When you’re in Charleston, pack an umbrella and rain boots if there’s any chance of rain. (Most locals just leave a set in their car for the days when they goof and forget to check the weather.) But with rain pouring and the streets flooding, it can be hard to come up with something to do. Save yourself from cabin fever with these nine things to do on a rainy day.

SC Aquarium

If you’re going to be surrounded by water anyway, might as well do it with glass to keep you dry. The South Carolina Museum has endless fun exhibits and activities to keep you busy while you wait for the rain to dry up. There are dozens of tanks spread around with breathtaking fish from both freshwater and saltwater. They also have a BricksALIVE exhibit of lego sea creature sculptures scattered throughout the building. If you don’t mind getting a little wet, you can splash around in the touch tank with starfish, horseshoe crabs, sea urchins and even get to feed gentle stingrays.

Gibbes Museum of Art

Just because you can’t walk the streets of Charleston, doesn’t mean you still can’t get a firsthand look at the Holy City’s history. Take a trip to the Gibbes and see American art told through the lens of Charleston history. The museum’s goal is to show the beauty of Charleston culture through an array of gorgeous artwork. To them, Charleston is and will always be its art.

Charleston Museum

Art isn’t the only way to learn about the spirit of the Lowcountry. If you’re more into the historical facts of the city, you can head over to the Charleston Museum. Their mission statement is to search for and educate others about Lowcountry history. The museum has endless collections of ancient artifacts, journals and albums from archives and old family’s attics that all aim to help people learn a little bit more about the Lowcountry’s cultural and natural history.

Historic house tours

There are dozens of historic houses open for tours Downtown and they all offer beautifully designed representations of Charleston life in its classical hayday. One of the most famous homes is the Nathaniel Russell House – one of America’s most famous neoclassical homes complete with a free-flying spiral staircase. There is also the Heyward-Washington House which is the first historic house museum in Charleston and it is where George Washington stayed during his week in the Holy City. Another famous home is the Edmondston Alston House, it is known as the first home built on Charleston’s High Battery and is rumored that Robert E. Lee was a guest during the Civil War. Lastly, the Aiken-Rhett House is another historic home worthy of your visit on a rainy day. It is one of the house’s kept most intact since 1858 with virtually no modifications made.

Dock Street Theatre

There’s no better way to avoid the rain than sitting down for a few hours and enjoying a show. The Dock Street Theatre is a historic landmark because is was the first building in America built exclusively for theatrical performances. It is currently owned by the City of Charleston and is home to many fabulous events like Spoleto Festival USA. The theatre produces more than 100 performance each season to thousands of patrons and local students. Their current selection of productions include The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Beauty and the Beast and Steel Magnolias.

Escape in 60

Yucky days always make you feel like you’re trapped indoors. Take an hour and see if you and a few friends can break out from those four walls with an escape room adventure. They have four escape room scenarios: Davy Jones’ Locker, Ransom, Prison Escape and Ancient Adventure. Guests must work together to solve tricky puzzles and decipher hidden clues to beat the clock.

The Terrace

If you’re going to be inside, you might as well be inside the Terrace, Charleston’s only retro theatre. Lose yourself in a movie, either wide release or one of the Terrace’s regularly featured independent films. Hit the concessions and get yourself a treat before getting into the movie magic. 

The Alley

There’s no better way to kill time than bowling a few gutterballs and drinking some cold brews. This place takes the classic bowling alley up a few notches as a self-proclaimed “one-stop entertainment hub”. The Alley features eight bowling lanes, retro arcade games, multiple television including two 160” projection screens, a full kitchen and craft beer. You can spend hours inside waiting for the rain to stop.

Tour Art Galleries

If there’s two things Charleston never seems to run out of, it’s rainy days and art galleries. Take a walk down lower king and see the endless galleries that litter the street. Looking is always free – and looking at all the gorgeous and unique art and antiques they sell will surely take up a nice chunk of time.

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