Simmer Down: 9 Fun Ways to Beat the San Francisco Heatwave

In case you didn’t notice the droplets of sweat sliding down your forehead, it’s really hot in San Francisco right now. Thanks to this ridiculous heatwave, the weather will be particularly summery this Labor Day weekend.

While some may rejoice in the heat of this Indian Summer, others might be simply trying to survive.

For those of you who are looking for clever ways to cool of this weekend, we have aggregated a list of the 9 funnest ways for you to simmer down amid this San Francisco Indian Summer:

Related: 7 Fun Picnic Spots in San Francisco Perfect for Indian Summer

1. Skate it off at the Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center.

Photo: Eric L, Yelp

Because the Holiday season isn’t the only time to lace up your ice skates. Ice skating offers relief from the blistering sun, and it’s great exercise. Since the Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center is the only ice rink that remains open year-round, this will be your best bet at channeling your inner Michelle Kwan. General admission is $12 and skate rental is $4.

2. Ride the Waves at Surfer’s Beach in Half Moon Bay.

Photo: Steve Jurvetson

Surfer’s Beach is located in a primo location right off Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay, which explains why so many avid beachgoers are devoted to it. If you’re a seasoned surfer, or if you want to just laze around and gawk at surfers, then head here for a totally chill beach day. Once you’re feeling hungry, head to Dad’s Lucheonette for some locally sourced grub.

3. Take it off at Dolores Park.

Dolores on a weekday. Photo: Justin Wong, 49miles.com.

This might be a cliché recommendation, but spending a sunny day at Dolores Park is a consistently good time on hot San Francisco days (it’s super popular for valid reasons). Head to this local favorite to work on your tan, sip on coconut rum, and people watch with the backdrop of the mesmerizing skyline.

4. Be a goon at the Foster City lagoon.

Foster City’s lagoon by Leo J. Ryan Park, also known as the Central Lake. Photo: Srikanth Jandhyala.

If you’re looking to get out of the City to engage in any and all water activities, then the Foster City lagoon won’t fail you. The lagoon, which is swimmable, has plenty of businesses on the premises where you can rent equipment to kite surf, windsurf, paddleboat, and more. The lagoon itself and the surrounding parks and homes create an unexpectedly gorgeous tableau to enjoy a day of water sports. Side note: if the water looks oddly blue, it is because the water is treated with organic blue die to shield the water from UV rays and reduce algae growth.

5. Scream for Ice Cream at Poly Ann Ice Cream.

Photo: Michele G, Yelp

Poly Ann’s ice cream has been a favorite to many locals for years. It’s even been the favorite to many local pups, as it has a puppy-sized cone perfect to treat your little guy to some soft serve. If you’re looking for something out of the vanilla, try the dorian ice cream.

6. Rage at Raging Waters.

Photo: Don DeBold, Flickr, Creative Commons

Make a splash this weekend by hopping to the nearest water park. You can drive an hour southbound from San Francisco for a day of amusement at the Raging Waters waterpark to beat the heat while having a blast. Alternatively, you can head to the newer Waterworld in Concord, which costs only a few more dollars for admission compared to Raging Water but has newer facilities, like Splashwater Island.

7. Quench your thirst with iced milk tea at Purple Kow.

The Richmond's Purple Kow truly is a place for comfort, dessert, coffee, and tea. Photo: @sim.mie, Instagram.
The Richmond’s Purple Kow truly is a place for comfort, dessert, coffee, and tea. Photo: @sim.mie, Instagram.

Temperatures are soaring well above the nineties, so you’re probably going to be thirsty in this sweltering heat. Quench that thirst with a cold, iced milk tea beverage at the best boba joint in town, Purple Cow. Your sweet tooth and body temperature will thank you.

8. Get cool in the pool at the Phoenix Hotel.

Photo: Jenn R, Yelp

If you’ve never randomly found yourself turning up at a “lit af” pool party at the Phoenix Hotel, then we suggest that you hop to it this weekend. You can order cocktails, brunch, and dinner to enjoy at their poolside patio. Nothing screams “summer” quite like chugging rosé while wading in a hotel pool.

9. Take a break at Lake Anza in Berkeley Hills.

Photo: Sharon Hahn Darlin, Flickr, Creative Commons

If you prefer a natural body of water, then we recommend crossing the Bay Bridge to the small but mighty Lake Anza in the Berkeley Hills. You can start your day off by hiking around the surrounding park area before you decided you’re too hot to function and need to jump right into the water. This is one closest lakes in the immediate area, so we recommend that you scope it out at least once since other swimmable natural bodies of water (that aren’t the ocean, which tends to have intimidating waves and currents) require a longer drive.