Discover More, Pacific Northwest by Cory Crawford

We sent Cory a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Pacific Northwest to get his perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in his hometown.

Name:Cory Crawford

Place you live: Spokane, Washington

Can you sum up Spokane? Spokane is a great place to live, with beautiful natural locations and tourist destinations a short drive in any direction. With great food, music, the arts, and a close-knit community of people, its one of the more diverse cities in Washington State. Due to its smaller size, the cost of living in Spokane is nearly half of that of Seattle, Portland, and other large cities in the Pacific Northwest. Despite its smaller size comparatively speaking to its other Pacific Northwest cousins, you are going to likely see it on a national weather map because its the biggest city for 200 miles in any direction. For a smallishbig city, Spokane has a big sphere of influence.

Can you sum up the people of Spokane? Spokane is home to three major universities as well as multiple community colleges and for that reason, the city is home to many enthusiastic and active young adults that love to get out and explore. Thats not to say that there isnt a healthy amount of middle-age and older citizens that bring a good sense of balance to the people of Spokane. The arts culture in town is alive and well with great musicians, photographers and poets performing or displaying their work on a daily basis in the downtown area.

What was the experience like looking through the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Pacific Northwest? It was great reading about my city from the perspective of a tourist. Its always refreshing to step back out of familiarity and look at your hometown from a different perspective, from a new lens. As someone whos lived in Spokane their whole life, its interesting to see what aspects of the city are exciting to those who are seeing it for the first time.

Did you find anything new or inspiring about your area in the Guidebook? I had never heard of the interactive museum called the Campbell House, until I read the book. I was also unaware of the Great Spokane Fire that led builders and developers to utilize mainly brick and terra cotta for the construction of most of the older structures in the city.

How did the Guidebook influence the photos you went out to take of your area? The Guidebook was helpful in my photography, as it reminds me of some of the attractions in Spokane that I often take for granted. I work right next to Riverfront Park, but the book informed me that Spokane once hosted the World Fair (in 1974) and to this day holds the record for the smallest city to ever host the global event.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this project? The photos I chose really highlighted the diversity of my area. I wanted to showcase both the famous and the lesser-known parts of the city, to really demonstrate the wide variety of sights that Spokane has to offer. From a lonely snowy road on Mount Spokane, to the vibrant Duncan Gardens on the South Hill, to the famous suspension bridge in Riverside State park, I chose to represent Spokane just as it is: dynamic.

Occupation: Photographer

What is a perfect day in Spokane? A perfect day in my city starts out with a good cup of coffee from a local independent coffee shop downtown. Indaba, Coeur, or Atticus are some of the best. From there Id head over to Riverside State Park and hit the trail for a bike ride along the Spokane River. After biking awhile, Id stop at Bowl and Pitcher and take some photos of the rushing rapids, as well as the rocks and beautiful scenery that make up the gorgeous state park. Next Id set up a picnic and after eating a delicious lunch with friends, Id head to the lake (one of many in the area). A few sun-drenched hours later, Id head back into town to hit Fire Pizza for some artisan fire-roasted pizza served with cold cucumber water. Finishing out the day, I would drive to the Steptoe Butte, a literal mountain dropped down amongst rolling hills and gaze at the stars. After taking some incredible photos of the Milky Way due to the complete lack of light pollution, Id call it a perfect day.

What do you love about Spokane? I love the diversity in landscape that surrounds my city. Within an hours drive, one can see the rolling hills of the Palouse, calm and peaceful lakes reminiscent of those in Canada and rich forested tracts of land. Its not difficult to see a desert, a mountain and a lush forest in far less than one day when you travel around the Spokane area.

What do you dislike? I wish we were closer to the ocean. I love the feeling of the salty breeze and overwhelming calm that you get when standing in front of the Pacific Ocean.

What would be surprising about Spokane to an outsider? The quality of a lot of the artists that have originated from Spokane would probably surprise the outsider. Many big-time photographers, musicians and artists grew up and invested in their craft in Spokane before heading off to Los Angeles, Nashville, or Seattle. Its also home to the biggest 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the world, Hoopfest, which happens every June in downtown Spokane.

If Spokane was a person who would they be? If Spokane was a person, it would be young David pitted against the proverbial Goliath cities in our area. He may be small, but hes gonna do big things.

What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Pacific NorthwestI thoroughly enjoyed looking through and reading the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Pacific Northwest. I loved the way the book highlighted some of the lesser-known aspects of my city, providing local tips and insider advice to those who are seeing the city for the first time.


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Name:Cory Crawford

Best place to eat?

Fire Artisan Pizza

Best place to drink?

Durkin’s Liquor Bar

Best place to shop?

River Park Square Mall in Downtown Spokane.

Best outdoor activity?

Biking or hiking in Riverside State Park.

Local tip?

Check out Kendall Yards across the Spokane River… great pizza, ice cream and fine dining await you there.

If someone was visiting what must they do?

Ride the gondola over the rushing waterfalls of the Spokane River. It’s very impressive at sunset!