Thanks to a fellow Laura fan who jogged my memory that I still had nowhere to stay, I made my reservations at this bed and breakfast in Malone for the event on June 21. I’ve never stayed there before, but it looks and sounds lovely.
Does anyone else think that the Laura sites don’t do as good a job as they could of promoting local lodging? Seems to me that the best travel and lodging tips I get are from people like me — just the fans who have been there, figuring it out as they go. The sites and the local lodging should get together and cross-promote. It’s definitely an untapped market that would be a win-win for all involved.
In the interest of sharing the love, I’ll update you all on Kilburn Manor after my stay.
The De Smet web site does a fairly decent job of this cross-promotion, actually, listing almost all of the lodging I’m aware of in the area. I fall short of an outright recommendation because, regrettably, Ingalls Homestead is overlooked, which is a head-scratcher — there isn’t a better prairie lodging experience available across all the homesites. Who wouldn’t like to wake up on the land Pa homesteaded? Although camping is allowed, your stay needn’t be rustic; I’ve stayed in their farmhouse, which is comfortable and spacious. During my last visit there I talked extensively with a family with two children who stayed quite happily in a covered wagon right in the middle of the property.
I’ve also stayed at the De Smet SuperDeluxe Inn & Suites (remodeled in 2003) and have been happy with it. Notable: They’ve got an indoor pool. There’s also Prairie House Manor, a B&B in a house reportedly once owned by Banker Ruth, a character in the Little House series’ De Smet books. I’ve eaten there — it was scrumptious — but I’ve never stayed there. Others have, though, and I’ve heard nothing but high praise.
I stayed a couple months ago at the Apple Tree Inn in Independence, which aside from the confusing room-numbering scheme was perfectly serviceable, with friendly staff and, to my daughter’s delight, an indoor pool.
As for restaurants, I can’t think of any that stand out as worthy of an endorsement. Uncle Jack’s, a restaurant with fabulous ambiance right in downtown Independence, used to be the one homesite-area restaurant I raved about uninvited. But unfortunately it’s gone downhill. The first few times I ate there, up until 2004, I would have rated it an 8 or a 9 out of 10. It was that good. But my last two visits would merit, at best, a 4. The ambiance is still partly there, but the food and service had taken a nosedive. I hate it when bad things happen to good restaurants.
Have you stayed or eaten anywhere noteworthy in your Little House travels?