“What can you do in Pawhuska, Oklahoma?” A few years back, the answer may not have been so obvious. Established in 1872 and located in the heart of Osage County, the city has always had a rich history and unique culture. But few were aware of everything Pawhuska has to offer until Ree and Ladd introduced this charming town to the world.

Ree moved to Pawhuska when she married Ladd, an area cattle rancher. She was raised in nearby Bartlesville and was a city girl at heart, so she admits she was a fish out of water at first. "I was the last person anyone ever pictured moving to the country," she says.

But over time, Ree embraced her rural surroundings. In 2006, she started The Pioneer Woman blog to share updates about raising four kids on the ranch and her life in Pawhuska. That led to a cookbook in 2009 and a Food Network show of the same name in 2011. Suddenly, fans across the country wanted to know more about the sleepy little town where Ree lived. Soon, Ree and Ladd decided to take a risk on their next big project.

The Drummonds opened their first business in Pawhuska's downtown area in 2016: The Mercantile, a restaurant, bakery and general store. The Merc quickly became a must-visit for those who wanted to experience The Pioneer Woman small town lifestyle first hand.

“I love our small town, and I always want to find more ways for visitors to have a great experience."

As tourists flocked to downtown Pawhuska, Ree and Ladd decided to build on the success of the Merc with an eight room inn, pizza place, and ice cream parlor. Now, you can book a room at The Boarding House; grab a slice at P-Town Pizza; load up on ice cream at Charlie’s Sweet Shop; and even poke around the set of The Pioneer Woman during a tour of the Lodge, located on Drummond Ranch.

Ree-related activities are of course the main draw, but you'll find plenty of other interesting things to do around town. Take a tour and see why Ree and her family are proud to call Pawhuska home.

So, How Do You Get to Pawhuska?

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If you love a good road trip, then you can, of course, drive to Pawhuska. We suggest listening to some true crime podcasts to make the trip more exciting!

If you're flying, the nearest airport is Tulsa International Airport (TUL), located about 56 miles away. Another option is Oklahoma City, which offers a few more direct flights from major cities but is roughly a two-hour drive from downtown Pawhuska. You can grab a rental car from most companies at both airports. Safe travels!

First Stop: Take the Ree Tour

Once you've arrived, all things Pioneer Woman await. We've gathered up every detail about Ree and Ladd's hotspots, which thousands of fans have visited over the years.

the pioneer woman mercantile
The Mercantile

Grab a coffee at the bakery before exploring all the one-of-a-kind finds The Merc has to offer. "If it's funny, weird, cute, or pretty, I bought it for the store," Ree says.

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Buff Strickland
pioneer woman p town pizza
P-Town Pizza

P-Town is the place to grab a slice and watch the game, or catch up with friends. Don't miss an opportunity to order the Not Knots and the dessert jars.

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Kevin Miyazaki
the pioneer woman hotel
The Boarding House

Rest your head at Ree and Ladd's inn. When you book a room, you'll also get automatic reservations to The Merc and complimentary morning coffee.

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Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux
charlies sweet shop
Charlie's Sweet Shop

We don't need to tell you why a stop by Charlie's is a must. The sixteen flavors of ice cream and mountains of candy speak for themselves.

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Charlie's Sweet Shop/Instagram
the pioneer woman lodge tours
The Lodge

The Pioneer Woman fans will be delighted to see where Ree films her Food Network show. On tour days, grab tickets at The Merc before heading over to the Drummond Ranch.

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Kevin J. Miyazaki

Next Up: Explore Other Spots Around Town

When you're done seeing Ree's sights, move on to other attractions in Pawhuska. Museums and boutiques will keep history buffs and shoppers entertained, and true country folk will enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Don't forget to buy some real cowboy boots.

things to do in pawhuska
Osage Outfitters

Ree calls this the best western store in town. Find the boutique across from The Merc, and spend the afternoon sifting through heritage brands like Olathe Boot Co. and Old Gringo.


Kevin J. Miyazaki
things to do in pawhuska
The Swinging Bridge

The wood-plank bridge was built in 1926, and dramatically swings from side to side as you cross. Your bravery will be rewarded when you see the view of Bird Creek.


Kevin J. Miyazaki
things to do in pawhuska
Osage Nation Museum

Pawhuska is the capital of the Osage Nation. Visit the museum packed with info about the history, culture, and art of the Osage people.


Kevin J. Miyazaki
things to do in pawhuska
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

It’s the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie left on earth, and is home to over 2,000 bison. See the animals and other wildlife for yourself on the scenic 10-mile drive.


Kevin J. Miyazaki

Let's Get to the Good Stuff: What to Order

Here's what really matters: the food! You can't go wrong with anything on Ree's menus, but here are a few of the dishes you definitely don't want to miss. Hope you're hungry!

the merc menu
Blueberry Scones

Start your day off with a pastry from The Merc bakery. These blueberry scones have fruit, so they totally count as breakfast.

Buff Strickland
p town pizza potato and leek pizza
Potato and Leek Pizza

Ree's go-to slice at P-Town has crispy bacon, potatoes, and lots of cheese.

Kevin J. Miyazaki
charlies sweet shop
Road to the Ranch Sundae

Rocky road, cookies and cream, and mudslide ice creams with Oreo bits—we can see why this is Ree's order at Charlie's.

Kenneth Ruggiano
the pioneer woman restaurant menu
Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese Dippers

It's a best-seller for a reason—The Merc knows its comfort food.

The Mercantile/Instagram

Last, But Not Least: What Should You Pack?

You should always check the weather before you come, but here's a general guide to get you started. For most of the year, we suggest layers so you're prepared for warm or chilly conditions. Here's a fun outfit suggestion!

clothes to pack when visiting pawhuska
Hair Scarf Set: similar available at anthropologie.com; Sunglasses: $145, warbyparker.com; Denim Jacket: $128, anthropologie.com; Raglan Tee: similar available at everlane.com; Crossbody: $58, bananarepublic.com; Skinny Jeans: $98, amazon.com; Ankle Boots: $80, shop.mango.com

Whether you're planning a trip for the future, or you're just taking a virtual tour, Pawhuska is full of delightful surprises—and we're sure Ree will keep 'em coming.

"I love our small town, and I always want to find more ways for visitors to have a great experience," she says.

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Megan Stein

Megan Stein is the executive editor for The Pioneer Woman, and oversees entertainment, features, and news for the website. Whether it's catching up on the latest true crime podcast, or re-watching the best '80s movies for the zillionth time, she's always here to talk about anything and everything relating to pop culture.