The Best U.S. Cities for a Rainy Day Date

A header image for a blog about the best cities for a rainy day date
A header image for a blog about the best cities for a rainy day date

Even the best-laid date plans can be disrupted by unexpected rain, but bad weather doesn’t have to ruin your date. Rather than reschedule, it’s easy enough to find activities that are safe from the rain and let you have a wonderful time. However, some cities are better than others when planning a fantastic rainy day date. So which cities are the best for bad weather romance? Let’s find out!

Key Findings

  • The best city for a rainy day date is Buffalo, New York, with a score of 74.15 out of 100. Its relatively inexpensive date costs and high number of indoor date locations make it the top choice in our study.
  • The worst city for a rainy day date is Los Angeles, California, with a score of 25.3 out of 100. Its lack of rain is the main reason behind this, but expensive date night costs are a big factor as well.

The 10 Best U.S. Cities to Enjoy a Rainy Day Date

A U.S. map plotting out the best cities to enjoy a rainy day date

If you’re going to have a rainy day date, you’re best off doing it in a city on the East Coast or in the Midwest. After analyzing many factors, we discovered that the best places to enjoy a date on a rainy day all have a variety of indoor activities, great restaurant and bar scenes, and affordable prices for food, drinks, and entertainment. If you have those three things, you’re going to have a memorable date.

Buffalo, New York, is the best city in the United States to have a rainy day date because it has high numbers of roller rinks and bowling alleys, and if you go to a bar for drinks, you can get a few cocktails for about $18. A full meal at a nice restaurant in Buffalo averages out to $73 for two people, or you can go to a movie for $27. There are also a number of museums to check out (the Albright-Knox Art Gallery has over 5,000 works of art), or you can head to Helium Comedy Club for a night of laughs, drinks, and snacks.

Hartford, Connecticut, is the next best city to have a rainy day date, with a variety of great museums, movie theaters, bars, and restaurants. If you’re up to it, Hartford also has great roller rinks and amazing comedy clubs, which are both good date activities to help break the ice. Dining out in Hartford will also cost you less than in Buffalo — it’s closer to $60 for two people at a nice restaurant — plus beers are still cheap and Uber rides are affordable.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the third best city for a rainy date because, although the overall cost of living in Milwaukee is lower than in Hartford, it doesn’t have quite the same selection of activities. However, the nice thing about Milwaukee is that dinner for two at an upscale restaurant will only run you around $50, and with a thriving local brewery scene, you’ll easily find good bars to hang out at. For daytime activities, definitely check out the Milwaukee Art Museum and its breathtaking architecture. At night, head to the nearest bowling alley for a laid-back date.

U.S. Cities Where Rainy Day Dates Are More Fun

A U.S. map showing the best cities for rainy day dates in different categories

While you can have a lovely date on a rainy day anywhere, there are some key factors that make it much easier to achieve in certain cities rather than others. The most impactful components are the average number of rainy days, the number and variety of indoor activities, and the cost of food, drinks, and transportation in each city.

One reason Buffalo, Hartford, and Milwaukee ended up in the top three spots is that those locations all have a relatively high number of rainy days every year. Places such as Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Portland are also known for their raininess, so the residents of those cities are similarly well prepared with things to do that don’t require going outside. Seattle and Portland are also famous for their restaurant and bar scenes, although both are more expensive than our top three picks.

If you want to keep your date within a budget, there are a few other East Coast and mid-South cities to consider. Restaurant prices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are lower than in our budget-friendly pick of Milwaukee, and if you enjoy getting cozy over a cup of coffee, you’ll find great cafes in Pittsburgh with robust and delicious coffee drinks for $4 each. However, if the bar scene is more your thing, Memphis, Tennessee, has many to choose from that won’t cost much at all — you can get a couple of beers in Memphis for less than $9.

Of course, there’s more to any date than just eating and drinking. If you’re looking for places with a good mix of daytime and nighttime activities, Providence, Rhode Island, is the place to go. The city has an abundance of museums, roller rinks, and comedy clubs, so no matter what you’re interested in, you’ll easily find an enjoyable and memorable way to spend your date.

Closing Thoughts

Even when the world decides to rain down on your date plans, with a little creative thinking and planning, you can turn a dreary day into a beautiful date that will last in your memories. With these top cities in mind and all the great dining, drinking, and entertainment recommendations, you have everything you need to put together the perfect date. And if you want to really make the night unforgettable, a thoughtful gift from Shane Co. always does the trick.

With their wide selection of necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings, you’ll find stunning jewelry pieces your date will cherish forever. When the rain surprises you, surprise your special someone with timeless jewelry — they won’t forget it!


To determine the best cities for rainy day dates, we analyzed local data from 50 of the largest U.S. cities based on 12 factors that would impact how much fun a couple has when making the most of a dreary day.

We assigned cities with a score of 0 to 5 for each factor, where a score of 5 represents the most favorable conditions. Each city’s score was based on the total of the individual factor scores, which were weighted based on how big of an impact they have on rainy day dates. A full list of our ranking factors can be found below.

Ranking FactorWeightSource
No. of Rainy Days per Year4.00Best Places
Avg. Humidity3.00Weather-US
Cost of Cocktails1.50Expatisan
Cost of Dinner1.50Numbeo
Cost of Beer1.50Expatisan
Cost of Coffee1.50Numbeo
Cost of Movie Tickets1.00Expatisan
No. of Roller Rinks1.25Yellow Pages
No. of Comedy Clubs1.25Yellow Pages
No. of Museums1.00Yellow Pages
No. of Movie Theaters1.25Yellow Pages
No. of Bowling Alleys1.25Yellow Pages
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