Though it doesn’t rain all year long like people believe, Seattle does get pretty gray and wet throughout the autumn and fall (and, if we’re being honest, spring…). Fortunately, while the skies outside may be dark and cloudy, there is plenty to do inside to chase the blues away.

"Elliot Bay Books" by Scsmith4 via Flickr Creative Commons

Catch up on your reading

Grab a book at Elliot Bay Book Company and stay for a while in the little shop café. This independent bookstore is a longtime Seattle favorite (for over 40 years!) and a unique spot to peruse some new – or classic - titles.

"The New, Weekly Century Ballroom Flea Market" by J via Flickr Creative Commons

Shop local

While Pike Place Market is open year round, it does get chilly! Instead, head to one of Seattle’s indoor markets like Melrose Market, consisting of several local and artisanal food producers, or the flea market held in Century Ballroom throughout part of November and December. Billed as “curated collections of stuff you won’t find anywhere else,” happy treasure hunting!

"Conservatory, Volunteer Park, Seattle" by Curtis Cronn via Flickr Creative Commons

Marvel at exotic flora and fauna

Located just north of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the historic Volunteer Park Conservatory features a beautiful Victorian greenhouse and wide variety of palms, cacti and seasonal plants. As a registered US Fish and Wildlife repository for confiscated plants, the Conservatory also acquires, quarantines, and later displays rare orchids, cycads, and other plants.

"Ghost Chili Chocolate" by Mike McCune via Flickr Creative Commons

Tour the Theo Chocolate Factory

North America’s first free-trade, organic, bean to bar chocolate factory can be found in a small brick building in Seattle Fremont neighborhood. Known for its crazy flavor combinations (Ghost chile! Coconut curry!), Theo Chocolate offers $10 daily tours through its warm factory to see the chocolate-making process firsthand…and lets you sample plenty of delicious bites along the way.

"Pacific Science Center" by Tjflex2 via Flickr Creative Commons

See a tropical rainforest

Visiting with kids? Head to the Pacific Science Center and be transported from rainy Seattle to a steamy rainforest in the Tropical Butterfly Room, home to hundreds of exotic butterflies and plant life. You can also visit the award-winning Tropical Rain Forest bioclimatic zone at the Woodland Park Zoo where you’ll find South American birds, snakes, poison dart frogs, and more.

"Seattle Coffee Works" by Nathan Borror

Find a fireside coffee shop

Of course, Seattle is known for Starbucks, but there are plenty other cozy coffee shops to settle into. Warm up by the fire at Storyville Coffee in Queen Anne or Pioneer Coffee Roasting Company or Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee on 6th Avenue downtown. One thing’s for sure, wherever you are in the city, there’s bean roasting nearby.

"Northwest Yoga Conference" by via Flickr Creative Commons

Sweat it out at yoga

When the weather is gray you can still work on finding your inner chi with hot yoga. With studios heated to around 100 degrees, hot yoga is like a work out, physical therapy and sauna session in one. Check out some Urban Yoga Spa downtown on 4th Avenue or Sweat Hot Yoga in Fremont.

"Seattle Glassblowing Studio" by Jennifer via Flickr Creative Commons

Try your hand at glassblowing

One of the most unique souvenirs you can bring home, Seattle Glassblowing studio offers tours, events and classes in its studio in Belltown where the furnaces get up to 2,400 degrees! Lacking the creative juices to make your own masterpiece? The gallery is fun to peruse, too.

"Seattle Art Museum" by Librarianfinsen via Flickr Creative Commons

Meander through a museum

If you’re feeling down and looking for some colorful inspiration, head to a museum for a boost of creativity. For art and sculpture enthusiasts, try the Seattle Art Museum on First Avenue or the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

"Teatro ZinZanni at Pacific Place" by Cloganese via Flickr Creative Commons

Catch a show

Heat things up by heading to a concert for some fun after dark. Venues like the Showbox and The Triple Door always have well-known artists and musicians passing through, while several theaters and restaurants, such as The Pink Door and Teatro Zinzanni, offer more unique nighttime entertainment with regular cabaret, burlesque and circus shows.

Seattle’s rain doesn’t have to get you down - which one of these local spots would you check out first?