It checks in at the intersection of U.S. Route 14 and South Dakota Highway 25, is home to just over 1,000 people, and has now been recognized as having one of the top cultural scenes in America for a place its size.

De Smet, the seat of Kingsbury County in east-central South Dakota, is number two on USA Today's 10 Best Small Town Cultural Scene list.

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The town came to prominence in the 1930s when the Little House on the Prairie books were first written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, chronicling her family's life in De Smet and other locations in the Upper Midwest.

The Ingalls family lived in De Smet beginning in 1879. Laura's father, Charles, was one of the founders of the city's First Congregational Church, in 1882.

De Smet's connection to the family led to the creation of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant more than 50 years ago. This year's event runs over the course of three weekends in July.

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Here is 10 Best's description of De Smet:

'Located in central South Dakota, this small town’s cultural claim to fame is as the setting behind five of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s "Little House on the Prairie" books. As such, many tourists make the trek here to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes, the Ingalls Homestead, or to experience the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant. The historic town is also home to the De Smet Depot Museum.'


  1. Alamosa, Colorado
  2. De Smet, South Dakota
  3. Cullman, Alabama
  4. Ruidoso, New Mexico
  5. Marquette, Michigan
  6. Staunton, Virginia
  7. Corning, New York
  8. Lenox, Massachusetts
  9. Mariposa, California
  10. Bisbee, Arizona

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