Things to do in San Francisco when it rains

It doesn’t rain often in San Francisco with only an average of 68 days per year. Whether you are visiting the city and don’t want to miss out because of the weather or you are a local looking to get out of the house, here is our list of Things to do in San Francisco when it rains. We have also included a handy map of all the places mentioned.

Visit one of the many Museums

San Francisco has so many museums dotted around the entire city that you don’t need to travel to far to find a good one.  Here are our Top 10 to visit

  1. California Academy of Sciences
  2. de Young Museum
  3. SF Museum of Modern Art
  4. Asian Art Museum
  5. Exploratorium
  6. Musee Mechanique
  7. Legion of Honor
  8. Madame Tussauds
  9. Aquarium of The Bay
  10. Walt Disney Family Museum

Shop till you drop

1. Westfield Mall

San Francisco is one of the best cities in the US to go shopping in. When the heavens have opened and you want to stay dry and spend away the rainy day blues head to the downtown area and shop till you drop. The Westfield Mall on Market street is an obvious choice since all of the shops are inside and you can stroll around from shop to shop under cover. Major retailers you will find here include Adidas, Bloomingdales, Banana Republic, Coach, H&M, Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Superdry and dozens more. Check out their full store listing.

2. Union Square

Union Square is the premier shopping district in San Francisco. Although going from shop to shop does mean going outside, the stores are in such close proximity you wont get too wet. Stores you will find in Union Square include Macys, Apple, Nike, Saks, Tiffany, Neimann Marcus to name but a few. There are also lots of stores along Geary Street and Post street to the east of Union Square.

3. Stonestown Galleria

Located in the South part of San Francisco near the Sunset District is another indoor shopping mall called Stonestown Galleria. This mall is more out of the way but if you have a car it is perfect as parking is plentiful unlike the downtown shopping areas. Stores you will find at Stonestown Galleria include Apple, Macys, Michael Kors, Banana Republic, Target, H&M, Foot Locker and more. Check out their full store listing.

4. Union Street Shopping

If major retail chains are not your thing and you prefer more unique brands, Union Street is the place for you. Union Street is lined with boutique shops selling everything from home goods to clothing and shoes. You will find well known brands such as BCBG, American Apparel, Lulu Lemon among more local brands such as Ambiance and Fog City Leather. Also dotted along Union Street you will find lots of great cafes and restaurants should you need to duck out of the rain….or just have a nice liquid lunch.

Take an Open Top tour around San Francisco

Ok, hear me out. I know an open top tour might not be the first thing that pops into your head when you think of rainy day activities…but. If you are visiting the city there is no better way to see it all than on an open top bus. You will be given a waterproof poncho to wear (they are all the rage this season) and you will have a story to tell. What sounds more adventurous? “It was raining so we walked around the mall” or “It was raining so we got on top of a Double Decker bus and and drove around in the rain”.

There are hop on hop off spots all over the city so you can get on the bus when its not raining and get off and into a museum or go shopping when it starts to rain. If you have a limited time to see San Francisco or just have a sense of adventure wrap yourself in a plastic poncho and jump aboard. 

Get your tickets here