You just made it out to the beach, and a big thunder cloud is hovering over the Atlantic Ocean. But don't a little rain spoil your vacation plans. Thankfully, most rain showers here are short-lived, giving you just enough time to explore a few of our favorite indoor attractions before hitting the beach again.
Lucky students at this liberal-arts college walk the halls amid Louis Comfort Tiffany glass and exquisite relics from a bygone era. The college offers daily tours to visitors wanting a glimpse into this luxurious past, when Henry Flagler, John D. Rockefeller and their cronies once wintered at the five-star Hotel Ponce de Leon.
Just across the street from Flagler College is another gorgeous building built as the Alcazar Hotel in 1888. Today, this museum features Victorian artifacts from Florida's gilded age along with a significant collection of glasswork from Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the famous jeweler.
The country's original Ripley's Believe It Or Not features 300 weird and wacky exhibits, perfect for spending an afternoon. See a motorcycle made from the bones of roadkill, the international space station made with 280,000 matchsticks and a shrunken human head. Ripley's also offers a ghost train adventure, especially spooky in the rain.
Ahoy ye mateys! Don't let a little rain dampen your spirits. This interactive museum offers a glimpse into St. Augustine's pirate past, with hands-on exhibits to keep the youngsters busy. Highlights include a cannon that kids can fire themselves, memorabilia from your favorite pirate movies and authentic artifacts like a Jolly Roger Flag.
This small-batch distillery keeps raking in awards for its gin, and they've recently come out with a line of rum. The distillery offers free tours and samples daily, along with a small museum. Afterward, walk next door to the trendy Ice Plant Bar for an old-fashioned cocktail and farm-to-table cuisine.
Learn about the complete winemaking process on a complimentary tour of Florida's premium winery then taste a few favorites like the port and the cream sherry. The gift shop is filled with gourmet food items and thoughtful gifts for friends back home.
Take a tour behind the scenes at this family-owned chocolate store in St. Augustine. Learn about the history of chocolate making and test your taste buds by distinguishing the special qualities of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.
So long as it's not a torrential downpour, it might be a good time to hop aboard St. Augustine's trolley for a tour of the entire city. Along the way, your driver will point out dozens of historic sites and attractions with plenty of fun facts. As a bonus, the trolley stops at many indoor attractions.
Don't let a little rain interfere with a great golf trip. The TPC Sawgrass, home of the THE PLAYERS Championship, offers free daily clubhouse tours where you'll walk in the footsteps of golf's greatest and check out PGA memorabilia. The Bart Forbes art collection in the lobby is worth a mention, along with "The Burger" at NINETEEN.
This indoor museum and hall of fame plays tribute to five centuries of golf. Transport yourself to St. Andrews on the simulator, admire the game's legends on the wall of fame and watch the new National Parks 3D movie on the massive IMAX screen.
If it looks like rain all day, take a day trip to nearby Jacksonville, just 45 minutes north. If you're an art lover, MOCA houses 1,000 works from painting and printmaking to sculpture and photography by artists like Alexander Calder. Also nearby is the public library and the ever-popular eatery, Candy Apple Cafe.
Another fantastic museum in Jacksonville is MOSH. Your little ones will love KidSpace where they can play freely in a treehouse, or explore exhibits together on dinosaurs, marine animals and space. Afterward, grab lunch at River City Brewery for breathtaking views of the skyline on the riverfront.