The 10 Best Rainy Day Activities in Orinda, California

Don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits when you’re in the beautiful town of Orinda, California! This charming Bay Area suburb offers plenty to keep you entertained even when it’s drizzling outside. Here’s our pick of the top 10 rainy day activities in Orinda:

1. Get Cultured at the Orinda Library

The Orinda Library is a beautiful gem. Escape the weather by browsing their extensive collection of books, catching up on magazines in their cozy reading areas, or attending one of their frequent events like author talks or kids’ storytimes.

2. Catch a Flick at the Orinda Theatre

Marquee for the Orinda Theater, an art-deco style theater which originally opened in 1941 and continues to operate in Orinda, California, 2016.

This historic Art Deco movie theater is a true Orinda landmark. Curl up with popcorn and lose yourself in a recent release or an indie favorite. It’s a classic rainy day pastime at its best.

3. Pamper Yourself with a Spa Day

Options abound! Choose a luxurious spa in Orinda for a massage, facial, or other relaxing treatment. It’s the perfect way to unwind and rejuvenate during a wet spell.

4. Stimulate Your Mind at the Lawrence Hall of Science

Head over to nearby Berkeley and explore the wonders of the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, it’s fun for the whole family, regardless of the weather.

It’s right on the Orinda border, so it’s a short drive. Just remember that parking requires a walk, so still bring an umbrella.

5. Immerse Yourself in Art

Visit galleries like the Hearst Art Gallery at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga or a larger museum in nearby San Francisco or Oakland. Engaging with art is a fantastic way to spend a rainy afternoon.

The Oakland Museum of California has a covered garage and is just through the tunnel.

6. Get Your Caffeine Fix

Orinda has cozy cafes galore! Grab a handcrafted latte or tea, find a comfy chair, and people-watch or enjoy a good book. Try Cafe Teatro, Little Honey Cafe, or Fourth Bore Tap Room & Grill.

7. Indulge in Some Retail Therapy

The shops at Orinda Village or the charming boutiques in nearby Lafayette offer a lovely distraction. Browse for unique finds and treat yourself a little while staying dry.

8. Enjoy a Delicious Meal

In Orinda’s Theatre Square shopping center, diners eat at outdoor tables at the bar and restaurant Fourth Bore, Orinda, California, 2016.

Orinda boasts wonderful restaurants spanning various cuisines. Whether you’re craving Italian, Mexican, or California-fresh fare, settle in for a leisurely, rain-inspired meal.

Remember that restaurants like Fourth Bore have covered outdoor tables where you can enjoy the rain but stay dry!

9. Take a Scenic Drive

The rain transforms Orinda’s rolling hills into lush, vibrant landscapes. A slow, scenic drive through the area can be surprisingly therapeutic as you watch the showers.

Go up Wilder or Wildcat Canyon and the views can be pretty great.

10. Embrace the Coziness of Home

Gas fireplace under a stone arch, Orinda, California, April 17, 2022.

Sometimes the best rainy day activity is curling up at home! Build a blanket fort with the kids, start a new puzzle, bake something delicious, or simply watch the rain while sipping hot cocoa.

Bonus: If the rain lets up for a little, the Orinda Community Center Park offers a lovely playground and space to stretch your legs.

Let the Rainy Days Inspire

Don’t let the weather limit your Orinda experience! Embrace the cozy atmosphere, try something new, and enjoy the simple pleasures a rainy day offers.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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