When you’re planning a winter trip the last thing you want to experience is inclement weather. Not only does packing for the rain, wind or chill increase suitcase weight, it can potentially delay or even cancel plans you were looking forward to.
Are rainy days all that terrible? With springtime fast approaching, we carefully considered how one might take advantage of indoor touring and—dare we say it—enjoy a little puddle stomping when you venture outside.
To that end, here are 5 of the world’s wettest cities and travel ideas on how to turn grey days into heydays.
New Orleans, LA
Average rainfall: 62.45”
The Big Easy has seen more than its fair share of rainfall in recent years, but the city has proven that weather will never stop one of the most electrifying music and culture scenes along the Gulf of Mexico. So if a little rain falls on your Mardi Gras parade, take advantage of the gloom with a historical haunted house tour.
For something more uplifting, dry off in any of the smooth jazz clubs or amazing restaurants for a sensory reprieve. For the serious culinary traveler, we recommend reserving a seat at the third annual Fêtes des Chefs Weekend in March. Not only will you dine at one of 8 exclusive chef’s dinner tables around the city, your ticket donation will go directly to the John Besh Foundation whose mission is to preserve the city’s culinary history and traditions.
Looking for a place to stay in New Orleans? We recommend the Radisson Hotel, New Orleans Airport if you’re looking for an incredible place to stay close to the Louis Armstrong International Airport. Book your destination now at www.clubcarlson.com!
Grand Rapids, MI
Average rainfall: 38.27”
Prepare to enjoy the rainy day diversity of Michigan’s second largest city after Detroit. American history buffs will appreciate checking out the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum to pay respects to the former President and First Lady, as well as explore seasonal exhibits.
Beer enthusiasts can schedule a tour at one of the 40+ breweries in the area, and art lovers can discover multimedia exhibits at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. Finally, we can’t leave “Furniture City” without mentioning its shopping culture, where you can find antiques, food and, of course, cool decor shops to suit any design style needs.
Can’t decide where to stay in Grand Rapids? If you’re looking for a great hotel less than 5 miles from downtown, we recommend Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Grand Rapids. Book your destination now at www.clubcarlson.com!
Average rainfall: 44.3”
Across the pond in Scotland, rainy days just add to the area’s scenic charm! You can start your morning jumping through puddles in Glasgow’s iconic George Square on your way to one of the city’s many coffee shops. Or if tea is more to your liking, we recommend stopping by The Hidden Lane Tearoom for morning tea and some of the best cakes in the city.
If the rain continues throughout the afternoon, you can take cover at Barras, one of the best indoor markets in the world. Or, if you’d like to soak up some history, you could visit one of Glasgow’s 13 incredible museums.
Average rainfall: 42.5”
The most popular city in Switzerland, Zurich is a beautiful city to walk through on sunny and rainy days alike. The Zurich Botanical Gardens is a must see destination no matter the weather. The Gardens are beautiful and blooming in the Spring, and if you need a break from the rain, you can take a break inside one of the many tropical greenhouses located on the grounds.
If you’re looking to rest inside to escape from the rain, we recommend visiting Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa. Located in the heart of the city in a renovated old brewery, this spa will not disappoint. The spa’s thermal water comes from the famous “Aqui” springs located beneath the city of Zurich, and you’ll be sure to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Not sure how to choose where to stay in Zurich? If you’re looking for a comfortable, modern hotel with great access to public transit, we recommend the Park Inn by Radisson Zurich Airport Hotel. Book your destination now at www.clubcarlson.com!
Average rainfall: 37”
Contrary to its cloudy reputation, Seattle is the driest destination on our list. The seaport based city has plenty of all-weather activities to enjoy such as exploring the city’s subterranean labyrinthine with an underground tour. The brewing and culinary scenes don’t disappoint, from neighborhood coffee shops and breweries to the famous Pike Place Fish Market. If you’re planning on renting a car, you could plan a couple leisurely, romantic trips around the Olympic Peninsula Loop Drive.
But perhaps the best place to land on a rainy day in Emerald City is at the top of the iconic Space Needle. You’ll literally have your head in the clouds, and get to truly appreciate the beauty of rainy day travel.