Travel tip: Go to the library!

Our trip to Boston was won-der-fulllllllll. I am so looking forward to living there soon, Lord willing! While we were gone we took lots of pictures, naturally, and we also made some travel vlogs while we were driving. I was hoping to post one of those today, but due to technical difficulties with the video, I’m going to have to postpone that one.

So instead today, I want to share with you one simple travel tip: go to the library!

First off, it can be a good idea to visit the library before you leave and check out some books on cd to enjoy on the road trip – I know I’ve definitely enjoyed listening to narrated stories while driving.

But, actually, when I say “go to the library”, I’m not talking about preparations for the trip, I’m talking about while you are gone. If you’re going to a decent sized city on your trip, chances are the library where you are going has some interesting sights and free activities. And when you’re on a trip, fun things to do that don’t cost any money are nice things to find!

I love books, of course, (in case you couldn’t tell) but many libraries have more to offer than books alone. You might be surprised at what you find at a library, especially in a large city.

So one day in Boston, after a stop at, naturally, Dunkin Donuts, my 4 year old and I set out to find the library. I’m so glad we did! Here are some of the things we discovered about the library…

‣‣‣ First of all, before we went inside, it was in a beautiful downtown location, and loaded with statues. I don’t know about your kids, but my little one loves statues. She wanted her picture with this one:

and if there’s a spot that looks like it SHOULD have a statue and it doesn’t, well then of course, you just have to fill in where you can:

‣‣‣ Once you’re inside the library there is a charming little restaurant called The Maproom Cafe, where you could have sandwiches, coffee, pastries – or even a formal high tea! And if you didn’t want to eat in the Maproom Cafe you could take your food out to…

‣‣‣ The Courtyard. In the middle of the library is a huge outdoor courtyard with a fountain and terracced walk ways lined with tables where you can read and enjoy your food. Um, yeah! But before you get to the courtyard you first walk through …

‣‣‣ Amazing architecture! In fact, I noticed there were actually guided tours you could go on to learn the history about all the beautiful architecture. We weren’t there at the right time for that, but we enjoyed wandering from room to room anyway…

‣‣‣ One room we discovered was the map room. I loooove maps. There were all kinds of historical maps on display, plus there were all these little tiny window-seat areas, and in each one was a different map-related activity for kids! My little one really enjoyed the map puzzle nook.

‣‣‣ We also found there was an art gallery exhibition going on at that time in the library, so we stopped in and enjoyed the art:

By the time we had done all of that, we hadn’t even gotten to the part of the library where there were books to check out! But it was time to leave and go meet some friends, so we headed on out, and I can explore that part of the library next time we’re in Boston.

But I’m sure you can see now why I like to visit libraries when I’m travelling – you never know what you’ll find, but chances are, you’ll find something interesting. In fact, I’ve seen libraries featured on the Travel Channel before when they talk about places to visit in certain cities. So check it out! I know I definitely would like to have tea at the library in Boston someday. *hint, hint, Husband* ;)

Do you visit libraries when you are travelling?
Or do you have other low-cost high-value tricks up your sleeve?
Leave your thoughts, comments and travel tips below, I love to hear from you!

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13 Comments

  1. Bertina
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love going to the library, at home or away. The Mt. Holly Springs library in PA is a beautiful but small library that we like to visit when we go on our annual Fall leaf drive. I like to go to one of our own local libraries for an oasis of quiet and relaxation. Thanks for the reminder. I hope to go soon:)

    • Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh, yes the Mt Holly Springs library is gorgeous!! And that is a good example of an interesting library even in a small town!

  2. Posted June 4, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous! I actually bookmark libraries I want to visit on Pinterest, and I think this one needs to be on the list, too.

    My local library has a lot of great things to offer, but it’s definitely not as pretty at this one. I think it was “remodeled” in the early 60s… and it looks like it.

  3. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Fantastic photos, April!

  4. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I love, love, LOVE visiting libraries in the cities that I visit! Especially the larger cities. I feel like the chances of the library being older and having very interesting architecture is higher, for some reason. The library in Boston looks amazing!

    • Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I agree – big city libraries are generally the most interesting!

  5. Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I love libraries. They just redid ours and made it twice as big as it was. It is gorgeous and I find something new every time I go in- like amazing up-to-date sewing books! I never thought about it as a part of traveling, though, so that is a great idea, and that certainly looks like a beautiful one you found!

    • Posted June 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh, yeah, if you love libraries then I bet you would definitely enjoy checking out new and interesting ones while travelling! Big cities tend to have really lovely libraries in their downtown. Glad you liked the idea! :)

  6. Posted June 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Oh yes, I love going libraries! There’s somthing about the smell of books…

  7. Cindy Haase
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    A few years back I was big into genealogy and my husband and I visited libraries in little towns around Des Moines, IA. The people there were so helpful and friendly, and they were as excited as I was to find my great-grandmother in the 1850 census as a little girl. The pictures of your trip to the library are wonderful!

  8. Posted June 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    yay for coming to boston! we love living just an hour north of the historic city and love the country so close to the city :)

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