol buzz seem dull as rocks.