If you’re planning a visit to Pawhuska, you probably are hoping to get some great photos during your trip. Whether you are coming for a romanic, family, or friends getaway, you want to capture your memories for once you’re back home. These are a few of the best Instagrammable places in Pawhuska for your trip.
These Pawhuska photo spots include famous places like Drummond Ranch, historic spots like the Ole Fire Station, and places to photograph buffalo near Pawhuska (i.e. bison).
If you’re heading to Pawhuska from Oklahoma City, check these tips for the drive from OKC to Pawhuska plus this list of things to do.
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Where to Stay in Pawhuska
While you can visit Pawhuska as a day trip from Oklahoma City, Tulsa, or Wichita, there’s enough to do here that you can stay overnight or on a long weekend and really dig into all that Pawhuska and Osage County have to offer.
Here are my suggestions for where to stay in each budget category, plus an Airbnb recommendation. Recs are based on listed prices at the time, but keep in mind they can fluctuate based on availability, so always double-check the linked-to website for pricing for your exact dates.
Best Budget Option (Under $100 a night)
For a charming yet budget-conscious stay in Pawhuska, check into The Mabelle, a Craftsman-era homestay that has four-poster beds, garden views, and vintage decor. See pictures and availability here.
Best Mid-Range Option ($100-200 per night)
For a stay with a cozy appeal, check into the Historic Whiting Hotel Suites, located a tenth of a mile from The Mercantile and the rest of downtown. Rooms feature private balconies, kitchenettes, and kitschy decor. See pictures and availability here.
Best Luxury Option ($200 or more per night)
For a relaxing stay, check into the Frontier Hotel Pawhuska, which offers a sophisticated take on Wild West decor without scrimping on comfort. The rooms are stunning, with a mix of modern and farmhouse style and layers of country fabrics. See pictures and availability here.
Best Airbnb Option
If you’ve always been curious about tiny house living, check into the Prairie Cottage Queen, a tiny house located steps from The Mercantile. This tiny cottage sleeps up to four and features a modern cottage-chic decor. Perfect for anyone looking to avoid a hotel or traveling in a small group. See pictures and availability here.
The Best Photo Spots in Pawhuska
I’m not saying these are the only great photo spots in Pawhuska, but these gems are ones you won’t want to miss! Most are close together, but I’ve included one that’s a bit further away – trust me, it’s worth the drive!
This one might be cheating since there’s a good chance you’re planning your whole trip to Pawhuska just to eat and shop at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile. But don’t overlook how charming the place is!
Whether you fall in love with the beautiful facade and signage, or you’re more taken with the beautiful interiors, prepare to snap more than one (or ten) pics of this gorgeous spot.
Osage Language Mural
This giant mural on the side of the Osage Language Center was designed by artist Ryan Red Corn. As someone who has had his artwork framed on my walls since the mid-2000s, it’s quite something to see his genius take up a whole city block!
While in Pawhuska, you’re in Osage County, which means you need to spend some of your time learning about the illustrious history of the Osage Nation. Snapping a pic of the mural won’t cut it, but while you’re here do spend some time taking it in.
It’s quite possible that if you’re coming in from out of town (or out of state) that this might be your first encounter with the Osage alphabet!
The Old Wagon
The green wagon next to the parking lot for the Mercantile screams “stand in front of me and take a photograph.” So just do it.
The entire downtown is charming AF, and it’s getting a little more so thanks to the film industry gearing up to film a big production in town soon. There are so many photographic spots in downtown Pawhuska, so just keep your camera handy.
I mean, just look at this:
See what I mean?
If you are a fan of Ree Drummond from the Pioneer Woman, you’ll want to go on a tour of the Drummond Lodge, which is where the show is filmed. Even if you can’t fit a tour in during your trip, you’ll might still end up seeing the ranch on your way in or out of town.
If you do decide to take a picture like the one above, pull over safely. Do not try to take photos while driving on the highway. First, this is a hazard to other cars, but second, because of these suckers:
Yep, you need to keep your eyes peeled for deer when you’re driving in Oklahoma. So keep safety at the front of your thoughts whenever you’re taking photos while driving. As in, park your car safely and then take your photo.
The Constantine Theater
This colorful building used to serve as an opera house (how cool is that!?). Now it’s a concert venue and event space. The outside is gorgeous (as is the inside).
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is about thirty minutes outside of Pawhuska in Osage County. This Instagram spot near Pawhuska is worth the drive though! Here you can see a herd of almost three thousand bison in their natural prairie habitat.
When coming out here, you can hike or drive the bison loop. Just be very careful to respect the animals and keep your distance. I.E. bring a lens that can help you get the photo you want so you can comfortably keep your distance.
What to Wear in Pawhuska
While you can buy as much Cowboy, Cowgirl, and Cowperson gear as you want once you get here, you might want to know how to dress before you arrive.
If you’re planning on having a girls’ trip, wear cute brunch clothes with a casual flair. Similarly, if you’re away for a couple’s trip, wear clothes that are comfortable yet stylish enough that you will enjoy looking at the photos for years to come.
If your plans include hiking at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve or exploring Osage County’s many natural wonders, wear clothes appropriate to your activity.
The town itself is pretty casual, and you won’t feel underdressed if you show up in hiking clothes for a nice dinner at The Mercantile. It’s a friendly town that’s pretty welcoming and non-judgmental.
Pro Tip: No matter what, wear comfortable shoes! The best parts of the town and the surrounding area are reached on foot!
5 Things to Bring to Pawhuska
First, bring a camera! Whether you use your phone (a lot of these pics were taken with my iPhone 12 Pro), or you can a point and shoot like my Sony ZV-1, or even if you have a DSLR or Mirrorless (I have an old Nikon D810), it doesn’t matter.
Just make sure you bring a camera (or two). The town and the area are so photogenic, you won’t want to leave without having some of your memories captured!
Second, bring a phone charger! Whether you need an iPhone lightning cable or a Samsung USB-C charger, don’t leave yourself without internet access or the ability to make an emergency call from the road or if you’re out exploring on foot.
Third, bring a charging bank! Since you’ll be out of your car for long parts of the day, bring a portable charging bank so you can charge your phone on the go.
Fourth, bring a pair of sunglasses! This part of the state is windy and sunny, so you’ll be happy to have some eye protection from the glare and grime. I need prescription sunglasses (my latest pair I ordered online on Zenni), but I also love my Maui Jim’s aviators.
Finally, bring your sunscreen! You will spend a lot of your time outdoors, so prepare by having your sunscreen on before you leave and bring it with you so you can reapply as needed.
Bonus! Bring a great day bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc).
My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for traveling because it has many anti-theft features designed to deter pickpockets if you take it to bigger cities.
It also transitions to a night bag more easily and won’t embarrass you if you go to dinner directly after sightseeing all day.
Do You Need a Car for Your Trip?
It’s awfully hard to get around Oklahoma without a car. If you need to rent one, I use Discover Cars. You’ll be able to pick up a car at the airport or in your hometown.
Check availability and get a quote for a rental car for your trip.
Oklahoma Travel Resources
Pin This Guide to the Most Instagrammable Places in Pawhuska, Ok for Your Travels!
Stephanie Craig is a born-and-bred Oklahoma mom and travel expert who has been to over fifty countries. After traveling all over the world, Stephanie moved back to Oklahoma to explore more of her own backyard. Her favorite things to do in Oklahoma include visiting the Blue Whale of Catoosa, the Arcadia Round Barn, and the Talimena Scenic Byway.