El Nino has finally showed up in full force, and January has been full of rainy, windy days. Whether you're a local, or just visiting, there are tons of things to do in SF--even when the weather is less than perfect. I've rounded up 10 of my favorites below.
1. Grab an Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista Cafe! The cafe has been around for 100 years, and is credited with making the first Irish Coffee in 1952. Or loose the liquor and head to one of SF's many boutique coffee shops. Lattes are good too.
2. Visit the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. It's the oldest public wood and glass conservatory in North America. There are enough exotic plants and orchids to make you forget that it's pouring outside. Bring SF proof of residency for a discount.
3. Check out the visiting exhibits at the de Young or The Legion of Honor. The rain will keep crowds away, and if you've seen the permanent collections more than a few times, fork over the extra few bucks and venture into the special exhibits.
4. Visit one of those other museums you probably never make it to. Or City Hall, which is beautiful always.
- The Randall Museum
- Asian Art Museum
- Contemporary Jewish Museum
- Walt Disney Family Museum
- Cable Car Museum
- Museum of African Diaspora
- Children's Creativity Museum
5. Play vintage arcade games at The Musée Mécanique. It's just as fun as in The Princess Diaries--I promise!
6. Get cozy and pick up a book (or three!) at City Lights Books. Find a quiet corner and camp out--I like the upstairs poetry section by the window. Or, head next door to Vesuvio's and grab a drink. There's nothing better than reading Kerouac while drinking a Kerouac where Kerouac used to drink.
7. Visit the Ferry Building! The farmer's market on Saturday mornings is rain or shine, and the interior offers tons of places to get some food or have a drink. Snack, browse and take it all in.
8. Don some rain gear and take a walk/hike up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower! For a few dollars, head to the top, and take in the rainy city from above. The murals were recently restored, so don't miss them either. Even if you don't go all the way up, the murals are free to see, and will get you out of the rain for a few. Plus, there's something so magical about having the secret gardens to yourself.
9. Head to the mall at Union Square. The San Francisco Centre is usually packed with people and there will probably still be crowds, but it will get you out of the house! Have a coffee and window shop, or stock up on warm sweaters. If you have a student ID, you can get a discounted ticket at the movie theater upstairs, but if they aren't showing something you want to see, head around the corner to The Metreon--they literally have everything.
10. Get cozy! Go to the movies, grab a bowl of ramen, or relax at home. When it's sunny, SF refuses to be inside, so take the gloomy, rainy weather as a sign to take it easy. Watch a movie, or have a mini marathon with your roomies. Cook up something hot and tasty in the kitchen. Bake cookies or a pie or bread. Have a hot toddy. Snuggle. Nap. Or head out to a cozy bar (pick one that serves its own food or welcomes take out) and hang out all day. Union Larder on Hyde is one of my faves, or Vesuvio's in North Beach, or William Cross on Polk, or about a million others.