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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

Seattle Public Library's Ballard Branch is a destination library for Seattle-area families
Ballard Library's green roof. Photo credit: JiaYing Grygiel

4. Ballard Branch, Seattle Public Library

Find it: 5614 22nd Ave. N.W., Seattle

The Ballard branch is the Chia Pet of the Seattle Public Library system. On top of its roof is 4 inches of soil planted with more than 18,000 Northwest native plants. It’s a roof that needs to be mowed and have its weeds whacked!

To see for yourself, ask library staff to take you upstairs to look around, or use a periscope on the main level to check out the roof; look for two unmarked slits in the wall, just to the right as you walk in the main entrance.

The library, which opened in 2005, is one of the busiest branches in the city. In the summer of 2017, the library closed for six weeks for renovations, which included replacing carpeting, adding outlets to the tables and lowering the children’s bookshelves for better sight lines. The kids’ section includes Magna-Tiles, big Legos and regular story times.

Day trip: The library is located in the heart of Ballard’s retail core. Within a three-block radius, you can pick your poison: Cupcake Royale, Secret Garden Books and Sweet Mickey’s candy shop. We love getting the extra-large bowl of pho beef noodle soup from Than Brothers on Market Street.

Up next: Sammamish Library

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