Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, has launched an empire from her home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. While at the helm of a popular blog, product lines, and a TV show on the Food Network, Drummond brings a pioneer spirit to the way we think about food. She’s a former city girl with a deep love of her Oklahoma home—and we see why. This small town is known for welcoming visitors with open arms. Pawhuska is brimming with charm—and plenty of fun things to do on a weekend trip. So pack your bags, because the Sooner State’s calling.
1. The Pioneer Woman Mercantile
When in Osage County, you have to stop by The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. Drummond’s bakery-deli-shop hybrid welcomes you for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it offers a general store-style selection of carefully curated kitchen tools, pioneer gear, and games. Stay and sit awhile, or stay and shop awhile. From bacon-shaped bandages to cute kitchen towels and t-shirts, you’ll find something clever to commemorate your trip. (Just be sure to get there early, because the Mercantile has been known to average 6,000 customers a day.)
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2. Downtown Pawhuska
Stroll through downtown Pawhuska, a spot that celebrates its rich history. The town was founded in 1872, and 86 buildings in the downtown area are on the National Register of Historic Places. Sit down for a meal at Bad Brad’s Bar-B-Q joint or The Prairie Dog and enjoy Pawhuska's combination—and celebration—of past, present, and future.
3. Osage Nation Museum
Named for Chief Paw-Hiu-Skah, Pawhuska is home to the headquarters of the Osage Nation. The museum was founded in 1938 and is the oldest tribally-owned museum in the country. Today, the Osage Nation Museum offers programming and exhibits that celebrate the history and culture of the Osage Nation.
4. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, is the largest protected stretch of tallgrass prairie found in in North America. While the continent was once home to 170 million acres of tallgrass prairie, now only 4 percent remains. Enjoy a visit to the 11,000-acre preserve, and bring your hiking boots and fishing poles. Stop by the visitors’ center for information on self-guided tours, exhibits, and hiking trails. Keep your eyes peeled; you might even see a herd of bison roaming the landscape.
Planning a trip to Oklahoma? Say hi to The Pioneer Woman for us, and set aside some time to take in the best of Pawhuska. It’s a treasure.