Haha, we thought “stay sober” was some kind of saying we weren’t familiar with!
What a fun trip to plan with your daughter. Costa Rica is a totally safe destination for the two of you- you definitely don’t need to stay on a resort. Most crime is just petty theft, so just be sure to keep an eye on your belongings, don’t leave stuff in sight in your rental car, etc. It’s opportunist crime here. We don’t think you’ll feel uneasy walking around as two women alone at all- and the fact that you speak Spanish will really help!
As for where to go, here are some ideas of places with lots to do nearby or a short drive away:
- Good Mountains Option- Arenal/La Fortuna area: Lots of things to do here- Arenal Volcano; the awesome Rio Celeste Waterfall; La Fortuna Waterfall, etc. We have a post about the area if you’d like more info: https://www.twoweeksincostarica.com/la-fortuna-what-to-expect/
- Beach Options: If you want beach, there’s a ton of options. There’s Tamarindo (more developed surf town- lots of great restaurants); Nosara (more remote but still a lot to do; surf/yoga community; lots of expats); Santa Teresa (surf town on very southern Nicoya Peninsula; more of an eclectic, laid back feel); Manuel Antonio (busier beach town on C. Pacific, very comfortable feel; tons to do here). All those are links if you want to get a better sense of each place.
Hope that helps!