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What to Do in Gatlinburg When It Rains: Top 10 Tips

Don’t let a little rain ruin your day in the Smokies; there are still plenty of fun things to do, from fascinating museums to arcades and relaxing at your cabin rental. Here are our top 10 tips for what to do in Gatlinburg when it rains:

1. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in GatlinburgThere’s no better way to spend a day indoors than at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! You’ll see thousands of fish, sharks, turtles, stingrays, and other interesting sea creatures in the upper and lower levels of the aquarium. Watch the piranhas and colorful poison dart frogs in the Tropical Rainforest, say hello to the clownfish and the blue tang fish in the Coral Reef, and touch the back of a stingray in Stingray Bay! One of the tourist favorites is the underwater tunnel through Shark Lagoon, where you can be face-to-face with sharks, swordfish, sawfish, and a giant sea turtle. Also, you have to experience the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure, where you can venture out into Shark Lagoon with only 3 inches of glass separating you from the marine life below!

2. Discover the oddities at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Probably one of the most unique experiences in the Smokies is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Watch the most unbelievable things come to life right in front of you with over 3 stories of out-of-the-ordinary exhibits, collections, memorabilia, and more. Matchstick Hogwarts, an exhibit made from over 600,000 matchsticks is just one of the many incredible things to see. Seeing is really believing at this extraordinary family-friendly attraction!

3. Eat and play at Fannie Farkle’s

Fannie Farkle's in GatlinburgFrom classic arcade games like PacMan and Skee Ball to the latest such as Robot Storm or Sink It, Fannie Farkle’s has something for everyone! The best thing about their game card system instead of traditional coins and tickets is that your points will never expire, meaning that you can come back the next day, month, or year and continue earning or redeeming points. You can also grab a bite to eat at Fannie Farkle’s, including their famous Ogle Dog, cheese steaks, and sausage subs!

4. Solve a game at The Escape Room

A rainy day calls for an epic adventure at an escape room! The Escape Room in Gatlinburg has several games to choose from with differing levels of difficulty. Pull off the ultimate art museum heist or find the hidden inheritance during the gold rush– just a couple of the thrilling options you can choose! Each game is 60 minutes long with multiple rooms per game and unlimited hints. 

5. Tour the Hollywood Star Cars Museum

Hollywood Star Cars Museum in GatlinburgOne of the coolest museums in the Smoky Mountains has to be the Hollywood Star Cars Museum! You’ll find the actual cars used in popular TV shows and movies, such as Batman, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future. They also have an extensive Fast and Furious collection, as well as many cars driven by celebrities including Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Dolly Parton!

6. Experience the Amazing Mirror Maze & Circus Golf

Have twice the fun at these two fun attractions under one roof! At The Amazing Mirror Maze & Circus Golf, you can work your way through the light-bending, illusion-spinning maze of mirrors, and then enjoy the 18-hole blacklight, indoor miniature golf course. Kids of all ages will love this unique attraction!

7. Dare to walk through the Mysterious Mansion

mysterious mansionIf you enjoy haunted houses and eerie tours, then embrace your fear and dare to explore the terrifying Mysterious Mansion! The Caretaker warns you to be aware of the restless souls lurking in the shadows…it’s spine-chilling fun and the best way to add a little excitement (and lots of screaming) to your Smoky Mountain vacation!

8. Shop along the Gatlinburg Strip 

Grab an umbrella and explore some of the unique shops along the downtown Gatlinburg Strip! From food stores such as The Tea & Spice Exchange to Aunt Mahalia’s Candies to souvenir and specialty shops with local, handmade gifts, you’ll enjoy browsing and finding one-of-a-kind items. It’s a great opportunity to get ideas and buy presents for upcoming birthdays and Christmas for friends and family. 

9. Go for a moonshine or wine tasting 

Ole Smoky Holler in GatlinburgSampling unique moonshine flavors or local Tennessee wines is the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon! There are several places to go moonshine tasting in Gatlinburg that offer flavors that you’ve probably never heard of before, but that you absolutely have to try. You just might find a new favorite to purchase! Start a mini wine trail by stopping at Sugarland Cellars and Smoky Mountain Winery and sampling the local, award-winning wines. You’ll definitely want to buy a bottle or two to enjoy as you take in the views from your secluded cabin and then maybe a few more to take home with you!

10. Relax at your cozy cabin

With all of the luxury amenities at a cabin rental in the Smokies, it’s easy to make the most of your stay on a rainy day. You can spend some time at your cabin’s private indoor pool and spend quality time cooking a meal in the fully stocked kitchen. Pop some popcorn and have a movie marathon or challenge your family to a games tournament! Cozy up next to the fireplace with a book or do a little online shopping on your phone at a cabin with wireless internet access. Even spending a quiet moment out on the covered deck or porch overlooking a beautiful view and listening to the sounds of rainfall would be a relaxing experience!

Now that you know what to do in Gatlinburg when it rains, the weather can’t rain on your parade! Check out more fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains rain or shine and start planning your next adventure!