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How To Stay Sober In Asheville, NC

Asheville, along with a handful of other cities across the nation, has been nicknamed “Beertown, USA” for the high number of breweries they have in the area. As of 2020, the greater Asheville area had a whopping 48 breweries! Though Asheville has gone from a small, quiet town to a bustling downtown, it is still surprising to learn that 48 breweries call this relatively small area home. 

These days, Asheville can be what you would consider a “party town.” Groups of individuals travel here for bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, and other events. Often, these events involve enjoying the many breweries and restaurants downtown Asheville has to offer. In the heart of downtown, you may also catch a glimpse of what appears to be a bar on wheels, being peddled by a group of individuals drinking as they ride down the road. These “cycle bars” have been popular in certain cities. Often, they offer brewery or pub tours around the town. 

So, you might be wondering, how does one stay sober in Asheville, North Carolina when so many activities revolve around drinking? Well, you are in luck, because Asheville has much more to offer than alcohol. Whether you are planning a visit for a few days or planning to move to the area, Asheville offers plenty of sober activities as well as a great community in recovery.

Sober Activities In Asheville

If you are a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast, you will have no shortage of activities to partake in while in Asheville. In fact, you will likely have a hard time finding time to fit them all in! 

The mountains that Asheville is immersed in contain thousands of well-maintained, extensive trail systems— in fact, you could hop on the Appalachian Trail and walk all the way to Maine if you desire. Ranging from easy, to moderate, to difficult and very difficult, there are hikes for every level of experience. You could hike to a waterfall or a summit with sweeping views—or sometimes both in the same hike. There are a number of campgrounds, as well as opportunities for backcountry camping and backpacking all around. If you would prefer not to go alone, know that the outdoor enthusiast community around Asheville is huge, and you can find group hikes and camping trips on any given day. 

There are also plenty of swimming holes in the mountains if you’re here during the summer and are looking to cool off. The French Broad River, which flows right through Asheville, is a very popular place to spend the day tubing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. There are easy-to-locate drop-in and drop-off points, and also plenty of local services to give you a ride. You will also float right by some riverside restaurants and coffee shops! 

There are a multitude of award-winning restaurants in Asheville, as well as delicious coffee shops, locally-owned bookstores, and tons of interesting local boutiques. In the city squares, there are often pop-up markets filled with local vendors selling handcrafted items, and there are also frequent festivals and live music events in the squares, many of which are free of charge to attend. 

Downtown Asheville itself, amidst the bars and breweries, also has plenty to do besides drink alcohol. There are several locally-owned movie theaters in the area, such as Grail Moviehouse and the Fine Arts Theatre. If you’re a museum lover, check out the Asheville Art Museum, or for an interactive experience, the Asheville Pinball Museum. 

Whether you prefer climbing mountains or strolling through the town, there is something for everyone in Asheville. 

Staying Sober In Asheville 

Though Asheville is a party town, it is also important to note that there is an extensive network of sober individuals and recovery communities in the area. This includes 12 step recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Dharma Recovery, SMART Recovery, and more. There are meetings all times of day and night around town, so no matter where you are, there is likely a meeting taking place nearby. 

You can find all of the information for these times and locations online through a quick Google search. Most of these meetings are free of charge. Recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous also have a local phone number you can call and speak to someone regarding meeting information, as well as assistance finding transportation to the meeting if needed. If you are in Asheville and finding yourself in a situation where you feel like you need help staying sober, know that help is available 24/7. 

Getting connected and involved with a recovery community, particularly if you are moving to a new area such as Asheville, can be the most important next step you take. This group of people can provide not only practical tips for the area, but they can be a lifeline in times of difficulty and transition, especially if you don’t know many others in the area yet. Having other people in your life who are sober and you can call if you are struggling, or feeling lonely, is crucial. Attending recovery meetings is the easiest and quickest way to start making these connections. Asheville also has a number of top-notch treatment centers available for those seeking treatment for their addiction.

If you are in Asheville and are struggling to stay sober, it is also a good idea to avoid going into bars or breweries that might tempt you to pick up a drink. Instead, pick one of the activities listed above. It might also be helpful to reach out to a friend who is sober, to receive support and talk it through with. 

Before your trip, you may think ahead and develop a game plan, particularly anticipating any difficult scenarios or emotions that arise. You may create itineraries of things to do and see and lists of recovery meetings around the area to attend. You may let someone you trust–perhaps someone who is also sober—know the situation, give them a heads up that if you call, you may need support. Though all the planning in the world may not stop you from craving a drink at some point, having tools and resources in place can make the difference between staying sober and picking up a drink. 

Get Addiction Help In Asheville 

If you or a loved one is seeking help for addiction in Asheville, we can guide you through the process! Our highly-trained therapeutic and clinical experts at Oasis Recovery offer a safe and comfortable space for clients to undergo addiction treatment. Our team of medical experts offers a wide range of services and amenities that are tailored to meet your particular needs. Reach out to an addiction specialist today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the road to recovery. 

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