Baymont & Baytown, Texas

Serving Up Stories... have a seat! The beautiful Sterling Public Library, www.marianamcdougall.com. Picture of Story Bar in Sterling Public Library lounge.

As we walk into the camp store, a friendly cat comes right up to greet us. Up until a few months ago, no one could touch this wild feline, and it was causing trouble for campers.

Gizmo was a feral cat who would bite people and was a bit of a headache for the RV resort’s management. So they caught him in a live trap and domesticated him, and now he’s a friendly cat who visits with campers as a polite greeter.

 

Gulf Coast RV Resort Camp Store

 

After our last experience at a somewhat creepy and very out-of-repair campground, the Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont, Texas is a gorgeous sight for sore eyes.

The campground is well organized, the facilities sparkling clean, the staff friendly, and the fee is very reasonable. There is a nice recreation room, where breakfast is served for campers each morning, free of charge. There is a small library for people to “take a book, leave a book,” and an elliptical and recumbent bike are available for use. On a warmer day, the pool would look even more inviting.

 

Swimming pool behind a gate at Gulf Coast RV Resort

 

I love the rocking chairs that invite you to take a break and enjoy your surroundings, and I love how friendly everyone around here seems. I also love the washrooms at this resort. The showers are all a toilet, sink and shower combo, so that you have complete privacy for your shower and changing your clothes. I can see how it might get pretty busy in the summer though, as there are only 3 showers available. I do love that they are ungendered, so we can use whichever bathroom is available.

Washroom building at Gulf Coast RV Resort

 

The laundry room is clean and laundry costs $1.50 per machine, which is pretty standard. And the dryer actually dries our clothes, even though there are several towels with the lot.

After signing in, you are given a card key (much like a hotel key) which gives you access to the recreation room, washrooms, and laundry room, so it’s easy to use the facilities whenever you need them. I work at the recreation room for a while, and for quite some time, I’m the only one there, which is nice.

There’s a lovely playground, but it rained most of our time here, so the kids didn’t really use it.

Playground at Gulf Coast RV Resort

We loved our time at this RV resort, and highly recommend it to anyone visiting Texas.

 

Sterling Municipal Library in Baytown, Texas

 

Wonderful campgrounds and beautiful libraries in baymont and baytown, texas, www.marianamcdougall.com. Picture of tree and book sculpture outside of the Sterling Public Library in Baytown.

 

After our lovely stay at the Gulf Coast RV Resort, I wanted a whole day to catch up on freelance writing and editing assignments, so we decided to visit the Sterling library. And we’re so glad we did. This library is absolutely gorgeous, and my favourite part of it greets you as soon as you walk in.

 

Man wearing a backpack and standing in front of Story Bar at Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas

 

The Story Bar serves up short stories, podcasts, and Ted Talks on six iPads fixed to the counter. Each few weeks, the topics change, and you can spend 5 to 30 minutes sitting on a stool, learning about a new topic and/or being entertained.

 

Sign at Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas. The sign reads; Story Bar. Serving up stories... have a seat!

 

The thoughtful touches in this library really draw you in. The beautiful book display attached to the wall shows old books with their pages open, but if you’re a lover of old books, don’t despair: upon closer inspection, you can see that the books on the wall are actually just pictures of books, but they have been printed in a way that makes them “pop out” of the wall and look real.

 

Antique book display at Sterling Library in Baytown, Texas

 

The permanent features of this library are beautiful, but the beauty doesn’t stop there. The place has been tastefully decorated for the holidays, with a Christmas tree made out of books and decorated with paper ornaments, a display about their winter reading program, and a tree near the “Kid Zone” that has been decorated with mini ornaments made out of children’s book covers.

 

4-year-old girl standing in front of a Christmas tree made out of books at the Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas

 

Winter Reading Program Display at Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas. Books, stuffed animals, and a sign that says "chill out and read."

 

Christmas tree decorated with mini-book ornaments. Kid Zone of Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas

 

It doesn’t take M-girl long to find the children’s area, and she heads straight for the iPads, until we remind her of our “5 books before computers” rule. She only protests a little bit before agreeing to read some books with Daddy, and I take off to work at one of the tables in the back.

 

"Kid Zone" at Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas.

 

Later, I take a break from my work to read a few books to the little ones and play “soda box jenga” with K-girl. We have a lot of fun.

 

A girl plays "soda box jenga" at Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas

 

The library has a media room where you can try out their 3D printer, and a wicker chair that has been printed out in this lab can be seen in a giant doll house in the Kid Zone.

 

Dollhouse at the Sterling Public Library in Baytown, Texas, displaysa wicker chair that has been made on their 3D printer.

 

We absolutely loved this library, and were truly impressed with the number of services available, the novel ways to invite people to consume information, and the friendliness of the staff.

One day, I’d love to return to the Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont to stay for a few weeks (or maybe months!) and then make daily trips to this beautiful library in nearby Baytown. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a stop for a good read, or even to relax in one of the many comfortable chairs.

What is the best library you ever visited?

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