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

Counting Down the Days

Counting Down the Days

BY: RACHEL WUMKES I’d like to make it known for the record that I, Rachel Wumkes, a forty-year-old woman of sound mind, has made a paper chain. Yes, you read that correctly.  A paper chain.  Just like the one my Kindergartener made last winter to countdown the days...

All the Bells and Whistles

All the Bells and Whistles

BY: RACHEL WUMKES Home buyers today aren’t just on the hunt to find the perfect place to live. They want a place with pizzaz, a place containing all the bells and whistles.  Buyers want that magical combination of the perfect trifecta:  location, quality, and...

A Round of Applause

A Round of Applause

BY: RACHEL WUMKES Pulling off an event as extensive as TRI Clear Lake is no simple feat.  Countless hours go into the planning, preparation, and execution on race day.  Organization and logistical prowess are key elements is the success or failure of such an...

One For the Record Books

One For the Record Books

BY: RACHEL WUMKES Typically, the month of June in Iowa brings average temperatures ranging somewhere between a low of 62 degrees and a high of 78 degrees.  In most years, June is the month of battling with kids who want to swim, but it’s just not warm enough. Well,...

A Game for All Ages

A Game for All Ages

photocredit: Clear Lake Pickleball BY: RACHEL WUMKES It might have a silly name, but that’s just part of what makes the sport of pickleball so great.  The game was created with one agenda in mind: FUN!  Whether you’re five, eighty-five, or somewhere in between,...

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