Rainy Day Guide

Sometimes not even a pair of stylish wellies can make a rainy day bearable. To beat the stormy-weather blues, head to these cozy spots for indoor entertainment, fire-side relaxation and heavenly comfort foods that'll make you forget all about the gray skies outside.

Updated: January 19, 2010

Rainy Day Retreats

Park Chalet Garden Restaurant

1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94121

This beach-side restaurant and brewery is an obvious fair weather choice, but the cozy fireplace downstairs and beautiful sea views upstairs (in sister spot Beach Chalet) make it an ideal location for sipping a house-made brew and watching the storm blow in, especially if lightning is involved.

Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

1881 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

On a dreary day, the Kabuki complex is a perfect one-stop to beat the blues. Catch a flick at Robert Redford's indie-focused theater, enjoy a bite and a drink in the one of the center's eateries, then head downstairs to the same-named Kabuki Springs spa for a soak in one of the Japanese hot pools.

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

This fully sustainable, state-of-the-art alter to SF's inner science geek can provide an easy day's entertainment for the young and old alike, and there's even a place to grab a bite and wait out the storm. Park in the downstairs garage to ensure that the only water you have to physically encounter is the hands-on tide pool.


603 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94131

Stop by after work to warm your frozen footsies near this stylish Inner Sunset pub's gas fireplace--cheap drinks, friendly regulars, an extensive jukebox selection and flat-screen TV ensure you won't get bored while you're thawing.

Bittersweet The Chocolate Cafe

2123 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

If a storm catches you off guard while you're boutique shopping in Pac Heights (which, realistically, is quite likely come winter), stop into this chocoholic's wonderland for a warm, decadent sugar fix in the form of one of their gourmet hot chocolates. If you've absolutely got to get going, head into nearby Zinc Details and use the rain as an excuse to pick up a colorful Marimekko umbrella.

Mission Cliffs Climbing & Ftns

2295 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Don't let a bout of miserable weather ruin your workout. Outdoorsy folk and urban climbers--professional or first-timers--can rope-up at this challenging indoor rock climbing facility that also offers classes in yoga, indoor cycling and cardio boxing.

San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Any branch of the city's public library system will do in a pinch for a spot to curl up with a book (or 10), but the multi-storied, centrally located main branch can kill hours of stormy weather weariness.

Samovar Tea Lounge

730 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Sure, a cup of English Breakfast can be whipped up at home in a matter of moments, but the stellar tea selection (try White Peony or Blood Orange Pu-erh) and creative snacks make this normally sunny teahouse overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens a comfortable place to watch the rain. Hit the Metreon after for a movie if you just can't bear the thought of a wet Muni ride.