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.


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.


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

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.

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 15, 2025

Earth Day Green Expo

Earth Day

April 17 - 19, 2025

Clear Lake Triathlon Swimmers in Water

TRI Clear Lake

May 24, 2025

Thursdays on Main photo of the crowd on Main Avenue

Thursdays on Main

Starting May 30, 2024

Clear Lake's 4th of July Fireworks

4th of July

July 3-7, 2024

Harvest Festival Grape Stomp Teams

Harvest Festival

October 5, 2024

Christmas by the Lake lighted parade down Main Avenue

Christmas by the Lake

December 7, 2024

Clear Lake Event Blog Image

Event Blog Posts

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Latest Blog Posts

Clear Lake: The Sweet Treat Capital of North Iowa

Clear Lake: The Sweet Treat Capital of North Iowa

Alright, let’s talk treats because who doesn’t love a sweet indulgence on vacation? Clear Lake is the Sweet Treat Capital of North Iowa, and it’s easy to see why. From charming soda fountains to gourmet donuts, this lake town offers a delightful array of sweet shop...

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Memorial Day 2024 at Clear Lake, Iowa

Memorial Day 2024 at Clear Lake, Iowa

A Weekend of Remembrance and Community As the warm days of late May encourage us to spend time outdoors, Memorial Day weekend stands as a reminder of the sacrifices made by countless men and women in service to our country. Clear Lake, Iowa, provides a perfect...

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