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TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

Dec 4, 2018

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

Growing up in Tulsa was weird. Mainly because in the ‘90s, it was more or less a ghost town. There wasn’t much to do, and it was honestly pretty sketchy. Downtown was barren and the only good reason to go there back then was to see a show at the legendary Cain’s Ballroom… which would make our list if we didn’t think you should already know about it. Cain’s is legendary, historic, and an absolute no-brainer when it comes to sites to visit in Tulsa. The point of all this is just to say, Tulsa has undergone an absolute renaissance over the last 15 years. A once-barren wasteland is now alive with art, music, and culture. Here are a few of our favorite spots to visit. – Desi and Cody

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

“Morning” Coffee

We get up not-so-early… because we are musicians and tend to stay up very late. That doesn’t mean we don’t want coffee!! Usually in the late a.m. hours we stop by Hodges Bend, located in the charming East Village area of downtown. They make a mean cup of coffee, and are down to throw in a shot or two of something nice if ya need a little extra pick me up!!! They also have amazing food and craft cocktails, and on certain nights… they host some of Tulsa’s best jazz groups. This place is a great hang, for coffee… and so much more.

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

Afternoon Out

Tulsa’s brand new park, Gathering Place, is nothing short of epic. The Kaiser Family Foundation and The Zarrow Foundation have been pouring millions of dollars into Tulsa for years, and it has made a staggering improvement to our city. The new park is a $400,000,000 investment and it spans a two-mile section along Riverside Drive at the Arkansas River. This park is a marvel of modern design, and words really can’t describe how amazing it truly is. Kayak ponds, huge playgrounds, basketball courts, and gorgeous architecture are dotted through its beautiful scenery of native plants and trees. If you come to Tulsa, we strongly suggest getting a basket of food and a blanket and visiting this unbelievable addition to Tulsa’s landscape.

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

Dinner and Live Music

Soul City of Tulsa is where we go in the evening to have a drink, eat some amazing food, and listen to some of our favorite local and live bands. It’s located on Historic Route 66, and has all the charm you would expect of a business on that old stretch of road. Owners Kevin and Amy Smith have been some of the most supportive people in the Tulsa music scene and we love them very much!!! They even gave us a Blonde Fender Telecaster just out of the kindness of their hearts!!! They treat bands well, and are everything we wish every venue owner would be. They are honest. We can’t say enough about this place, so we will just stop with this: go to Soul City, order some tacos, get a beer, and definitely stick around for the live band… they have one every night of the week!!

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

Late Night Drinks

The Cellar Dweller is located beneath a non-descript brick apartment building on the west side of downtown. If you don’t pay close attention… you might miss it. This place is in an old basement and has been around for a long time!! Owner Western Doughty is also one of the bartenders and our favorite barkeep in town. The drinks are affordable, but the place has class and style. They also have good whiskey, beer, cocktails, and Champagne!! (Desi lives for Champagne.) They also have live bluegrass every Wednesday from Tulsa’s own Grazzhopper. If you like a classy speak easy vibe that isn’t “too-cool-for-school,” then the Cellar is your place. We think you’ll love it. We do.

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody


-STAY: The Mayo — historic downtown hotel circa 1925 that has retained (and renovated) it’s class, charm, and style

-EAT: Cherry Street Farmers Market — with multiple locations, Tulsa’s Farmers Markets have been a central part of the community for over 20 years.

-DRINK: Saturn Room — funky Tiki room vibes and drinks in the heart of the mid-west

-LISTEN: Cain’s Ballroom — this 1930’s concert hall is on the National Register of Historic Places, and used to host Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys as regular performers.  Today it’s still one of the top music rooms in the state.

-VISIT: The Guthrie Center — an extensive museum and cultural center dedicated to the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie, (who was born in nearby Okemah, OK).  The city is also home to the Bob Dylan Archive at the University of Tulsa / Helmerich Center for American Research.

TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody

Photo of Desi and Cody: London J Smothers
Guthrie Center photo by LukeGordon1 on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
All other photos courtesy of Desi and Cody. 

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TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody
TRAVELER: Tulsa, Oklahoma With Desi and Cody