stay and explore at the shore

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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 19, 2022

Earth Day Event Kid with a Globe

Earth Day

April 17 - 24, 2021

Clear Lake Triathlon Swimmers in Water

TRI Clear Lake

May 29, 2021

Clear Lake Thursday on Main Live Music

Thursdays on Main

Starting June 3, 2021

Clear Lake's 4th of July Fireworks

4th of July

June 30 – July 5, 2021

Adults Enjoying the Clear Lake Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

October 2, 2021

Christmas on the Lake Ornaments on Display

Christmas by the Lake

December 4 – 5, 2021

Clear Lake Event Blog Image

Event Blog Posts

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Latest Blog Posts

Signs of Life

Signs of Life

BY: RACHEL WUMKES As I sit down to write this week’s Feel Good Friday blog post, I can’t help feeling encouraged by the signs of life all around me.  Living on Fieldstone Pond, the baby geese have arrived for the spring, following closely behind their parents as they...

Arts Center Comes Back to Life

Arts Center Comes Back to Life

BY: RACHEL WUMKES It almost sounds like the tagline for a gory, sci-fi movie.  The Arts Center comes to life and rampages a tourist lake town in North Iowa. I’m guessing it wouldn’t do well in the theaters! The real Arts Center, however, has officially opened its...

Best of the Best

Best of the Best

BY: RACHEL WUMKES It’s no secret there are a slew of excellent places to eat, drink and be merry in Clear Lake. I could create lists upon lists upon lists, to be honest. This quaint little oasis is bursting at the seams with establishments who serve all your favorite...

Teachers & Nurses = Dedication and Heart

Teachers & Nurses = Dedication and Heart

BY: RACHEL WUMKES As I sat down to begin my journey through this blog post, I couldn’t help but wonder why both teacher and nurse appreciation weeks were scheduled at the same time. I mean, why lump them together? Are there not enough weeks in the year to give them...

Another Feel Good Friday

Another Feel Good Friday

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay BY: RACHEL WUMKES I have a complete love/hate relationship with social media. Anymore, it seems to either be a barrage of incessant complaints, or impeccably posed photos to represent the ‘perfectness’ of one’s life. I...

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