There are so many things we enjoy doing during our travels—from trying new foods to exploring the outdoors to learning local history and more.
One way we love to experience a place is by finding the local music scene. Whether it’s in our own back yard or in another country, stumbling upon live music and taking time to interact with the band and the audience is an incredible way to connect with people regardless of anything else you may have in common. I really do believe music is one of the best ways to bring people together.
As part of what quickly became a month-long anniversary celebration, we spent a weekend in nearby Port Townsend, learning a little more about the northeastern-most tip of the Olympic Peninsula.
We caught the ferry to Kingston on Friday after work and drove straight to the Tides Inn and Suites in Port Townsend where we were staying. We checked into a beautiful king Jacuzzi suite overlooking the water, dropped off our things, and headed out to see how the community spends a Friday evening.
When we first moved to Seattle, a colleague of mine had recommended a couple of places to grab food and drinks in Port Townsend and I consulted her list as I was planning our weekend getaway. Unfortunately a couple of her recommendations had since closed, but those that remained looked good and were within walking distance of our hotel.
We initially set off to check out a place my colleague said you could grab awesome tacos to go. We thought we would take them to a nearby pub she recommended and enjoy sunset over the water.
We walked along the marina to an industrial complex that seemed to house every type of business. There were some small restaurants serving Mexican food and fish n’ chips, a few administrative buildings for the marina, and several boat supply and repair shops. We wound our way through the dry docks to the taco joint, but it had already closed for the day.
Brian looked up other things nearby and thought we should check out a local craft brewery we had passed on our drive in called Port Townsend Brewing Company.
Port Townsend Brewing Company
As we approached the brewery, we could hear music and voices coming from around the building. We decided to forgo the tasting room and followed the signs to the beer garden out back.
There was a really nice fenced in green space along the building with plenty of seating and a covered space for the band. They even had a temporary dance floor that was packed for the better part of our visit! Lots of people were standing around talking and enjoying the beautiful fall evening.
We headed inside to grab a drink and then joined the crowd outside so we could listen to the music. The band was great and Brian especially enjoyed their fiddler player! They played a lot of originals so we didn’t know most of their music, but their last song in particular was really catchy—to the point that we can both still remember how it goes!
Nearby a southern BBQ food truck was set up with a few high-top tables. They were nearly out of almost everything on their menu but we managed to get a make-shift combination plate of what they had left, including smoked sausage, brisket and a few sides.
We shared out plate and our drinks, listened to the band, took part in a little people watching, and before we knew it, the music had come to an end and we were walking back along the marina to our hotel. A perfect Friday night!
The next day we explored downtown Port Townsend and some of the surrounding sights throughout the day, and then decided to end our Saturday checking out the live music at a different local pub my colleague had recommended called the Pourhouse.
This local spot was also within walking distance of our hotel and over in the same industrial complex as the Port Townsend Brewing Company, but it was much closer and didn’t require navigating along the marina and dry docks.
Situated along the water, the Pourhouse had quite a bit of seating inside as well as an awesome patio outback. They had a fairly extensive craft beer list so we spent some time inside figuring out what we wanted to try!
The band was underway when we arrived so once we had landed on our drinks we carried them out back and found seats along the poured stage area right next to the band! It was a perfect spot because we could see everyone coming in and out, had a perfect view of the dance floor, and were alongside the musicians.
While the band the previous night performed a lot of originals, the band at the Pourhouse was covering all kinds of recognizable tunes and had an awesome horn section. In particular I was enamored by the elderly gentleman playing the trombone. Brian gives me a hard time, but I can’t help it—I have a soft spot for old men!
There were constantly people up dancing, and the picnic tables were all full of small groups and quite a few people who had brought along their dogs. The weather was perfect and Brian captured one of my favorite pictures of the trip—the colorful patio umbrellas against the blue sky!
The Pourhouse doesn’t serve food but allows you to order it from elsewhere and bring it in. We were a little early for dinner so we simply enjoyed our drinks and the band until they were wrapping up, at which point we walked downtown for dinner.
If you like live music, I would recommend both the Port Townsend Brewing Company and the Pourhouse, especially if the weather is nice and you want to enjoy your drinks outside. Both have great outdoor seating options, host all kinds of local bands featuring different genres of music, and both are relatively close to downtown and within walking distance of a number of accommodation options.
I can’t really recommend one over the other for their beverages since I was primarily there for the music and am not a huge beer fan, but Brian said unequivocally he preferred the beer and beer selection at the Pourhouse. Both had a number of rotating drafts so it’s probably worth perusing those in advance of your visit, if that would sway your decision one way or another.
Have fun enjoying the local bands and breweries the next time you’re in Port Townsend!