stay and explore at the shore




Welcome to Clear Lake, Iowa

Clear Lake, Iowa, is a beautiful small town situated on a natural spring-fed lake in northern Iowa midway between Des Moines and Minneapolis. As a major stop on I-35, you’ll find a large selection of quality restaurants and accommodations, as well as a marina, state parks, and historic attractions. See firsthand what it means to live the lake life – from relaxing on the beach and water skiing to year-round fishing and sailing. Whether you are here for a weekend or looking to make Clear Lake your home, you are sure to enjoy all that our town has to offer.

Where to Eat in Clear Lake

What to Eat

While our town may be small, there’s no shortage of delicious food to enjoy. Delight in a signature sandwich from the award-winning Starboard Market. Partake in authentic Italian pasta or hand-stretched, made-to-order pizza while enjoying a view of the lake at Ge-Jo’s By the Lake. Experience genuine Irish hospitality, crowd-pleasing food or an ice-cold beer at Bennigan’s. Kick off any day of fun with a homemade, gourmet donut from South Shore Donut Co. With so many wonderful options, there’s a flavor to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.

Where to Play in Clear Lake

What to Do

There’s always somewhere to go, something to do or somewhere to see in Clear Lake. Take a moment to remember rock ‘n’ roll legends at the Surf Ballroom. Play a round with friends on our beautiful golf courses. Enjoy a ride on the Lady of the Lake. Go hunting, fishing or sport shooting. Shop the local small businesses. Cruise around the lake in your boat, and so much more. Clear Lake offers a little something for everyone.

Where to Stay in Clear Lake

Where to Stay

No matter what type of trip brings you to Clear Lake, there’s a wonderful place for you and your family to stay. You’ll find nature-centered campgrounds with modern amenities, charming bed and breakfasts, comfortable hotels, and a variety of available vacation rentals to choose from. You’ll enjoy your stay that much more knowing you have a wonderful place to rest at the end of each day.

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Featured Events

In Clear Lake, there are all kinds of events to enjoy throughout the year. Check out Color the Wind, which is known as the Midwest’s largest and most colorful winter kite festival. Celebrate the 4th of July with our large festival, parade, craft show, and fireworks display. Enjoy everything Clear Lake’s Main Avenue during Thursdays on Main in the summer or at the annual fall Harvest Festival. Immerse yourself in holiday traditions with Christmas by the Lake. There are also other fun things to do throughout the year, like 5K races, car shows, live music, and so much more.

Color the Wind Kites in the Sky

Color the Wind

February 18, 2023

Earth Day Event Kid with a Globe

Earth Day

April 16 - 23, 2022

Clear Lake Triathlon Swimmers in Water

TRI Clear Lake

May 28, 2022

Clear Lake Thursday on Main Live Music

Thursdays on Main

Starting June 2, 2022

Clear Lake's 4th of July Fireworks

4th of July

June 29 – July 5, 2022

Adults Enjoying the Clear Lake Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

October 1, 2022

Christmas on the Lake Ornaments on Display

Christmas by the Lake

December 3, 2022

Clear Lake Event Blog Image

Event Blog Posts

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Latest Blog Posts

Giving All the Thanks

Giving All the Thanks

Blessings abound at the Lake! BY: RACHEL WUMKES I always feel a bit bad for the Thanksgiving holiday, as it’s often treated like the red-headed stepchild.  Glazed over by the Christmas anticipation.  Ignored by most retail stores. Forgotten until it’s time to eat....

In the Know

In the Know

Never miss an event again! **Updated blog from Oct. 23, 2019** BY: RACHEL WUMKES Planning events is often a daunting task.  Not only are you bombarded with all the decisions regarding theme, color scheme, food, entertainment, but there’s also the added stress of...

Pink Friday in Clear Lake

Pink Friday in Clear Lake

Shop local first this Holiday Season! BY: RACHEL WUMKES This Friday, November 18th, we are celebrating Pink Friday in Clear Lake.   Pink Friday is a movement to promote shopping small, supporting the ‘little guy’ and bringing major awareness to our local communities. ...

Why Shop Small for the Holidays?

Why Shop Small for the Holidays?

Because it’s a big deal… that’s why! BY: RACHEL WUMKES There’s something special about shopping at a small business.  A sense of adventure as you pass through their doors and begin to explore.  You just never know what beauties you’ll uncover, or the trinkets you may...

Surf Ballroom Music Enrichment Center

Surf Ballroom Music Enrichment Center

A driving force to keep the music alive in Clear Lake BY: RACHEL WUMKES The Music Enrichment Center came to full fruition in 2019 with the purchase of an adjacent building near the Surf. It is the perfect addition for the people of Clear Lake and our visitors. Its...

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