8 things for men to do while their wives shop at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, including a suggestion from Ladd Drummond, himself

8 things for men to do while their wives shop at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, including a suggestion from Ladd Drummond, himself

Men, we’ve all been there, sitting in the man seat, holding bags and baskets of merchandise while our wives gleefully continue their shopping sprees. And I know that many of us, when faced with our wives’ desire to go to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, recoil in fear of long hours stuck sitting in that chair.

Loved this chair for non-shopping men we saw in Pawhuska.

But men, I’ve got good news:  If you play your cards right, you just might have more fun than your wife when you go to Pawhuska. Here are a few of my favorite things to do in this cowboys’ playground.

1. Shop for your man cave

The World Famous Buckin’ Flamingo is just down Main Street from the Merc, and is definitely worth a stop. They sell some of the most unique metal art you’ve ever seen, perfect for decorating your man cave. You’ll find vintage signs for beers, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, baseball teams, and gas/oil companies. You can also prepare for your anniversary, Christmas, or your wife’s birthday by shopping their selection of beautiful sterling silver and turquoise jewelry. How thrilled would she be with a memory of one of her favorite towns on that special day? I daresay you’d get a LOT of points!

You can shop for your man cave at The World Famous Buckin’ Flamingo that is just around the corner from The Mercantile on Main Street.

From there, head over to Big County Pawn and check out their selection of tools, vintage items, case knives, guns, ammo, and cleverly named, delicious, Sh*t bar-b-que seasonings that can take your grill game to the next level. (Pardon my French.)

For that sh$%^y relative or neighbor that you don't know what to get for Christmas.

And, to up your grill game even more, stop by Lorec Ranch – Pawhuska and pick up a small branding iron to char your initial right into a juicy steak.

LOREC Ranch steak branding iron, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Heat this up and put a unique mark on every steak you serve!

2. Roam the Osage

Head east from the Merc about three blocks and board a tour on the Roaming the Osage Historic Scenic Tours van. Casey and his crew have put together an informative tour that will give you an overview of the area and its history. You might even get to see a bison.

The Roaming the Osage Tour will give you a great overview of Osage County while you ride in style.

The Roaming the Osage Tour will give you a great overview of Osage County while you ride in style.

The best part is that the tour is in the coolest tour van you’ve ever seen. It’s a Mercedes convertible with a retractable roof. When the weather is nice, you’ll roll through town in the open air, but when you head out on the highway, they close the top and the AC pours over you keeping you comfortable. It’s a unique experience — our understanding is that only two of these particular vans exist in the United States.


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Things for men to do while their wives shop at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.


3. Go fishing at the lake

Located just two short miles outside the city limits is the large, beautiful Bluestem Lake. When you head to Pawhuska, pack along your fishing gear because you can spend long, peaceful days at the lake.

Bluestem Lake offers lots of outdoor recreational activities, including fishing.

You can catch whiskered channel catfish, largemouth bass, speckled crappie, spotted bass, lengthy saugeye, ray-finned sunfish and white bass while your wife eagerly shops for all the kitchen gadgets you’ll need to prepare a wonderful dinner with your catch of the day. (Note: A state permit is required for fishing.)

4. Get yourself a custom hat and boots

While your wife is busy trying out whisks, spatulas, and mixing bowls, head across the street to Osage Outfitters and try on a new cowboy hat for yourself. Owner Joey Lee will help you pick one that is just the right size and will then custom shape it while you wait at the hat bar.

Osage Outfitters owner, Joey Lee, will be happy to shape a hat just the way you like it while you wait.

Osage Outfitters owner, Joey Lee, will be happy to shape a hat just the way you like it while you wait.

In just 10-15 minutes, your new hat will be shaped however you want, whether that’s a Cattleman’s Crease, a Gus Crease like in the movie, “Lonesome Dove,” or something else entirely.

Check a wide selection of quality cowboy boots at Osage Outfitters on Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska.

Once you have your hat, pick out a pair of beautiful boots made from sustainably sourced hide. Osage Outfitters has some of the highest quality boots around, and they can even get a pair custom made just for you. Why should your wife be the only one to get new things, right? No matter what you choose, you’ll walk out of the store looking good. (Full disclosure: Osage Outfitters has a lot to offer the lady in your life, as well, so you might want to show her around the store while wearing your new hat.)

5. Relax with a book

Head up Kihekah to the Book Burrow, a used book store where they probably have a copy of just about anything you’re looking for. Don’t have a title in mind? Owners James and Kelly are super friendly and can help you quickly find something that will grab your interest whether that’s a novel or a book on how to build cabinetry. Then, kick back and relax in one of their comfy chairs and enjoy some quiet time to yourself.

Book Burrow, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Russells, owners of the Book Burrow, are friendly folks who will help you find the perfect book.

Another book option is offered up by the Pawhuska Public Library which has a huge selection of reading material in a comfortable, relaxing, and perhaps most importantly, air conditioned building. Let your wife deal with the hustle and bustle of downtown Pawhuska while you catch up on a novel or your favorite hunting magazine in a quiet, calm, environment.

Read a book, or take a cat nap at the Pawhuska City Library.

Read a book, or take a cat nap at the Pawhuska City Library.

The librarian told us that some guys even take little cat naps there, and she said that’s perfectly OK as long as they don’t snore too much. Get off that man bench downtown, and slide into a comfortable chair with a book. You can find the library’s hours on its website.

6. Grab a bite to eat

Obviously, you will want to eat at The Mercantile. I mean, the chicken fried steak is amazing (and so is the queso dip, and the lasagna, and the chicken parmesan, and the cattleman’s breakfast and the…). But if you’re out and about in town, you should know that there are some other great places to satisfy your hunger.

Buffalo Joe’s is a local favorite and has daily specials that are all fantastic. Grill 125 and El Vallarta’s Mexican restaurant are also good places to try.

The street tacos at Buffalo Joe's are outstanding and so are the breakfast burritos.

The street tacos at Buffalo Joe’s are outstanding and so are the breakfast burritos.

If you’re looking for something a bit more, um, rustic, try T-Bones Pig Stand for a great pork sandwich. And if you’ve got Bar-B-Que on your brain, then head over to Bad Brad’s for an amazing Frito pie.

Steve enjoyed a chopped pork sandwich at The Pig Stand just on the edge of town.

Steve enjoyed a chopped pork sandwich at The Pig Stand just on the edge of town.

Oh, and don’t forget that any day now, you’ll be able to go across Kihekah Ave. to P-Town Pizza, Ree and Ladd’s new wood-fired pizza restaurant. Judging from the pictures we’ve seen and what we’ve heard from our local contacts, the pizza, desserts and hand-crafted cocktails are all beyond incredible. And let’s be honest, if the Drummonds are involved, you know it will be top-notch.

7. Play a round of disc golf

You’d likely never expect a town the size of Pawhuska, Oklahoma to have three disc golf courses including two of the top ten courses in the country.

Taylor Ranch disc golf course in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Taylor Ranch disc golf course in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

One course is located in town, while the two championship courses are just south of town on Highway 99 at Taylor Ranch. Drop your wife off at The Merc for her shopping adventure, and head out to challenge yourself to a round of some of the best disc golf there is anywhere in the U.S.A.

8. Take Ladd Drummond’s advice

When I met Ladd at The Mercantile last fall, I told him we’d write a post like this someday and asked him what he thought men should do while their wives shopped. His simple suggestion may well be the best one on this list: Get a piece of chocolate or pecan pie from the bakery at The Mercantile, sit back on the large couch upstairs, and watch the game on TV.

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond's husband, Ladd.

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s husband, Ladd.

Honestly, men, is there a better way to spend a day than that? And remember, they make fresh, homemade pies. All. Day. Long.


Do you have any ideas for things for men to do in Pawhuska? Let us know in the comment section below.

As always, thanks for sharing and pinning!

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Things for men to do while their wives shop at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Things for men to do while their wives shop at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

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True confession: We’ve slept around Pawhuska, Oklahoma

True confession: We’ve slept around Pawhuska, Oklahoma

When Ann and I were married, we took vows to forsake all others and be faithful to one another. That being said, I have a confession to make: We’ve both slept around Pawhuska, Oklahoma. All around. And we’re not too shy to admit it was wonderful! Now don’t get too excited. It was just the two of us, by each others’ side every night. (Smile)


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Places to stay in PAWHUSKA, OK-5


Turns out, The Pioneer Woman’s hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is also home to a number of great bed and bath properties and we have done our best to spend the night at as many as possible. While each property is unique and provides an individual experience, every place we’ve stayed has been exceptionally clean, managed by friendly people, and the prices have been reasonable. If you’re planning a visit to Pawhuska, we encourage you to book a place in town instead of settling for a chain hotel in another city. Staying right in Pawhuska gives you the real experience of small-town life in Osage County and the hospitality there is second to none.

Here’s a rundown of the many wonderful places we’ve slept in Pawhuska.

The Grandview Inn Bed and Breakfast

Stephen and Tiffany Poe are owners of this stately home located just up the hill from The Mercantile on Grandview Ave. This house, formerly owned by Ree and Ladd Drummond, has been beautifully restored and decorated and is absolutely charming.

Grandview Inn Bed and Breakfast in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Grandview Inn Bed and Breakfast in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

We enjoyed our stay in the Peacock Room at the Grandview Inn B&B in Pawhuska.

We enjoyed our stay in the Peacock Room at the Grandview Inn B&B in Pawhuska.

Guests are welcome to hang out in the living room and watch TV or head to their well appointed, comfortable accommodations upstairs for a good night’s rest. Each room is uniquely decorated and in the morning, you’ll come down to wonderful aromas wafting out of the kitchen promising a fresh, hot breakfast.

Steven Poe's eggs Benedict was delicious.

Steven Poe’s eggs Benedict at the Grandview Inn was delicious.

We loved sitting at the dining room table, sharing a delicious breakfast with other guests while chatting with the Poes. If you want to stay there you should know that some of the rooms have a private bath attached, while others share one. Ann and I stayed in one of the “shared bathroom” rooms, and it was never a problem. Plus, the Grandview has an on-demand water heater meaning that everyone gets all the hot water they need. This inn is also popular with large groups traveling together as they can share the whole house. See their website for more information.

What we enjoyed most: Visiting over a delicious breakfast with Steven and Tiffany Poe and their adorable children. 

The Flamingo’s Nest

Lauren and Cody Garnett, who are also proprietors of the World Famous Buckin’ Flamingo, own this whole house B&B property located just around the corner from Handy’s. This home can sleep up to 13 people, but Ann and I enjoyed the space just for ourselves, as well.

The Flamingo's Nest is a perfect place for a large group of people to stay.

The Flamingo’s Nest is a perfect place for a large group of people to stay.

A great place to bring your family or a group of friends, the Flamingo’s Nest offers a full kitchen, dining room, pool table, living room with entertainment center, as well as three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It also has covered parking behind the house which was great for keeping us out of the sleet as we unloaded the car one cold night.

The Flamingo's Nest is such a fun place to stay, especially with this pool table.

The Flamingo’s Nest is such a fun place to stay, especially with this pool table.

Thank you, Lauren and Cody, for the complimentary night in your wonderful property. We slept really well!

What we enjoyed most: Having an entire house to ourselves! 

The Pioneer Woman Boarding House

With eight unique rooms in a totally renovated building only two doors down from The Merc, The Pioneer Woman Boarding House brings “cowboy luxury” to life with amenities like custom-made coffee brought straight to your room each morning, and a wine and cheese reception each evening.

The Prairie Room at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House.

The Tack Room at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House.

In addition, guests at The Boarding House enjoy valet parking, room service, and even get reservations so they can skip the line at The Merc. This may all sound too good to be true, but it is all very real.

The bathroom in the Emerald Room features a claw foot tub and a walk in shower.

The bathroom in the Emerald Room features a claw foot tub and a walk in shower.

Add those VIP amenities to the huge, spacious rooms with genuine Tempur-Pedic mattresses and luxurious bathrooms that have to be seen to be believed, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a beautiful, relaxing place you won’t want to leave.

What we enjoyed most: Visiting with staff and other guests over complimentary wine and cheese. And, of course, the his and hers toilets. 

Redbud Cottage

The Redbud Cottage is a charming house located on 7th street. This whole house rental offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached double garage.

There is a large living room and open floor plan at Redbud Cottage in Pawhuska.

There is a large living room and open floor plan at Redbud Cottage in Pawhuska.

It also has a full kitchen (with Pioneer Woman dishes and pans), dining room, living room, sunroom, and fenced-in backyard complete with a gas grill which makes it a perfect getaway for a family or for a group of friends hoping to explore The Merc, Pawhuska, and Osage County.

Redbud Cottage is a perfect place for a girls weekend getaway.

Redbud Cottage is a perfect place for a girls weekend getaway.

We took our moms there and loved the flexibility we had being in our own house, able to make coffee (it’s provided!) when we wanted, and even prepare a full meal. Plus, being just a couple of blocks from downtown, the house is super convenient to so many amenities in Pawhuska.

What we enjoyed most: The water pressure. Seriously, one of the best showers I’ve ever had. 

The Million Dollar Inn

Overlooking downtown Pawhuska and across the street from the site of the Million Dollar Elm and the Osage Nation Museum, sits this charming bed and bath property that has been fully renovated. Owner Cheryl Potts has decorated each of the four guest suites in the house with heirlooms from her family that show her unique style and personal flair.

A sunny sitting room at the Million Dollar Inn in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

A sunny sitting room at the Million Dollar Inn in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The house boasts a common area with a TV and large windows that offer a lovely view of downtown, making this property a nice one for groups traveling to Pawhuska together. In addition, each suite is equipped with its own kitchenette and full bathroom.

The Million Dollar Inn in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The Million Dollar Inn in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

It is definitely worth noting that our bed was super comfortable. We spent a lovely evening visiting on lawn chairs outside with Cheryl and her husband who were a real pleasure to get to know. We’d like to thank them for the complimentary night we spent in this great property.

What we enjoyed most: A very comfortable bed and soft, luxurious bedding. Oh, and the view. 

The Prairie Cottages

We stayed in one of these on a recent trip to Pawhuska, and were among the first to do so as these newly built cottages just opened in the spring of 2018. Two cottages occupy what had been a vacant lot on Main St. next to the Prairie Cottage store and are conveniently located about 89 steps from the Merc.

The Prairie Cottages are located just 89 steps from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in downtown Pawhuska.

The Prairie Cottages are located just steps from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in downtown Pawhuska.

The inside of the Prairie Cottage in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The inside of the Prairie Cottage in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

One of the cottages has two queen beds, while the other features a king bed. These cottages both have all the modern amenities you’d want in a hotel room (including coffee and a coffee maker) while still giving you the privacy of your own building. We were there soon enough after they’d opened that they didn’t have WiFi, yet, though the owner told us it was to be installed soon.

What we enjoyed most: The location. I’m pretty sure I could smell Ree’s chicken fried steak from the front porch. 

The Historic Whiting Bed and Bath

This hotel, built in the 1920’s, is about two blocks up Kihekah Ave. from The Merc and offers some of the most unique rooms in town. Located above the Osage Square Mall, the rooms were originally efficiency apartments for newlyweds and oilfield workers. Over the past 30 years, the apartments have been renovated into unique rooms that retain a historic feel, some with the original Murphy bed frames from the 1920’s.

French room

The French room at the Historic Whiting Bed and Bath. Courtesy photo.

The Whiting Bed and Bath has so much character and history.

The Whiting Bed and Bath has so much character and history.

With chairs to take outside onto the shared balcony, you can spend time watching the comings and goings in downtown Pawhuska. Some of the rooms have only a large, antique clawfoot tub with no shower, so ask when you make your reservation if that makes a difference to you. No matter which room you choose, however, it is sure to be clean and comfortable. This property is also excellent for large groups traveling together.

What we enjoyed most: Ann loved bathing in an old fashioned claw-foot tub. 

Places we haven’t slept, yet

Even though we’ve really gotten around, there are still a few more places we’d like to try. The Little Rainsong Loft, located right on Kihekah Ave., is definitely at the top of our list. It offers, among other things, a yard with a fire pit and sleeping accommodations for a group of people. Then, there’s the Maybelle, another old Pawhuska mansion that has been turned into a B&B that we’ve heard is absolutely beautiful. The Wah-Zha-Zhi house, located close to downtown, has two fully renovated efficiency apartments that are available for rent. JJ’s Place, Park Place Bed and Bath, Gray Haven, and Haven on the Hill are all full-house rentals in town. Finally, the Lodge at Taylor Ranch is a bit out of town, but it is located on a championship disc golf course and offers a lake view.

There’s also a new hotel set to open later this summer. The Frontier Hotel will include 20 rooms in what is known as the Triangle Building just across the street from The Mercantile. We’ve anxiously watched the renovations over the past year and can’t wait to see the finished hotel.

The Triangle Building in downtown Pawhuska will soon be the Frontier Hotel.

The Triangle Building in downtown Pawhuska will soon be the Frontier Hotel.

With this many options when you plan your next trip to Pawhuska, make sure that you try to stay in town. You’ll be close to the action, which in a small town is refreshingly little, and you’ll be the first one downtown for a Pioneer Woman breakfast in the morning.


Have you slept in Pawhuska? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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Places to stay in PAWHUSKA, OK-5

Places to stay in PAWHUSKA, OK-5

Claude and Kathy’s unexpected night at The Pioneer Woman’s Boarding House

Claude and Kathy’s unexpected night at The Pioneer Woman’s Boarding House

If you like The Pioneer Woman, or have ever dreamed of spending a night at her new Boarding House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, you have got to see this video.

Now, here’s how we met this adorable couple.

Earlier this week, we made an impromptu trip back to one of our favorite places, Pawhuska, Oklahoma. As you may know, Pawhuska is a small town so word typically travels fast there. We’d only been in town a few hours when someone mentioned that there might be a few rooms available at new The Pioneer Woman Boarding House for that night due to a last-minute cancellation.

Steve and Ann at the PW Boarding House

We were super excited to get a room at the boarding house on a recent visit to Pawhuska.

Now, you should know that when this cowboy luxury hotel opened for reservations this spring, they booked every room available (for months in advance) in about an hour. From the moment it was announced, Pioneer Woman fans from all over the world anxiously awaited the opening of the Food Network star’s new boutique hotel. Since opening, reservations there have been nearly impossible to get. Take a look at this picture from The Tack Room and you’ll see why.

The Tack Room at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House.

The Tack Room at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House.

So when we called someone at The Boarding House Monday afternoon and discovered that a few rooms had indeed unexpectedly become available for that night, we jumped on it before they were booked. We arrived at the front desk in about four minutes (you can do that in a town the size of Pawhuska). We were so excited for the rare opportunity to check in and enjoy one of the eight luxurious, themed rooms.

Photograph Room bed

Like all beds in the PW Boarding house, the bed in the Photograph Room is king-sized, has a Tempurpedic mattress and amazing bedding. If you’re anything like us, you’ll sleep well.

We unpacked our suitcase in The Photograph Room, which was beautifully decorated with white wainescoting, charcoal gray walls, and photographs taken by Ree Drummond herself.

Fresh flowers at the PW Boarding House

There are always fresh flowers in every room at the PW Boarding House.

Photograph Room picture

A picture of one of the Drummonds’ beloved dogs in the Photograph Room.

A little after 5 p.m., we joined a few other guests for complimentary wine and cheese in a common area and got to talking about anniversaries and what brought each of us through Pawhuska.

PW Boarding House social hour

Jessye pours wine during the social hour at the PW Boarding House.

One couple from Oklahoma was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary while our soon-to-be friends Claude and Kathy were there to learn more about Osage history after reading the book, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann.

After having supper at the newly opened P. Town Pizza (you must have the Not Knots if you go), we went back to the hotel where ran into Claude and Kathy again outside on the balcony overlooking Kiheka Avenue.

Not Knots at P-Town Pizza

The menu at P-Town pizza calls the Not Knots “life changing.” After trying these savory morsels, it’s safe to say the menu is correct. These are the stuff dreams are made of.

It was then that we learned more about how they came to stay at The Boarding House that night, despite knowing little about Ree Drummond or having ever watched even one episode of The Pioneer Woman’s popular TV show!

Claude and Kathy were a hoot. We ended up showing them around The Photograph Room and they invited us to see The Prairie Room in which they were staying.

Photograph Room bathroom

The bathroom in the Photograph Room has beautiful black and white tile.

We got such a kick out of this couple who was married 50 years ago on the same day of the year as we were – August 27! Their story and lively personalities were just too good not to share, and they happily agreed to allow us to interview them on video.

We hope you enjoyed their uplifting story as much as we did. It certainly made for a memorable stay for all of us.

-Ann & Steve


Note: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is inviting you to put your name into the hat for a free night’s stay at The Boarding House in 2018! Simply sign up at the link below to subscribe to The Merc’s email newsletter and each month for the rest of 2018 they will draw a random winner.

https://www.themercantile.com/pages/boarding-house

(Note: If you are already a subscriber, your name will go into the hat as well!)
*Dates subject to availability

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The Pioneer Woman Boarding House hotel in Pawhuska, OK, is stunning!

The Pioneer Woman Boarding House hotel in Pawhuska, OK, is stunning!

We were at the right place at the right time this week when we rolled across the windy plains of Oklahoma into the small town of Pawhuska for the seventh time in nine months, excited to see if there was any progress on the Pioneer Woman Boarding House.

As you know by now, we adore this historic town that is coming back to life, in part due to the entrepreneurial spirit of The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and her husband, Ladd.

We pulled into Pawhuska Wednesday and walked by the Drummonds’ new cowboy luxury hotel on our way to The Merc for dinner our first feeding.

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile building in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

It wasn’t open yet, but the stunning lobby caught our eyes and we peeked through the door for a better look. One of the front desk attendants, Leslie, saw us and invited us in for a personal tour of The Pioneer Woman Boarding House.

These swinging wood doors were original to the building and lead to the lighted themed rooms upstairs.

These swinging wood doors were original to the building and lead to the lighted themed rooms upstairs.

The lobby is amazing — and it’s not even completed yet! The Drummonds kept the original tile floor and also preserved the steps and swinging doors that lead upstairs. Constructed in 1920, Leslie told us the building originally housed the Indian Silk Shop and was later a clothing store and J.C. Penney department store.

The light coming into the Butterfly Bed made the room light up.

The sunlight coming into the Butterfly Room made the room so refreshing and relaxing.

Rooms at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House

Each of the eight rooms has its own unique theme and name — Tack Room, Prairie Room, Ranch Room, Butterfly Room, and more. Leslie said Ladd designed the four rooms on the third floor while Ree created the four on the second floor.

The Drug Store Suite was amazing! The uncovered mural, the apothecary jars, oh, my!

The Drugstore Suite was amazing! The uncovered mural, the apothecary jars, oh, my!

The Drugstore Room was one of the first rooms we visited and I’ll admit our jaws dropped about as far as the time we first laid eyes on Ree’s chicken fried steak. It was incredible. The largest feature of this suite is a huge Puryear’s advertising mural on the south wall. There are also wooden shelves that display apothecary jars filled with penny candy.


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Everything was just all so well thought out with careful attention paid to details that bring relaxation and luxury.

All of the beds have luxurious bedding with embroidered pillow shams

All of the beds have luxurious bedding with embroidered pillow shams.

Amenities at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House

Each room has a king Tempur-Pedic bed topped with soft, fluffy bedding and decorative blankets. There is a stocked mini fridge and basket of unique snacks and fresh fruits in each room. In addition, they have provided not only a hair dryer, but a curling iron, as well. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Each of the rooms includes a basket of fresh fruit and unique snacks (like wax lips and Smarties) for purchase.

Bathrooms at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House

Oh, and bathing will be an experience at this hotel. The rooms have showers that are walk-in (many from both sides) and some have claw foot tubs. These aren’t the tiny, curl-up-your-knees and contort your body claw foot tubs, either. I’m talking stretch-out-your-legs, lie back in bubbles and soak-for-eternity claw foot tubs.

The Boudoir is decorated in burgundy velvet and glossy black paneled walls. Can you imagine soaking in this claw foot tub with a chandelier hanging above?

The Boudoir is decorated in burgundy velvet and glossy black paneled walls. Can you imagine soaking in this claw foot tub with a chandelier hanging above?

Every room was strikingly beautiful but the Emerald Room really caught my eye. Featuring emerald green tile throughout the huge bathroom, this room just makes you feel like you’re in a completely different place and time.

Each room at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House has luxurious bedding, an accent blanket, and a stuffed animal from The Mercantile.

Each room at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House has luxurious bedding, and an accent blanket.

This emerald green bathroom has a large clawfoot tub in addition to a walk in shower with floating glass doors.

This emerald green bathroom has a large claw foot tub in addition to a walk-through shower with floating glass doors. I know I’m in the reflection in the mirrored tile, but I just had to share a picture of this amazing room!

I also loved the Photograph Room. The charcoal plaster walls are decorated with stunning photographs from the Drummond ranch, all taken by Ree. The bathroom has marble countertops and the entire room is ADA-accessible.

This Photography Room is ADA compliant and filled with photographs taken by Ree Drummond.

The Photograph Room is ADA compliant and filled with photographs taken by Ree Drummond.

Everything in the ADA-accessible room is so well thought out. The closet is open and includes a lower bar for hanging clothes.

Everything in this ADA-accessible room is so well thought out. The closet is open and includes a lower bar for hanging clothes.

The Photograph room in filled with Ree Drummond's photography.

The Photograph Room in filled with Ree Drummond’s photography.

The staff at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House

There’s no doubt in our minds The Boarding House is going to be a destination in and of itself for people who want to escape, relax, and unwind. Not only are the rooms and amenities some of the best we’ve seen in all our travels, the people who work there are committed to one thing – making people happy.

Our tour guide Leslie, who is from nearby Hominy, was a wealth of information about the history of Pawhuska and Osage County. And like everyone we’ve met in Osage County, her gift of hospitality made us feel right at home.

Our tour guide, Leslie, was so sweet and full of great information about the history of the town and the building.

Our tour guide, Leslie, was so sweet and full of great information about the history of the town and the building.

We can’t wait for The Boarding House to open and look forward to sharing much more about the additional perks and services provided to guests. The spicy cowgirl coffee delivered to your room. The outside terrace overlooking Kihekah Avenue. The wine reception. The turndown service each evening complete with chocolate truffles. We’ll share it all with you, soon.

In fact, we’ve got a room booked the first week in May and we can’t wait to check in.


Thanks again to everyone at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile and The Boarding House for your incredible hospitality. We can’t wait to check in. 

As always, thanks for sharing and pinning!

The Pioneer Woman Boarding House in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

What I love most about The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK

What I love most about The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK

It’s Valentine’s Day and that gets me thinking about all the things I love. My incredible family. Our fantastic church. The privilege of blogging about midlife travel. My electric mattress pad warmer. And yes, Edna Mae’s pancakes at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

Edna Mae's Pancakes at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Edna Mae’s Pancakes at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

I fell in love with them last summer when we visited The Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, for the first time. I knew from the start we were destined to have a long-term relationship and it has been true love ever since. The menu says the recipe for the tender and delicious pancakes came from Ladd Drummond’s grandmother, Edna Mae. They are served with a trio of flavored butters as well as signature syrups, including aged vanilla and cinnamon, orange zest and clove, and sea salt caramel. Do you see why I love them so much?

Here are a few more things I just love about The Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

The Bathrooms

The beautiful bathrooms at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Our moms in the beautiful bathroom at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The bathrooms at The Mercantile are so beautiful that women actually spend more time taking photographs of the subway tile than they do applying lipstick. And that’s saying something! The bright and roomy restroom has gorgeous tile floors, scented liquid soap, and thick paper towels for drying your hands. There are handy little hooks for hanging your purse while you wash and the bathroom stalls are well stocked with Charmin toilet paper.

The Cowboy Coffee

The Cowboy Coffee at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Cowboy Coffee at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

I dream about this coffee. I had it the first time we visited The Mercantile and every time we’ve been there, since. There’s just something wonderful about the way the baristas prepare this hot coffee, served “shot in the dark” style, infused with Sarsaparilla and topped with frothed milk and powdered espresso. The coffee is specially roasted for The Mercantile at Topeca Roastery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and believe me, it is to die for.

The Turquoise-Colored Beads

Turquoise colored beads at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Turquoise colored beads at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Displayed throughout the store, these turquoise-colored beads are a Pioneer Woman signature item. This beaded necklace is the #1 seller in The Mercantile and seems to go with just about everything. You’ll see them worn by The Mercantile staff with black shirts and jeans and I think they make a great gift for any PW fan.

The Plastic Wrap Dispensers

Love this plastic wrap dispenser from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Love this plastic wrap dispenser from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

So, plastic wrap might not seem like a big deal to most people. It wasn’t to me, either, until I bought this self-proclaimed “World’s Best” plastic wrap and dispenser at The Mercantile. I am not exaggerating when I say it is life changing. My old beaten up, cardboard Saran Wrap box went right into the trash after I tried this dispenser last summer. For just $12, I completely eliminated the frustration of trying to find the end of the wrap as it clings to the roll or cut off a straight piece across a row of cheaply made metal teeth that slice your hand better than they cut the plastic.

Now, I simply measure out my wrap, gently slide a bar across the sturdy, decorative box and … voila … I am happy as a clam.

The People

Meg Kane visits with guests outside The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Meg Kane visits with guests outside The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Everyone we’ve met at The Mercantile (and Pawhuska, for that matter) has demonstrated sincere hospitality like we’ve never seen. On our first visit to The Mercantile last summer, we met Meg Kane who was in charge of keeping people in line outside the restaurant on a hot, summer day. She led trivia contests, passed out bottles of water and umbrellas and was just a delight to visit with. The Mercantile has plenty of staff readily available to answer questions, point you in the right direction, and even make recommendations for the very best dishes on the menu.

The Drummonds go above and beyond to make people feel welcome in their hometown, even hiring staff to open the doors for visitors. We’ve traveled all over the world and can honestly say Pawhuska, Oklahoma, has some of the nicest people we’ve ever met.

The Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fried chicken sandwich at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Fried chicken sandwich at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Hands down, this is the best fried chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. It is a crispy fried chicken breast with white cheddar cheese, honey mustard dressing, and creamy coleslaw on a toasted brioche roll. But my favorite part of this sandwich is the house made bread and butter pickles and I always ask for a few extra on the side. The sandwich is large enough for two meals and is served with homemade potato chips, all for $10!

The Decor

Love this sitting area on the second floor of The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Love this sitting area on the second floor of The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

I love everything about the decor at The Mercantile. The brick walls, wood floors, and the uncovered mural in the dining room all give this place a historic feel with modern touches. You’ll be awed by casual seating areas, complete with leather couches, southwestern rugs, and unique tables and chairs. We learned that many of the furnishings (including the furniture and rug in this picture) came from LOREC Ranch home furnishings which now has a showroom full of home decor accessories just north of The Mercantile on Kihekah Street. Stop in and tell Gay hello for us, if you go there.

I also love all of the large black and white photographs taken by Ree Drummond of scenes from their family ranch. Seeing pictures of her children when they were little and cattle on the ranch really give the space a personal touch.

The Fruit Flavored Iced Tea

Flavored tea at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Flavored tea at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

On a hot summer day, nothing quenches your thirst like a tall Mason jar filled with ice cold, fruit-flavored tea. The Mercantile menu includes a variety of fresh fruit purees in sweet and unsweet teas as well as in lemonade. I especially loved the blackberry tea served over pellet ice.

The Vintage Lip Balm

Vintage lip balm at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Vintage lip balm at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

When I saw this vintage lip licking lip balm in a glass jar at The Merc, it took me back to my childhood! I remember having these lip balms stuffed down into my back pocket in elementary school and collecting all the flavors, including my favorites, bubblegum and root beer. I loved the little metal containers and sliding the top back and forth during class. And for $5.50, I took home a wonderful memory.

The Tiny Bowls

Tiny bowls at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Tiny bowls at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Do these make you happy, or what? I love the plethora of tiny, colored bowls at The Mercantile. So many pretties in every color of the rainbow. There are polka dot bowls, mini spout bowls, nut bowls, berry bowls, and so on. I love all of the bright colors with their unique designs and every time we go there, they seem to have a new tiny bowl to tempt me. These bowls are great for entertaining, filling with salt and pepper for easy access near the stove, and for holding jewelry on a dresser.

The Prices

The prices at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile are very reasonable.

The prices at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile are very reasonable.

One thing we really love (and appreciate) about The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is the prices. We know that The Pioneer Woman brand is huge and the Drummonds could charge and arm and a leg for their food and goods but they don’t. At least to us, most things were very reasonably priced.

You can get the Farmer’s Breakfast including eggs, potatoes, ham, bacon, and house made sausage with a fluffy buttermilk biscuit and berry jam for only $10. Salads and sandwiches range from $7-15, while the most expensive dinner entree on the menu is the Cowboy Steak Dinner for just $24. I don’t know any other place you can get as good a 12 oz. USDA Choice ribeye steak with a twice-baked potato and green beans for that kind of money. And that queso dip appetizer for $8? Worth every penny — and every calorie.


Have you been to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma? What did you love most about it? 

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The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

A parade, The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, and Pawhuska at Christmastime

A parade, The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, and Pawhuska at Christmastime

Just after Thanksgiving, I received a text message from the Pawhuska (OK) Chamber of Commerce that said, “Kind of kidding, but if you Steve want to be in Pawhuska the first weekend in December, I have two judging spots left for the parade. We just miss you all!”

It had been several weeks since we’d taken our moms there for a visit and truth be told, we missed Pawhuska, too. I quickly answered the text with, “Sign us up!.”

Each Christmas, we usually plan a short family getaway to see something new and celebrate the season. We’ve gone to Christian music concerts, sought out Christmas light displays, and last year saw Mannheim Steamroller live for the first time. So, it was very exciting to add something new to our list of Christmas adventures and we’d heard so many good things about Pawhuska’s annual holiday lights parade.

Kihekah Ave., Pawhuska, Oklahoma

All ready to judge the parade!

Our daughter, Meghan, was able to come with us and we enjoyed the time to reconnect on the 6-hour car ride from our home in Nebraska to the Oklahoma border. We got to town Saturday afternoon with just enough time to check into our room at the Historic Whiting Bed & Bath in downtown Pawhuska and stop by a few of the shops there, including the Tallgrass Art Gallery, Osage Outfitters, and LOREC Ranch Home Furnishings.

Osage Outfitters, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

It was Ladies’ Night at Osage Outfitters.

The Holiday Lights Parade began just after sundown and it was AMAZING! Cody and Lauren Garnett (owners of the World Famous Buckin’ Flamingo) were the parade emcees and they did a fantastic job introducing each entry and entertaining the crowd with what Steve likes to call “hilarious dad jokes.”

Cody and Lauren Garnett and Reba Bueno, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Lauren Garnett, Reba Bueno, and Cody Garnett prepare to host the parade. We knew Reba was multi-talented, but we didn’t know she was a “gansta wrapper.”

I took pictures and shot video of the parade while Steve and Meg judged the more than 30 entries, each covered in lights and exemplifying the theme of this year’s parade, The Nutcracker.

Christmas Parade of Lights, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Christmas Parade of Lights.

Filming the Christmas Parade of Lights, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

It was fun to share our parade experience “Live” on Facebook.

There were parade entries from businesses, non-profits, and even families who all just love celebrating the season and having a good time.

Christmas Parade of Lights, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Christmas Parade of Lights.

We had a late supper at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile and enjoyed doing a little Christmas shopping during the extended holiday hours that evening.

Christmas Tree, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

One of many trees at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska.

Boots ornament, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This pair of cowboy boots was another of the cute ornaments at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

The Mercantile was beautifully decorated for Christmas, with several well-adorned Christmas trees, each with a different theme. There was one with food and cooking-related ornaments. The mini cinnamon rolls and KitchenAid mixer were a favs of mine.

Cinnamon roll ornaments, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

These cinnamon roll ornaments at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile look good enough to eat.

Another tree had a cowboy/ranch theme and had ornaments with things like cowboy boots, horses, dogs, barns, and John Deere tractors.

Cowboy Santa ornaments, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This cowboy Santa looked great on the ranch-themed Christmas tree at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile

Christmas dogs, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

These cute pups at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile are a perfect Christmas gift for any dog lover.

When we left The Mercantile, there were still a few shoppers in the streets and looking back at the strings of lights draping from building to building and hearing Christmas music played over a loud speaker downtown, we all felt like we were in the middle of a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. I just love Christmas. I love my family. Pass the Kleenex, please.

Kihekah Ave. at Christmas, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Meghan stands on Kihekah Ave. after the parade.

The next day, we ventured outside and found a few local store owners working in their shops. We had a nice visit with the owner of Hair Razors and then spent quite a bit of time talking to the owners of the Book Burrow. The (mostly) used book store is a great addition to downtown Pawhuska and they had so many interesting books on the shelves, along with some antiques and other household items.

Book Burrow books, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Book Burrow in Pawhuska has a huge selection of used books including these children’s books.

Of course, when in Pawhuska, you MUST stop at Handy’s, so we made our way over to our favorite convenience store to grab a cup of the best soda fountain pop in all of Oklahoma. We loved catching up with one of the owners, Martha, who was excited to tell us that our blog post about Handy’s a few months ago has helped business. She said several groups of people have even come in for a pop, saying they came to Pawhuska just to try the pop!

Martha at Handy's, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

It was nice to have a chance to catch up with Martha at Handy’s.

We spent the afternoon touring the area, as there was still so much we had not seen on previous trips. We drove out to Grayhorse Cemetery and paid our respects to those buried there, many of whom we’d recently read about in the book, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. It is an eye-opening and riveting book, if you haven’t read it. I highly recommend.

We also visited the Shrine of Kateri, the Veteran’s Memorial, and had lunch at Buffalo Joe’s. Later in the day, we attended a worship service with a new church in town and then drove about 20 miles to Woolaroc for the Wonderland of Lights display.

Woolaroc entry at Christmas, Woolaroc, Oklahoma

The Woolaroc Museum was beautifully decorated for Christmas.

The grounds and buildings there were covered in 750,000 lights and it was an absolutely spectacular sight. We enjoyed time in the museum and seeing Frank Phillips’ lodge all decorated for Christmas.

Painting at Woolaroc, Woolaroc, Oklahoma

Woolaroc has many incredible pieces of art.

The next morning, we indulged in breakfast back at The Mercantile. It’s my favorite meal of the day and The Mercantile is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to eat it. Steve got the pancake breakfast this time. He says he thinks they are served with three big scoops of flavored butter to hold them down, as they are so light and fluffy, they might just float away without it.

Pancake breakfast, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The pancake breakfast at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile.

I love the farmer’s breakfast which includes eggs, tomatoes, breakfast potatoes, ham, bacon, freshly made sage sausage, and the most amazing, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth buttermilk biscuit … my mouth is watering just typing this … that I’ve ever had. Oh, and it comes with blackberry jam. Needless to say, I can’t eat the whole thing, but it is nice to try a little bit of everything and there is no need for lunch.

After breakfast, we walked upstairs to the bakery and checked out the cutest gingerbread Mercantile made by the bakers there. It was adorable! It was all edible, with the exception of a tiny string of lights and even included mini Ree and Ladd Drummond characters on a balcony. (We’re told The Mercantile will be adding a similar balcony to the building early next year.)

Pioneer Woman Mercantile gingerbread model, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This gingerbread model of the Mercantile is full of beautiful detail, including a preview of the soon-to-be constructed balcony that will overlook Main St.

We took one more quick stroll through The Mercantile and picked up just a couple more gifts (who can resist the World’s Best Plastic Wrap & Dispenser) and headed down the street to visit a few more businesses.

Plastic wrap dispenser, Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This plastic wrap dispenser at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile really is the world’s best.

We were so delighted to finally meet, in person, the Trumbly family who own and operate Clifton’s Gift Shop just around the corner from The Mercantile.

Pendleton Blanket, Clifton's Gift Shop, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

We were honored to be given this blanket by Mr. and Mrs. Trumbly of Clifton’s.

We’d spoken with Teresa on the phone and were just honored to spend time with her and her family, hearing about the history of Pawhuska and learning about the Osage Nation. We spent more than an hour visiting and then, Mr. and Mrs. Trumbly presented us a with a generous gift – a beautiful Pendleton blanket. We were so touched by the gift and are honored to display it in our home.

They were also so kind to set up an impromptu meeting for us with Osage Nation Chief Jeffrey M. Standing Bear. After one last stop at the Waterbird Art Gallery, we filled up our drinks at Handy’s and headed home.

Until next time, Pawhuska, thanks for your genuine hospitality.


Have you been to Pawhuska’s Holiday Lights Parade? Tell us about it. We’d love to hear from you.