Add Libraries to Your Vacation Plans

Take a tour of some of the country's most interesting and unique public libraries over Spring Break!

Visit state libraries, presidential libraries, and more on your next holiday break.

Planning a road trip or an exciting vacation? Do you also happen to be a bibliophile? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you’ll be happy to know there are several ways to incorporate libraries into your travel itinerary. From breathtaking architecture to interesting history that will take you back in time, there’s a lot to offer when it comes to libraries across America. Here are some famous U.S. libraries to get you started!

Giesel Library – San Diego, California

Found on UC San Diego’s college campus, the Giesel Library has become an iconic landmark since its initial establishment in the ‘70s. Its name honors Audrey and Theodor Seuss Giesel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss. This library is considered one of the best academic facilities in the nation, including a collection of original sketches, drawings, proofs, photos, manuscript drafts, and memorabilia from children’s author Dr. Seuss. The Giesel Library can be found by visiting the UC San Diego campus in San Diego, California. 

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The Library of Congress – Washington, D.C. 

When people think of famous libraries in the United States, the Library of Congress is probably one of the first to come to mind. Based along Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Library of Congress continues to be the largest media center in the world. Its most famous section is considered to be the Thomas Jefferson Building, which includes the Main Reading Room. This area of the library was heavily inspired by the British Museum Library and is open to the public for anyone sixteen years of age or older. 

The Boston Public Library – Boston, Massachusetts

Otherwise referred to as the Boston Central Library and originally built in 1854, this facility was the first free public library in the United States. It’s made up of two primary buildings: the Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson facilities. The McKim building is known for housing a gigantic reading room with classic wooden tables and green lamps. The library has become such an important part of the city that it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

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The Seattle Public Library – Seattle, Washington

Also known as the Seattle Central Library, this 1998 construction project won the Pritzker Architecture Prize for incredible architectural design. It’s a massive library consisting of eleven floors and measuring up to 362,987 square feet in total. Today, the Seattle Public Library houses over one million materials with around four hundred computers in its facility. The newer central library includes a “Books Spiral” consisting of a nonfiction collection towering at about fifty feet and The Red Floor, its fourth level in thirteen shades of red. 

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