In recovery, the focus is often on the work of staying sober. Hitting 12-Step meetings, doing personal check-ins alone and with a therapist, creating treatment plans and checking off progress, while also getting to work on time and managing personal relationships and other commitments healthfully are all important – but so too is enjoying yourself in recovery.
Unfortunately, for many in recovery, having fun or relaxing is synonymous with picking up a drink or getting high. It can be a trigger to try to have a good time without drugs and alcohol, but it is also an essential skill to acquire.
- Visit a Shaker village. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine, is the last active Shaker community with only a few remaining members. The 1,800-acre estate in the western part of the state is open to the public six days a week between Memorial Day and Columbus Day each year, offering access to a library, museum, workshops, and other events. The public is also invited to join them every Sunday at 10 a.m. for Meeting, their church service.
- Head out on a lobster boat. Book a tour on a real lobster boat and see some of the scenic sights in Maine from the water while helping to catch your own lunch. The Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventure in Rockland, Maine, is one option, but there are a number of different boat tours to choose from.
- Tour lighthouses. Maine’s coast line is dotted with lighthouses, each one unique in its history and replete with stories of love, loss, and adventure. Check out the Cape Neddick Lighthouse (a.k.a., Nubble Light) in York Beach, Maine, to see one of the most commonly photographed lighthouses, or head to Portland, Maine, and take your pick of a half-dozen different lighthouses.
- Eat. Maine is famous for its lobster as well as a host of seafood dishes, and there is no shortage of restaurants that are willing to help you sample what the sea has to offer. Explore restaurant options in Maine before you go and plan out your trip accordingly, or just start driving and stop wherever looks good.
- Meditate in the woods. The Cathedral of the Pines is an incredibly beautiful and peaceful spot in Rindge, New Hampshire, with incredible views of historic Mount Monadnock. The 236-acre park is free and open to the public from May through October, offering a range of events that include all-faith services, plays, a vow renewal service, and an annual AA meeting.
- Explore mystical rock formations. You do not have to jump across the pond to see a prehistoric rock formation of mysterious origin. Radio carbon dating suggests that the America’s Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, is one of the oldest megalithic sites on the continent, but you can find out for yourself by exploring the park on your own or through one of their scheduled events that include a spirit walk, a paranormal investigation, and solstice and equinox celebrations and rituals.
- Drive. The Kancamagus Highway is a scenic 34-mile highway that provides a winding exploration of the 800,000 acre White Mountain National Forest with stop-off points for foliage views, waterfalls, hiking, cross country skiing, and more. Campgrounds and cabin rentals are available for those who would like to take their time driving the “Kanc,” as it is called by locals.
- See a Castle in the Clouds. The Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, New Hampshire, is open every day from June through October and on weekends throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy tours of the mansion, a fine dining restaurant, yoga classes, gallery exhibits, musical events, and more.
- Sleep in a lighthouse. Off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, is Rose Island Lighthouse and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay overnight in a lighthouse. Located about a mile offshore, visitors can explore the museum before taking up residence in one of two keeper’s bedrooms, the Fog Horn Building, a bomb-proof barracks room, an apartment, or another room choice.
- Take a cliff walk. The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, is one of the most beautiful walks in New England. A national recreation trail, the Cliff Walk offers incredible vistas and close-up views of nature. The trail is open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year, and it’s free of charge.
- Head to the island. Block Island, that is. A secluded little spot about 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island is a great getaway where visitors can go boating, take a bike tour, explore restaurants and shopping, and enjoy 17 miles of pristine beaches.
- Take a gondola ride. On Woonasquatucket River in Providence, Rhode Island, you can take a gondola ride and get a different perspective of the capital city. Choose a sunset time for your visit during a WaterFire event and take your trip to the next level.
How do you stay sober in New England? What have become your favorite activities and recreational spots to enjoy since you entered recovery?