The rain is torrential, positively Biblical (at least by San Francisco standards), what do you do? Play in the flash flood that formed outside your house? Slide down the muddy hills in Dolores Park? (ok, maybe that's not such a bad idea . . .).
Well, as good as those suggestions are, there have to be some better (though equally cheap) ways to spend your time on a rainy San Francisco day! Here are some of our suggestions:
- Free Museums. Cheap Bastards are already aware, or at least you should be, that many museums in SF have a “first Tuesday” free day, but what if it rains on some other day? Some museums are always free! Some are touristy, but you haven't been in six years, so try the Cable Car Musuem, the Museum of the City of San Francisco, the Octagon House, or the San Francisco Fire Museum. If you've got some quarters burning a hole in your pocket, check out the Musée Mécanique.
- San Francisco City Guide Walking Tours. These tours, run by volunteers for free are usually outside, but look at the schedule closely — some are indoors! Perfect for day like today.
- Walk around the Ferry Building Marketplace and see how many samples you can consume. We've learned this one from wily aunties and hungry toddlers — you just have to look at every stall and see what's being offered. If no samples are visible, don't be shy, ask for one! With the money you save, you will hopefully have enough cash for a $3.50 capuccino at Blue Bottle.
- Go to the library. Yes, the favorite of homeless folks, bored kids, and literary poseurs. But really, the public libraries are a great resource and they're better than cheap — they're free! Find the one near you at SFPL.org. In addition to the books & computers, there are classes, exhibits, videos, and more. Go on the right day, and you can even get one-on-one time with a librarian for personalized research assistance.
- Grab a Beer at the Beach Chalet and watch the water come down! Water's the last thing you want to drink on a rainy day, so what better time to drink than now? It's not free, but for $5 or so (including tip), you can get a beer at the Beach Chalet, and sip slowly. You can examine the very cool WPA-era murals while you're at it and, if you're in the mood for something a little stronger, don't forget to pack your hip flask of whiskey so that your “pocket bartender” can mix your some hot toddys. Sure, the waiter might wonder why you keep ordering hot water with honey and lemon, but it goes down smooth!
So, those are our suggestions, but surely there must be more to do! Please leave a comment to let the other cheap bastards know the best ways to while away the cold rainy days in San Francisco.