What to do in St. Paul on a Rainy Day

Minnesota may have a less-than-optimal reputation when it comes to weather, but the true story is pretty bright: St. Paul averages 198 sunny days per year, which is right around the national average.

So if your summer travel plans include St. Paul, you have a better-than-50-percent chance of basking in the sunshine. And yet, rainy days are inevitable.

If you find yourself in St. Paul on a rainy summer day, don’t despair. In acknowledgement of our unpredictable weather, we’re pretty good at creating amazing experiences indoors.

A few ideas:

· Tour the Wabasha Street Caves. These caves are loaded with gangster lore and incredible stories. Tours are offered every Sunday and Monday throughout the summer.

· Visit the Science Museum. This impressive museum attracts visitors from all over the world, with enough to entertain curious minds of any age. The museum features rotating exhibits as well as an IMAX theater.

· Catch a Show at the Fitzgerald Theater. The historic Fitzgerald Theater is the oldest active theater in Minnesota and is famously the home of A Prairie Home Companion.

· Pretend to be F. Scott Fitzgerald at the Commodore. The literary legend and his wife lived at the historic Commodore Bar and Hotel during Prohibition (and were regulars at the speakeasy). The Commodore recently reopened as a bar and restaurant and maintains every ounce of historic Art Deco style.

· Visit the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. A park in the rain? Absolutely. While much of the park and zoo is outside, there are several indoor exhibits—and the actual conservatory is an indoor oasis that will transport you out of the rain and into the tropics.

Don’t let bad weather spoil your plans. This is just a snapshot of the ways you can soak up St. Paul culture without getting drenched. Need more ideas? If you’re staying at St. Paul’s favorite boutique hotel, Hotel 340, our staff would be more than happy to make recommendations for food, drink, and must-see activities for rain or shine.

Edward Rupp