What to do on a rainy day in the Gulf Coast area?

We’re bound to have days that are rainy and somewhat chilly along the Gulf Coast, but that could be a positive thing rather than a negative. 

Since you couldn’t go golfing, or fishing, or boating, it might provide for a wonderful time to snuggle up on the couch and read a good book you’ve been wanting to read for a long time.  It could provide an opportunity to invite a few friends for lunch or dinner – some other winter visitors, or perhaps some permanent residents of the area. 
If you don’t mind getting out, and getting a little damp, especially as you move from the car to a building, there are many attractions along the Gulf Coast. 

In Orange Beach, Alabama, there is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.  It features more than 300 animals.  It also includes a petting zoo for children, a reptile house and aviary to house its numerous birds and beasts.  

As in all areas along the Gulf, there are numerous restaurants where you can find some of the finest seafood and southern cooking. Of course, remember all the many churches scattered all along the way that offer programs to which winter visitors are always welcome.
In Sandestin, there is the Village at Baytowne Wharf with many stores and restaurants.  With a little luck, you could miss the water drops as you move from one store to another, and if you’re even luckier, you could go under cover.  You wouldn’t want to miss such places as the Funky Blues Shack, featuring music nightly until 1:30 a.m.  On nice days and evenings, you could sit on the lawn and listen to music from the outdoor stage area until 10 p.m. 
Driving further west into Fort Walton Beach, you could stop at the Camp Walton School Museum, a historic one-room schoolhouse used until 1936.  Each year over 3000 children from five counties visit the Museum on school field trips.  It might be wise to call ahead to make sure no field trips are planned for your specific day.
Nearby, the state-of-the-art  Okaloosa-Walton County College Arts Center, in Niceville, is a  wonderful cultural and artistic center containing 120,000 square feet of dance, music, theater, visual arts.  The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra presents 10 concerts a year at Okaloosa-Walton College and the Fort Walton Beach Civic Center.
The Stage Crafters Community Theatre of Fort Walton Beach, is known for its performances and productions by this community theatre group for over thirty years.
Pensacola offers many  theatre, museums, dining venues.  The Pensacola Little Theater will offer T Bone and Weasel, Arsenic and Old Lace, and The Diaries of Adam and Eve, translated by Mark Twain.  The Pensacola Opera will present Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in January; and Puccini’s La Boheme in March.  If you are fortunate, you will get to see the Senior Follies presented each year by local people.
Of course, there is the always favorite National Museum of Naval Aviation at the Naval Air Station, where former pilots can re-live their days of flying some of the planes on display, Of course, the IMAX Theater is a big hit.

Well, you can’t do all of these things on a rainy day because we may not have that many rainy days, but this does give an idea of activities all along the coast on rainy days as well as the warm and sunny days. 

A good idea is to call the Chamber of Commerce offices or Visitor Centers to find out more specific information.  We just hope that our winter visitors enjoy themselves to the utmost and find many of the fascinating attractions that our residents are able to enjoy all through the year.