Activities For Dogs In North Carolina On Rainy Days

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Introduction

There are many things North Carolina is known for from their delicious vinegar-based barbecues to the gorgeous Great Smokey Mountains. Unfortunately, when it rains, much of the state turns from Tar Heel to mud heel, which can significantly compromise some of the state's greatest assets. But that also doesn't mean there's nothing for you and your dog to enjoy - far from it! There are plenty of ways to take advantage of rainy days from finding the perfect activities to spending time planning your next adventure. So if the rain is already starting to fall and you're not sure where to turn or what to do, you've come to the right place. We've got a few suggestions for how to spend your rainy days in the Old North State.

Plan Your Adventure

Popular
0 Votes
Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Internet-accessible device
Activity description
If there is one thing North Carolina is almost universally known for outside of the likes of barbecues and Krispy Kreme, it's adventure. Considering residents and visitors alike have access to vast mountains and sprawling stretches of shoreline, there's no shortage of the types of areas you can explore. And better yet, a large portion of it is dog-friendly. Unfortunately, some of the nicest times to enjoy it are in late summer, which coincides with some of the rainiest times of the year. Taking to the beaches and hikes in the rain aren't always the most pleasant or easiest times to enjoy them, so if you get trapped in this situation, we've got a good solution: planning ahead. Even if you can't (or don't want to) embark on your next adventure in the precipitation, that doesn't mean you can't spend time getting ready to. Shopping for supplies, planning trips and testing gear are just a few easy but effective ways to make use of rainy days without feeling like you're losing ground. It costs as much as the supplies, but it's certainly easy and best reserved for days when you'd rather not be outside in the elements.
Step
1
Pick your spot
The first step is actually figuring out where you want to go, which all comes down to what you want to do and see. As mentioned above, some of the best and most beautiful spots are the mountains and shoreline. See which appeals to you more before you start gathering unnecessary supplies while forgetting others. Our best suggestions are the likes of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hanging Rock and Crowders Mountain if you want breathtaking views, whereas Cape Hatteras might be better for more laid-back trips. Once you've picked a spot, look at actual trails, check their dog-friendliness and their difficulty so you can gauge what you'll need and don't forget to take inventory of what items you already have.
Step
2
Basic research
Once you've picked your spot and trail and taken inventory, identify what supplies you might still need and don't forget, plan for all weather! If you're already stuck the rain now, chances are you might again, so be properly prepared with rainproof gear from backpacks to clothes (for both you and your dog), especially if you're carrying any valuables like a camera. Start by doing some research online to see what kind of reviews and suggestions others have for that style of trip. For instance, if it's a tougher vertical hike, make sure you have shoes or boots with good grip or tread. Waterproof tent covers and other gear is also helpful in the rainier seasons. Once you've figured out what you need, call around to your local outdoors shops and see who has a majority so you can go check it all out in person and make sure it's a good fit.
Step
3
Gear testing
While you'll likely know if certain pieces of gear will work, it's usually better to test out others while you're not in the middle of a hike. After all, getting caught in a downpour and finding out your backpack isn't truly waterproof can be an expensive lesson. Go check out some of the gear in person and bring your dog with you! Most outdoor stores, whether they're chains or just local establishments are dog-friendly (just make sure to call ahead). Go take a look at the gear in person and if you think it's a fit buy it. Then comes the fun part: testing. If you get waterproof gear and it's already raining, you'll have the perfect chance to see how it works WITHOUT the threat of having no alternative. Use the rain to your advantage and test everything out before you load it up with supplies and belongings. Pack a backpack with towels, suit your dog up in their raincoat and see how both fare (including your dog). If it all works in the test run, the chances are good you'll have the right supplies for the actual trip. If not, you can always return them and try again. By the end of the day, you'll have a trip planned, your supplies in order and have spent some good time with your dog, all aiming to get you set for your next great adventure!
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Tour Time

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Rainy Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog Leash
Dog Bags
Umbrella
Activity description
While having a dog that doesn't mind water is one thing, it doesn't always mean you prefer to be out in the rain over comfortably dry inside. Finding somewhere to go outside of your house but inside somewhere else can be a difficult task at times, but thanks to the dog-friendly nature of North Carolina, there are still quite a few spots you and Spot can check out, some of which will even provide the entertainment. If you're into history or learning in any capacity, consider taking them on an indoor tour. There are several places throughout the state that welcome wagging tails as much as any person. Most of them are cheap if not free, are easy to do, and great ways to wait out the rain.
Step
1
Identify your interest
There are several different options you can choose when it comes to tours. About half of the dog-friendly tours are walking tours, which means those are likely ruled out in the rain (unless you also chose to pick up some solid rain gear and the hosts are willing to brave the weather as well). But that still leaves the other half of your options. If you're into cars, you can always check out the Antique Car Museum in Asheville, as dogs are allowed inside the gallery and the museum itself. You can also check out Streetside Classic Cars in Charlotte, but they actually sell vintage cars, so you'll want to make sure you bring in a dry dog and not eat up too much time, as they do have other customers to tend to, even if you're just poking around. Caswell No. 1 Fire Station in Kinston is another great option, as it has a bunch of historic firefighting equipment and vehicles on-site. Finally, if you're into weirder stuff, check out the Museum of the Bizarre in Wilmington. It's like a smaller Ripley's filled with oddities and they openly welcome dogs (plus it's only a few dollars and dogs are free!).
Step
2
Double check and check it out
Once you've picked a spot (or if you've got a full day of rain and nothing to do, decide to make a tour of it), call ahead to make sure none of their policies have changed plus check hours and prices as well so nothing is a surprise. Then grab your supplies (including an umbrella to keep you dry, as most places are much more dry-dog-friendly, when you think courteously) and go! If you can cram multiple in, you'll have hours of things to do between driving and taking the tours and if you're careful, you can do it all without getting drenched!
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Paws and Patios

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Rainy Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Umbrella
Dog Bags
Rain Coats
Activity description
Just because it's raining doesn't mean you can't still enjoy some of the best aspects that the state as to offer: food and drinks. There are an absolute ton of dog-friendly restaurants and breweries throughout the state that allow your furry friends on their patios. While they may not all have covered seating to stay dry, a little bit of research and a few phone calls can have those questions answered in no time. If you plan it well enough, you could even do a restaurant tour by walking (if the rain is light enough or if you have good rain gear for the pair of you) if you don't want to drive around too much. Since much of the rain happens in summer, chances are it may also be warm too, making it the perfect time to keep from roasting, getting to enjoy the sound of the rain and still getting to indulge in some local cuisine. Depending on the place, it likely comes at a moderate average price but it's certainly easy and should give you plenty of options of where to spend your time.
Step
1
Plan your route
Of course, there's no obligation to stopping more than one place. If you just want some lunch and something to do, keep it simple. For the more adventurous and dedicated types, start by finding a bigger city nearby, as it will likely provide more options. Charlotte and Raleigh are great choices, as are laid-back towns like Asheville and Wilmington and they might even have other dog-friendly businesses to check out as well. Start by picking a city nearby and seeing how many dog-friendly restaurants (and others) are in the immediate vicinity. Pick a few that are clustered close together so you can minimize travel time and maximize trying some tasty food. Then, lay out a plan that won't have you straying too far from your transportation (unless you're fully equipped with weather-appropriate gear).
Step
2
Cement the details
Once you've picked several spots, start looking online or making phone calls to see which areas dogs are allowed in and which areas provide significant overhead coverage on the patios (let alone find out which ones are open). If you find a few that don't work, supplement them with other options or find other establishments that will be good fill-ins such as pet boutiques or dog-friendly antique shops. Once you've identified a few suitable locations, you're ready to go.
Step
3
Eat. Drink. Delight.
Once everything is in order, you can grab your dog and your supplies and hit the road! You'll be in food heaven in no time. Our only advice at this point is to keep your eyes on the weather in case it turns for the worse or lightens up to the point where you don't need our rainy day advice anymore. Also, don't overeat! There's nothing like having to lumber around on a full stomach and have no room for new things to try at your next stop. Now go enjoy!
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More Fun Ideas...

Tricks or Training

If the weather is just too bad, unbearable or loathsome to even venture out by car, consider staying inside and working on new tricks or training. It will be a great way to spend time together and has plenty of mutually beneficial rewards.

Already Wet Adventures

People are often turned off by the possibility of getting wet, but if you're the type to not care, trips that involve already getting wet such as swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or the like are still perfectly fair game as long as the weather isn't too crazy and doesn't involve lightning.

Conclusion

Rainy days don't always need to go away, but if you're bored or getting cabin fever, you still might! Don't forget that just because the rain falls doesn't mean you and your dog can't rise to the occasion and find some great ways to spend even the wettest of days in the Tar Heel State. We hope that our list helped inspire you, and if nothing else reminded you that your drive and resourcefulness may be the only things from keeping you and your faithful friend from finding clever ways to spend those once dreary, now much more clear-y, rainy days.