5 Best Sober Nightlife Activities in Laguna Beach

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According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22 million U.S. adults met the DSM-5-TR criteria for alcohol use disorder in 2021. A further 7 million over-18s were addicted to both alcohol and illicit drugs in the same year.

Although alcohol use disorder is a chronic and incurable condition, it responds positively to a combination of medication-assisted treatment and psychotherapy. Detox addresses the issue of physical dependence, while behavioral therapy helps tackle the psychological component of alcohol addiction.

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Alcoholism is a relapsing condition, so a vital part of ongoing recovery involves eliminating harmful behaviors like alcohol abuse, while at the same time creating a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

Those in recovery from alcoholism in Laguna Beach have access to an abundance of sober activities. Reconnect with nature, clear your mind, and explore the great outdoors in Laguna Beach, California – thrive rather than survive in your sobriety.

An image of the city at night, depicting  the 5 best sober nightlife activities in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach Nightlife: Sober Activities 

  • Laguna Playhouse
  • Nightswimming
  • Full Moon Drum Circle
  • Hiking at Night
  • Sawdust Art Festival and Classes

Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse is the one of the oldest continuously-operating theaters along the West Coast located just steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Laguna Playhouse runs a year-round program of dramas, comedies, stand-up comedy, and musicals, providing entertainment for all the family that is not based on alcohol. 

Every year since 2015, Laguna Playhouse has been named “Best in OC” by The Orange County Register. Founded in 1920 as a community theater, the Playhouse remains a Laguna Beach institution in 2023. 

Your night doesn’t need to end when the show does. Pristine beaches and fine dining are minutes away, or how about swimming after dark?


If you plan to go swimming after dark at Laguna Beach, you should first familiarize with the beach regulations. 

  • Beaches are close from 1am to 5am.
  • Alcohol is not permitted on Laguna Beach, even for over-21s.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all public areas of Laguna Beach, including all beaches.
  • Dogs are allowed on Laguna Beach year-round, but the permitted times vary depending on the time of year – from 9am to 6pm in the summer season and at any time of day during the spring, fall, and winter.
  • Fires are prohibited at all beaches in Laguna Beach. Fires are allowed Aliso Creek Beach in fire pits.

Take extra precautions when swimming at night as there will not be a lifeguard on duty. Also, beware of dangerous rocky outcroppings and unpredictable waves. 

If you bear these pointers in mind and avoid swimming at prohibited hours of the night, you can enjoy some invigorating exercise in the Pacific Ocean rather than wasting time and money drinking in a nightclub.

Full Moon Drum Circle

An informal and organic monthly event, Laguna Beach Drum Circle brings together dancers, singers, and musicians under the full moon by the ocean. Gatherings are held from 7pm to 10pm, offering those in recovery a refreshing change from a bar or restaurant, often challenging scenarios during the early phase of recovery. 

Laguna Beach Drum Circle gathers at Alison Creek County Beach at 31131 Coast Hwy. in South Laguna. There is metered parking available. 

Heads to Laguna Beach Full Moon Drum Circle on Sunday, February 5 and enjoy one of the most immersive sober experiences in Southern California.

Hiking at Night

Night hiking is a unique experience, delivering sights and sounds including bats, owls, coyotes, and other denizens of the dark. If you head out during the early fall, it will be comfortably cool, too. 

You can find many hiking trails at Crystal Cove State Park, located between Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar. While these trails on the side of PCH are open to the public during the day, most are closed after sunset. Most months, though, you can find a guided hike at full moon. The hike starts with a sharp climb, followed by a descent to Moro Canyon, returning to your car and able to drive without fear of a DUI. Hikes gather at 7pm at Berns Amphitheater. 

Another great nighttime hike can be found at Boat Canyon in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. This trail will give you a serious workout and is not for the fainthearted. If your fitness levels permit, you’ll be rewarded with stunning ocean vistas, all the better when illuminated by a piercing full moon.

The trail begins at the end of Dartmoor Street (gate 14) in Laguna Beach. You can find free parking on the street.

Sawdust Art Festival and Classes

The Sawdust Art & Craft Festival is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting local art created in Laguna Beach. 

Sawdust Art Festival takes place over nine weeks in the summer, drawing 200,000 visitors. Summer artists are exclusively local to Laguna Beach, although Winter Fantasy features non-local talent. 

Explore a handmade village of craftmanship and fine art as you wander along paths covered with sawdust. Replace the mundanity of alcohol abuse with an invigorating sober experience at Sawdust Art & Craft Festival. 

Check out the following media at Sawdust: 

  • Clothing
  • Ceramics
  • Woodwork
  • Textiles
  • Jewelry
  • Print making
  • Glass
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Mixed media

In addition to summer and winter festivals, Sawdust also delivers an onsite art program that runs year round. Sawdust Art Classes involve a suite of art and studio workshops with resident artists instructing. You can also access art classes off-season in various media.

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California Detox’s Laguna Beach Rehab

Maybe you have not yet initiated your recovery from alcoholism. If so, we can help you from detox to discharge and beyond here at our luxury rehab in Laguna Beach. 

Most people withdrawing from alcohol would benefit from a supervised medical detox. At our licensed medical detox center located in Laguna Beach, access FDA-approved medications to streamline cravings and withdrawal symptoms, as well as 24/7 emotional and clinical care. 

After a week or so, you can transition into one of the following California Detox treatment programs for alcohol use disorder: 

  • Inpatient program (residential rehab)
  • PHP (partial hospitalization program)
  • IOP (intensive outpatient program)
  • Virtual IOP (remote rehab program)
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program (for co-occurring disorders)

All programs offer individualized treatment that draws from evidence-based and holistic interventions, such as: 

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy

Due to the relapsing nature of alcohol use disorder, your treatment team will equip you with an aftercare plan that includes ongoing therapy, relapse prevention strategies, and coping techniques. When you are ready to reclaim your life from alcoholism in Laguna Beach, call California Detox at 949.390.5377.


All Laguna Beach beaches are open 6am to 10pm year round.
Nightswimming is allowed in Laguna Beach, except between the hours of 1am and 5am.


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