Cover photo by: @gritsandgraceblog

Sometimes the most relaxing thing you can do is unwind (and unplug!) with a good book. Here are seven spots around town that let you do just that.

Richland Library

So much more than a library, Richland Library is a national award-winning hub for art, creativity and exploration. Children, teens and adults alike will enjoy not only browsing the books, but also the art displays and murals. (DYK – this is the only place in the world where author Maurice Sendak has allowed his artwork to be used as public art? Here, you’ll find a 46 ft. Where the Wild Things Are mural and two free-standing scenes from the beloved children’s book.)

In 2018, you’ll be able to satisfy more than just your appetite for literature and the arts, as Chef Sarah Simmons of NYC fame is opening The Café at Richland Library (aka Heaven). Nosh on her signature biscuits and flip through a chapter or two. 

 

Little Free Library Stations

Forgot to pack a book? No worries – Columbia is chock full of Little Free Libraries! Take a book to get your read on or leave a book to share with someone else. Not only are these stations adorable, but they increase book access and forge community connections, too. It’s a win-win! Access the map here.

 

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The Local Buzz

How can you even resist reading a book without having a steaming mug of coffee or tea handy? Pop into this Rosewood coffee shop that delivers some serious Central Perk vibes. Either bring your own book or pick one off their well-stocked shelves, sink into the cushy couch and immerse yourself in page-turning, coffee-sipping bliss.

 

West Columbia Riverwalk

Get away from it all with only the stunning views of the Congaree River and downtown Columbia skyline to distract you (and let’s be real, they probably will). Stroll along the Riverwalk before settling in on a park bench. Bask in the warmth and your book and enjoy an idyllic afternoon. #goals 

 

Riverside Chats. || 📷: @saulandreslara

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Thirsty Fellow

Lunchtime in Columbia calls for good food, a killer patio and an hour to yourself getting swept up in a story. Thirsty Fellow is your one-stop-shop for all three. Get crafty with a make-your-own-pizza, select a book from the collection that runs the perimeter of the restaurant and snag a table out on the porch for a winning combination.

 

Craft and Draft

Order up an ice-cold pint and settle in against the colorful pillows lining the window seat at Craft and Draft. Whittle away a few hours, book and beer in hand, and let the hustle and bustle of Devine Street pass you by. PS – bring your pup to up the cozy factor. 

 

Waterfall Junction

You may think a children’s garden at a zoo is the last place you’d expect to see on this list, but get used to surprises. After a day full of animal-gazing at Riverbanks Zoo, Waterfall Junction is just the place to let your little ones get out their last bursts of energy before heading home (hello car ride naptime, amirite?). After splash pad and Dino Dig fun comes a journey through three adjoining treehouses. There, you’ll find secluded nooks stocked with books and bean bag chairs. Plus, the literary quotes carved into tree stumps adorning the walls are just too cute.

 

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