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Northern Prairies Road Trip

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Hi Fodor Friends,

I have been researching my next road trip and would love to hear some input. We would like to visit Minnesota, SD, ND, and Iowa in our efforts to see all 50 states. We will be going last week in August-beginning of Sept. Two gals - late 30s. Here is my thought on an itinerary.

Day 1 - Fly in to Minneapolis at night - drive to Stillwater.
Day 2 - Visit river towns, spend night in Stillwater
Day 3 - Drive to Mason City, IA - visit Music Man Square, spend night
Day 4 - Drive to Chamberlain, SD - stop at Corn Palace and Green Giant along the way
Day 5 - Drive to Rapid City, SD
Day 5 - Rapid City area
Day 6 - Rapid City area
Day 7 - Drive to DeSmet, SD - visit Little House on the Prairie activities
Day 8 - Drive to Fargo, ND
Day 9 - Drive to MInneapolis
Day 10 - Minneapolis
Day 11 - Minneapolis
Day 12 - Fly home

How does that look? I tried not to have more than 5 hours of driving any given day (hence random stopping in Chamberlain and DeSmet).
Would love some ideas for what to do around Fargo and Minneapolis - activities, theater, dining (we like anything).
Rapid City area I am thinking Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Badlands, Custer?
Think we will do several B and Bs but thinking of staying in hotel in Downtown Minneapolis (would you recommend?).
Yes, we know we are looking at about 1600 miles of driving, but we are all about the journey too and will stop whenever we see cool things.

Any suggestions would be warmly welcomed. Thank you!

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