The 10 Best Things to Do in Clear Lake, United States

April 2, 2018 Lashaunda Abraham

Clear Lake is a city in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. The population was 7,777 at the 2010 census. The city is named for the large lake on which it is located. It is the home of a number of marinas, state parks and tourism-related businesses. Clear Lake is also a major stop on Interstate 35 with many restaurants, hotels and truck stops.
Restaurants in Clear Lake

1. Surf Ballroom

Clear Lake, IA +1 641-357-6151
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 250 reviews

Surf Ballroom

Reviewed By Skidadoftwo - Littleton, Colorado

If you are a fan of music, this place is chick full of interesting memorbilia and history. Mostly and obviously dedicated in the memory of Holley, Valens and Booper. But a number of other muscians have frequented The Surf and is one of the go to places for tour stops. Very well taken care of and preserved in the nature of the 50's. Worth a stop to see. They have pamphlets available with directions to the crash site, about 20 min drive. Make sure you visit the "Green Room" just to the left of the stage and yes you have access to the stage. The preservation society asks for a small 5 dollar donation near the main entrance, just a plexi glass box.

2. McIntosh Woods State Park

1200 E Lake St, Ventura, IA 50482-5008 +1 641-829-3847
Excellent
67%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 12 reviews

McIntosh Woods State Park

Reviewed By Stanbro81 - Oskaloosa, Iowa

We visited the Clear Lake/Ventura area to see our daughter who was working as a camp counselor. She loves McIntosh and insisted we go there. The park offers a traditional campground, boat docks/ramps, a small beach area which was well maintained and 2 yurts that can be reserved. We are definitely interested in looking into using the yurts next summer for a Girl Scout outing!

3. Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly

Gull Avenue, Crash site is located west of intersection of 315th Street and Gull Avenue., Clear Lake, IA
Excellent
56%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 195 reviews

Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly

Reviewed By Skidadoftwo - Littleton, Colorado

If you went to the Surf Ballroom, this tops off the tour. Very well kept! Although people apparently disregarded the request not to leave things the day we were there, which led up to a bunch of clutter.
Please be considerate, the property the crash site memorial is located on is PRIVATE PROPERTY. The land owner is very considerate to let people trudge through his field and occasionally mows it down to make it easier. So hats off to the landowner providing people the opportunity to gain access.

4. Central Gardens of North Iowa

800 2nd Ave N, Clear Lake, IA 50428-1711 +1 641-357-0700
Excellent
78%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 39 reviews

Central Gardens of North Iowa

Volunteer planted and maintained, this expertly designed space brings stunning architectural features, terraces, water features and 18 themed gardens together for an unforgettable experience. Attend an event, stroll through the gardens or sit and enjoy lunch with friends. This special place is waiting for you!

Reviewed By Stephen K - Houston, Texas

The gardens are small, about a city block square, and arranged with multiple uses in mind. It has a couple of fairly large grassy areas which are clearly intended for picnickers and letting the kids run loose. One of the two grassy areas was set-up...MoreThanks so much for the wonderful review! We strive to provide a public, intergenerational garden environment that is welcoming, beautiful, calm, educational, recreational and fun!

5. Clear Lake State Park

6490 S Shore Dr, Clear Lake, IA 50428 +1 641-357-4212
Excellent
63%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 32 reviews

Clear Lake State Park

Reviewed By david_hance_iowa - Ankeny, Iowa

Clear Lake has beautiful, clean, clear blue water. It is a big round lake where you can see the shores in all directions. There are huge lake homes surrounding the lake. During the summer, there are lots of small boats on the lake and there are tourists everywhere. It is an easy drive up the Interstate 35 from Des Moines so many families come up for the weekends. Other families have inherited their long time lake homes and family members come up for long vacations during the summer. You should take a camera so you can take pictures of the beautiful lake and the many sailboats.

6. Lake Time Brewery

801 Main Ave, Clear Lake, IA 50428-1919 +1 641-357-2040
Excellent
84%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 18 reviews

Lake Time Brewery

Reviewed By Amy M

This local brewery is located in a quaint house that is colorful inside and inviting. A variety of seating options are available in different rooms and also outside. We enjoyed sampling different beers and will definitely stop again - and take our growlers! Be sure to "pin" your hometown on their large map and check out from where other visitors have traveled.

7. Lady of the Lake

1st Ave N, Clear Lake, IA 50428
Excellent
72%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Lady of the Lake

Reviewed By 75NorthernGirl - Ontario, Canada

Worth the $14 admission. Bar on board with beer and liquor. Friendly staff. Only runs Saturday & Sunday at 4pm weather permitting. Kids enjoyed themselves and were permitted to blow the horn. We backtracked two hours on our trip just for this ride and it was worth it.

8. Clear Lake Fire Museum

Clear Lake, IA
Excellent
60%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Clear Lake Fire Museum

Reviewed By Heather Y - Urbandale, Iowa, United States

They opened it for us outside of normal hours... were patient and answered all my son's questions. WONDERFUL visit

9. Clear Lake Farmers Market

460 N Shore Dr, Parking Lot, Clear Lake, IA 50428-1373
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Clear Lake Farmers Market

The mission of the Clear Lake Farmers Market is to offer healthy, fresh produce and handcrafted products to consumers while building community connections and supporting the local economy.

Reviewed By andreaevel - Clear Lake, Iowa

This market has great vendors (lots of local food including vegetables, honey, bread, eggs and more & unique local art) and live music each week.

10. Kinney Pioneer Museum

9854G 265th Street, Mason City, IA 50401 +1 641-423-1258
Excellent
56%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Kinney Pioneer Museum

Experience life on the Iowa frontier through the vintage exhibits and living history. Visit a pioneer village with a one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, old jail, blacksmith shop. Home to the only remaining Colby car - manufactured in Mason City. Demonstrations of pioneer crafts and trades during special event days. Call ahead for schedule. Open May-Sept, Tues-Sun 1pm-5pm.

Reviewed By k-and-3j - Iowa

Many displays inside and out generally grouped by theme in a display or wing in the museum. About 1/2 of the displayed items have more of a North Iowa focus, other displays would be of interest to anybody else outside the area. If possible I...MoreThanks for response to the Kinney Pioneer Museum. There is a lot of history here that is almost forgotten. We hope you went outside to see the outer buildings like the school, the log cabin, and the blacksmith. Thanks again

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