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

Rebuilding a Piece of History

Rebuilding a Piece of History

The Old Oaks Hotel BY: RACHEL WUMKES A common hobby amongst Americans today is taking the old and making it look new.  Antiques are refurbished into modern pieces and placed inside sleek homes.  Turning trash into treasure by upcycling used items has become like to...

Winter Dance Party 2023

Winter Dance Party 2023

Rock ‘n’ Roll is here to stay! BY: RACHEL WUMKES The rock and roll era sent shockwaves across the country.  It wasn’t just a musical revolution for the young teenagers, but a social and generational rebellion across all ages. A central and pioneering figure during the...

Surf Celebrates 75 Years of Keeping the Music Alive

Surf Celebrates 75 Years of Keeping the Music Alive

Rock 'n' Roll Forever BY: RACHEL WUMKES A long, long time ago. Seventy-five years to be exact. After the original building was lost in a blaze of fire and smoke, plans were quickly put into place for a rebuild of the entertainment hot spot.  Located directly across...

If You Build It…Skaters will Come!

If You Build It…Skaters will Come!

…Skaters will come! BY: RACHEL WUMKES We could argue the pros and cons of social media for hours on end.  But when a Facebook post in the popular community group ‘Clear Lakers’ creates a spark for one man to create an ice rink, I have to put a big check mark on the...

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