One of my favorite things about NaNoWriMo is getting out and writing places where I wouldn't usually, with people who are also focused on finishing NaNoWriMo.
I am a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo in my region, the Denver region. That just means that I help organize the local region's calendar, events, social media, motivational emails, and Come Write In partners. As such, I've gotten pretty familiar with what places are good (or not so good) for writing. Here is a quick list of my favorite chains where we often go to write during NaNoWriMo. You may have indie coffee shops, stores, and cafes in your area that make good places to write, as well.
- Starbucks - I would remiss if I didn't mention everyone's favorite coffee shop. Most Starbucks stores have a pretty decent lobby, although some are a little small. My biggest complaint is that many Starbucks aren't open very late, which makes it difficult for someone with a later schedule, like me.
- Barnes & Noble - Any B&N store with a cafe is excellent for hanging out and writing. I like that they have Starbucks drinks but a little more variety of food, and I especially like writing while surrounded by books. It helps me get into the writing zone sometimes when I'm struggling.
- Panera - Panera is a surprisingly perfect place for getting some writing done. They have decent hours, large dining rooms, and ample seating. Plus, I really like their food and the fireplaces that some Paneras have.
- IHOP - There's something to be said for these diner-type chains (Denny's and Perkins are often the same way). They're open late, and often don't care if you come in, order coffee, and sit and write for a while. Just leave a good tip even if you don't order very much. The food may be cheap but don't forget, that means the wait staff's wages are rock bottom.
- Whole Foods - I'm actually sitting at a Whole Foods right now, while I write this. Because Whole Foods has a food bar where people can get lunch, they often have a nice seating area where you can sit and write, and they usually have free wifi too. Just be warned, the food is not cheap!
- Your local library - Honestly, the library is nearly always a good choice for a place to write. I find they usually have comfy seating options and quiet areas where you can focus. Many libraries also have individual study rooms you can reserve. Libraries are also now typically much less strict about food and drink, so if sipping coffee while you write is your thing, you'll probably be able to (although you should probably check your library's policies before trying it).