If San Diego is soggier than a sea slug and your vacation plans need a rain check, here's the first thing to do: Walk around humming the Peabo Bryson song "Can You Stop the Rain" and singing to everyone you meet that you thought it "never rains in Southern California." But don't hold me responsible for any random responses to your actions.
If your day is still taking on water after that, you could poke out your lower lip in a sulky pout, but it's unlikely to stop the precipitation.
A better plan would be to find something to do indoors. For the old standbys of rainy day travel, try the San Diego museum guide or browse the list of indoor day trips. You can be sure that you won't be the only people in town opting for something to do indoors and lines can get long at the ticket booths. Ease your way in by buying tickets online before you go.
A rainy day is the only time you won't look silly wearing a pair of galoshes in San Diego. Dress comfy, and if you have some rain gear, you also have more options.
Try these ways to outfox the raindrops.
Good Places to Go on a Rainy Day
- You might think of Las Vegas rather than San Diego when someone mentions gambling, but California has its share of casinos, too — all of them on Native American land. You'll find plenty of casinos within driving distance of San Diego.
- In La Jolla, the Birch Aquarium is a good place to spend some time indoors out of the rain. Their seahorse exhibits are particularly beautiful and fascinating.
- A haunted house may be just the thing to see on a gloomy, brooding day. You won't find one much more full of spirits and spooks than the Whaley House near Old Town.
How 'Bout a Cuppa?
San Diego has several places to enjoy an afternoon tea, an especially nice thing to do on a rainy day. Tea Upon Chatsworth is a well-rated, relaxing and elegant place to enjoy it.
Go Play Inside
If you can't play outdoors, go to a place that brings outdoor activities inside:
- Miramar Speed Circuit takes go-kart racing indoors but doesn't slow them down. Those little karts can go up to 40 miles per hour.
- San Diego may have more of a reputation for being hot than cold, but you can go ice skating any time at Ice Town in La Jolla, San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa.
- Go skydiving indoors at iFLY San Diego.
- Instead of climbing the walls in your hotel out of boredom, try a climbing rock wall at SolidRock Gym or Vertical Hold.
The Old Standbys
More About San Diego on a Rainy Day
In San Diego, it's more likely to rain pygmy shrews and teacup Chihuahuas than cats and dogs. Even though it's raining, you're unlikely to need a thick slicker and knee-high galoshes. In fact, all you may need is a hat or an umbrella, but the local short-range forecast is the best way to keep from letting the occasional Pacific storm take you by surprise.
San Diegans may enjoy rain because it's something different than their usual weather, but if the local driver's license test included how to drive in it, not a single person would ever pass. Watch out for them because they may not watch out for you.
In general terms, the rainy season runs from November through March. For average highs, lows sunshine and rain, check the San Diego weather guide.
More Things You Can Do in San Diego
There's a lot more to do in San Diego whether it's raining or not. You may want to start by finding out why you should skip some places you've heard about. If you're a contrarian traveler who seeks out the undiscovered spots, then don't miss these things you didn't know you wanted to do in San Diego.
If you're traveling with kids, you'll definitely want to check out the best places to take kids in San Diego.
If you want to find out what the most popular San Diego tourist attractions are, you can find them (with their pros and cons) in the top things to do in San Diego.
If your budget is limited (which applies to most of us), you can have a lot of fun without spending a penny. Just use the guide to things to do for free in San Diego.
If it's summertime when you visit, you'll want to know what to do on a summer night in San Diego.