We took the long way through Mankato and Sleepy Eye (2 of the cities mentioned in the TV series) to Walnut Grove (and then Tracy as we headed to De Smet). We were very surprised that there was far more to do in Walnut Grove than we anticipated! Walnut Grove is about 3 hours from Minneapolis.
We then drove to De Smet, SD, another 2 hours. We got there later than we wanted but that was due to poor planning and the assumption there wouldn't be much to do in Walnut Grove since Laura lived there for only a couple of years. Anyway, De Smet was well worth the drive. Unable to drive all the way back to Minneapolis (a total of 5 hours), we decided to spend the night in Marshall, MN. That put us 3 hours away from Minneapolis.
On the drive back to Minneapolis we stopped at another roadside attraction in Olivia: a giant 12 foot tall corn on the cob! Olivia is known for the present day hybrid type of corn that farmers use.
I would share some photos but my internet connection is very poor. Please check back later.