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Sober Living

There’s More To Socializing & Night Life Than Drinking. Enjoy These Sober Activities In Los Angeles

Sober Activities In Los Angeles

Key Points

  • Making a shift to sobriety can change the course of your schedule and your social life - but it doesn't have to be boring!
  • There are so many alternative opportunities for fun and excitement in Los Angeles.
  • Ocean Recovery is here for you if you or a loved one need help pursuing recovery. We can help you treat alcohol and substance addictions with evidence-based therapies.

It might feel daunting to imagine planning alternative activities for yourself besides drinking. Before now, most of your experience of “fun” involved alcohol. Now that you want to make a shift to sobriety, you can’t go to any of your old hangouts, so what is there left to do?

But, as the 3rd largest city in North America by population, Los Angeles has many alternative sober activities besides just drinking. Book-ended on either side by mountains and the ocean, LA’s opportunities for recreation, cultural enrichment, and leisure are nearly endless.

You could spend a lifetime never leaving LA and still not see everything this amazing city has to offer. There are plenty of options for fun that can be enjoyed sober in LA. From stargazing to surfing, LA has your sober journey covered.

Sober Activities In Los Angeles

Go Thrifting at Rose Bowl Flea Market

Set in one of the most famous college football stadiums in the US, the Rose Bowl flea market happens on the second Sunday of every month.

The cost of living is high in Los Angeles, so what better way to save money than thrifting at the Rose Bowl flea market? Over 2,500 vendors are spread out over 55 acres, so you should have every chance of finding something you like.

Sometimes, we get closed off to the idea that we can enjoy new things. In addition, we might believe only one type of thing will make us happy. But, at a flea market, you’re surrounded by curious, interesting, and unique offerings that can surely challenge the notion that you already know exactly what you like.

Bonus: Get there before 9 a.m. for the best chance at first dibs.

Stargaze at Griffith Observatory

If stargazing is your thing, head up to the Griffith Observatory. Situated inside Griffith Park (which also contains the famous “Hollywood” sign), the Griffith Observatory has provided Southern Californians the chance to observe, learn, and be inspired by celestial bodies. One major perk is that the Observatory presents all its programming in the planetarium live, and it’s one of the few remaining observatories in the world to do so.

Here, you can get an amazing view of West LA, and the best part is that the balcony is free to observers like you.

Bonus: Watch the movie “La La Land” beforehand to do the choreographed dance on Griffith’s balcony when you get there.

Go to the Two Bit Circus Amusement Park

Question: What’s even better than an Amusement Park near Los Angeles?
Answer: An amusement park near Los Angeles without the hours-long lines!

The Two Bit Circus amusement park combines arcade and VR into a micro-amusement park. Here, technology and spectacle are infused.

While Los Angeles is famous for being near Disneyland and Universal Studios, the time spent waiting in lines for rides is ludicrous. Two Bit Circus is an affordable and efficient option for people in recovery who want to be entertained without taking out a second mortgage or qualifying for Social Security while they stand in line.

Bonus: Try out the HYPERDECK simulator

Non-Alcoholic Wine and Cheese Pairing Classes

Non-alcoholic wine and cheese pairing? Yes, please! There is a growing sober-curious movement in Los Angeles. People here want to take a night off drinking to experience the effects of abstinence without sacrificing the fun of going out on the town. That’s where zero-proof bars and NA drink retailers step in.

Stores like the New Bar offer a wide selection of NA wines, beers, and spirits.

They offer NA wine and cheese pairings, brand-led tastings, and book clubs. The stores don’t judge anyone who does drink; they just want to be a resource to those who want to drink less without sacrificing any of the fun.

Bonus: New Bar occasionally does pop-ups at local Los Angeles events.

Stroll Down The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Did you know there are 2,752 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? And did you know that Muhammad Ali is the only one not on the ground?

The Hollywood Walk of Fame recognizes exceptional people in five fields: Film, tv, radio, live performance, and music. As such, some people have multiple stars on the Walk of Fame because they have achieved excellence in multiple fields. The award of most stars on the Walk of Fame goes to Gene Autry–who has 5!

Nowadays, if you’re nominated for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it costs around $50,000 and $30,000 from your nominator. This pays for the installation and future maintenance of the star.

Walking down the Hollywood Stars is a free activity that can definitely be enjoyed while sober (just don’t cause a traffic jam on the sidewalk by looking down for too long).

Bonus: Muhammad Ali didn’t want people to walk on Muhammad’s name, so they placed him on a wall.

Smash Fitness Goals at Muscle Beach

There’s no outdoor gym in the world more famous than Muscle Beach in the Santa Monica neighborhood of Los Angeles.

It’s been the gym of choice for world-class bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, and Frank Zane for decades. Fortunately, Muscle Beach only charges a small daily entry fee for slightly less famous people like the rest of us.

While alcohol does release a small amount of dopamine, your brain quickly adapts to an increase in neurotransmitter levels and produces less dopamine. Working out also produces dopamine, but it doesn’t impede future dopamine production in the brain.

Fitness in general, but especially fitness at a place like Muscle Beach, is well-suited to be a sustainable asset for your long-term recovery journey.

Bonus: Watch for Arnold Schwarzenegger because he might need somebody to spot him on the bench press.

Get Lost Inside the Getty Center

The Getty Center is dedicated to preserving and sharing the visual arts of Los Angeles and beyond with anybody who cares to see them.

Admission is free, and over 150,000 students visit annually at no cost to them or their school district. They also host well-known scholars and performers. J. Paul Getty believed art was a civilizing force and even went so far as to build his home in the style of a Roman villa.

Igniting your sense of curiosity can help maintain your recovery journey, especially when your new lifestyle starts to feel stale.

Bonus: Attend the outdoor theater that holds classic-inspired productions each autumn.

Go Surfing at Zuma Beach

If there is a more iconic Californian activity than surfing, we don’t know what it is.

Zuma Beach is near ultra-exclusive Malibu, so it’s cleaner than Santa Monica or Venice Beach. There is plenty of parking, easy access to snacks, and abundant lifeguards.

Surfing is a sport that requires mindfulness–being aware of what’s inside you and outside you at all times. You have to tune into your surroundings to catch the swell at just the right point. Mindfulness is a helpful practice for your recovery journey.

Bonus: This is a fun, physical, and therapeutic activity with more benefits than simply an exciting thrill.

Hike Angeles National Forest

Hike Angeles National ForestJust 30 minutes from LA is a 700,000-acre playground where you can camp, hike, bike, fish, and even ski.

It’s hard to believe that so close to the 2nd largest city in the United States is unspoiled, pristine wilderness. Getting outdoors can be a huge psychological and mental boost to your recovery journey. You’ll get the chance to climb a mountain, turn around, and get some perspective on why you’re doing what you’re doing.

When you’re stuck in the city, sometimes your challenges seem larger than life and difficult to overcome. But, when you head into the wilderness, the scale of the mountains is just right. You can realize how small you are and how grand the rest of the world is.

That should give you some encouragement for your sober journey.

Bonus: Get your camera ready for all the incredible shot opportunities.

Visit the Petersen Automotive Museum

Just by looking at this building, you’ll know it’s something special. The Petersen Automotive Museum is an automotive museum whose mission is to tell the story of the automobile, using Los Angeles as a prime example.

Here, cars are so much more than a way to get from point A to point B. They are vehicles for art, expression, and individualism. The vault underneath the Petersen Automotive Museum is filled to the brim with cars and motorcycles from every era they’ve ever been produced.

Every month, the museum chooses several cars for thematic exhibits, which you can view after purchasing an entry ticket.

Bonus: If you own a black 4-door 1967 Impala, you can purchase a prop license plate from the Supernatural TV series from the gift shop.

Turn Your Night Around with a Breakfast Burrito

You’re out with friends. It’s late. And you’re starving. What are you going to do to turn the night around? You can grab an all-night breakfast burrito from one of several restaurants in LA.

We’re not exactly sure what makes a breakfast burrito so satisfying in the wee hours of the morning, but it has all the carbs and protein you need to help keep you going strong. Check out Lucky Boy Burgers in nearby Pasadena, which serves their scrumptious breakfast burritos all night.

Bonus: Get two, and you’ve got breakfast for tomorrow, too!

Visit Warner Bros. Studios

It’s not a bird… or a plane… It’s Warner Brothers Studios! Warner Brothers invented the big-budget Superman movie in 1978, and ever since then, superheroes have moved from pure nerd territory to pop culture artifacts that are beloved by everyone. Beyond superhero movies, Warner Bros has released many popular movies enjoyed by millions of Americans.

They provide 3 to 6-hour tours of their studio, partly guided and partly unguided. If you want to peek behind the curtain at the inner workings of America’s busiest film studio, you gotta check them out.

Get Cast for An Episode of “Wipeout”

The rare TV show loved by adults and children, “Wipeout” features adults attempting to complete a wacky obstacle course to win a grand prize. It was filmed at Sable Ranch, just an hour north of Los Angeles.

The obstacles vary from episode to episode, but each episode features a terrifying set of red balls that almost no one can successfully mount. Contestants get nicknames as the hosts narrate their performance on the course.

Anybody can apply to be part of the show, but you must be an adult who can be in Los Angeles for 3 consecutive days for filming. This can be a fun way to engage your sense of wonder, curiosity, and fun during your sober journey.

Bonus: Decide in advance how you want to be cast, and then act appropriately.

Try Roman Pizza

You may have tried Chicago deep-dish, greasy New York City-style, heart Detroit-style, or even cracker-crust St. Louis pizza, but have you ever tried Roman Pizza from Oste?

Well, in Los Angeles, now you can!

A “pinsa” is taken from the Latin word “pinsere” which means “to press”. Oste has revamped this ancient practice for the modern age. This is a pizza that gladiators and modern people could agree is fantastic cooking.

Bonus: Try to order your pizza with a flawless Italian accent.

See A Performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall is the home of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra. These world-class musicians are much esteemed in the music world and provide an unforgettable sonic experience for people lucky to see them.

The building was one of the most exquisitely designed acoustic spaces worldwide and provides an enrapturing listening experience. It was so well designed that once musicians began practicing in it, they discovered certain notes they had played for decades were wrong just because the acoustics were so good.

Bonus: Before you come, understand the Hall’s rules on late arrivals, children, seating, and etiquette.

Struggling With Substance Abuse? Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Solutions

Substance abuse can and will rob you of your longevity and your enjoyment of life. Researchers have found that untreated alcohol use disorder is responsible for shortening the average lifespan of sufferers by 24-28 years.[1]

Choose Sobriety. No matter how hard it is, sobriety is worth it. Take back control of your life from alcohol. Make a choice today to chart your path.

Don’t hesitate. Seek treatment with a compassionate care provider, and start living out the best version of your non-alcoholic self.

If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction in Los Angeles, Ocean Recovery in Newport Beach is ready to help.

We offer a variety of gender-specific treatment programs in a small, intimate, and upscale facility just steps away from the beach. There are just 14 female and 16 male beds. While cognitive behavioral therapy is the bedrock of our philosophy, all of our therapies are evidence-based. We want to equip our clients for a hopeful, self-affirming future.

We believe that all our clients can be free from addiction and be transformed into a better version of themselves. Contact us today to experience healing from alcohol addiction.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sober Activities and Sober Living

There is no “right” time to stay in a sober living house.

Sober living houses are privately run, and as long as you stay current on your rent, you can stay there indefinitely. Residential drug treatment, which involves staying at a private, sober facility, usually takes between 30 to 90 days.

It takes as long as it needs to. That means that the length of your stay is determined by how long it takes for you to detox, gain insight into your addictive behavior, learn tools and healthy coping strategies, reflect, articulate the desire for independence, and demonstrate that you’ve made appropriate changes to re-enter the outside world confidently.

Sobriety means abstaining from drugs and alcohol. Being sober isn’t just a “sometimes” or “when you feel like it” thing. It’s a total lifestyle shift.

Sobriety is difficult. There will be some very hard days when it will be tempting to throw away all the progress you’ve made. But sobriety is so very worth it. Whatever you give up by going sober, you will reap tenfold in enjoyment.

Sober might mean saying “no” to drugs and alcohol, but it means saying “yes” to everything else. Just because you aren’t taking drugs and alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t keep having fun and enjoying life to the fullest.

Many activities in Los Angeles could spark your imagination, guide you toward relaxation, or even give you a dopamine boost that doesn’t involve alcohol. Try some of the activities suggested in this guide.

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The internet contains a vast amount of misinformation, but when it comes to your health only peer reviewed, research centered data matters. At Ocean Recovery, all content published throughout our website has been rigorously medically reviewed by a doctorate level clinician, and cross checked for medical accuracy. Our editorial process helps our readers trust that the information they are consuming is factual and based upon scientific data. Your health is our top priority, find out more about how we safeguard the integrity of information on our website. Read More About Our Process

[1] Westman, J., Wahlbeck, K., Laursen, T. M., Gissler, M., Nordentoft, M., Hällgren, J., Arffman, M., & Ösby, U. (2015, April). Mortality and life expectancy of people with alcohol use disorder in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica.

Last medically reviewed November 13, 2023.