As soon as you hear the name Los Angeles you are bound to picture beautiful sunny days and streets filled with palm trees, or maybe you automatically think about the famous Hollywood Sign or the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which now has more than 2,600 named stars. LA is a city that is known around the world as a dominant filming industry and also the hometown of many celebrities.
The city has some beautiful beaches that, alongside the different tourist attractions and music festivals, bring in lots of visitors every year. Los Angeles is the second largest American city and also the venue for lots of major events, like the Emmy Awards or the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Los Angeles is usually a bright and lively city full of sunshine and warm weather. Although it rarely rains here it can still happen, especially if you are visiting during the rainy season between early November and late April. It can be discouraging to see a wet forecast when you have a day planned for lying on the beach but luckily for you, LA has lots of great things that you can do, even if it is raining. Don't forget to keep your bags safe (and dry) in a Los Angeles luggage storage spot.
Visit the Natural History Museum
Did you know that Los Angeles has close to 100 awesome museums with exhibits about anything from art to fashion or how the world works? The Natural History Museum was the city's very first and still one of its most popular museums, exploring the natural and cultural topics of our world.
Over the years the establishment has gained an amazing collection of natural artifacts, some of which are up to 4.5 billion years old. Displays include incredible things like skeletons of dinosaurs, fossils of ancient mammals, beautiful minerals and gemstones, archaeological items from ancient Latin American peoples as well as realistic dioramas of habitats.
Feel the Thrill of Indoor Karting
Get your adrenaline pumping at one of the best indoor activities in LA. Make an appointment for K1 Speed Indoor Karting where you and your friends can race around a track while enjoying the latest go-karting technologies.
This place has one of the most challenging indoor tracks in the area complete with twists, hairpin turns and straights, so get ready to drift around corners and with your pedal to the metal. Don't worry if you have no previous experience since the friendly staff will give you a crash course on how karting works.
Discover the California Science Center
This is one of LA's top activities for a rainy day. You can stay dry and warm inside while having a blast and learning about all sorts of topics at the California Science center. It is a fun activity for people of all ages and the perfect family outing.
You can participate in all kinds of simulations and enjoy many exhibits that will make rainy days seem not so bad. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be in an earthquake or near a volcanic explosion? Or maybe you want to try climbing a rock wall or see if you can win at a game of virtual volleyball. After you are done enjoying the activities consider stopping by for a movie at the science center's IMAX theater which has an impressive 7-story tall movie screen!
Spend an Afternoon at Madame Tussauds Hollywood
LA is a popular place to spot actors, singers and other celebrities, although you can rarely get close to them. However, visiting Madame Tussauds is the next best thing! They have several locations in the biggest cities around the world, including Los Angeles, and it is where you can go to see life-sized wax figures of different famous people.
The figures are extremely realistic and look almost exactly like the actual celebrities! Make sure that you bring a camera to take some photos of you standing next to Kylie Jenner, Zac Efron, Marilyn Monroe, Beyoncé or James Dean. There are over one hundred figures in LA's Madame Tussauds Hollywood and you can definitely trick your friends into thinking that you met the real person.
Explore the Grammy Museum
If you have an interest in music and are up to date with all of the most recent hits and artists, or if you want to learn more about it, then the Grammy Museum is definitely somewhere that you should check out. There is always something new happening at this Los Angeles museum.
This attraction is home to several permanent and traveling exhibits, and lots of them are interactive as well. You can learn all about the process of making music so you can get an idea of what it takes to make these award winning songs and albums. You can also learn a bit more about specific artists and iconic singers like John Lennon, Bob Marley, Barbara Streisand or Roy Orbison, for example.
Go on a Shopping Spree
Of course, since Los Angeles is home to so many celebrities and famous people you can only expect it to be one of the best shopping destinations in California. There are loads of great stores lining the big streets like Hollywood Boulevard or places like Beverly Hills, but if you want to stay inside you should make your way to one of the city's big shopping malls.
Whether you are shopping for souvenirs, want to reinvent your wardrobe with the latest fashion or are just looking for some retail therapy, rainy days are the perfect time to go shopping. Some of the best areas include Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue. For indoor malls try The Beverly Center or the Del Amo Fashion Center.
Have a Blast at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Los Angeles has a fantastic marine aquarium located by Long Beach that is home to all sorts of aquatic wildlife. The aquarium has loads of viewpoints from indoors so you can see the sea creatures up close while staying warm and out of the rain. The establishment is pretty big with nearly 12,000 animals spread out over 100 exhibits and 19 different habitats.
Some of the common favorites are the cute and playful sea otters and Magellanic penguins who capture the hearts of every visitor. Pet sharks in the shark lagoon or feed lorikeet birds by hand in another exhibit. Another fun activity at the aquarium is the Honda Pacific Visions Theater which plays two films on a 180 degree curved screen accompanied by multisensory effects.
Go on Studio Tours
This city is well known for its filming industry and one of the most interesting things to do, whether rain or shine, is to take a tour of one of the movie studios. You can step foot into the real and still functioning workplaces of Warner Bros. or Universal Studios. Get a sneak peek into what life in the movie business is really like!
On your tour, you will be taken into the wardrobing areas, prop rooms or across sound stages and you can learn a bit about the history and process of how movies are made today. If the rain decides to stop we highly recommend including the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park in your schedule, but most of the rides take place outside.
Browse a Local Market
If you want to do some real local shopping then the markets are where you should go. Many of them are indoors as well, so you can stay out of the rain and buy authentic products from reliable vendors. The Original Farmers Market is a good place to start, it has some great food stalls and if you want to you can take a food tour around the market.
Another must-visit spot is the Grand Central Market. This is a landmark in Los Angeles county and also a great place to buy all sorts of things. Browse stalls selling souvenirs, meats from butchers, fresh produce, gift kiosks and more.
Take a Spa Day
A rainy day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a relaxing day at the spa. It won't be too hard to find one near Downtown Los Angeles since there are spas spread out in different luxury hotels as well as day spas that are decked out with hot tubs, saunas and serenity pools for you to enjoy.
Treat yourself to professional massages, facials, manicures or pedicures while you're at it. You are on vacation after all! Check out the Four Seasons Westlake Village spa where you can admire gorgeous views of the Santa Monica Mountains while relaxing your body, mind and soul.
Test your Indoor Rock Climbing Skills
Just because you're stuck inside doesn't mean that you can't be active. Head to Rockreation Gym where you can test yourself and see if you can tackle their rock climbing wall! This is a great activity that takes place indoors and will keep you out of the rain.
Rockreation Gym has a big 10,000 square feet climbing wall so you can spend a while doing this activity. If you are new to rock climbing, consider signing up for a class, or just do a free climb and move at your own pace.
Visit the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum
Whether you have a knack for fashion or not, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum is a fun place to visit. Come here to learn a bit more about the history of fashion and how it affects society.
You can spend a few hours here, and as a bonus, this is a free museum. Exhibitions change often and sometimes follow cool themes so there is usually something new and exciting happening. Some of the displays are based on popular movies or shows like Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl, Glee or Alice in Wonderland.
Stop by the Griffith Observatory
One of Los Angeles's best indoor activities is a visit to the iconic Griffith Observatory. This activity is fun for kids and adults alike so bring the whole family. You can catch some fantastic views of Downtown LA from this observatory situated high on Mount Hollywood and also see some other cool things.
This place is one of the leaders in astrology education in the whole of Los Angeles County and you can learn a lot from just one visit. Try spending a rainy afternoon here to see all of the astrological displays and telescopes in the observatory.
Go to the Hollywood Museum
Of course, the best place to learn about and experience the fame of Hollywood is in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Museum can teach you all about the history of this city and how it has become the tourist and filmmaking powerhouse that it is today.
The displays in this LA museum cover over 100 years of history about the Los Angeles area as well as specific films and television series. The exhibits have around 10,000 different artifacts that were either owned by movie stars or used in real films. For example, you can see the dresses worn by Marilyn Monroe, the whip used in the Indiana Jones movies or the boxing gloves owned by Rocky. Even Cary Grant's Rolls-Royce is kept in this museum!
Catch a Movie at El Captain Theatre
One of the best go-to activities for a rainy day no matter where you are is to watch a movie in the theater. Los Angeles is an amazing place to do this, thanks to its incredible filmmaking industry, but also because you can go to places like the El Captain Theatre.
Before the screening at this movie palace, you will be treated to live music, prop exhibitions and character appearances that will make the experience unforgettable. This is a great way to spend an afternoon in LA with the kids.
Having Fun No Matter the Weather
There are so many things to do in Los Angeles, and although having cold and rainy weather sucks it does not mean that you can't enjoy your day. Go eat out at one of the fantastic vegetarian restaurants, spend hours in a museum, watch a movie or tour the studios in LA's biggest industry. You can easily fill your trip with fun activities that take place both inside and outside, so you can be prepared for fun no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.