The Best Things To Do In Los Angeles When It's Raining, According To Online Reviews

Southern California is known for its gorgeous weather, and this is why visitors flock to cities like Los Angeles. Not only are there soft-sanded beaches with clear blue waters, but there are also sunny clear skies with hot sunshine beaming down. Most of the time, it's a paradise that allows people to escape from the gloomier weather in their hometowns.

Unfortunately, LA doesn't always have glorious conditions. While the probability of wet days is only a maximum of seven days a month between December and February, you may get unlucky and run into a little precipitation while on vacation. But instead of letting it get you down, you should make the most of your time in the city and look past the hours you could've spent lounging on the beach.

The next time you feel a few drops on your head, don't let your heart sink. Get a second wind and check out some things to do in Los Angeles when it's raining. Here are the best suggestions from online users from sites like Google, Tripadvisor, and others.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea

Even though it doesn't get too chilly in LA, being soaked to the bone is no fun. So when you see the gray clouds coming in, head into a nearby coffee or tea shop. Luckily for you, there are scores of excellent ones in the city, so you won't have to worry about staying dry.

Of course, you can go to any big-name brand for convenience. However, there is a whole world of artisan coffee in LA; take full advantage of this. When you step foot into these establishments, you'll enjoy carefully selected coffee beans that are ground up and artfully brewed into the freshest cups of java you've ever had. You'll have a grand time sitting and nursing your hot java while watching people scurry by outside. There are plenty of unique cafes around the city, as recommended by Discover Los Angeles.

If you're after something sweet and chewy, try a boba tea shop. You can get your drinks hot or cold, and in addition to boba balls, you can add toppings like popping boba or jelly. Or you can get your tea plain to savor its flavor.

Seek shelter in a museum

Something interesting to do while it's pouring outside is to visit a museum. These places have amazing pieces of artwork with lots of thought and history behind them, meaning it'll be easy to lose yourself in the exhibits. Whether it's a modern sculpture or a classic painting, you can admire the wondrous works while seeking shelter.

You don't necessarily have to spend money, either. For example, The Broad is a popular free thing to do in LA; you don't have to pay a cent to view the outstanding "Infinity Mirrored Room" and "Longing for Eternity" exhibits. There's also the Getty, where the buildings and outside gardens are just as beautiful as the artwork you'll see.

To save some time, research the broad range of LA museums before you travel. Consider your interests and which areas you're visiting to create a shortlist of museums you can rely on if the skies start crying. That way, you won't have to waste time waffling about your options while you stand outside and your clothes soak through.

Go to an art gallery

Museums can be a bit overwhelming, so a great alternative is to go to an art gallery or two. Or if you've devoured all the LA museums at a rapid pace, then going to these spaces can be a fantastic additional activity. Either way, you'll definitely get your fill of fantastic art.

An excellent place to start is Hauser & Wirth. They actually have a splattering of locations worldwide, so if the name seems familiar, that may be why. Although most of their galleries are in New York, Hauser & Wirth have an expansive reach across the country, with their only West Coast galleries in Downtown LA and West Hollywood. Not only is the charming location in Downtown LA a former flour mill, but it also has a chicken coop and vegetable garden. Other fascinating art galleries include Art + Practice, Commonwealth and Council, The Mistake Room, and UTA Artist Space.

The beauty of all these art galleries is you can explore the exhibitions without paying admission. Those who are on a tight budget and want somewhere dry to stay in during torrential rain will appreciate the shelter that LA art galleries have to offer.

Eat a meal in an indoor food hall

Your stomach's bound to start grumbling at some point, and while it is tempting, it's not practical to keep eating at fancy restaurants. The amount you should expect to spend on food while traveling in Los Angeles depends on what you're into, but it can add up fast. To give your wallet respite, and to refuel while there's rain outside, why not visit one of LA's numerous indoor food halls? The city is a vast melting pot, and it's the perfect opportunity to expand your palate.

If there's any food hall you must go to, it's Grand Central Market. It's been inducted into the LA Times 101 Restaurants Hall of Fame and has been around since October 1917. There are 40 stalls to browse, and if you're in town on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, there's also the Grand Central Market Bazaar to experience.

If you're into Latin-American food, then head to Mercado La Paloma. It's actually a project of the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, which makes it an outstanding community center. In addition to tasting delicious food, you can shop the many artisan stalls here, too.

Go shopping

Speaking of shopping, you'll want for nothing in LA. With the conveyor belt of stores lining the city's streets, finding something that catches your eye won't be too difficult, and you'll have plenty to do while waiting out the rain. Who knows, you might even discover a new outfit to wear once the clouds part and the sun starts shining again!

Rodeo Drive is always worth checking out, even if you can't afford much of the stuff on offer. This street stretches across three blocks and has over 100 luxury brands to explore and admire. You might also run into a celebrity or two; if you want a higher chance to rub elbows with stars, then try other places in LA where the shining stars tend to hang out. Another excellent place to shop is The Grove. It's also an open shopping area, so you'll have to plan your runs between stores smartly if rain is coming down.

For a completely indoor shopping experience, go to Westfield Century City. This mall has 184 stores, which will keep you busy when it's raining. Plus, there's a movie theater, so you can easily spend a few hours warm and dry while catching the latest film.

Tour a cultural center

Los Angeles has only been an official American city since 1848, but don't let its relative youth fool you. The city has a rich history, so soak it all in when you have the chance. From Hollywood to Koreatown, there's much to learn about what makes LA unique. What's great is you can already absorb the city's essence while walking around, but there are also cultural centers where you can delve deeper if it's raining outside.

For example, there's the Grammy Museum. As the name suggests, you can gain a newfound appreciation for the Grammy winners of the past and present. This interactive museum shows you the journeys of hit musicians such as Shakira and Taylor Swift. As one Google reviewer says, "They pack so much history and memorabilia into one small place. I really enjoyed the Shakira exhibit and the tribute to songwriters."

The Grammy Museum gives you just one perspective of the lengthy history of the City of Angels. Other places to explore include The Hollywood Museum and the Petersen Automotive Museum. To further fill up your time, take a look at the extensive list that the city has on its website.

Watch a movie

Did you know that Los Angeles is home to over 100 movie theaters? If there's an awesome feature coming out while you're on vacation, you'll be able to easily fit in a trip to a theater. Plus, you can gorge on sweets and sodas as you get refuge from the rain.

We know that movie theaters can be a dime a dozen, though, and you may not want to spend precious vacation time in a space you can find at home. In that case, you'll want to prioritize the more special ones in LA. For instance, the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre has been a community staple since 1927. The El Capitan Theatre is nearby, ideal for Disney movie lovers, as the theater is owned by The Walt Disney Company. Another establishment worth visiting is the New Beverly Cinema, owned by iconic moviemaker Quentin Tarantino. The theater only shows 35mm and 16mm films, and they're curated by Tarantino himself; in fact, many come from his private collection.

Browse the aisles of a bookstore

Books are magical objects; their pages can transport us to other worlds and times, showing us things we'd never dreamed of. And because there are so many genres available, there's definitely something for everyone. This makes bookstores the ideal place to go when the weather takes a turn for the worse, as you can listen to the pitter-patter of rain while devouring a good book.

Forget about the big chain bookstores, though. Instead, opt for indie establishments, which LA is full of. Not only will you support local businesses, but you'll also have a higher chance of finding something unique. A great example is The Last Bookstore, where you'll uncover both new and used books. It's located in an old bank building and makes use of all 22,000 square feet, with books, records, comics, art, and yarn on offer. As one Tripadvisor user remarked, "I've been to bookstores around the world and this one is a highlight!"

The hours will go by quickly when you go to The Last Bookstore, especially since they have a few cool things like a book tunnel and a mammoth head. But there are several other indie bookstores that are worth your time, such as Skylight Books, Book Soup, The Iliad Bookshop, and The Salt Eaters Bookshop. Make sure to give all of them a visit if you're after some gems to take home.

Hide out in a library

Bibliophiles may find bookstores too tempting, and they may fear spending too much cash in one go. Or maybe you don't feel comfortable going to one without spending some money but need to be prudent with your finances. Well, there's a cost-effective solution: LA's public libraries. These are more than just places to stay dry while reading books without buying them. In addition, they're splendid works of architecture that are attractions in their own right.

To see what we're talking about, take a trip to the LA Central Library. Its glamorous Art Deco design will dazzle you, and not only on the outside, either. The interior is equally splendid, with the highlight being the Zodiac Chandelier in the rotunda. Grab a book, sit down, and get lost in its pages while soaking in the beautiful decor.

If you happen to be around UCLA, you'll want to duck into the Powell Library on campus. It's designed to look like a pristine church, and you can get a free access-only card if you['re over 18. Do note that you won't be allowed to borrow anything, so do your reading while on the premises.

Take on an escape room

If you enjoy puzzles with a sprinkle of competition, then you're sure to love escape rooms. Considering that the majority of them are indoors, this activity is a foolproof way to have fun while avoiding the rain. There are over 300 in and around LA, and they're of various difficulties, so even if you're new to this, it won't be hard to find one that's not too challenging.

One of the best escape rooms in Los Angeles is Lab Rat. LA Mag rated it the #1 escape room in the city, meaning you can't go wrong with this one. Lab Rat takes the scientist-lab rat relationship and flips it around so that players are humans trying to escape a lab run by giant rats. One Google reviewer says, "Lab Rats is one of the best escape room experiences I've ever had. There were some really innovative puzzles."

If you want to get your heart racing, opt for a scary/spooky or intense escape room. For example, there's Captive Chamber, where you're a prisoner of Dr. X. You must fight against time to flee from the cell before the demented doctor returns!

Pamper yourself at a spa

Even though you've got time off of work and regular everyday life, a vacation can still be stressful and anxiety-inducing. This can be especially true if you're trying to cram tons of activities into your limited time away. When this backfires, it'll be the complete opposite of fun, so to prevent that from happening, you need to pamper yourself. The best way to do this is at a Los Angeles spa, and you won't be disappointed as the city is known for high-end living. To really treat yourself, go for a session at The Ritz-Carlton Spa. In addition to luxurious massages, you can have your hair and nails done. You'll look and feel like a Hollywood star once they're done.

For a different cultural experience, consider going to a Korean spa. Not only do they have more extended business hours in Koreatown, but they also have co-ed spaces called jjimjilbangs. If you don't want to be alone and have loved ones tagging along, then a Korean spa is a fantastic option. Wi Spa comes highly recommended. One Google reviewer says, "The new outdoor deck is beautiful and relaxing, with a view of the sky and the LA buildings. A nice mix of nature and the hustle."

Play games at a barcade

It's not fun to be caught out in the rain after dark. The temperatures are lower, and there's no sun to help you dry off quicker, so don't stand outside for longer than necessary. Find a safe haven in an LA barcade, where the tastiness of alcoholic beverages is combined with the excitement of video games.

An old reliable is Dave & Busters, which has many locations in Los Angeles. There's reasonably priced food, drinks, and games, and the selection is pretty solid . You can also count on some bank account-friendly deals, such as $5 late-night bites.

Want experiences that are more unique? Then look beyond D&B to places like Barcade. These establishments usually have special beers on tap, and you may find some nostalgic games inside. For instance, there's pinball, Frogger, Galaga, Mortal Kombat, Pac-Man, and more. Giving these games a go while winding down the day with a refreshing drink isn't all that bad when you're safe from the chilling rain.

Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific

No matter how old you are, an afternoon at an aquarium will always be fun and exciting. You'll get to observe fascinating sea creatures and learn more about them, as well as their habitats. Time in an aquarium provides visitors with new insight into the balance between humanity and wildlife, and it'll help you appreciate conservation efforts.

So when it rains in LA, buy a ticket to the Aquarium of the Pacific. It has sea otters, sharks, sea jellies, frogs, and more to see. When purchasing tickets, you have the option of combining yours with other activities for savings, such as a gray whale watch, harbor tour, or Los Angeles Zoo admission. If you were planning on doing these things anyway, then make sure you take advantage of the savings.

You won't have trouble waiting out the precipitation at this aquarium. There are over 100 exhibits, including 19 major habitats. Some key areas you may be interested in include Shark Lagoon, Sea Otter Habitat, and the Molina Animal Care Center. One Google reviewer commented, "A big variety of fish, they even have sea lions. I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area."

Take a cooking class

There are many outstanding culinary schools in Los Angeles, and what's excellent is many offer classes for people of all cooking skill levels. Whether you've never cooked a dish before or are well-versed in the kitchen, you'll be able to find a class that'll teach you new things without it being too difficult. Another benefit of this rainy day activity is that you can do it solo and make new friends, or you can go with your friends or family members.

If you're around the Santa Monica Place Shopping Center when it starts pouring, you'll want to pick the Gourmandise School of Sweet and Savories. There are classes practically every day and multiple sessions a day as well. These hands-on classes will teach you how to up your cooking skills and impress anyone at your dining room table. Other schools to consider include HipCooks, Blvd Kitchen, EATZ, Eataly, and Spork Foods. If you enjoy the lessons so much you want to continue them, then you'll be pleased to know that the majority of them have online classes you can take when you return home.

Our methodology for picking these activities

We've pored over the internet and read sites like Google, Tripadvisor, and other popular blogs to ensure you won't be bored when it rains in Los Angeles. We also have personal experience in LA, and lived in the city for three years and have frequently visited since moving away.