Summer Staycations: Beauty Views & Fresh Air Await Tourists In Pawhuska This Summer

Tuesday, June 30th 2020, 2:47 pm
By: Ashley Izbicki


You may not think of waterfalls when you think of Oklahoma, but there is a stunning view that's tucked away just outside of Pawhuska.

"We've lived here all our life, and never came out here," said one visitor. "I would imagine in the spring, it's really flowing a lot."

Bluestem Falls is a place to cool off and check out nature. We met some ladies from Broken Arrow and Skiatook who were on a daytrip, too.

"We've never seen the swinging bridge here, so we're going to try that, too," one said.

The Swinging Bridge is a quick 10-minute drive from the falls, just off Main Street as you head toward downtown. "The bridge was built in 1926, and back then, it was the only way into town when the water in Bird Creek was high. Now, tourists come to check it out and maybe test their fear of heights.

"Megan goes to school at OSU in Stillwater. So, me and another friend from Florida drove out here actually. We didn't want to fly because of the planes, but wanted a fun summer trip and Oklahoma has been beautiful so far," said visitor Kira Wolack.

We saw lots of families taking the wobbly walk across the creaky wooden planks. Just watch out for the holes.

"It's so fun, honestly. It's not just the bridge, which is actually pretty fun to be on, like a mini roller coaster, but the view is actually really nice, too," Kira said.


       Ashley: "What's next on your agenda?"
       Kira: "Lunch!"


It's no secret there's usually a wait at The Pioneer Woman's Mercantile. Visitors from all 50 states and 21 countries have walked through these doors. The 100-year-old building is now a destination restaurant, bakery and shop.


        Ashley: "Alright we are back here in the kitchen with Chef Kurtess. What are you making today?"
        Chef: "Well, I"m going to make one of Ree's best grilled ever sandwiches. It's one of our best selling items here and it's one of my favorite things."


From country-fried steak to new summer salads, the menu has something for everyone.

"It's amazing how far people come to see Ree's little slice of the country out here," said Chef Kurtess Mortensen.

Now that we're stuffed, it's the perfect time for a drive. We headed to the largest protected remnant of Tallgrass Prairie left on Earth.

"This is a wonderful time to be here because we have a lot of bison calves that are so cute and adorable, and they're just everywhere," Harvey Payne from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve said.

It's a different experience for everyone, from the wildflowers to the wildlife.

With the current pandemic, people seem to be reinvesting themselves in nature. 

"Since March, we have had an unbelievable increase in visitation. You come up here some days, and it's almost like being in Yellowstone," said Harvey. "There are people every place out photographing, out hiking."

Taking time to take in all that our state has to offer.


Bluestem Falls:


The Swinging Bridge:


The Pioneer Woman Mercantile:


Tallgrass Prairie Preserve: