No rain on this parade

Fun things to do when the weather isn’t so great. 

Story By Daisy Dow

On what may seem to be the warmest, most beautiful day of sunny weather, the sky might crack open at any moment and dump sheets of rain, bolts of lightning and who knows what else. Summer in the South can be unpredictable and exciting at the same time. The weather might be beyond your control, but there are activities, restaurants and shops aplenty to keep you entertained and under cover, no matter what the weather. The vibrant culture of the Lowcountry can’t be suppressed, rain or shine. For locals with a rainy-day bucket list or the eager vacationer looking to soak up as much as possible while on holiday, check out these five fun Lowcountry activities that will keep you entertained.

Dreary days as educational segues

For locals and Lowcountry lovers alike, exploring the history of this region is a never-ending journey. If storm clouds approach and threaten your beach day plans, consider it an opportunity to explore the roots of the area and visit its diverse array of museums, natural preserves and library collections. Dive into the past with a tour through the former campus of one of the first schools for formerly enslaved people in the United States. Explore the current state of the ecosystem by getting up close and personal with local wildlife through the Sharon & Dick Stewart Maritime Center. Don’t let gray skies get in the way of how you connect with nature, history or even those around you. Learn about the land upon which we stand and how best to appreciate its past, present and future.

Learn something new: Coastal Discovery Museum, Sharon & Dick Stewart Maritime Center, Heyward House, Beaufort County libraries, Parris Island Museum, The Gullah Museum, Penn Center, Daufuskie Island History Museum, Heritage Library (genealogy)

Play nice and roll the dice

When it gets a little rainy, why not turn a glum situation into an occasion to have a little fun? While board games can suppress the blues for a little while, getting out of the house might ward off rainy-day boredom before it even has the chance to strike. Be it bowling, indoor go-karting or indoor mini golf, there are plenty of ways to fuel your competitive spirit while spending quality time with family or friends. Perhaps you need some space after being cooped up in the house, so an escape room or virtual-reality session might transport you to where you need to be. For kids and young ones who are disappointed by an upended beach day, there are children’s museums and indoor playgrounds all around to keep little hands busy and out of the mud. With so many museums and entertainment spaces across the Lowcountry, there is something for everyone even when the weather turns.

Play games: The Sandbox Children’s Museum, Station 300, K1 Speed Bluffton, Adventure Cove Arcade, Island Playground, The Zone, Hilton Head Escape Room, Atomic Virtual Reality Arcade

Shop ‘til the rain stops

While some may flock to the area for its beautiful beaches or world-renowned golf courses, the shopping down here is second to none. Come rain or shine, many stores around the Lowcountry have their doors open and are ready to accommodate you on even the rainiest of afternoons. For the seasoned shopper, the outlets can be the perfect place to spot a deal and usually feature convenient seating in case someone in your party might want to press “pause” on their shopping safari. Be sure to explore the town centers in Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort for more local flair in your spending affair. Locally crafted snacks, souvenirs and seasonal centerpieces are just a few of the treasures that might brighten a rainy day.

Go on a shopping spree: Tanger Outlet, Coligny Plaza, Shelter Cove Towne Centre, Village at Wexford, Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, Harbour Town, Shops at Sea Pines Center, Old Town Bluffton, local shops

Spirits in the sky

They say “when it rains it pours,” so go ahead and pour yourself a drink when the weather takes a turn for the worse. There are breweries and distilleries dotted all over the area where you might stop in and try a locally crafted concoction. Many distilleries offer tours of their facilities, so you can get an insider’s look into the process and see the work that goes into each sip of their specialty libations. Whatever speaks to your happy-hour spirit be it whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, moonshine or beer, there are many places to stop in and get a fill even when it is raining from the heavens. Head to the tasting rooms with family and friends to explore the many flavors of local drink-crafting expertise. With so many options around, soak up some Lowcountry flavor to distill a rainy day into a happy social hour.

Have a drink (or two): Hilton Head Distillery, Lincoln & South, Burnt Church Distillery, Southern Barrel Brewing, lot 9 brewing co., Side Hustle Beer Co., River Dog Brewing Co., Shell Ring Ale Works

Sit back and enjoy the show

Should the sky unleash cats and dogs, sending buckets of rain plummeting down on the Lowcountry, it might be best to take cover and wait it out. A classic way to stay busy on a rainy day involves checking out the newest showing at the movie theater. Throw in some popcorn and movie-theater snacks, and you are guaranteed to keep your whole family entertained at least through the opening credits. For the more musically inclined, it’s easy to stumble into a coffee shop, restaurant or bar and find yourself in the midst of a live performance. For a more choreographed run-in with the arts, Rock of Ages will be shaking up audiences all summer long at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Another way to satisfy your inner artist might be in wandering through local art galleries and glimpsing at landscape paintings that depict what the area would look like were it not raining.

Watch and listen: Go to the movies, The Jazz Corner, The Roasting Room, The Rooftop Bar’s live music events, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, local art galleries

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