Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

How to Make the Most of a Rainy Day in Memphis

Photo: Amanda Hill

Photo: Amanda Hill

Rainy days can be a bummer. You may decide to avoid the rain altogether, opting to huddle up at home with a cup of coffee and the latest Netflix series you’ve been meaning to get to. Sometimes it can be nice to avoid the gloomy weather, but for those who love rainy day vibes, here are fifteen ways to get out and enjoy the drizzly weather.

Scan the shelves at Burke’s Bookstore

Type out a poem on one of the old typewriters, and find a book that smells like an old house. Hey, maybe even head to a coffee shop to read and gaze out the window dramatically (mostly to gaze out the window dramatically).

Chill at House of Mews

What rainy day is complete without the indifferent company of the moodiest housepet of all? If you don’t have a cat of your own, head to House of Mews to chill with some felines, and if the rainy day has you feeling right, you may want to take home a new moody companion.

Photo by: Kari Erickson

Check out The South Main Market

The South Main Market has a variety of vendors inside, so take a stroll around the cool space before sitting down to chill. Try the lavender mocha from the mini Java Cabana, grab a bagel from City East, and find yourself a couch by the window to – you guessed it – gaze out the window dramatically.

Explore the Dixon Gallery & Gardens

The Dixon Gallery is perfect for a rainy day. Not only is it in an old house, but it’s full of art that was probably made by people who love rain more than the average person. Walk around the mansion and think about how cool it would’ve been to live during the Impressionist movement. If you’re feeling especially gloomy, take a walk through the gardens (hopefully with an umbrella, but you do you).

Photo by: Kari Erickson

Go to the Memphis Botanic Garden

It takes a bit of walking to find them, but there are quite a few covered areas within the 96-acre gardens, the best being the pavilion by the Hydrangea Garden. Finding it requires a walk through the rain, but once you get there, you can sit for hours painting watercolor flowers with rainwater, because that’s moody, right?

Look at the old houses in the Victorian Village

The houses in Victorian Village are beautiful on their own, but these architectural gems are really elevated with a gray sky and a light drizzle. Travel back in time with a tour of the Woodruff-Fontaine House or the Mallory-Neely House. We bet their original tenants were, and still are, pretty moody. 

Eat some cupcakes at Muddy’s Grind House.

Everyone loves Muddy’s, but have you ever experienced cupcakes while watching the rain? Get the Capote (possibly inspired by the author, Truman Capote, how moody), which is chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. Take to your cupcake on the patio and pop in your headphones to enjoy some tunes as the sprinkles turn into a torrential down pour, as it usually does.

Make your way to Avenue Coffee.

Pick up a cup of Avenue’s amazing coffee or hot chocolate and go to the chalkboard in the back to write a haiku about gray skies or something. Afterwards, sit down at a table and get started on that screenplay you’ve been meaning to write.

Photo by: Kari Erickson

Relax in a rocking chair at Shelby Farms Park.

Despite popular belief, you can still go to the park on a rainy day. Some might event say you should go to parks exclusively on rainy days. The Autozone Front Porch at the Visitor Center in Shelby Farms Park has dozens of rocking chairs on a covered patio, waiting for people like you to hang out and watch the rain fall on Hyde Lake. Bonus points if you grab a chocolate chip cookie from the Kitchenette to pep things up just a little bit. 

Sip some tea at Maggie’s Pharm.

Tea is perfect for a rainy day. Really any hot drink is, but we all need an excuse to drink tea sometimes. Maggie’s Pharm sells an assortment of wonderful loose leaf teas that every tea drinker needs to try. Purchase a bag of tea to take home with you, and keep it stocked always for when the skies start to tear up.

Get thrifty.

Thrifting is a perfect rainy day activity. Old clothes are cooler, and they save the planet. Hop, skip, and jump your way down Summer Avenue, and find a neat vintage raincoat so you can go for a brooding walk in the rain.

Search the Antique Warehouse Mall for new treasures.

The Antique Warehouse Mall on Summer Avenue is a giant treasure trove of antique gems. Get lost in one of the many passageways throughout the store, and who knows, you may leave with a new lamp, or two, or three.

Smell some soaps at Buff City Soaps.

Somewhere out there, someone has recreated the smell of a rainy day in soap form. In fact, that someone resides in the Bluff City. Stop by one of their stores to smell all the wonderful soaps they have to offer. If you find one that smells like a rainy day, buy it and you can smell like rainy days every day. Who wouldn’t want that? 

Ride the Trolley on South Main.

Trolleys are cute, quaint, and fun, even on a rainy day. Put some earbuds in, play some Simon and Garfunkel, and gaze out the window as you travel. 

Treat Yourself to Breakfast for Dinner.

The Pancake Shop is a Memphis classic, and lucky for us, they are open late. This means that you can go out for dinner to get pancakes. Classic, nostalgic, and very, very tasty. Just make sure to take your wallet since this restaurant is cash only. ATM on site. 

What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy day in Memphis? Got a suggestion to add? Let us know!