20 Aug 2014
67° Mostly Cloudy
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Best Places To Wait Out a Downpour

Five local places to avoid the rain and salvage your downcast day.

Best Places To Wait Out a Downpour Best Places To Wait Out a Downpour


While a heavy storm can be a romantic, relaxing excuse to lounge around the house, it can leave you feeling trapped. Luckily, we live in an area with a surplus of enticing options for avoiding the rain without succumbing to boredom. It should be noted that no one is advised to drive around in a truly vicious storm, so always put your safety ahead of your entertainment. With that in mind, here are some local remedies for a case of bad weather.

5. The Library ( or )

We all knew it was coming. Yes, the library is the defacto answer parents give their kids when they whine about being bored, but here’s the rub: your parents were right. We are blessed as Marinites to have access to a bounty of new hardcover titles that many libraries across the country must wait months, if not years, for. 

Both our libraris also have an amazing selection of periodicals and e-readers for residents to check out, so don’t feel like it’s Dostoevsky or bust. Grab a graphic novel or the newest issue of National Geographic. Think of the last great movie you saw and then go find the book it was inevitably based on. (Or, find the movie at the library too, but that's a little boring.) The beauty of reading is that if you take the time to let yourself get hooked into a story, a stormy day can pass by quicker than you can say dewey decimal system.


San Anselmo and Fairfax do not suffer from a lack of coffee shops. However, from a social point-of-view, few offer the traffic and entertainment of Fair Fix. Chess players, paper readers and seldom-seen friends convene at this tasty, eclectic café. Grab Scrabble or the board game of your choice, order up a piping hot mocha, and settle down for a drizzly afternoon of strategy and snacks.

It’s worth noting that proper café etiquette requires you do buy something from time to time, so please take this suggestion with a bit of petty cash. A thoughtful tip and polite demeanor can go a long way towards management not minding an extended stay at one of their tables.

3.  aka The Log Cabin

Of all the bars, why this one? The answer is simple: games. The Dugout Bar (located beneath Red Hill’s Log Cabin for the uninitiated) is the only bar in SA/FX with a shuffleboard table, pool table and darts. It's also the best open secret in town. If a few hearty drinks and some serious bar gaming doesn’t fill a rainy night, there’s also Cookie, the resident cat, to keep you company.

Don’t forget: the pool table asks for a quarter donation per game. Compared to the mandatory 75¢ or $1 required at most bars, a quarter a game in the wooden box is a sweet deal. Shuffleboard and darts remain on the house.


If you can safely brave the elements, make your way to the Playhouse in San Anselmo, and support your local community with a night at theater. Even if you don’t know anyone in the production (and odds are you do), your dollars and time are well-spent watching children and adults celebrate popular musical and dramatic works.

An up-to-date calendar shows performances on many weekends between now and the supposed end of the rainy season -- though who knows what kind of season we're having this year. Take a friend to see Gypsy or Grease and revel in forgetting about the elements for a while. Also, custom dictates you buy one of the oversized cookies available at the concession stand. They are seriously delicious.


No shocker here. When the water starts coming down, there’s one pastime that trumps the rest. A good rainy afternoon movie is almost like a right-of-passage. The Fairfax is the best possible theater to have in close range, given it’s tendencies to show both mainstream films and more independent, arthouse fair from time to time. I remember a rainy day at least a decade back where I was treated to a double feature of The Jungle Book (live version) and Star Trek: Generations. I know that double features are a thing of the past, but oh, was it glorious. Even if you have to shell out for the cost of two films, I’m pretty sure bad weather was invented for back-to-back cinematic endeavors.

Bonus points: go to for your candy! Not only is it cheaper, you also get the warm fuzzies associated with helping out two independent businesses in one outing. Score!

Where are you spending the rainy days this week?

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