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Experiencing rain when you’re at the beach isn’t an ideal way to spend a vacation. Most of us plan a beach trip for sunshine, but unfortunately, we can’t control the weather.
At some destinations, like the tropical beaches of Hawaii, rain might occur daily for a few minutes then the sun returns. At other beach destinations, like the Pacific Northwest, a rainy day likely means it will be overcast all day.
You can still enjoy a day at the beach if it’s raining. It just takes some creativity.
I’ve swum in the ocean, read in my hotel room, and I’ve taken tours in a bus on rainy days. Depending on where you are and your accommodation (hotel, beach house, friend’s house), this list has a few options that work for you.
Some of the following rainy day beach activities require a hotel or beach house. Other activities require a car or a local restaurant. Let me know in the comments if you have other beach ideas for a rainy day.
16 Things To Do At The Beach When It’s Raining
#1 Head To A Restaurant
One of the easiest options, if you’re at the beach, is to grab some food while you wait for the rain to pass. Hopefully, the rain came at lunchtime right?
If you’re like me, you may have brought your own food but don’t be afraid to change plans. You can always eat the food you brought later.
Most beaches have a few restaurants to choose from that overlook the ocean. It’s a great place to enjoy the view from under the protection of a roof.
Be prepared to wait to get a table as many beachgoers head to a bar or restaurant while it’s raining.
#2 Write Postcards To Friends And Family
Your friends and family will enjoy getting a postcard from a beach vacation. Most people say they will write a letter or postcard but they never do. Instead, they send a message or photo through text.
There’s nothing like a handwritten letter than your friends and family can put on their refrigerator. It lets them know you care and it takes a little more effort than a text.
The rain is the perfect time to sit down and write a few postcards!
#3 Hit The Bar
This option is best if you’re on spring break or at a busy tourist beach. At popular beach destinations, you can count on there being plenty of bars lining the beach. Hotels and resorts will have cabanas around a pool where you can hang out while it rains.
If the weather forecast calls for a chance of rain, make sure your spot at the beach is within striking distance of a bar. It makes the trek easier, especially if it’s in the rain.
#4 Wait It Out Under An Umbrella
If you planned accordingly, you’ll have your beach umbrella with you on the beach. Your umbrella usually protects you from the sun but it can also help out with a brief rain. Hopefully, you have a large umbrella that the entire crew can fit under.
Be careful if the rain is accompanied by wind – it might blow your umbrella away. Always use a beach umbrella anchor to make sure it’s securely in the sand.
#5 Sit In The Hotel Pool Hot Tub
If you’re at a resort or hotel the hot tub is a great place to wait out the rain. The water is warm and the rain will be refreshing as it hits your head. You’ll want to be careful if there is lightening, as swimming during a thunder and lightning storm is a big no-no.
#6 Hang Out In The Car
If you’re at a remote beach you can always hang out in your car. This works great if it’s a brief rain, but you may become restless if the rain lasts a while.
If you brought snacks you can eat while waiting in the car. You can also listen to music and charge your phone while you wait.
#7 Enjoy The View From Your Hotel Balcony
Beachgoers on vacation can always return to their hotel or beach house and relax while the rain passes.
A balcony with an ocean view is a great place to enjoy the rain. Watching a storm over the ocean can be a relaxing and peaceful experience.
#8 Order Room Service
Staying in a swanky hotel? Order lunch and champagne from the room service menu. You can even order chocolate covered strawberries if you’re enjoying the rain.
There may be restaurants that will deliver to your room as well. Look up the best-reviewed restaurants in your area and find something appetizing.
#9 Watch Beach Movies (Jaws, The Beach, Point Break)
Watching a beach movie while on a beach vacation is fun. It’s important to keep the theme, right?
A few of my favorites are Jaws, but kids shouldn’t watch this if they are enjoying swimming in the ocean.
The Beach (starring Leo DiCaprio) is a fun beach adventure movie that was filmed in Thailand.
Point Break is a legendary thriller that combines big surf in California with robbing banks – can the storyline get any better?
#10 Get A Massage
Tourist destinations will have shops and resorts dedicated to massage. I prefer the massage options at a nice resort even though they are a little more expensive – but you’re on vacation so treat yourself.
#11 Use The Fireplace
Beach houses will usually have a fireplace. If so, utilize it and cozy up to the fireplace while it rains.
A day inside can be fun too. Wrap yourself in a blanket and play a board game or read a book next to the fire.
#12 Play A Board Game
Board games are fun for large groups of people and they are perfect for a beach activity when it’s raining. You can play a beach game in a hotel room or a beach house.
Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Risk, Dominos, Chess are all fun options. Don’t forget that a game of Monopoly could last a few days!
#13 Make Decorations With Shells and Sand
If you enjoy walking the beach looking for seashells then this might be a fun DIY project. Use all those shells and a little sand to make a house decoration. You can use a clear jar, or glue the shells to a piece of driftwood.
You can create a lasting memory based on your beach trip.
#14 Read A Book Under A Blanket
If you desire something simple and relaxing to take a break from the sand and the waves, consider reading a book by your favorite author. Adventure, Sci-Fi, Mystery?
We always enjoy books more when we relaxing on vacation. You could also read a book in a fancy bathtub if your hotel or beach house has one.
#15 Bake A Cake For the Family
Do you enjoy baking? A short (or long) rain is the perfect time to get those chocolate chip cookies finished. Or a German chocolate cake (can you tell I like chocolate).
If someone in the family is having a birthday you can get the cake started while it rains and not lose your time under the sun.
#16 Take A Local Tour In A Car or Bus
Tourist destinations always offer packages for sightseeing. These tours are usually done in a car, van, or bus and with a guide. They share the history of the area, monuments, and the best locations for ocean views.
If there’s rain it might not provide the best views, but if the tour is mainly about the history of the area then it’s a good time to learn.
We often plan months in advance for a trip to the beach and it can be discouraging if rain appears on the forecast. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
If you’re at the beach for 1 day then you’re out-of-luck but if you’re there for a weekend or week, then a little rain shouldn’t ruin your trip.
If possible plan for the rainy day by doing something indoors. Go to a movie, visit a well-known restaurant, or treat yourself to a massage.
Rain shouldn’t be a problem if you’re getting a tour of the area in a vehicle.
As long as you’re creative, there are plenty of options for finding something to do at the beach when it’s raining.
Thanks for reading. Search our articles for more tips and advice on your next beach trip.