What you should do in San Diego on a Rainy Day

Carey Oakes
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What You Should Do in San Diego on A Rainy Day

Pacific Beach Hostels San Diego

A rainy day in San Diego is something of a novelty.  When looking at the local forecast, my weather app rarely shows anything but the sun icon.  With most resident’s daily routines involving some form of an outdoor activity, be it surfing or skating, San Diegoans hardly known what to do with themselves when rain clouds cover the sky. Hence why we’ve made this list.  Here are the best things to do in sunny San Diego when it’s not all that sunny.

Museums in Balboa Park

Balboa Park Garden

A rainy day is the perfect time for a nice, educational stroll through one of Balboa Park’s many museums. The Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the Museum of Photographic Arts are two of my personal favorites.   Feel free to buy tickets to any of the museums here.  San Diego offers plenty of tourist passes like the Go San Diego Card that grants you access to 10 Balboa Park Museums, the Zoo, and discounts on local retail.

Liberty Station

Located on the grounds of a former Navy training center, Liberty Station houses local eats, boutiques, bars, and arts.  With so much to do, it’s the perfect location for my indecisive friends. With so many vendors, there are plenty of food options to choose from.  Fun fact: Liberty Public Market first opened in 2016 as San Diego’s only market open seven days a week.  Take that Ocean Beach!


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Remember when you were a kid and bowling was actually fun? It still can be!  Tavern+Bowl is your one stop shop for dining and entertainment.  Housing 12 bowling lanes, massive TV screens, and, most importantly, beer and food, Tavern+Bowl had been entertaining San Diego since 2007.  With the exception of Monday and Tuesday, they’re open late night and perfect for going out on the town.

Yoga and Meditation

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Guys, let’s be real. It’s a right of passage in California to practice yoga.  Yoga studios are about as abundant here as Walmarts are throughout the rest of the U.S.  Honey Yoga is a great option for San Diego’s downtown residents in search of a trendy space.  Yoga Box, however, takes the cake here for best San Diego yoga studio.  With locations in Hillcrest, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, and North Park, you’ll get to practice your flow with color-changing lights and surround-sound music.

Visit SoCal’s Mountains

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When rain plagues San Diego, ditch the ocean for one of California’s many mountain ranges.  After all, if it’s raining in San Diego, it’s probably snowing in the mountains.  Come find us in Big Bear at the ITH Mountain Hostel for the ultimate getaway.  You can book a private room here or sleep in a dorm if you want to be more social.

Likewise, a trip to one of California’s nine National Parks is a surefire way to escape San Diego’s doom and gloom.  Joshua Tree is a mere three hour’s drive wink wink.

Rock Climbing

In addition to outdoor climbing, San Diego has some great indoors spaces to climb as well.  Vertical Hold and Mesa Rim Climbing Centers are local favorites with numerous locations in San Diego.  Not only is it fun, but you’ll be surprised to find how sore you’ll feel the next day.

Indoor Bars and Breweries


You know what they say, when the going gets tough, turn to alcohol! San Diego has become a booming spot in the brewing industry over the past decade, and you’d be remiss not to check out the local scene.  You and Yours Distilling in San Diego’s East Village and Ballast Point Brewing in Little Italy are two great spots to hit.  After all, there’s no better day for a bar crawl than a rainy one!

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