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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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. 

 

70+ things to do in Pawhuska after you’ve eaten at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

70+ things to do in Pawhuska after you’ve eaten at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

The first time we visited Pawhuska, Oklahoma, we went directly to The Pioneer Woman Mercantile to taste Ree Drummond’s frontier cooking for ourselves. We spent a day and a half in Pawhuska sipping coffee and eating cinnamon rolls upstairs in the bakery, shopping for kitchen supplies in the general store, and savoring every last bite of the most delicious chicken fried steak we’ve ever had. Since then, we’ve returned to Pawhuska several times and quickly learned for ourselves there is so much more to see and do there. Pawhuska has rich history, incredible art, unique shopping, and some of the most genuine hospitality we’ve come across in all our travels.  Bottom line — if you come to Pawhuska and leave without dust on your car, you’ve missed out! Admittedly, this does not include everything, but here is our growing list of 70+ things to do in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, after you’ve eaten at The Mercantile.  (Along with pictures of Steve doing many of them.)

 1. Pour a pop at Handy’s

Handy’s is a convenience store that doesn’t sell gas or have a public restroom. Stop there anyway! What they do have is the best fountain pop in Pawhuska (that’s what the sign out front says) thanks to three choices of ice — cubed, pellet, or shaved and another little secret you can read about HERE. While you’re there, be sure to pick up an “I got a pop at Handy’s in Pawhuska, OK” postcard.

Handy's fountain pop, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This dark and bubbly pop with that good pellet ice is just waiting to provide cool refreshment to any customer who comes through the door.

2. Take a tour with Roaming the Osage

Every first visit to Pawhuska should begin with a guided tour by Roaming the Osage Historic/Scenic Tours. Casey and his crew deliver a fantastic 90-minute overview of the community and its history while you sit back and relax in a comfortable Mercedes sprinter van with a retractable roof.

Roaming the Osage - Historic/Scenic Tour van, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Roaming the Osage tour is a great way to see the area.

You’ll tour the town, learn the history of the Osage, visit the Tallgrass Prairie preserve and drive by the now-familiar entrance to the Drummond Ranch. They also offer a tour to the Lodge on the days it’s open to the public. Call Casey at (918) 440-5312 to book a tour before you come or just stop by 429 E. Main to see if they have open seats. 

3. Follow the mooing yellow truck to the Buckin’ Flamingo

Trust us on this one, if you see a yellow truck with a conestoga wagon cover pulling a trailer with a saddled pink flamingo in the back, follow it to the world famous Buckin’ Flamingo — it is a must-see! What started out as a pawn shop/bail bonds business has grown into a retail store just down Main Street from the Merc that specializes in metal yard art, decor, unique items, as well as vintage and retro pieces. The store has lots of cool stuff to take home or give as gifts.

Truck and flamingo trailer at the Buckin Flamingo in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Meghan and friends Kelsea and Kennedy stand with the well-known truck and trailer the Garnetts use to advertise their business.

We loved walking around the store, looking at all of the different pieces and seeing how they were displayed (yard ornaments stuck in sand in a canoe, for instance). Everyone who works there is super nice and interesting. If nothing else, just making their acquaintances is worth the stop.

4. Get your bling on at Salt Creek

Located in the heart of downtown on Kihekah Avenue, Salt Creek (look for the “SC” in the window) offers the latest in high fashion including Kendra Scott jewelry like what Ree wore on her People magazine cover.

Salt Creek, Pawhuska, Oklahoma Kendra Scott Jewelry

Salt Creek offers Kendra Scott jewelry, women’s clothing, and gift items.

You can also shop their selection of women’s clothing as well as cute gift items like locally hand-embroidered tea towels and bath bombs. 

5. Buy the best plastic wrap dispenser on earth

Have you ever tried to tear off plastic wrap only to have it stick to itself and not behave making you want to cuss a blue streak? At the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, you can get the best plastic wrap dispenser ever made.

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.

We’ve bought the plastic wrap dispenser as well as the parchment paper dispenser and love them both. They also make a great gift idea for that difficult-to-shop-for person and are reasonably priced at $12.

6. Swing on the bridge

Be adventurous and try the swinging bridge! A favorite attraction of locals for years, the swinging bridge crosses Bird Creek just four blocks south of the Mercantile. Once the only way to get from one side of town to the other, the swinging bridge has been a favorite of visitors, and crossing it is a rite of passage, so to speak.

Swinging Bridge, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve walks across the swinging bridge. Don’t worry, it’s only a little more terrifying than it looks.

The signs at the ends of the bridge tell you not to jump up and down, though locals will later ask you if you did.

7. Stand in awe of stained glass at Immaculate Conception Church

We have been to Europe and have toured some of the most famous and impressive cathedrals in the world. None have stained glass windows quite like those at the Immaculate Conception Church in Pawhuska. The most famous window shows Father Shoenmaker bringing Catholicism to the Osage people.

Immaculate Conception Church stained glass, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Osage Window at the Immaculate Conception church is not to be missed.

To even be created, the window required special dispensation from the Pope because it depicts people who were alive at the time it was made. More impressive than that, though, is the 3D effect you see when you look at the windows up close. You can make your visit Tuesday-Friday from 10am to 3pm. The door on the north side at the top of the ramp is typically open and a volunteer guide can show you around and answer questions.

8. Indulge in Indian Tacos

Every year on the first Saturday in October, dozens of home and professional cooks compete for fry bread bragging rights at the National Indian Taco Championships in Pawhuska.

One of the many homemade Indian Tacos we sampled at the National Indian Taco Championships in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

One of the many homemade Indian Tacos we sampled at the National Indian Taco Championships in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Throughout the day, downtown is chock-full of Indian Taco stands, craft and retail vendors, as well as games for kids, and entertainment. They also have Powwow dance competitions for all ages. If you go, be sure to pace yourself and wear stretchy pants. You can read about our experience judging the competition in 2017 HERE.

9. Learn about the Osage Nation

Start your study of the Osage Nation with a visit to the Osage Nation Museum. The oldest tribally owned museum in the country, it offers free admission (but free will donations are accepted). Wah-zha-zhi Spirit: A Celebration of Osage History and Culture is a permanent exhibit there. It showcases themes including but not limited to pre-history, government, warfare and traditional arts. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays, and holidays.

Osage Nation Museum, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Osage Nation Museum shares a great deal of history of the Osage Nation.

10. Try something on at Osage Outfitters

If you are looking for a unique pair of custom made cowboy boots or a cowboy hat that fits just right (yes, they steam and shape the hats right in the store at the hat bar), look no further than Osage Outfitters. Owners Joey and Callie have created an amazing store just a stone’s throw away from the Mercantile on Kihekah. Osage Outfitters carries dozens of quality boots for men, women and children, all made from the finest ethically sourced animal skins, including ostrich, hippo, and alligator. They also have some of the highest end western fashion in the area. If you see saddles on the sidewalk, you’re at the right place. Joey told us this was his first “inside” job, so he has a good understanding of what type of clothing real cowboys and ranch hands need and want. He said his wife Callie has great style and by browsing through the racks of modern and fashionable women’s apparel, we think he’s right. We loved this store, the owners’ hospitality, and the boots … oh, those boots.

Osage Outfitters boots, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The boots at Osage Outfitters are some of the best you can find.

11. Salute the start of Boy Scouts

Outside the Osage County Historical Society Museum sits a bronze statue of a few boy scouts with their scout master. Pawhuska claims it was the place where the first Boy Scout troop in the United States was organized in 1909. The museum also has displays and information on the history of Osage County.

Osage County Historical Society sign, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Osage County Historical Society museum is a great place to learn some of the history of the area.

12. Savor a skillet at El Vallarta’s

If you like Mexican food, you’ll love El Vallarta’s. Their lunch specials are delicious and are delivered to the table quickly. We especially enjoyed the grilled chicken and rice skillet (splurge and get it topped with queso) and the fried beef burrito. You can’t beat the prices. Our lunch for two, which included chips and drinks, was under $20.

El Vallarta's chicken skillet, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Ann loved the chicken skillet from El Vallarta’s.

13. Search for bronze sculptures

Pawhuska is a city where the arts are important, and a quick look around town proves it. Throughout the town you’ll find number of bronze statues and sculptures, including several by famed sculptor John D. Free and his son John. See if you can find at least five of them.

John D. Free bonze, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

One of the public bronzes by John D. Free in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

14. See a show at Constantine Theater

The historic (and allegedly haunted) Constantine Theater in downtown Pawhuska is the second oldest performing arts center in Oklahoma. Originally a hotel, the building was converted into an opera house in 1911 and remained a theater until it closed in 1970. In 1987, a group of concerned citizens got together and restored the building, reopening it as a performing arts venue. Check the schedule and catch a show!

15. Furnish your home at Lorec Ranch

LOREC Ranch Home Furnishings is a home decorating store just down the sidewalk from the PW Mercantile on Kihekah Avenue. Inside, you’ll find creative decor with a western bent, much like what you’ll see inside the Merc. This makes sense, because the LOREC Ranch provided many of the furnishings found there, including the couch and tables upstairs near the bakery. We loved the dyed cowhide placemats and huge dining room table and chairs. There are also lots of other small treasures hidden around the store like branding irons for your steak. Friendly staff, like manager Gay Kincaid, also make every visit a special one.

LOREC Ranch furniture and accessories, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

A great selection of western furniture and accessories is available at the LOREC Ranch.

16. Hunt for rocks

Pawhuska is home to an ongoing game among locals that includes the hiding and finding of painted rocks. When you’re in town, keep your eyes peeled for brightly painted rocks.

Pawhuska rocks, Postcard Jar rock, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This is the rock we left in Pawhuska. Can you find it?

According to the rules listed in the Pawhuska Rocks Facebook Group, if you find a rock you like, you may keep it, but you have to replace it with another rock of your creation. Alternatively, you may just re-hide the rock. Either way, though, you’re asked to take a picture and post it to the group so the rock’s creator gets to see where it is. When we were in town, we hid a Postcard Jar rock … so keep your eyes open!

17. Throw a disc at Taylor Ranch

With two of the top ten disc golf courses in the United States and three overall, Pawhuska is quite the destination for disc golf enthusiasts as well as those new to the game. The city maintains a public disc golf course in Williams park, but the real action takes place a few miles south of town at The Lodge at Taylor Ranch.

Taylor Ranch Disk Golf, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This hole at the Taylor Ranch requires players to clear a water hazard.

There they have two championship courses (a round costs $5) including one hole on which players must clear a water hazard. Taylor Ranch also offers everything from Zumba classes to homemade apple butter and they even have a cabin for rental on Airbnb that is down by the water.

Williams Park, barrel house, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

In addition to a disc golf course, Williams Park in Pawhuska has playground equipment for the kids to enjoy.

18. Take a picture by a mural

As we’ve said before, Pawhuska is home to lots of public art including several murals. Take a moment to search them out and snap a photo like this one by the Osage Language building near Matthews and Main.

Osage Language Center mural, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This mural is on the side of the Osage Language Building.

19. View the vista from Lookout Mountain

Head out of Pawhuska a few miles on Okesa Road and when you come to a fork in the road, keep to the right. You’ll immediately see a gravel road heading up a loooong hill. Drive up that road and you’ll be on the top of Lookout Mountain. There, you’ll find the memorial and gravesite for Chief Fred Lookout and his wife, Julia. Take a moment and pay your respects. You’ll also find an incredible, 360-degree panoramic view of Pawhuska, Bird Creek Valley, and Osage County. This view is definitely worth the trip.

Lookout Mountain view toward Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The view from Lookout Mountain is incredible. In this photo, you can see Pawhuska in the distance.

20. Caffeinate with a Cowboy Coffee

There’s no better way to start to the day than with a Cowboy Coffee at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile. While The Merc may be best known for its food, don’t overlook the coffee. The Mercantile offers two world-class coffee bars with beans sourced and roasted exclusively for the store through a partnership with Topeca Roastery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Cowboy Coffee, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Ann loves the Cowboy Coffee at the Merc.

Ann loves starting the day with the Cowboy Coffee, served “shot in the dark” style, infused with Sarsaparilla and topped with frothed milk. The Spicy Cowgirl has a hint of cayenne and is also a treat. The best part is that both the coffee beans and the flavorings are for sale at The Mercantile so you can also try your barista skills at home.

21. Launch a rocket

Every September, Pawhuska plays host to the the High Frontier Amateur Rocket Launch. Hundreds of hobby rocket enthusiasts gather at the Pawhuska airport to launch more than 300 rockets over two days’ time. Some are small rockets built by kids. Others are large rockets made of fiberglass that can reach altitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet! Sounds to us like a high-flying event that shouldn’t be missed.

22. Scale the stairs to the Osage County Courthouse  

Need to burn off a few extra calories from that indulgence in queso dip at The Mercantile? Run some steps. There are two long sets of steps in downtown Pawhuska. If you start near the China Cafe, 129 steps will take you to the top of the hill where the courthouse sits. While you’re up there, take in the commanding view of downtown Pawhuska and surrounding area, catch your breath, and remember the 129 steps are much easier heading down. You’ll burn about a calorie and a half for every 10 steps you climb.  

Steps to the courthouse in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Steps to the courthouse in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

23. Compliment your cottage

The Prairie Cottage is a fun decor boutique located on Main St. just a block or so from the Merc. The folks there have traveled far and wide to bring unique items back to town, but they also have a selection of Pawhuska items in case you’re hunting for a souvenir to take home with you.

Prairie Cottage decor, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Home decor items at the Prairie Cottage.

24. Appreciate the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

At 39,650 acres, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest protected remnant of native tallgrass prairie on earth. With about 2,500 free-ranging bison, any visitor to the preserve has a good chance of spotting one or more of these majestic creatures. If you do, please remember the three rules for bison viewing the prairie’s conservancy has: 1. Stay in your car. 2. Stay in your car. 3. Stay in your car. In addition to being incredibly beautiful animals, bison are speedy, large, powerful and a little unpredictable. No human on earth can outrun them. Follow the rules.

Tallgrass Prairie, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve enjoys the fresh air and scenery at the Tallgrass Prairie.

25. Relax at The Pioneer Woman Boarding House

There’s no doubt in our minds The Pioneer Woman Boarding House is going to be a destination in and of itself for people visiting Pawhuska 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. Read about our tour of the Boarding House HERE.

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, an accent blanket, and a stuffed animal from The Mercantile.

26. Pamper yourself at a local salon

Take time out to get pampered at a local salon/spa. Pawhuska has a number of places to go including Ambition Salon & Country Road Boutique, Hair Razors, and Thairapy. Whether you just need your hair styled or want to go home with a brand new cut and color, these salons offer it all. Some even offer mani/pedi services that can make your day of pampering complete.

Ambition Salon and Country Road boutique, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Everyone needs a spa day. Thanks, Ambition Salon, for making Steve look so good!

27. Notice the architecture 

Pawhuska’s unique history and its ties to oil and the money it brings mean that there are many beautiful, stately homes in town. Take a drive and admire the historic mansions that line the streets. Then, head downtown to see the triangle building and other historic structures, noting the decorative brickwork near the tops of the buildings. Built in 1914, the courthouse at the top of the hill is also worth a visit.  

Triangle Building, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The newly-renovated Triangle building with its lights on for the first time in decades. This picture was taken in July 2018, right before the grand opening of the Frontier Hotel.

28. Sidle up to the Pig Stand

T-Bone’s Pig Stand is really just a food trailer on the west side of town with an awning over it. Apparently, the original building burned down years ago and they brought the trailer in as a temporary fix. After working in it, the owner liked it so decided to make it permanent and put the awning up.

T-bones Pig Stand, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The chopped pork sandwich made for a great lunch one day.

Don’t let the facade fool you, the food is great. Steve had the chopped pork sandwich with fresh cut fries and Ann loved her burger that was greasy in all the right ways. Locals also tell us you need to get there early if you want to enjoy the fish fry on Fridays.

29. Get your dawgs up

Pawhuska has quite a lively sports scene for a town its size and there is a great deal of local pride in their teams. While in town you should check out the school’s activities calendar and head to an event. With football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track and more, there has to be something to pique your interest. While there cheering for the Huskies, don’t forget to get your dawgs up! A local will be glad to explain how.

Homecoming in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Check out a high school game while you’re in Pawhuska. If you’re lucky, you might find yourself witness to the pageantry and tradition of a small town’s homecoming.

30. Book a room at The Grandview Bed & Breakfast

Back in 1923, The Grandview Inn Bed & Breakfast was a private residence owned by Drummond family. We learned that Ladd and Ree Drummond also lived here when their girls were young and in 2004, the home was purchased by historical home preserver, Charlotte Rhineheart. She replaced windows, updated central heating and air, refinished the beautiful wood floors and gave the interior a new design.

The Granview Inn, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The stately Grandview Inn was home to the Drummond family for years.

In 2012, the property was purchased by Steven and Tiffany Poe, who have made their home in Pawhuska and become innkeepers of this gorgeous and stately bed and breakfast. Simple and wholesome breakfasts are served daily in the dining room and are complimentary with each night’s stay.

31. Play the piano

We noticed several upright pianos near business fronts in Pawhuska and asked about their significance. One local business owner told us it was just a way to bring something arts and craftsy to downtown and business owners were encouraged to create their own unique piano display for passersby. See how many you can spot (and play) in Pawhuska. Piano in downtown Pawhuska, Oklahoma

32. Visit the Drummond Lodge

As you may or may not be aware, the Drummonds have opened up for tours the Lodge where The Pioneer Woman shows are often filmed. Check the Pioneer Woman Mercantile website for open dates and details. Visitors can explore the Lodge on self-guided tours where you’ll get an inside look at the pantry, cozy guest rooms, and the two-sided fireplace with a boot-lined mantle.

Pioneer Woman Lodge, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

It’s so fun to pretend that you’re helping Ree cook!

Be sure to take your camera or camera phone, as pictures are not only allowed, but encouraged. You’ll want to be sure to snap a shot of the women and girls (and a few brave men) playing kitchen in Ree’s beautifully designed space. You can read all about our first visit to the Lodge HERE.

33. Check out a book at the Pawhuska City Library

Pawhuska has a wonderful public library that is open every day but Sunday. Check out their website for their exact hours. Anyone is welcome to come in out of the heat (or cold), use the restroom, and settle down in a comfy chair with a book, magazine, or newspaper.  Several copies of the New York Times Bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann are available there if you’re interested in this newly released true crime novel about the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI.

Public Library, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve pauses with a book in the Pawhuska Library.

34. Visit the Blessed Kateri Shrine of the West

Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Native American to be canonized as a saint, and there is a shrine in her honor outside the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 1314 Lynn Ave. She was canonized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI and is the patroness of ecology and environment, people in exile, and Native Americans.

St. Kateri shrine, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

St. Kateri was the first Native American canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

35. See where movies were made

Believe it or not, Pawhuska has played host to Hollywood more than once. August: Osage County was filmed there as was To the Wonder. Because of this, you should know that George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ben Affleck, and Rachel McAdams were all in and around the town during filming. Even more special, if you visit the original Mudpies as you head west from downtown, you can sit on the wicker couch used as a prop in the filming of August: Osage County.

Mudpies porch couch, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

On the porch of Mudipies, Steve relaxes on the same couch used during the filming of “August: Osage County.”

CLICK HERE for even more things to do in Pawhuska. (Part 2)


Have you been to Pawhuska? If so, what did you enjoy most and what have we missed? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d like to thank Reba Bueno, Joni Nash, and all of Pawhuska’s residents and business owners we’ve met for your incredible hospitality and assistance. Until next time … 

As always, thanks for sharing (and Pinning).

70+ things to do in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, after you’ve eaten at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

70+ things to do in Pawhuska [Part 2] after you’ve eaten at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

70+ things to do in Pawhuska [Part 2] after you’ve eaten at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

[well]Note: If you have not read #1-35 of the “70+ things to do in Pawhuska after visiting The Pioneer Woman Mercantile,” click HERE first.[/well]

36. Get a refill on your pop at Handy’s

If you’re working your way down this list, by now your cup is dry and you still have many more stops to go. Remember that at Handy’s, refills are discounted, so take your cup in, get more of that wonderfully crunchy ice, and head on back out into friendly Pawhuska.

Handy fountain pop, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve finishes refilling his cup with a cool, refreshing, pellet-ice laden Diet Coke at Handy’s.

37. Pitch a tent at Osage Hills State Park

Located about 15 miles from Pawhuska, the 1,100 acre Osage Hills State Park offers many outdoor recreation opportunities like camping, hiking, fall foliage viewing, and fishing for bass, crappie, catfish, and perch. In the park, there are sites for tent camping, and RV parking. There are also eight cabins available for rent. With a pool, ballfield, and tennis court, this park has something for everyone. Head on out, you never know, you just might spot a whitetail deer or a wild turkey!

38. Read the papers

The Osage News is a monthly publication that is sent across the country that, along with a website, keep people up-to-date on what’s happening with the Osage Nation. If you’re in Pawhuska, reading the paper is a great way to catch up on all the important news and events that are affecting the Osage. There is also the Pawhuska Journal-Capital, which includes local and area news, sports, and a “Happening Now” section on its website with a weekly calendar of events.

Osage News, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Read the paper and catch up on the news.

39. Celebrate America

On July 4th, Pawhuska residents line the streets for a non-motorized parade to celebrate America. Participants march down the street while spectators enjoy free hot dogs, apple cobbler and water. Prizes for funniest entry, best wheels, best pet, best family, most original, most patriotic, and most outrageous entry are awarded.

40. Have a breakfast burrito at Buffalo Joe’s

Or a hot hamburger platter. Locals told us that the breakfast burrito at Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant is to die for. They tell us that if you go, you need to make sure you add lots of fresh salsa. We took our moms there for lunch and all of us had great meals. Ann had the street taco daily special with spicy jalapeño salsa. Steve loved the Hot Hamburger served open face with fries on top then covered in brown gravy. You can also get sandwiches and salads, so there’s typically something for everyone.

Buffalo Joe's open-faced burger, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

There is an open faced cheeseburger under this pile of fries and brown gravy from Buffalo Joe’s.

41. Visit a church

Pawhuska has more than a dozen churches that love to welcome visitors and several are listed on this Chamber of Commerce directory.

42. Stop and smell the roses at Tallgrass Prairie Flowers and More

It’s always good to slow down a bit and appreciate pretty things in life. One great place to do that in Pawhuska is Tallgrass Prairie Flowers and More. A unique store just down the block from The Mercantile on Main Street, it is not only a florist, but also a boutique that has candles, reed diffusers, snack baskets, fruit baskets and even barbecue buckets.

Tallgrass Prairie Flowers and More, products, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Bath products for sale at Tallgrass Prairie Flowers and More.

43. Find the Bronze Horse Foundry

Home to the late, famed bronze artist John D. Free Sr., Pawhuska also plays home to his Bronze Horse Foundry. Located in Pawhuska at what used to the Armory, the foundary completes work for bronze projects all over the country. While not open to visitors on a regular basis, limited tours are available by appointment during which you can learn the fascinating process of creating bronze statues. For more information or to schedule a tour, call Cindy Free at (918) 287-4433.

Bronze Horse Foundry, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

A sculpture of Ben Johnson Jr. is taking shape at the Bronze Horse Foundry.

44. Light up the night at the Christmas Parade of Lights

Each year, town residents and visitors line up alongside the street to watch the Christmas Parade of Lights. The parade features floats covered in Christmas lights and always includes a very special guest: Santa Claus. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and head on down to this unique local celebration that brings on the holiday cheer! The parade takes place annually on the first Saturday in December.

45. Jump off a cliff at Bluestem Lake

Bluestem Lake near Pawhuska is a beautiful reservoir just a few miles out of town. The lake offers swimming and boating as well as cliffs with waterfalls to jump from during the hot Oklahoma summer months. We’re told that the cliffs are quite popular with teenagers in the summer.

Lake Bluestem, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Spend a day relaxing on the water at Lake Bluestem.

46. Get some groceries

CV’s Family foods may also be known as Pawhuska Hometown Foods and/or Pawhuska Cash Saver. We like to call it the store where Ree might get a loaf of bread, or a gallon of milk. Located at 236 E. Main, and featured on The Pioneer Woman cooking show, it is your one-stop shop for all things grocery in Pawhuska. They also sell Pawhuska Huskies ballcaps and t-shirts have a full service flower shop and even a deli with hot foods.

CV's Family Foods milk, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

CV’s Family Foods is a great place to pick up a few things, especially if you’re staying at a B&B in town.

47. Mail a postcard

Yes, we put this on all the lists we write about what to do when you’ve traveled somewhere. Send a postcard to your friends or family or mail one home for your own Postcard Jar like we do. Of course, we’d love for you to send us a postcard, as well. Send it to Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

Post Office, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Mail your postcard at the Pawhuska Post Office.

48. Pay your respects

The cemeteries in and around Pawhuska are quite historic and worth a visit. The Pawhuska City Cemetery in town is where Oscar-winning actor Ben Johnson Jr. is buried. The local cemetery also has unique grave markers and mausoleums.

The cemetery in Gray Horse is actually located about 25 miles from Pawhuska but is key to understanding the history of the area. In his book, Killers of the Flower Moon, author David Grann tells the chilling story of the Osage murders. After oil was discovered, U.S. law said that only Osages or their legal heirs could receive payments for the oil leases on Osage land. Some white men then took advantage of that law, marrying into Osage families before murdering family members so they could inherit. The Gray Horse cemetery is where many of these murder victims were laid to rest. Read the book to learn more about this case and the FBI investigation into these horrific events.

Gray Horse Cemetery, Gray Horse, Oklahoma

The cemetery at Gray Horse.

49. Browse the shelves at Weigant’s Pharmacy

At Weigant’s Pharmacy, in addition to being a place to fill prescriptions, they have a large selection of medallions and other religious items pertaining to the Catholic faith. We found a charming Saint Kateri figurine on the shelves there. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is the patroness of Ecology and the Environment and was the first Native American Saint.

Weigant's Pharmacy figurine, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Weigant’s Pharmacy has a number of religious figurines.

50. Get Uncorked

Every year, the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association combines with the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce to host an evening of fun, wine tasting, and good food to support the arts in Oklahoma. This event is the kick-off to the annual Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping competition, also held in Pawhuska.

51. Learn to dance at Dance Maker Academy

Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy offers opportunities for arts education through ballet, tap, and jazz classes to students of all ages and levels of expertise. They have an annual recital each May and also offer some other special performances throughout the year. Check the Dance Maker website for more information.

Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Dance Maker Performing Arts Academy says they have classes for all ages and levels of expertise. There might be hope for Steve, after all.

52. Step in Mudpies

Mudpies is a unique home decor and gift boutique with two locations. Each store offers a unique inventory of humorous signs, kitchen towels, home decor items, jewelry, gifts, soaps and deliciously scented candles. And, it seems some of the nicest people in town work there.

Mudipes2 Soap, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

They have quite a line of men’s soap in Mudpies2.

When you’re shopping at the store on West Main, you can also sit a spell on the shaded porch, and relax on the wicker couch used in the filming of August: Osage County.

Mudpies jewelry, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Jewelry in Mudpies.

53. Remember those who served

Visit the Pawhuska, Oklahoma Veterans Memorial at the southeast corner of Main Street and Lynn Avenue which pays tribute to local veterans who served. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have given so much for our nation and freedom.

Veterans' Memorial, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Veterans’ Memorial in Pawhuska.

54. Search for a Geocache

There are more than 80 Geocaches placed within a 10-mile radius of Pawhuska. Use the Geocaching app on your phone to search for hidden treasures like one called “Just a Swingin’” with the following clues:

  1. Stay on the trail. No need to bushwack for this one.
  2. The cache is now a magnetic key holder. Bring your own pencil! You can approach from the North or the South, but I recommend the North. Parking is within feet of the cache from this direction.
  3. If you get seasick, definitely approach from the North!

55. See the significance of the Million Dollar Elm

The “Million Dollar Elm” was the place the Osages auctioned off leases for companies to drill for oil in the early 1900’s. Millions of dollars changed hands under this tree, and there was even an occasional fistfight when a patch of ground was seen as super-profitable. While the tree is no longer there, a monument marks the spot that played such an important role in America’s and the Osages’ history.

Million Dollar Elm momument, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This monument marks the place where the Million Dollar Elm stood. In its shade, millions of dollars worth of oil leases were sold.

56. Savor a sweet treat at Sweet-T’s

Head west on Main Street to a small drive-up building near the car wash where you’ll find Sweet-T’s. There you’ll find fantastic burgers and huge portions of incredible fries. Perhaps even better, though, is real homemade ice cream in flavors like Birthday Cake and Brown Butter Walnut. Hours vary depending on the day of the week, so you’ll want to check the Sweet-T’s Facebook page or drive by to see if it’s open.

57. Use the public potty on Kihekah Ave.

We wouldn’t normally include a public loo on our list of things to do, except it’s the best small town public restroom we’ve ever seen. This new facility in the middle of downtown has been shiny clean on each of our visits, and it features beautiful wooden stall walls and doors. Every town should have public restrooms this nice!

Public restrooms, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The public restrooms in Pawhuska are some of the nicest and cleanest we’ve ever seen.

58. Show your team spirit and support the Huskies!

If you’re visiting Pawhuska and want to fit in, stop by Spurs & Arrows or other local stores and pick up an orange Pawhuska Huskies t-shirt or hat. Who knows, you may even get looks from locals wondering why they can’t figure out who you are.

Huskies hat, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

You can get some local team gear while you’re in town.

59. Ride ’em and rope ’em at Cavalcade

Each summer for more than 70 years, residents of Pawhuska have come together for Cavalcade, the world’s largest amateur rodeo. For a solid week, the town welcomes bull riders and calf ropers, barrel racers and pole benders, each trying to outdo the others. With food vendors and street dances, Pawhuska has a great time. Cavalcade is typically the third week in July.

60. Admire Gina Gray’s art

Pawhuska native Gina Gray was one of the most well-known Native American artists of the past 30 years. Her work, incorporating bright, bold colors featuring stylized figures and abstract landscapes can be seen throughout the community. This is just one more reason that the the art scene in Pawhuska is so wonderful.

61. Join a service club

Pawhuska has a Rotary Club, Kiwanis, American Legion, and Lions Club along with other service organizations, and they do many great things in and for the community.

62. Warm up in a Pendleton blanket at Clifton’s Gift Shop

Clifton’s Gift Shop on Main Street offers a large selection of Pendleton blankets, Osage regalia, as well as other gift items and Indian art. Be sure to stop in an say hello to the friendly folks who work there. They’re always happy to meet new people and hear all about what brought you to Pawhuska.

Clifton's Gift Shop, the Trumblys, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Trubmlys are the longtime owners of Clifton’s Gift Shop and are some of the friendliest people in town.

Another place to get blankets is at the Osage Trading Company. At this old-style trading post, you’ll find everything from silver jewelry and Pendleton blankets to beads, feathers and fringe for traditional Native American dance garments.

63. Take in the view at the Million Dollar Inn

Named after the Million Dollar Elm where Osage Indians and businessmen gathered to make million-dollar deals for oil rights, The Million Dollar Inn bed and bath overlooks downtown Pawhuska and is just across the street from the former auction site on the Osage Nation campus.

Million Dollar Inn, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The suites at the Million Dollar Inn each have a private bath and kitchenette.

The house that is now the bed and bath was originally built in 1912. It was recently saved from certain ruin and was renovated by current owner and Osage Tribal member Cheryl Potts. Each of the four guest suites is equipped with a kitchenette and private bath. Cheryl has decorated with family heirlooms that showcase her unique style and personal flair. We spent a complimentary night at the Million Dollar Inn and loved the comfortable pillow-top bed as well as Cheryl and her husband’s warm hospitality.

It and several other bed and bath properties can be found on Airbnb. We have also stayed at The Grandview Inn Bed and Breakfast, Redbud Cottage, and the Flamingo’s Nest and can recommend them all.

64. Add some art from the Water Bird Gallery

The Water Bird Gallery, located at 134 E. 6th St. in downtown Pawhuska, is a wonderful little store that will help bring some style and color to you and your home. Framed Native American art, turquoise and sterling silver jewelry, vintage and new Native American clothing items, cedar boxes and chests, and macaw beaded fans are just some of the items you’ll find in this friendly shop. It’s right across the street from the post office so it’s easy to find when you’re sending us a postcard from Pawhuska!

The Water Bird Gallery, blanket, Pawhuska Oklahoma

Beautiful Native American items in The Water Bird Gallery

65. Remember Sally

Sally Carroll was a local fixture in Pawhuska and the sign on her cafe is something of a local landmark. She began working in food service when she was just 12 years old and then changed jobs at 14, going to work at a cafe called Lazaro’s. When she was 21, she bought Lazaro’s, and renamed it Sally’s. For the next 77 years, the folks in Pawhuska indulged in her burgers, chili, and pie. She retired at 98 and passed away in early 2017 at age 100, but the sign for her cafe and her memory remain.

Sally's Cafe, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Historic Sally’s Cafe is closed now, but the sign remains.

66. Drop off your cleaning and find a new outfit at the Grape Dumplin’

Out on Highway 60 near the Tag Office, you’ll find a little store called The Grape Dumplin’. Inside they offer women’s clothing along with home decor and get this … you can also drop off your dry cleaning there.

Grape Dumplin' clothing, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Ann checks out some of the cool clothing at the Grape Dumplin’.

67. Grab a quick bite at Roadhouse Coneys

Over on Lynn Ave you’ll find a neat little place that offers great hot dogs with all your favorite toppings like chili, and cheese. Roadhouse Coneys also offers other favorites like walking tacos and Frito pie. In addition, they have a number of TVs, both inside and out, tuned to sports programming so you can take in the game along with some of your favorite comfort foods. When you go, don’t forget to order a little of their edible cookie dough for dessert. You’re welcome.

Roadhouse Coneys, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The coneys were so good that Steve ate them before we could remember to take a picture. The edible cookie dough which we did remember to photograph was also delicious.

68. Visit the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce

There are a couple reasons to visit the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce. The first is that Reba Bueno and Joni Nash work there and they are super friendly people who are a wealth of knowledge on the entire area. The second is that the building itself was the first house built in Pawhuska and has quite an interesting history. Reba will tell you all about it if you ask.

Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce building, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Stop in the historic chamber office to meet some of the friendliest people around!

Chamber of Commerce staff with Postcard Jar, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve and Ann took a pic with Reba and Joni from the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce during the National Indian Taco Championships.

69. Rope a goat

So, the Buckin’ Flamingo that we mentioned earlier is a pretty cool place. In addition to everything they offer in their store, they can also bring goat roping to your next get-together. Contact them for details and to book this unique entertainment experience.

70. Watch a sunset

You are on the plains of Oklahoma, one of the places that God set aside for having beautiful sunsets just about every single night. Head out west on Highway 60, find a safe spot to park along a side road, kick back, and take it in. You’ll be glad you did.

71. Purchase a purse at Pierce Arrow

Want to carry a graf lantz bag like the one Ladd bought Ree on that one episode? You can get it here! Just across from The Mercantile, Pierce Arrow is a great place to shop for fine jewelry, apparel, home decor & gifts. In addition to the beautiful handbags, be sure to check out their beautiful selection of Chili Rose bracelets.

Pierce Arrow Pawhuska Oklahoma handbags and jewelry

Pierce arrow offers Graf Lantz handbags, Chili Rose bracelets, women’s clothing and other jewelry.

72. Place a bid at the First Tuesday Auction

The first Tuesday of every month is a big day at the Osage County Fairgrounds Ag building. Cody Garnett from the Buckin’ Flamingo puts on an auction that draws a crowd from far and wide. Starting at 6:01 p.m., he auctions off tons of items including jewelry, coins, treasures, trailers, guns, equipment, furniture, and home decor. Make plans to attend if you’re in town because you may just stumble into the deal of a lifetime.

73. Find a bargain at Sister’s Attic

Sister’s Attic is a consignment store located just east of the Merc on Main Street. It is a shop of many mini-shops, each booth with its own flavor and flair. Stop in and find amazing things from new clothing and art to used toasters and books. The owner, Randi, is so friendly that a stop in this store will never be a waste of time.

Sister's Attic, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Steve follows the advice of the sign at Sister’s Attic. And the sign is right, they have one of about everything in there.

 74. Feast on a Frito pie

Bad Brad’s BBQ is an amazing little place on the north side of Highway 60. The Frito Pie features a bed of Fritos corn chips topped with cowboy beans and your choice of meat and cheese. Also available is a dish called cowboy fries which is the same thing but with fresh cooked french fries. Both are amazingly delicious.

Bad Brad's BBQ frito pie, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This Frito pie with pulled pork at Bad Brad’s tastes even better than it looks.

Locals tell us that the fried bologna is the best meat choice and it must be, as they were completely sold out of it by the time we arrived. Instead, we ordered the pulled pork and the smoked brisket and it was some of the best BBQ we’ve had anywhere. Go hungry, as the portions are hefty.

75. Stay downtown

There are quite a few places to stay right in the heart of downtown Pawhuska. The Little Rainsong Loft is a recently renovated space that is 1,100 square feet with two bedrooms that will sleep six people comfortably. It also features a private entrance, kitchen, living room, full bath, dining room, screened-in back porch, and backyard with firepit.

Historic Whiting Bed & Bath is another great place to stay. Each of the 12 uniquely themed rooms has a private bathroom, as well as a kitchenette with microwave, coffee pot, toaster, and refrigerator.

Whiting Bed and Bath, kitchen, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The kitchen of our room in the historic Whiting Bed and Bath in downtown Pawhuska.

The Prairie Cottages, located next to the Prairie Cottage store, are charming one room cottages located about 100 steps from the Mercantile. One has a king bed, the other has two queens. Both are clean and modern.

Prairie Cottage Pawhuska, Oklahoma

One of the two Prairie Cottages available for rent in downtown Pawhuska

Finally, the Triangle building recently reopened as the 23-room Frontier Hotel. With all these options, you’re sure to find a comfy place to rest your head.

76. Meet an Aussie at the Gypsy Cowgirl and Gypsy Boutique Mall

Operated by a delightful woman from Australia, the Gypsy Cowgirl and Gypsy Boutique Mall offers unique collections of women’s clothing, infant and toddler clothing, accessories, home decor, furniture, antiques, and gifts for a variety of styles. They have an adorable line of mommy and me and clothing items for moms who want to match their little ones.

Gypsy Cowgirl, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

The Gypsy Cowgirl has a wide variety of interesting items.

77. Drive out to Woolaroc

About 20 miles from Pawhuska, you’ll find oilman Frank Phillips’ ranch retreat he called Woolaroc, which is now a museum and wildlife preserve. Pay admission at the gate then drive onto the property where you’ll see bison, as well as some other unique animals like water buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and ostriches.

Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve, Oklahoma

The sign speaks for itself.

The property also includes a museum with extensive collections of western art and artifacts, Native American material, and according to its website, one of the finest collections of Colt firearms in the world. Woolaroc (derived from the words woods, lake and rocks) is open year-round to visitors and a trip to the area would not be complete without a stop at this unique attraction.

78. Get a selfie with Mr. Reber

John G. Reber is one of Pawhuska’s most beloved residents. The former band teacher at Pawhuska High School, Mr. Reber is now retired and often has a pancake and coffee in the morning at The Mercantile before going next door to LOREC or across the street to Osage Outfitters to visit with employees and customers there. He loves to meet new people and take selfies. 

Mr. Reber Selfie, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Meghan took a selfie with Mr. Reber after breakfast at the Merc.

79. Be happy at Handy’s

Because you probably want another one, and the ice is sooo good that you can’t stop crunching, make one last stop at Handy’s during happy hour (10-11 a.m. or 4-5 p.m.) for a half-priced fountain pop. The best part is that by your third stop at the store in the same day, people might begin to mistake you for a local.

Handy's Martha and Margie, Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Ann and Steve pause for a picture with Martha and Margie at Handy’s.


Have you been to Pawhuska? If so, what did you enjoy most and what have we missed? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d like to thank Reba Bueno, Joni Nash, and all of Pawhuska’s residents and business owners for your incredible hospitality and assistance. Until next time … 

As always, thanks for sharing (and Pinning).