Few libraries in America can match the soaring architectural excitement of the main library in Salt Lake City's system. Designed by Moshe Safdie and built in 2003, this modern building has become a cultural center for the city. Inspired by the Roman Coliseum, it features a six-story walkable wall that serves as both sculpture and function, allowing for great views and a path up the building. Activities are scheduled here all year, in the 300-seat auditorium, the plaza,
or the spacious atrium. From the rooftop garden you get a 360-degree view of the valley and mountains. The on-site coffee shop, deli, shops, writing center, and public radio station mean you can stay here all day. Kids can fall in love with reading in the Crystal Cave and Treehouse Room in the huge children's section. Plus, there are five other libraries in the system, including the Tudor-style Sprague Library that opened in 1928 in the city's popular Sugar House neighborhood.