At Tweedz, we love to explore new places. Sights, Sounds, & Salivation: A Travel Guide for Music Lovers, is our new '3 things not to miss...' travel series that focuses on providing a few tips from our travels - exploring one essential sight, one sound (music venue), and one salivation worthy restaurant or culinary experience from a city worth checking out. If you only have 24 hours, be sure to fit these stops into your trip. This stop...PORTLAND!
Portland, Oregon - Perhaps the national capital of hipness, Portland has risen from grimy slacker paradise to global trendsetter of all things indie cool. It is a foodie paradise, seemingly with more restaurants than there are full-time jobs, and the music scene needs no introduction.
Portland is an incredibly walkable city, and for all of the hype about its crunchy arts scene and quirky populace, it is above all else a gorgeous place. You could spend a day just strolling around downtown, taking in the greenery, napping by the Willamette River (as long as it’s not raining). But to really take in the beauty of Portland, walk up into the West Hills to Washington Park—home to the famous Rose Garden—for some of the best views of the city skyline and Mount Hood hanging out in the distance.
Try throwing a rock and not hitting someone in a band in Portland. So as you might expect, there’s an abundance of great music clubs, including warehouse-y spaces like Holocene, and highly popular repurposed motel Doug Fir Lounge. But the one must-visit club in Portland is Mississippi Studios. The venue was built by musicians in an old Baptist church, with a focus on creating unmatched acoustics. While it draws top indie bands like Speedy Ortiz and Matt Pond Ma, the place is tiny, and usually cheap. There’s also a great bar (Bar Bar) attached and you can even rent the upstairs apartment on airbnb.
Again, so many great restaurants in Portland, and new ones seem to be constantly opening. But the one to hit up for sure these days is Pok Pok. Chef Andy Ricker started it up as a Thai food shack about 10 years ago, and in that time it has expanded into a packed brick and mortar restaurant, and now a growing restaurant empire. Ricker is a classically trained chef who lived in Thailand and became a renowned expert on the cuisine. Don’t expect a generic pad thai, though, his menu is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Fish Sauce Wings are incredible.