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The Appalachian Lodge

downtown Gatlinburg in the rain

You’ve finally arrived in Gatlinburg for the trip that you’ve been dreaming of for months. However, it’s raining, it’s pouring and you don’t want your vacation to be boring. With the Smokies receiving an average of 55 inches of rain in the lower elevations and up to 85 inches per year around Clingmans Dome, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself in a rainy day situation at some point. Granted, the amount of rainfall that we receive is what makes the Smoky Mountains so incredibly beautiful but the last thing you want to do is sit around in your hotel room wishing you had something to do as you want for the rain to pass. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate list of things to do in Gatlinburg when it rains. Bonus, you’ll enjoy doing them on a sunny day too!

1. Enjoy a Family Fun Day Without The Sun

The Great Smoky Mountains offer a never-ending list of fun things to do with the family, even on rainy days. Here are 5 of our favorites!

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Girl looking at fish in Ripley's AquariumExperience life under the sea at one of America’s top aquariums in downtown Gatlinburg.


WonderWorks is a great place where children of all ages can learn while they’re having fun!


Need to get the rainy day crazies out? TopJump is the spot!

Pigeon Forge Snow

Escape the rain by playing in the snow! That’s right, Pigeon Forge Snow offers snow fun indoors and is a hit among families.

Fannie Farkle’s

It’s a classic! Play games, fill up on corn dogs, and discover why folks have been returning time and time for the past 40 years!

2. Visit a Museum

The Tennessee side of the Smokies is packed with great museums that have a little extra twist of fun to them. You’ll find interactive museums, odd and unique spots, and experiences that you’ll learn from even if you feel like you’re just having fun. Here are 3 Gatlinburg museums that we recommend checking out!

The Salt and Pepper Museum

It’s the only one in the world, has earned the Certificate of Excellence with TripAdvisor, contains over 20,000 sets of Salt and Pepper Shakers, and there’s only a $3.00 admission cost for adults. Children 12 and under are free and you can put the admission fee towards a purchase from the gift shop.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Take a walk down nostalgia lane as you view famous cars like the General Lee, the 1966 Batmobile, the Beach Boys 1955 Thunderbird, the Beverly Hills Jalopy, a DeLorean from Back to the Future, and many more!

Gatlinburg Pinball Museum

A museum where you can actually play with the exhibits? Absolutely! Admission for adults is $15 and you can book your spot ahead of time. Book with them through TripAdvisor and you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund.

3. Sip Your Way Through Town

The Village in GatlinburgYou’ll find just about as many sips of spirits available throughout downtown Gatlinburg as you will raindrop falling on the highest peaks of the Smokies. If you’re in town on a rainy day, grab the umbrella and head out to find your favorite Tennessee spirits!


Tennessee Homemade Wines & Sugarland Cellars, TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice for 2020, are two of our favorites. We also recommend checking out the Rocky Top Wine Trail for a full wine tasting experience in the Smokies.


Corn in a jar has been trickling out of the tucked away streams of the Smokies for a long time, but now that moonshine is legal, you can sip it from one end of town to the other. Sugarlands Distillery, Ole Smoky, and Tennessee Shine Company will be happy to get you a little rainy day tipsy on shine and whiskey. Stop on in and let the good times begin!


The locally owned and operated Tennessee Cider Company has been a hit with guests in downtown Gatlinburg since their doors first opened during the summer of 2019. Stop in and sip, if you find a favorite, you’ll want to stock up! Their hard ciders are seasonal and they’re always introducing new and improved flavors.

4. Experience a Rainy Day in our Great Smoky Mountains National Park

As you’re packing for your trip to Gatlinburg, toss in some rain gear and umbrellas to ensure that you don’t miss out on some of the most beautiful days in the most visited national park in America. You’ll find less of a crowd, beauty unseen on sunny days, wet weather waterfalls that you wouldn’t see otherwise, and even wildlife out enjoying a spring or summer shower.

Visit Cades Cove

A rainy drive in Cades Cove is often very beautiful with less crowds. There’s a peacefulness about visiting the churches and cabins as the rain patters on the rooftops. And, the wildlife? They love to roam even on the rainy days!

Take a Drive

A drive in the park on a rainy day will reveal numerous wet weather waterfalls along most of the roads. Turn on some good tunes, take your time, and see what you can find!

Go On A Hike

Hiking in the rain is good for the soul! Be prepared with the right clothing, check to see if there are any storms in the forecast or high wind warnings, and if you’re in for just a wet day on the trail, you’ll also be in for being treated to beauty that many miss out on.

We could write a book about all of the great things that you can experience in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains on a rainy day, but we’ll wrap it up here. Just know that rain in the forecast doesn’t mean that your trip is ruined! The Smokies are packed with amazing restaurants, plenty of candy and coffee shops, never-ending opportunities for shopping, local artisans with wonderful galleries, places to go antiquing or thrifting, bookstores, and so much more.

lobby of the appy lodge in gatlinburgStay with us at The Appy Lodge in Gatlinburg and you can also enjoy time in our indoor pool and hot tub, relaxing in your guest room with a fireplace or suite with a living area, sitting on your balcony, or wandering the hallways and discovering the story of the Appalachian Trail. You can ride the Gatlinburg Trolley from right outside of the hotel all-day for $2. We also give all guests a free parking pass for the Bearskin Parking Garage in downtown Gatlinburg. Browse Our Guest Rooms to find the perfect lodging for you!

Rain or shine, we can promise that you’ll have a wonderful time!

We hope to see you soon!

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