There's more to see than just bison and prairie in the Tallgrass of Osage County and Pawhuska. Although the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve north of Pawhuska is a 'must see', your weekend trip here should include much more to truly experience all this area has to offer. Pawhuska, the Cowboy and Native American Center of Osage County can keep you busy for an entire weekend of culture, education and shopping.
There are many 'must sees' in the area, and some unexpected experiences that will give you a real taste of the area. So, I've compiled a short (and you just can't include everything) list of what I think are those off the beaten path experiences.
1. For lodging in Osage County, we reccommend one of the many Bed and Breakfasts in Pawhuska, top on our list is The Mabelle at 1800 Leahy Ave. Cathy Ross proprietor knocks the concept of B&B out of the park! ph 918.914.0597
2. Red Roan Arena west of Pawhuska on Hwy 60 has barrel racing and team roping events weekly, usually with a big team roping on Saturday night. Never been to a team roping? It's a great way to experience a slice of cowboy life.
3. Fairfax, Oklahoma is a short drive from Pawhuska and offers small town atmosphere with great history. Home to Prima Ballerina Marie TallChief and another great cowboy town.
4. Osage Scenic Byway traverses the whole of Osage County. Traveling through Pawhuska, Fairfax and Hominy you can really get a view of the beauty of the Tallgrass and it's unique culture.
5. Shrine to St. Kateri at Immaculate Conception Church in Pawhuska is dedicated to the first Native American Saint and includes a garden and statue in her honor.
6. The Public Bronzes in Pawhuska. Pawhuska has a large collection of bronzes by John Free and other artists. It's public art and the historic downtown give you a bigger taste of the past. Make sure you stop at the Osage Historical Museum to really get the whole story of the area.
7. Tired of all this history and beauty? Pawhuska has unique shopping experiences ranging from fine western wear to Native American Arts and Crafts. Walk the streets that Clark Gable once did when he was a roustabout in the oil fields here, and visit the city that hosted millionaires and presidents in the 1920's. Visit one of the finest Western and Wildlife Galleries in Oklahoma, Tallgrass Art Gallery, and take home a bit of your Tallgrass Memories.
A trip to the Osage and Tallgrass is not just any road trip. It's a trip into the past and beauty of the prairie, it's culture and it's inspiring history. Come experience the Osage, and you'll be back.
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery