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

She’s A Lady

She’s A Lady

Lady of the Lake kicks off 35th Season BY: RACHEL WUMKES To begin its 35th season of operation on Clear Lake, the Lady of the Lake will set sail Memorial Day weekend.  Prepped and primed, she’s ready to take passengers on a cruising adventure, as well as welcome live...

Another School Year Comes to an End

Another School Year Comes to an End

On Your Mark – Get Set – SUMMER! BY: RACHEL WUMKES Today, the hallways of Clear Lake schools will be a buzz of energy.  I picture it a bit like the final scene from Grease where the bell rings and students burst through the doors.  Papers fly in every direction as...

Iowa’s Walleye Challenge

Iowa’s Walleye Challenge

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy! BY: RACHEL WUMKES Angling enthusiasts are invited to participate in the ultimate fishing competition.  The Iowa Walley Challenge runs from May 1st to June 30th as part of a state-wide research project.  Designed to get a better sense of the...

Travel Blogger Celebrates Book Release

Travel Blogger Celebrates Book Release

Prepare for one epic Iowa road trip! BY: RACHEL WUMKES Packing her bags and hitting the open road is one of Sara Broers’ favorite things to do.  In fact, she loves it so much, she turned the hobby into a full-fledged career.  When the buzz of blogging hit the...

Thursday on Main – Clear Lake, Iowa

Thursday on Main – Clear Lake, Iowa

It’s so close I can almost taste it! BY: RACHEL WUMKES The sweet sensation of summer is soon upon us.  Lazy days of sleeping late, afternoons spent lounging by the pool, and the simplicity of lake life.  With just one full week left of school, summer is so close I can...

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