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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 you may run into a rainy day situation at some point. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate list of things to do in Gatlinburg in the rain. Bonus, you’ll enjoy doing them on a sunny day too!

1. Enjoy a Family Fun Day Without The Sun

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in GatlinburgGatlinburg offers a never-ending list of fun things to do with the family, even on rainy days. One of the best attractions is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which is one of the best aquariums in the country! Here, you can not only see some of the top underwater animals, but you can interact with them as well. Touch a ray or a jellyfish, feed a sea turtle, or even waddle with penguins! If you’re in the mood to play games, head to Fannie Farkle’s. This is one of the top arcades in Gatlinburg for family fun. Plus, you’ll get to try their world-famous Ogle Dogs! These are just some of the many exciting family-friendly attractions you can enjoy when it rains.

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. One museum we recommend visiting is the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum. This museum contains over 20,000 sets of Salt and Pepper Shakers from around the world. Another great museum is Hollywood Star Cars Museum, where you’ll find world famous cars from Hollywood. See the General Lee, the DeLorean, and the cars from the Fast and Furious franchise! These museums are some of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in the rain.

3. Sip Your Way Through Town

Sugarland Cellars Winery signIf you’re in town on a rainy day, grab the umbrella and head out to find your favorite Tennessee spirits! You can sample wine, moonshine, cider, and more! Tennessee Homemade Wines is a great stop for sweet Smoky Mountain wines, and Ole Smoky is a popular choice for moonshine tastings! You can also visit Tennessee Cider Company for unique hard ciders that are unlike anything you’ve tried before. The best part is you can enjoy these tastings for $5 or less!

4. Great Smoky Mountains National ParK

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean that you should 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, and even wildlife out enjoying a spring or summer shower. Stay dry by opting for a scenic drive rather than a hike. Cades Cove is one of the most popular scenic drives, offering an 11-mile loop road with views of the valley, wildlife, historical structures, and more. You can also try Roaring Fork, along which you’ll see A Place of a Thousand Drips — which is especially beautiful when it rains!

Rain in the forecast doesn’t mean that your trip is ruined! We’ve told you about our favorite things to do in Gatlinburg in the rain, but there is plenty more fun to be had as well. Now that you know what to do, however, you need a place to stay! Our hotel is in the perfect location just a short drive from all the area attractions, so you won’t have far to travel in the rain. We also have guest rooms that are great for any occasion, from family vacations to romantic getaways.

Take a look at all our Gatlinburg hotel rooms and start planning your vacation!