Seven things that surprised us about The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s lodge

Seven things that surprised us about The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s lodge

[well]This post is about our visit to the Drummond family lodge where The Pioneer Woman shows are filmed. If you’d like to read about our tour of the Pioneer Woman Boarding House, click HERE.[/well]

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and her husband, Ladd, have been opening up the lodge on their Oklahoma ranch to visitors. We were surprised that we were visiting The Mercantile in Pawhuska on a day the lodge happened to be open. And we were even more surprised with some of the things we found when we got there.

#1 – Free admission

With the popularity of everything Pioneer Woman, the Drummonds could charge an arm and a leg for people to tour their lodge. But they don’t. In fact, so far they haven’t been charging anything. That’s right, they are allowing visitors to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile the opportunity to visit their family’s lodge at no cost. All you have to do is stop by the Mercantile on select days and pick up a sheet of paper with the directions and you’re good to go.

Pioneer Woman's lodge mixer and watercolors

The kitchen at the lodge is just like it looks on the show, complete with the watercolor paintings of the Drummond kids and colorful mixers.

You just show your sheet of paper to the nice folks at the front door and walk on in. Once inside, you’re allowed to roam through the kitchen where Ree’s popular Food Network show is filmed, stopping at the stove for an obligitory photo with a wooden spoon or a colorful pot.

It was so much fun to see this amazing kitchen in person.

#2 – You don’t need a GPS to find the ranch

One of things we loved most about our visit to the Drummond lodge were the directions to get there. There’s no physical address to key into your car’s GPS. No, Ree and Ladd found an even better (not to mention more entertaining) way to lead visitors to their lodge.

Pioneer Woman's lodge

The Pioneer Woman’s lodge is their lovely guest house that also serves as the set for her show.

They wrote out detailed instructions on how to get to the lodge from the edge of Pawhuska starting with “the former ALCO store on the right is a good marker.” They also mention in the details “that bathrooms are available at the lodge if you need them (we have indoor plumbing! HaHa!).”

Pioneer Woman's lodge guest bathroom

One of the guest bathrooms in the lodge.

We found the directions easy to follow despite their warning that, “one road sign was knocked over by a cow not long ago, so we’re not sure the sign will be there.” It wasn’t. We appreciated their advice to go slowly on the winding hills and look for markers such as curves in the road and cattle guards. We found the lodge with no trouble at all and at the family’s request, kept the exact directions to ourselves.


The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond ranch lodge tours pawhuska

Seven things that surprised us about The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s ranch and lodge in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

#3 – The pantry includes generic spices, Ramen noodles, and canned frosting

On our self-guided tour, we had a chance to peek into the pantry full of all kinds of foods and beautiful cookware.

Pioneer Woman's lodge cookware and dishes

Ree has a bunch of dishes and cookware on hand at the lodge.

Pioneer Woman's lodge pots, pans, and mason and jars

Colorful pots and pans are stacked high on the shelves in the pantry of the lodge. There are also plenty of mason jars for iced tea.

Pioneer Woman's lodge dishes

Plates and serving dishes fill the shelves in the pantry of the lodge.

My eyes were immediately drawn to all of the colorful serving dishes and pots and pans, but I also noticed something so surprising. Generic labeled spices (and some other ingredients) just like we use.

Pioneer Woman's lodge spices

See? She does use store label spices!

We also spotted Ramen noodles and canned frosting! Ree Drummond has cookbooks full of delectable recipes she prepares for her family. Pork carnitas, shrimp stir-fry, and the best tomato soup ever. Her seemingly endless list of dinner ideas has amazed me for years and I guess I  just imagined her family always having a home-cooked meal at the ready. Turns out, they may resort to Ramen every once in awhile just like us. And, they may even use canned frosting.

Pioneer Woman's lodge pantry

The shelves at the pantry are filled with the same items that everyone else has, including an opened box of something.

I was thrilled to see these items in the Drummond pantry and came to the realization that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have something like a perfect pot roast on the table every night. Here’s a video tour of the pantry in its entirety.

#4 -You get to see Ree’s dressing room

We’ve been on a lot of “back-stage” and “behind-the-scenes” tours in all our travels, but I must say, this is the one that was the most real.

Pioneer Woman's lodge dressing room

In the room with her makeup, Ree had two or three blouses she’d worn for shows hanging up. This one was used for the “Crazy Sweet Treats” episode.

On our self-guided tour of the ranch, we were not only invited, but encouraged, to step into all of the rooms at the lodge and check out where guests stay, including the suite Ree uses as a dressing room for her Food Network show. It was fun to see the rack of her signature tunics, complete with pictures from the shows in which they were worn. The coats she is seen pulling on to deliver a meal to the guys on the ranch were hanging in the closet, and there was even an extra pair of cowboy boots under the dressing table.

Pioneer Woman's lodge makeup room

Ree uses one of the suites at the lodge as a dressing room to prep for her show.

Her Fit Bit, turquoise bracelet, and her Urban Decay makeup were all left on the dressing table showing us how down-to-earth she really is.

#5 – The lodge was lived in

One of things I loved most about the lodge was that it was lived in.

Pioneer Woman's lodge fireplace

The family’s boots adorn the mantle of the lodge.

Pioneer Woman's lodge bedroom

One of the bedrooms at the lodge that the family uses to host guests.

It wasn’t a huge show house with high-end decor and pristine floors. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely gorgeous. But the beds were made, not made up with dozens of perfectly placed linens and European shams. In addition, minor scuffs on the walls served as evidence that children had really played there and we loved that they stuffed things in the closets when people were coming to visit just like we do back home.

Pioneer Woman's lodge closet shelves

The top shelves in the bedroom closets at the lodge are used as a place to stash things while folks visit–proving the Drummonds ARE real people.

#6 – They let you play kitchen

Not only was the dream kitchen at the lodge not off limits, they actually invited visitors to be in it!  That’s right. There were pots and pans on the stove and mixing bowls and spatulas to play with. And never in my life could I have imagined watching grown women (and a few men) stand in line to stir imaginary cake batter in a kitchen that wasn’t theirs. It was so much fun!

Just like on the show!

Meghan at the lodge

Meghan stands at the stove at the Pioneer Woman’s lodge.

I volunteered more than once to take people’s pictures in the kitchen and encouraged them to ham it up (which they all secretly wanted to do). Steve, Meghan, and I posed for our pics as well, and it is so much fun to remember ourselves in the kitchen when we watch The Pioneer Woman on TV now.

I loved taking people’s pictures in Ree’s kitchen.

# 7 – The view is even better than on TV

Sometimes things look so much better on television than in real life. Not the ranch. The view from the deck at the lodge was even better than it appears on TV. The rolling green pastures on this Oklahoma ranch were just breathtaking and we took the time to enjoy the view and take it all in.

Pioneer Woman's lodge view

The view from the lodge across the ranch is absolutely incredible.

We can’t thank the Drummonds enough for opening their lodge to visitors like us and sharing so much of their lives with complete strangers. Not every best-selling author and TV celebrity would do that. But then again, Ree Drummond is not your every day celebrity. She really is a wife, mom, food writer, and photographer. And she really does welcome real people to her frontier.

Have you been to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile or the Drummonds’ lodge? What did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. 

As always, thanks for sharing (and pinning)!

Our visit to The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Mercantile

Our visit to The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Mercantile

About 12 hours after Steve finished his last school board meeting and his ended his career as a middle school principal, we were on the road for a much-needed (and anticipated) vacation. First stop – Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s Mercantile.

Once a booming oil town with claim to having organized the first Boy Scout troop in America, Pawhuska went decades with little notice after the Great Depression.

Then, Ree Drummond, a self-proclaimed pioneer woman, desperate ranch wife, mother of four, and lover of butter brought this small town back into the national spotlight.


Creator of the weblog, The Pioneer Woman, and star of the self-titled Food Network cooking show, Ree has filled the hearts of her readers and fans for years. Now, she’s filling their stomachs, as well, right in downtown Pawhuska.

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

We drove from our home in southeast Nebraska to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile in a day, arriving just in time for an early supper. A Mercantile staff member greeted us as we walked up and opened the door for visitors. Small town hospitality is at its best in Pawhuska.

Hoping to get a table in the deli, we got in a line that extended down the block and were told we should be seated in less than two hours. Fortunately, I have the most selfless husband who said he was more than happy willing to stand in line in the hot sun while Meghan and I went inside to explore the air-conditioned general store.

I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity and ventured inside The Merc, as Ree often calls it.

By late in the day, the general store wasn’t too crowded and we were able to browse the wooden shelves, admiring the brightly colored juicers, nut bowls, and ramekins.

I loved these colorful juicers.

We strolled past stacks of Pioneer Woman glassware and dishes and checked out fancy dispensers for common kitchen necessities like plastic wrap and parchment paper.


The Merc had everything. Stainless steel mixing bowls in every size imaginable, cast iron skillets like the ones Ree cooks with on her show, and so many pretty cake plates and teapots.

There was even a small clothing and jewelry section, complete with the colorful tunics Ree has made so popular, and her signature leather bracelets and turquoise-colored beads.

The perfectly organized merchandise was beautiful, but even more eye-catching was the amazing renovation of the building that had been a mercantile way back when.

This mural from the National Biscuit Company was uncovered during renovations.

Just like an old mercantile, items were tucked away in drawers.


Original brick, wood, and an uncovered mural highlighted the structure and the Drummonds’ attention to detail was impeccable.

There was a gorgeous gift wrapping counter in the back of the store and a darling little children’s corner with a play kitchen area to keep children entertained and lots of jars of finger puppets of historical figures.

The gift wrap was just beautiful.

I wouldn’t typically blog about stops at the ladies room, but I have to say, this one was worth noting – and yes, I took pictures.

The bathroom was beautifully designed. It included hooks to hold your bag while you wash you hands, and would you believe it, was stocked with Charmin toilet paper (don’t you just love details).

After I was finished using the restroom had taken enough pictures, I wandered up the winding staircase to the second floor.

At the top of the staircase was large room full of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. It was furnished with comfy couches and wooden tables that made it a perfect place to sip coffee and shoot the breeze.

At the far end were a coffee bar, bakery and candy shop. And down a short hallway, you could actually peek in through glass windows at the kitchen staff preparing sticky rolls, cupcakes and maple scones in mass – and I mean mass – quantities.

We decided that we’d hold off on trying the baked treats until the next day and instead browsed the store a bit more, checking in on Steve every so often and giving him bathroom breaks.

I stuck to our pre-established budget and made it out with a few gifts for our moms, an extra-long spatula, a white colander, and one of those fancy parchment paper holders.

By that time, Steve had made it to the front of the line and we were ready to taste Ree’s creations in the deli.

Coming soon: Yes, the food is as good as it looks on TV; our visit to The Lodge; and Steve’s advice for men at The Merc. 

As always, thanks for sharing (and Pinning)!

Our visit to the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile