Under the Sea at the Richmond Beach Library

With its dark wood exterior and gabled roof, the Richmond Beach Library looks like a cozy lodge or a cabin in the woods

Once you’re inside, it is more like a typical library, with a good-sized conference/story time room, easily-accessible restrooms and a comfortable main room. It’s small, but well-designed, so it never feels cramped.

The children’s section is something special. It’s designed with a sea theme, and is surrounded by a fun mural full of seals, fish and crabs, all curiously peering out from the walls. The centerpiece is the astonishing Olive, a life-sized Giant Pacific Octopus made out of yarn that perches high on a bookcase, with her arms stretching out across the ceiling. The sight of this fantastic creature alone is worth a trip to the Richmond Beach library.

There’s a nice selection of books, a computer with filtered Internet access and two huge containers full of plush puppets. If you’ve got a wanderer, this is a great place to keep track of your little one. There are only two ways to exit the children’s area, and there’s a couch in the middle with a view of both.

Right outside the library is peaceful Richmond Beach Community Park, a gorgeous spot with amazing views of the water. There’s a nice ADA-approved play area with toddler and big kid toys, including lots of swings, a big climbing wall and a dinosaur bouncy toy that seemed to be very popular. This is a great spot for a picnic or for grey days when you never know if you might need to escape a downpour.

Richmond Beach Library
19601 21st Ave N.W., Shoreline, 98177