Things to Do on a Rainy Day in San Francisco, California

Things to Do on a Rainy Day in San Francisco, California
Cold and rainy weather is not unusual for San Francisco. However, don't let a little precipitation put a damper on your plans to explore the city. There are still plenty of sights to take advantage of when the weather takes a turn for the worse. World-class and eccentric museums, excellent options for food-tasting, indoor tours, theater and classic cocktails are all options when the rain comes pouring down on the City by the Bay.


San Francisco is home to a number of excellent museums, including several art museums, science museums and eclectic museums covering everything from cartoon art to mechanical instruments and coin-operated arcade games. If you are traveling with children, consider visiting the Exploratorium or Randall Museum. Art lovers should make a trip to the De Young Museum. And those interested in transportation or history should consider visiting the San Francisco Cable Car Museum.

Palace of Fine Arts
3601 Lyon St.
San Francisco, California 94123
(415) 561-0360

Randall Museum
199 Museum Way
San Francisco, California 94114
(415) 554-9600

De Young
Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, California 94118
(415) 750-3600

San Francisco Cable Car Museum
1201 Mason St.
San Francisco, California 94108

Musee Mechanique (The Mechanical Museum of San Francisco)
Pier 45 Shed A
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 346-2000

Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission St.
San Francisco, California 94105
(415) 227-8666‎

Ferry Building Marketplace

The Ferry Building Marketplace is on the San Francisco waterfront along the Embarcadero. The building serves as a terminal for those who commute by ferry and also houses office, restaurants and retail space. Those interested in history should check out the gallery of historic photos on the building's ground floor. Food lovers can make a picnic lunch out of the many culinary items for sale, including fresh cheese from Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop, pastries from Miette, and a latte from Blue Bottle Coffee

Ferry Building Marketplace
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111
(415) 983-8000

Walking Tours

The San Francisco City Guides offer free walking tours throughout the city. If the weather is nice, take advantage of one of the volunteer group's many outdoor walking itineraries. However, even if it's raining, the City Guides' tours include themed walks through many of the city's neighborhoods, including the Marina & Presidio, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and Nob Hill, Chinatown and the Mission District. If the wet weather is a turn-off, take advantage of one of the group's indoor tours inside the Palace Hotel, the Fire Department Museum and Coit Tower.

San Francisco City Guides
(415) 557-4266


San Francisco has a thriving theater scene. If the weather is a little unfriendly for outdoor activities, spend an hour or two inside a warm and cozy theater. Whether you are in the mood for a Broadway show or an independent production, there is likely something going on in the city that meets your interests.

Actor's Theater of San Francisco
533 Sutter St.
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 296-9179

American Conservatory Theatre
415 Geary St.
San Francisco, California 94109
(415) 729-2ACT

Orpheum Theater
1192 Market St.
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 551-2000

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon St.
San Francisco, California 94123
(415) 567-6642


Whether you're in the mood to visit a speakeasy or you want to hang with the glitterati at one of the city's many classy hotel bars, there's no better way to spend the evening (or day, if you have the stamina) enjoying a cocktail at one of the city's many iconic drinking holes

Top of the Mark
Located on the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, this bar features 360-degree views of the city and a renowned 100 Martini menu.
One Nob Hill
San Francisco, California 94108

Harry Denton's Starlight Room
360-degree views are also on offer at Harry Denton's Starlight Room, on the 21st floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
450 Powell St.
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 395-8595

Bourbon & Branch
This classic bar operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition and maintains that same feel today. Knowledge of a password is necessary to enter this bar; you can gain admittance by contacting the bar via their website.

Article Written By Susan Berg

Based in northern Wisconsin, Susan Berg has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. Her work has been published in both print and online media, including the "Dayton Daily News" and BioZine. Berg earned a Master of Arts in journalism from Indiana University.

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