Two hours north of Oklahoma City is the historic town of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Located in Osage County, the town was named after an Osage chief, Paw-Hiu-Skah. It was established in 1872 with a reservation for the Osage Nation Indian Territory.
Pawhuska has turned into a new tourist destination in Oklahoma, partly in thanks to Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Drummond reached notoriety with her Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog about life on her Oklahoma ranch. Eventually, she got her own show on the Food Network and now lives with her family on Drummond Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the country.
Here are some of the best things to do in Pawhuska.
1. The Pioneer Woman Mercantile
The Mercantile is a restaurant, deli, bakery and store, which was started by Ree and Ladd Drummond. The couple renovated the old Osage Mercantile building on Main Street and created a space with delicious comfort food, treats and gifts. Make sure to plan for crowds because the shop has been known to welcome up to 6,000 visitors per day.
2. Osage Nation Museum
This local museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Osage Nation. Learn all about the history, culture, and art of the Osage people
3. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
170 million acres of tallgrass prairie used to cover North America. Now the greatest stretch that is left is found in Pawhuska. This preserve features 11,000 acres to explore on a hike or one of their guided tours. There is also various wildlife to see, including free-roaming bison, white-tailed deer, coyotes and bobcats.
4. Downtown Pawhuska
Founded in 1872, the historic downtown area lets you experience the history of the town. Out of 98 buildings downtown, 86 are registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
5. The Pioneer Woman Boarding House
If you're booking your trip, you'll obviously need somewhere to stay. Another business from Ree Drummond, the Boarding House, is a "cowboy luxury" hotel featuring eight rooms for guests. The building dates back to 1920 and originally was The Indian Silk Shop. There's some delicious food that you can get down the street at The Mercantile Restaurant or order from the in-room dining menu.