Things to Do on a Rainy Day in San Diego

San Diego is full of things to do, even if it rains.
San Diego is full of things to do, even if it rains. (Image: san diego skyline image by Janet Wall from

San Diego’s two main attractions are its sunny weather and the beach because of its mild climate. People from all over the world travel to the city to relax and enjoy its wonderful weather. When it does rain in San Diego, it pours, but if you get caught up in a downpour don't fret, it is not the end of your fun. There are hundreds of places to go to entertain yourself while sheltered from the elements in San Diego.

Horton Plaza

When it rains, it is a great time to do some shopping at Horton Plaza. Horton Plaza is in the Gas Lamp district of downtown San Diego. Horton captures the architecture of shopping in the early 20th century. It is a confluence of tantalizing stores, unique dining experiences and plush hotels. At this phenomenal place, you will find 130 stores spread over seven stories, which amounts to 6.5 blocks of shopping. This plaza is just minutes from the waterfront.

Westfield Horton Plaza shopping center 324 Horton Plaza San Diego CA 92101 619-239-8180

San Diego Maritime Museum

On a rainy day in San Diego, soak up some rich maritime history at the Maritime Museum of San Diego near downtown, on the waterfront. At this fabulous museum, you can explore 10 ships from different parts of our maritime past. There are sailing vessels from the age of sail with star of the show being the Star of India, which was built in 1863 and is the oldest active ship afloat. The Californian is a replica of a mid-19th century revenue cutter, and the HMS Surprise is a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy Frigate. These ships are used in educational programs to teach children about the age of sail. The HMS Surprise's claim to fame was when it was used as the main ship in the movie "Master and Commander." There are also two nuclear submarines on display from the cold war, The USS Dolphin and the B-39 Soviet submarine. One can easily spend a day of exploration browsing the many exhibits on board the ships or taking classes.

San Diego Maritime Museum 1492 North Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-9153

Old Town San Diego

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is considered to be the birthplace of California. It is at the mouth of Mission Valley, less then 10 miles north from downtown. The park preserves the history of San Diego from 1769 to 1872. At the historic park, you can visit antique shops, museums, historic buildings and dine at several authentic Spanish and Mexican restaurants. It is the most visited state park in the system and it charges no entrance fee. This is the site where the first European Colony settled in 1769. It is the location where the first Mission was built by the Spanish and Fr. Junipero Serra. Here you can learn about the natives, The Kumeyaay tribe and the first Spanish settlers that lived in this town. You can visit an old one-room school house and restored Victorian homes, explore an actual stable and blacksmith shop, view a rare stagecoach and the Wells Fargo Museum and many more intriguing attractions. Old Town San Diego is outside, but the majority of the museums are inside. You would get just a tiny bit wet running to each building.

Old Town San Diego 2383 San Diego Ave San Diego CA 92110

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is all about inspiring lifelong learning of science and technology in the young and the old. It is in Balboa Park, within 10 minutes of downtown. There you can learn about the mysteries of electricity, explore how large skyscrapers are built or delve deeply into the far reaches of the universe. This science center touches on every aspect of science and technology, with the mission of opening up minds of all ages to new ideas and technologies. There are rich exhibits that encourage you to learn by touching and feeling as well as using your visual senses. There are shows to be seen as well as demonstrations. This center is open daily and is entirely indoors.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park San Diego, CA 92101 619-238-1233

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