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12 Incredible Destination Libraries Around Seattle and Beyond

Build an outing — and a love of books — around these Puget Sound-area libraries

Published on: September 05, 2023

12 Incredible Destination Libraries Around Seattle and Beyond

The Cedar River runs under the Renton Library, among destination libraries for families.
Renton Library. Photo credit: JiaYing Grygiel

2. Renton Library

Find it: 100 Mill Ave. S., Renton

The most distinctive feature of King County Library System’s Renton branch — which was built in 1966 and renovated in August 2015 — is that it’s built over the Cedar River. The library rests on 12 giant columns on an 80-foot bridge.

The stunning location has its challenges. To wash the windows on the building’s north side, window washers have to rappel down the side like Spider-Man.

The interior of the library is one giant open space with a row of study rooms in the back. You can sit by the floor-to-ceiling windows with a book and watch the mallards paddling below in the river.

Stop by the library during Renton River Days in July to watch rubber ducks float downstream. In the fall, you can see salmon making their annual migration.

Day trip: The library sits on the edge of Liberty Park, which features a playground, baseball field and skate park. On the other side of Interstate 405, Cedar River Park includes a community center, a theater and a big outdoor swimming complex (open seasonally) with two corkscrew water slides.

Up next: Suzzallo Library 

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