Rainy days don't have to mean city vacations are a wash. Travelers can learn to love the wetter weather with these tips and tricks for embracing showers and storms.
Bad weather in the city is a perfect time for a little contemplation. Museums and art galleries provide a great escape. Adult travelers could plan a full day of art tours, starting with major art museums and working their way to smaller galleries and exhibitions around the city.
London, New York and any of the world's other major cities probably have more art spaces than can feasibly be seen in a day. If that's the case, travelers can further curate their experience by organizing their art day in terms of artistic style, chronology or size of museum. Plenty of smaller towns - especially beach towns - have sizable amateur art communities housed in small rented spaces.
Art galleries can be tiring for children, but not to fear - family travel can also be tailored around a little learning. Instead of galleries, parents should opt for science and history museums, many of which have interactive exhibits for children. Planetariums make for a great show, while aquariums are a truly watery embrace.
Parents should also look for quirkier exhibits unique to the city they are in. Depending on where their vacation is, travelers could learn about anything from airplanes at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to the history of sausage at the Currywurst Museum in Berlin. One art museum children may even be interested in is the Museum of Bad Art in Boston, dedicated to the worst artistic endeavors in every field.
Travelers can turn that rainy day frown upside down by looking at the rain beyond their hotel room. Some of the best places to witness a rainstorm are also the highest. The observation deck from a skyscraper or church tower provides a breathtaking sight of a seemingly tiny city awash in showers. Paris from the Eiffel Tower, Seattle from the Space Needle and the Big Apple from the Empire State Building all offer curiously peaceful panoramas, as the cities come to resemble rainy day snow globes from such great heights.
Churches and monasteries make watching the rain a form of meditation. Whether gazing out of large cathedral doors, watching rivulets on the stained glass or listening to the patter of rain drops on the roof, religious sites will put you in a rainy day state of mind.