A huge draw to Western North Carolina is the array of outdoor activities the mountains have to offer. Most people who vacation here in the North Carolina mountains spend most of their time enjoying the outdoors.
Of course, for any vacation, weather can become a road block. Many people don’t know this, but certain towns in Western North Carolina are considered a rain forest, due to the biodiversity and vast amount of rain we get each year, especially during fall and winter. This means you should be prepared for the potential for rain whenever you plan to visit.
Rain can throw a wrench into your plans. But if you know how to embrace it like a local, you’ll still have fun. Here are some fun things to do in NC on a rainy day.
If you love a good craft beer (like many of us do!), you’ve come to the right place. Western North Carolina is home to a variety of local breweries with some amazing craft beer; You’ll find many residents at one of them on any given Friday night. Satulah Mountain Brewery, Whiteside Brewing, and Sapphire Brewing Company are just a few of the breweries the plateau has to offer.
If you are a craft beer connoisseur, you would love a day trip to Asheville, which has become known as the craft beer capital of the South. As a matter of fact, the only city in the country that rivals Asheville in breweries is Portland, Oregon! There are over 25 breweries in Asheville alone, and all of them have their own unique and fun atmosphere and flavors; so there is no shortage of options to choose from.
If you aren’t a big beer person, don’t worry. There are still plenty of things to do in NC on a rainy day!
Each of our small mountain towns have their own ambiance and set of unique shops and coffee hangouts.
So what is there to do in Highlands on a rainy day? If you’re looking at visiting a coffee shop, Calder’s is a favorite spot on Main Street. You open the door to Calder’s and you feel the cozy atmosphere and smell the espresso right away. You’ll love the original hardwood floors creaking beneath your feet and if you’re lucky, you’ll score the window seats so you can watch the foot traffic (which doesn’t usually slow down in Highlands, even on a rainy day!). If you’re in the mood to shop, many of the staple shops in Highlands are a quick walk away.
Since it tends to rain a lot here, rain doesn’t usually slow down determined shoppers!
Now you might be asking, what about Cashiers? What is there to do in Cashiers on a rainy day? Buck’s Coffee is located in the heart of Cashiers Crossroads, right beside our Landmark Vacation Rentals office! We frequent Buck’s during our workdays and weekends, so we can vouch for them in saying that their coffee is wonderful. Buck’s has an adorable covered porch and plenty of seating inside so you can enjoy the sound of rain on the roof while you sip your latte. Afterwords, you can check out some of the boutiques Cashiers has to offer. This can be a great way to spend the day no matter what the weather looks like. It’s one of our favorite things to do on a rainy day in NC.
This is one of the best things to do on a rainy day in NC, especially with kids! If you want to learn a little more about the diverse rain forest you are vacationing in, this is the place to go. The Highlands Biological Station Nature Center is a resource for biological education on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau. Walking into the Nature Center is like walking into a mini-zoo. You’ll see a variety of animals and reptiles and you can get a glimpse of them up-close and learn more from the Nature Center’s knowledgeable staff. If the rain clears up, you can go on the nature walk outside and learn about the flora and fauna that make up the Western North Carolina mountains. If the rain is still going strong, you can still have fun inside and view some neat critters with your kids.
If a quiet, rainy day is what you seek, The Bascom is the perfect place to start. One of the things to do in NC on a rainy day is to visit The Bascom in Highlands, NC, a local art museum where creatives go to thrive and become inspired. The building itself resembles a beautifully restored barn, and is a state-of-the-art, six-acre “green” campus with a museum, gift shop, and studios.
The best way to find out what exhibits they currently have going on is to check their website of Facebook page, unless you want to be delightfully surprised and just stop in. The museum itself is free to the public, however, if you’re an artist and you’re staying for an extended period of time, you may be interested in checking out the workshops they have for adult artists at work.
These places are all the rage! If you aren’t familiar, escape rooms are where you are locked in a themed room and given clues to figure out how to escape with the help of your team. If you end up figuring out the clues, you win! If you take a drive down the road from Cashiers, NC you’ll end up in Sylva which is home to 828 Escape Room, the closest one to the Highlands-Cashiers plateau. Escape rooms are a fun way to get the whole family involved in a group activity that gets everyone into the spirit of team work, and of course, keeps you dry and out of the rain. You’ll be sure to leave laughing and loving seeing how everyone handles the pressure of the game!
Embrace the rain like a true Western North Carolina local and throw on your rain jacket to go on a waterfall drive! If you go through Highlands and take the Franklin Road, you’ll pas several waterfalls, like Bridal Veil Falls and Dry Falls, to name a few. For most of these, you only have to walk a few steps to see them! if it’s raining hard, you can pull off to the side of the road and look at them from your car, or if the rain has eased off, you can get out and get up-close and personal. Sometimes while it’s raining is the best time to see waterfalls, as it makes the water flow more dramatically than usual, and there are fewer crowds.
At Landmark, we are pretty used to the rain and we’ve learned to embrace it! But we understand if you might be a little bummed that it’s raining while you’re on your long-awaited vacation. Don’t worry; we are used to finding way to keep busy on rainy days and we can help you decide what activities are going to suit you and your family best. But we do recommend that you bring a rain jacket and umbrella so you don’t get wet in case of a down-pour!
Get in touch with us today to plan your North Carolina mountain vacation and we’ll make sure you have fun no matter the weather!