Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bed & Breakfast Staying in the Prairie: DeSmet South Dakota

When we first decided to journey to the "Little Town on the Prairie" of De Smet South Dakota, it just didn't seem right to stay at a normal hotel so we booked a Bed & Breakfast in the heart of the town. It was perfect.

The Heritage House Bed & Breakfast is the site of the original Bank in De Smet and it's right across the street from the Loftus Store and just blocks from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society's Museum.  For our "big city" girls, it was a special treat to experience small town life and we took full advantage. 

I have to give Kudos to De Smet and the great atmosphere they have created in their town.  They not only pay wonderful homage to Laura Ingalls and her family, they are very welcoming to outsiders.  Both the Society and the Homestead go all out to take you back in time to experience what Laura so brilliantly wrote about in her books.  De Smet is the setting of four of the "Little House" books; By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, and These Happy Golden Years. 

Pa Ingalls was the first resident of De Smet South Dakota and he along with Ma would make it their final resting place as well.  It was here that the Ingalls family would claim their homestead, build a big house in town, and where Laura and Carrie would go to school.  Ingalls history abounds.

We loved our accommodations at Heritage House.  Laura's Loft as our little three room suite was called had plenty of character, space, and charm.  P and I had our own bedroom as did the girls.  Their was loft for playing or sleeping and we had a nice little living room to watch TV and relax.  Breakfast was scrumptious and the Innkeeper was warm and friendly.  We purchased a great package that included not only two nights stay at the B&B but a picnic "lunch" and tickets to the area attractions and the community pool. 

Our first night, she gave us the heads up on a great family restaurant about 15 miles down the road.  It was yummy and very reasonable.  We had "cheese balls" in honor of "Laura's" Minnesota roots and  were very impressed with the service and food.  The restaurant is near the junction of two big highways: 14 and 81 and they cleverly use that as their name. 

We'd  also been told to buy the Laura Ingalls Wilder Scavenger Hunt from the Society that leads you to various sights throughout the town and learned more about Laura and her family. At each stop, you picked up a fun postcard and put together a few more pieces in the puzzle of the this Little Town on the Prairie.  P and Miss M found a few postcards our first night in town and Miss A got into the action the next day.

Before bed we had a few rounds of UNO in the formal room downstairs at the B & B.  It was a great way to close out our day.  Our adventure was really just beginning in the Prairie.

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