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Fans of the Food Network originally tuned in to the network to watch creative chefs share their most amazing recipes, but they’ve stayed over the years for the personalities and stories from these famous cooks. While Ree Drummond is a relative newcomer to the Food Network with The Pioneer Woman, fans immediately loved how endearing her stories were that went along with her stellar dishes. She lives on a ranch (seemingly in the middle of nowhere), and she talks endlessly about her husband, her kids, and their town.

Here’s where Ree has her ranch and how she’s totally changed her tune about life in small-town America over the years.

Ree originally grew up wanting to move to the big city

Once you know the Pioneer Woman’s back story, it’s hard to believe she lives on a ranch. Country Living reminds us Ree grew up in Oklahoma — and she had big dreams of moving to Chicago when she was in her college years. She had also spent time in Los Angeles and seemed to enjoy the city life — and it seems she never expected to end up anywhere outside of a city again.

As Ree explained, “Based on my brief time at home, I knew that an urban environment was where I belonged.” She notes that she “missed the conveniences, the coffee shops, the take-out galore and the little nail salons … I missed the anonymity of living in a city — the ability to run to the market without running into my third-grade teacher. I missed the nightlife, the culture, the shopping.” Once she met Ladd in a bar near her home, though, everything changed. She never ended up moving out into the city at all and instead remained in Oklahoma with her cowboy husband.

Her ranch is located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Today, Ree’s ranch as referenced on her Food Network show is located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. And while she may have never envisioned her life heading in this direction, she’s thankful she stayed in her home state after all. Aside from The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, which People notes is Ree’s restaurant and retail store that has proven to be a huge tourist attraction, you can also tour their family guest house located in Osage County, Oklahoma. That’s where her Food Network show is filmed, too.

For fans who want an even more in-depth look into the Drummond family’s lives, they can stay at the Boarding House. This eight-bedroom “cowboy luxury” hotel is located just down the street from the Mercantile and has plenty of Ree and Ladd’s personal touches in each room. As Ree said, “It’s gonna be small, but it’s also gonna have a lot of heart.”

Ree hopes to dispel myths about what life is like in a small town

While Ree used to be partial to city life, she now realizes just how much her small town has to offer. And with her show and growing fan base, she’s using that to open America’s eyes to what town life is all about — and she’s reminding us all it’s much different than what the stereotypes describe. As Ree tells People, “I’ve always loved our small town and it just thrills me that the Mercantile is giving people a chance to see what it’s all about.” She also mentioned that the Boarding House is particularly helpful because “Pawhuska doesn’t exactly have a huge inventory of hotel rooms,” so it made perfect sense for her to create that space for out-of-towners.

She also told People that her Oklahoma town is more diverse than people think. “Pawhuska is the headquarters of the [Native American] Osage nation,” she explained. “You could spend a lot of time in here and see the world from a lot of different perspectives. You don’t have to look too far out to hear differing points of view, differing backgrounds, and I’m glad that my kids have grown up in that environment.”

As for her husband, Ladd, he also loves to see his hometown of Pawhuska booming. He mentioned that business was bad in the ’80s, but today, it’s exciting to see the area thriving. “I love seeing people come back here. We have some great old buildings, and a lot of them are being fixed up and restored,” he added.

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