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.

PIN FOR LATER

Places to stay in PAWHUSKA, OK-5

Places to stay in PAWHUSKA, OK-5

Best of 2017 [part 2]: Our pics for best food, museums, views, and experiences

Best of 2017 [part 2]: Our pics for best food, museums, views, and experiences

In Best of 2017 [part 1] we posted our picks for best attraction, show, new place, and people. Today, we’re back to share some of the best food, museums, views, and experiences from our year in travel.

Best food –

Chicken fried steak at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile (Pawhuska, Oklahoma)

Chicken fried steak is a dish we’ve never made for dinner at home but enjoy ordering when we’re out. It’s a splurge for sure and if you’re going to take in the calories, you want it to be worth every one of them. The first time we went to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, this summer, it was a given that we’d try Ree Drummond’s chicken fried steak and it did not disappoint. In fact, Steve has tried chicken fried steaks all over the country and says the one at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is, by far, the best he’s ever had.  It was a fork-tender, thinly sliced ribeye, breaded and fried to perfection, served with a side of delicious mashed potatoes, all smothered in creamy country gravy and five months later, he’s still talking about it.

Chicken fried steak at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

Honorable mentions: Sunday brunch at College of the Ozarks (Branson, Missouri);  mini chocolate chip cookies at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch; the fresh fish and clam chowder up and down the Oregon coast; soup and salad at Salad Bros. (Rochester, Minnesota); and the garlic bread and steaks at The Peppermill (Valentine, Nebraska).

Sunday brunch, College of the Ozarks, Branson, Missouri

The College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri, serves an amazing Sunday Brunch that is prepared and served entirely by students who are working to pay their tuition.

Chocolate chip cookies, Vala's Pumpkin Patch, Gretna, Nebraska

These mini chocolate chip cookies at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch near Omaha were the perfect blend of crunchy, chewy and sweet. Ann had to make Steve count to 30 between cookies so they would last longer.

Clam chowder in Oregon

Ann and Carol tried the clam chowder everywhere we went in Oregon.

Salad Brothers wild rice soup, mixed greens, and ranch pasta salad, Rochester, Minnesota

Ann’s favorite lunch in Rochester, Minnesota comes from a restaurant called Salad Brothers. It’s a mixed green/ranch pasta salad, a cup of wild rice soup and one of their delicious parmesan bread sticks.

Peppermill garlic bread, Valentine, Nebraska

The garlic bread at the Peppermill comes au jus for dipping.

Best museum –

Art Institute of Chicago

We love museums and make a point to go to them when we travel. This year, we visited several museums we’d never seen near our home in Nebraska, including the Benne Museum (Crete), Lincoln County Historical Museum (North Platte), and Homestead National Monument (Beatrice). But the museum visit we enjoyed the most was the morning we spent at the Art Institute of Chicago.

One of the most impressive pieces of work at the museum is Marc Chagall’s American Windows. These stained glass windows have recently been restored and are as beautiful as they are impressive.

Marc Chagall’s American Windows was absolutely breathtaking to see in person.

We also loved seeing the Thorne Miniature Rooms. We couldn’t get over the detail packed into these tiny rooms! Parquet flooring, tiny newspapers left folded on the table and even fruit trees outside the windows of these rooms were just some of the amazing details that made these miniatures look just like an actual room.

Steve looks at one of the many Thorne Miniature Rooms. We couldn’t get over the detail packed into these tiny rooms!

Honorable mentions: Space Center Houston (Houston, Texas); Centennial Museum (Valentine, Nebraska); Columbia River Maritime Museum (Astoria, Oregon); Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City); Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum (Ashland, Nebraska); Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve (Bartlesville, Oklahoma).

Apollo Mission Control Space Center Houston

The Apollo Mission Control room at Space Center Houston helped make history again and again.

Centennial Hall, electric hair curler, Valentine, Nebraska

We had never seen a hair curling device quite like this one we found at Centennial Hall. A number of readers remember them, though.

We spent several hours at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City on our summer vacation with Meghan and some other college students

We spent several hours at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City on our summer vacation with Meghan and some other college students.

Columbia River Maritime Museum US Coast Guard lifeboat, Astoria Oregon

This US Coast Guard lifeboat is on display at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Nearly impossible to sink, boats like this patrol the often dangerous Columbia River Bar and provide emergency assistance to boaters in need.

SAC Museum hangar, Ashland, Nebraska.

One of the hangars at the SAC Museum near Ashland, Nebraska. The museum allows visitors to walk right up the airplanes on display and even take a peek inside some of them providing a look into the history of military aviation.

Woolaroc Museum mosaic, Woolaroc, Oklahoma

Located near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the Woolaroc museum is loaded with art and artifacts from the collection of Frank Phillips. Mosaics like this one show the high level of artistry you’ll find there.

Best view –

Off the stern of the Carnival Valor in the Gulf of Mexico

There is nothing more calm and relaxing that watching the wake (and the world) go by from the stern of a cruise ship. Let’s just say, this is Steve’s “happy place.” We’ve taken six cruises so far and one of our favorite things to do on each one is simply sit back, relax, and watch the water. The views are spectacular and the weight of the world just seems to drift away with every wave.

Wake of the Carnival Valor

Steve loved watching the wake of the Carnival Valor on our trip across the Gulf of Mexico.

Honorable mentions: The shoreline at DePoe Bay (Oregon); from the top of the lookout tower at Nebraska National Forest (Halsey, Nebraska); from the blind at Rowe Sanctuary during the annual Sandhill Crane Migration (Gibbon, Nebraska); from the air while flying into Key West (Florida); from the deck of the lodge at Drummond Ranch (Pawhuska, Oklahoma).

Oregon Coast, Depoe Bay, Oregon

We stood and watched whales in the Pacific Ocean in Depoe Bay, Oregon.

View from Scott Lookout Tower, Nebraska National Forest

The view from the top of the Scott Lookout Tower across the Sandhills at the Nebraska National Forest. You could see for miles.

We watched thousands of Sandhill Cranes gather at sunset on the Platte River near Gibbon, Nebraska.

Florida Keys from the air, near Key West, Florida

Passengers on flights into Key West get to see views like this as they approach the airport; views that tell them they made a good choice in going there.

Pioneer Woman's lodge view

The view from the lodge across the Drummond Ranch near Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is absolutely incredible.

Best experience –

Watching the total solar eclipse from our own back yard

Of the hundreds of new new things we did while traveling this year, none compares to experiencing our first total solar eclipse from our own yard. We spent the day with family, college students, old friends, and new people we met that day. We were all in awe as we watched the sun go behind the moon and for two minutes and thirty-six seconds, we experienced one of the rarest occurrences in the universe. It was absolutely spectacular.

Steve and his dad, John Teget, watch the total solar eclipse from our front yard in Crete, Nebraska.

Steve and his dad, John Teget, watch the total solar eclipse from our front yard in Crete, Nebraska.

Total solar eclipse photo by Ronald D. Koch of Crete, Nebraska.

Total solar eclipse photo by Ronald D. Koch of Crete, Nebraska.

Honorable mentions: Whale watching in the Pacific Northwest; judging the National Indian Taco Championships (Pawhuska, Oklahoma); tasting Pinot Noir while feeding llamas at the Rain Dance Winery (Newberg, Oregon); traveling with our parents (Nebraska, Key West, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas); swimming in a cenote in Mexico; and throwing our boys off a tube on Table Rock Lake (Branson, Missouri).

Whale watching, Depoe Bay, Oregon

Visitors to Depoe Bay, Oregon, can stand along this wall and watch whales breaching in the water below.

Indian Taco fry bread being cooked in oil at the National Indian Taco Championships in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Indian Taco fry bread being cooked in oil at the National Indian Taco Championships in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Rain Dance Vineyards, feeding a llama, Newberg, Oregon

Meghan sips Pinot Noir while feeding a llama at Rain Dance vineyards near Newberg, Oregon.

Smith Falls, Valentine, Nebraska

We had a wonderful trip around Nebraska with Steve’s mom and dad this summer. Here we are at Smith Falls near Valentine, Nebraska.

We had such a good time with Ann's mom, Carol, on a trip to Oregon to see the coast and watch the Nebraska Cornhusker football team play the Oregon Ducks.

We had such a good time with Ann’s tiny mom, Carol, on a trip to Oregon to see the coast and watch the Nebraska Cornhusker football team play the Oregon Ducks.

Meghan and Steve swam in this cenote (can you find them) on our family vacation in Mexico this summer.

Meghan and Steve swam in this cenote (can you find them) on our family vacation in Mexico this summer.

Tubing on Table Rock Lake, Branson, Missouri

Michael, Josiah, and Davron loved tubing on Table Rock Lake near Branson. Steve loved driving the boat and making them fly off the tube.


What were some of your “bests” of 2017? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.