This small town in the Osage Nation has so much to offer visitors,
but today we are focusing on the Pioneer Woman stops to enjoy. Pawhuska
hosted our visit. All opinions are my own.
By Robin O’Neal Smith
Freelance Travel Writer
When my husband and I were discussing a trip to Kansas and Oklahoma,
Pawhuska was at the top of my list. I followed the Confessions of a Pioneer
Woman blog a few years back. Ree Drummond talked about her life on the ranch
and purchasing and renovating the building for the Mercantile. I wanted to
see the finished product. I was thrilled with my visit and hope to return in
The historic town of Pawhuska is located about two hours north of Oklahoma
City and two hours southeast of Wichita. Named after the Osage chief,
Paw-Hiu-Skah, it was founded in 1872. It is the Osage county seat and the
Osage Nation’s capital. Eighty-six of the ninety-eight downtown buildings
are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Pioneer Woman Mercantile
Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, has built an empire from her home in
Pawhuska, Oklahoma. She started with her blog, has written books, has a
cooking show on the Food Network, and more. As her business grew, her impact
on the small Oklahoma town also grew. The Drummonds purchased and renovated
an old Osage Mercantile building on Main Street. You can see the before and
after photos on her blog.
Known as the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, “Merc” to the locals, is in the
middle of town. It is a large building with a store, restaurant, coffee
shop, and bakery inside. They often see approximately 6,000 visitors daily,
so be prepared for a crowd in the Merchantile.
The Mercantile is a fun place to browse. One side of the Merc is a unique
store offering various products. You can find t-shirts, dishes, cookware,
aprons, home decor, ornaments, toys, and books, including Pioneer Woman
The other side is a full-service restaurant/deli. The Pioneer Woman Deli is
a delectable place to eat. The restaurant has a relaxed and casual
atmosphere and the most delicious food you can imagine. When we visited, I
enjoyed the Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork Belly served with green beans.
The restaurant was packed, but the service was excellent, everyone was
friendly, and the prices were reasonable.
Up the wide staircase, you will find a bakery and coffee shop. It is a
gigantic area, and the bakery and coffee shop are on one end of the
room. The rest of the space is more of a gathering place for the community,
with sofas, comfy seats, and large and small tables and chairs.
They had the most mouth-watering cupcakes you can imagine, and the coffee
shop uses beans sourced and roasted exclusively for the store.
Charlie’s Sweet Shop
Down the street, you can Indulge your tastebuds in a cone of delectable ice
cream at Charlie’s Sweet Shop. A favorite flavor is the Huckleberry ice
cream. Huckleberries are a big deal in Oklahoma. The shop is named after the
Pioneer Woman’s pet, Charlie the basset hound, who passed away in 2017.
The Pioneer Woman Collection
You will find another of Ree Drummond’s stores down the street from the
Mercantile. Selling only Pioneer Woman branded items and featuring her
clothing line. Many outfits she wears in photo shoots and on the show are
available to purchase.
The Boarding House
This hotel, known as The Boarding House, is another business owned by Ree
Drummond. It is considered “cowboy luxury” and features eight rooms in a
building dating back to 1920. It is an excellent choice for lodging if you
plan to spend the night in Pawhuska.
Each room is unique and themed, such as The Photograph Room, The Butterfly
Room, and The Drugstore Room. When I visited Pawhuska, I was only there for
a day trip, but I plan to stay at the boarding house on my next visit.
The Drummond Lodge is the family’s guest house and a filming studio. It is
about a twenty-minute drive from town, and then you turn off on a gravel
road for several miles. It seems like forever, but it is worth the trip, and
if you are heading to Wichita, it is on the way.
The lodge is gorgeous. Larger and more impressive than I imagined. You can
find everything from pantries full of Pioneer Woman dishes and cookware to
prepping kitchens, her filming kitchen, a dining room, a living room, four
bedrooms, and more. Family photos adorn the walls, and a wraparound deck
gives you a gorgeous view.
There are also several photo opportunities in the pioneer woman kitchen to
pretend you are whipping up something delectable. I took advantage and
pretended I was making something and my husband snapped a photo.
When you visit the Mercantile, you can ask for directions and a free ticket
for entry to the lodge. Tickets are free but required for Lodge tours and
are only available on the tour day. The lodge is only open on certain days,
and you can check their website for open dates.
Be aware, no dogs are permitted at the lodge. If you have a dog with you, do
not visit. The ranch dogs are protective of their area.
If traveling in Oklahoma, visit Pawhuska and stop at The Mercantile and
other Pioneer Woman destinations. It would make a great girl trip!