Living between the ocean and a mountain range means inhabiting some stunning scenery and a highly-coveted mild climate. It also means things can get a little wet around here. With a little preparation and creativity, however, locals learn to make the most of the rain. The first step to enjoying rainy day activities in Chehalis is knowing what to expect.
Does it *really* rain that much?
Despite its overall mild climate, western Washington has a reputation for rain. Chehalis is nestled in its own flood valley, so it is among the wetter portions of the state. Our “rainy season” lasts from mid-October to April. During these months, expect 5 to 10 inches of rainfall and mostly cloudy days.
So, yes, it’s worth learning to have fun in the rain if you plan to spend a significant amount of time in the Washington lowlands. Thankfully there are plenty of things to do in Chehalis even when the sun is away. Start with some basic rain gear, get to know your local activity options, and check the forecast frequently in advance of your plans.
Dress for the Weather
One perk of having a lot of rain-loving neighbors? We know how to prepare for the weather. For starters, you’ll want a good raincoat and some durable boots – these and other weather essentials can be found at stores like Sunbird Shopping Center, The Farm Store, Bartel’s, Brunswig’s Shoe Store, and Market Street Ace Hardware. (TIP: Many of these local businesses can also help prepare your home for wet and cold seasons).
In a pinch, you can also find accessories like umbrellas and extra socks at many of the stores in downtown Chehalis. Consult our local shopping guide if you need directions: Shop in Chehalis.
Rainy Weather Activities
Once you’re equipped, get outside and make a splash! Puddle-jumping is still a #1 rainy day activity (source: local four-year-olds). There are plenty of places to partake in it, starting with your own neighborhood. Being outdoors in the rain offers your senses a whole different experience – see for yourself how the sounds and smells of the woods change with the weather. You might be surprised to find that some areas are so heavily forested, the ground stays fairly dry.
Even in the rain, Washington’s natural beauty shines. For a pluviophile, cloudy walks along our local trails are just as enjoyable as a stroll in the sun. Fishing is better on overcast days too, and thankfully our town has numerous local lakes and rivers to cast a line into. If salty seas suit you better, Chehalis is less than an hour from two deep-sea ports in Olympia and Tacoma.
Prefer to stay dry? Finding indoor activities for rainy days in Chehalis is as easy as heading downtown. Escape the downpour into any of our dozens of local shops or restaurants. Explore one of three museums in Chehalis or spend the afternoon at our beautiful Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library.
Rain threatening to ruin your date? Here are 5 backup ideas!
When the pavement is too wet for your workout, run over to Thorbecke’s Wellness Center to enjoy their courts, climbing wall, or a fitness class. There’s also an indoor mini-golf course and arcade in town!
Fair or Foul Weather
Whether you’re a fan or not, the rain doesn’t have to dampen your style in this charming Pacific Northwest town. Indoors or out, there are countless ways to experience Chehalis in any season.
Let us know how you make the most of cloudy weather! Share your rainy-day pictures on Instagram or Facebook and tag @Experience_Chehalis
 “Climate and Average Weather Year-Round in Chehalis.” Weather Spark. 2022. https://weatherspark.com/y/782/Average-Weather-in-Chehalis-Washington-United-States-Year-Round
Written by Chelsea Barr