Traveling sober isn’t that hard. There are people who do this all the time. You can probably pick any famous tourist destination and enjoy it sober. The trick is where you go and what kinds of activities you engage in while there.
1. Fancy restaurants
You can go to the fancy-pants restaurant without any expectation of having any alcohol. Just go at lunch time. They are much less likely to expect you to order an alcoholic beverage with lunch. You can also have breakfast at some places. Again, this is a time of day when most people are not going to drink. Breakfast and lunch also tend to be a bit cheaper than dinner.
You can learn a lot about the history of a place by hitting the local museum. Some are even free, at least on certain days or to certain people. In most cases, there will be no alcohol in sight. It’s typically a pretty high brow crowd. They get their kicks above the waistline, sunshine. Balboa Park in San Diego, California, has several museums situated amid the lush greenery of a huge and beautiful park.
3. Zoos and aquariums
Zoos and aquariums are a bit more noisy and kid-friendly than most museums, but they tend to be sober affairs. If a museum seems too stuffy, look up a local zoo or aquarium. They are more food-friendly and generally more relaxed than a museum, but are still likely to be alcohol-free. Atlanta, Georgia, has a world-class aquarium. Put it on your bucket list.
4. Mountains or wilderness
When you go hiking in the mountains or exploring the wilderness, safety comes first. It is generally considered a no-no to drink in what is potentially a dangerous situation. Falling off a mountain isn’t a thing to put on your bucket list. Many insurance policies will state in the exclusions that they will not cover dangerous activities, like hiking up a mountain while drinking. Yosemite is a great place to go hiking and see some iconic mountain landscapes.
5. Sporting events
Nah, don’t be a spectator. That is often associated with having an alcoholic beverage in hand. Instead, be a participant in a sporting event. If you are doing something athletic, the general expectation is that you will do it sober. It doesn’t have to be anything as strenuous as running a marathon. Some events are beginner-friendly, like five kilometer walk-run charity events.
6. Walking tours of the downtown
Whether you hire a tour guide or put together the information yourself, the downtown area of a big city makes for a fascinating day trip. It’s generally advisable that you remain sober while walking around the downtown of a big city that isn’t your hometown and daytime events are less likely to include any alcohol. San Francisco has one of the most incredible downtown areas in the world.
7. State and federal parks
In most cases, the expectation is that you will be hiking, biking or driving a particular circuit. They may have marked walking trails, tour guides and even museums. They will generally expect you to be sober for most activities. There will be no pressure to drink at most park activities. Yellowstone National Park is huge and has a museum. It’s cheaper and less crowded in the off season.
8. Bird watching
The expectation is that you will bring your binoculars, not your beer goggles. Woodward Park in Fresno, California, is a great place to see a variety of birds. It was created as a bird sanctuary and has a lookout spot with information, among other wholesome activities.
9. Cycling Tours
This is athletic enough that the general assumption is that you won’t be drinking. But it can also be a great way to see an area up close. It can be a far better experience than driving through it, yet less tiring than a walking tour.
You can have all kinds of good, clean touristy fun without drinking a drop of alcohol. Plenty of people do that on a regular basis without really thinking about it. It’s their normal.
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