(In Search of) Rainy Days

Most people go in search of sunshine when they vacation, but what if you really like rain? I grew up in the Desert Southwest of the U.S., and I still view rain as something of a novelty. I love a good thunderstorm and relish overcast days of drizzle. I know…I’m weird. But, if you like a good soaker too, here are some vacation destinations that might whet your appetite, known for having the most rainy days every year.

Buffalo & Rochester, New York

These two upstate cities tie for the most days with precipitation per year at 167. Of course, that is snow for half the year! On the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, respectively, there are plenty of outdoor activities year around. Rochester packs in the fun with The Museum of Play children’s museum and the Seabreeze Amusement Park. Close by in Buffalo, you’ll find one of the greatest examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Prairie House” at the Darwin D. Martin House Complex, and an amazing display of color and beauty at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House, built in 1904 in Buffalo, is open to the public. © 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan | Bluffton College

Portland, Oregon

Number Two on the Rainiest Cities list, Portland averages 164 wet days per year. You might be surprised to find, then, that there is so much to do outdoors thanks to the city’s beautiful Pacific Northwest surroundings. Portland also made it into the top 10 of Trip Advisor’s Travelers Choice 2012 Destinations on the Rise. Could it be due to the popularity of Voodoo Donuts, featured on a variety of Travel and Food Network shows? It certainly shouldn’t be missed, and neither should the outstanding Portland Art Museum or Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Columbus, Ohio

Photo courtesy of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, honoring music and musicians since 1995.

Cleveland, Ohio

With 155 days of drizzle, Cleveland Ohio ranks third in rainy days, but #1 in the heart of rock & roll. On the Lake Erie waterfront, adjacent to the Cleveland Browns Stadium, you’ll find the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, filled with fifty-plus years of memorabilia and honoring everyone from ABBA to ZZ Top. Close by is Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world and, for fans of the movie, A Christmas Story House Museum. Yes, you can take a tour of Ralphie’s house. Do rainy days get any better?

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Seattle, Washington

Included here because you can’t talk about rainy cities and not mention Seattle, even though it only comes in at #5 with 149 rainy days a year, on average. From the Pike Place Market with its flying fish and fruit stands, to the Space Needle and EMP Museum, there are plenty of attractions where you can stay dry, along with plenty of coffee houses and fantastic seafood restaurants. But, since we don’t mind getting a little wet, two of the best sights are free: Hamilton Viewpoint Park and Kerry Park offer stunning views of downtown from very different angles. You can even get a free history lesson at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, which is really a museum dedicated to Seattle’s history in the 1800s.

What do you like to do in these rainy locales? Or is there another soggy city you’re fond of? Let us know in the Comments below!

8 comments on “(In Search of) Rainy Days

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  5. Vancouver, BC is a beautiful city..when it’s sunny! But it does rain a lot there, so I’m happy to be living in the South Central Interior of BC – where we get more sun than rain!

    • Vancouver is beautiful! Luckily, it’s been sunny when I’ve visited. I’ll have to work my way inland. I hear the natural beauty is never ending!

  6. Coming from the UK, my holidays centre around searching for sunshine. Mind you, being British does mean that I know exactly how to keep myself cheery and busy on even the wettest days!

    • Hi Angeline, thanks for stopping by! I think most people are in search of sunshine for their holiday. After all, you’d want a little bit of tan to show off, which is hard to get in the rain. 😉

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