Let’s make it a Great One


There’s just something about summer at the Lake.  That feeling when your toes sink into the sand at City Beach.  The way the wind whips through your hair as you speed across the lake on a boat. Watching the sunset from a park bench by the seawall.

It’s quite magical, really.

As Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching, we are officially on the cusp of summer.  Of days filled with ice cream treats and the happy squeals of kids playing at the splash pad.  Enjoying late nights under the glow of the moon as we sit by a crackling fire.

Summer is meant to make memories.

And there’s no better place to make those memories than in Clear Lake!

I’ve compiled some “to do” items that are simply a MUST this summer.  A bit of a bucket list, if you will, of all the things you need to squeeze into your schedule.

Rachel’s Bucket List for the Best Summer Ever:

Lady of the Lake – This authentic paddle wheel excursion boat offers private and public cruises throughout the summer. They also have a dockside night with live music and drink specials every Wednesday.  Check them out at http://cruiseclearlake.com/

Central Gardens – Take the time to literally stop and smell the roses in the beautiful 2.75-acre garden.  They host SO MANY amazing events throughout the summer months.  Find the full schedule at https://www.centralgardensnorthiowa.com/

Surf Ballroom – We all know the Surf is the BEST place to catch a concert in North Iowa.  Be sure to check out their Summer Concert series and the Big Band Series.  You can also pop over to the Music Enrichment Center for some music education for the kiddos!

Ice Cream tour – Clear Lake has some of THE BEST frozen dessert treats in the whole wide world.  Charlie’s Soda Fountain offers delicious soda fountain favorites as well as Dole Whip, Boba, and Acai bowls!  Cookies, etc. is not just the place to get ooey-gooey delicious cookies, they have ice cream, too!

And lastly, The Olde Creamery is open for the summer in the Surf District with their incredible selection of homemade goodness!

Lake Lap on your Bike – Stop at the Visitor Center and pick up a map for the ultimate peddle-fest around our beautiful Lake.  *Do note* The road construction near Sister’s Prairie Trail will not be complete until mid-June.

Hold on tight, friends.  We’re not even close to being done yet!

Outdoor dining – This portion of the list, you guys, is everything.  There’s just something about imbibing delicious food and drinks on a deck or patio in the summer. Am I right?  Set up a little dining tour of sorts and rotate your way through the list!

PM Park, The Landing on Clear Lake, Muskie Lounge, 173 Craft Distillery, Lake Time Brewery, Elly’s, The Legacy Grill, The Other Place, Ge-Jos by the Lake, Avion Azul – At the Airport, The Surfside.

State & City Beach – Nothing screams summer like a day at the beach!  Check out this informative blog for everything you need to know to have the ultimate beach day on Clear Lake.

Water fun – Our 3,600-acre oasis is a dream come true for water lovers!  Many people enjoy boating, riding jet skis, sailing, and fishing on the lake. Swimming areas are marked at both State and City Beach. The splash pad is perfect for children of every age (and grownups, too).  You can find a full list of water activities on our website.

Thursdays on Main – Each week, the streets downtown are closed for the ultimate weekend kick-off party!  Food trucks, vendors, classic cars, special entertainment, and live music are just part of the fun.  You don’t want to miss a single week of this awesome event!

Church in the Park – Every Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Zion Lutheran Church offers an energetic worship service in City Park at 10am.

Farmers Market – This awesome event is located in the Surf Ballroom parking lot every Saturday morning from 9am to Noon.  Stop by to check out the amazing produce and meat vendors, crafts, decorations and more!  They also have live music for this family-friendly event.

Are you still with me?  Because your summer at the lake has just begun!

4th of July – There is no other 4th of July celebration that even compares to the awesomeness of this one!!  A 6-day carnival with amazing rides and food.  Live (and FREE) music in the park for days on end.  A spectacular parade.  And fireworks over the lake.  You won’t want to miss even a minute of all the fun!

Clear Lake Aquatic Center & Clear Lake Athletics & Wellness Center – Work up a sweat at the CLAW, a fantastic facility dedicated to the health and wellness of our entire community.  Then take a dip in the pool to cool off.  I recommend going down the red slide first!

Golf – I bet if you put your mind to it, you can surely be ready for the PGA tour after this summer!  Veterans Memorial Golf Club is a 9-hole par 36 course located on North Shore.  Call (641) 357-4457 for tee times.

Clear Lake Arts Center – The Arts Center is free for all to enjoy and encourages creativity.  Check out their outdoor sculpture garden!  Be sure to mark your calendar for the Art Sail in City Park on July 22, 2023.  This large market hosts local and regional artists of every kind to provide the community with a chance to meet the artists and shop their works.

Library Summer Reading Program – Not just for kids anymore… the Clear Lake Library has a summer reading program for EVERY age! The theme this year is focused on exploring hobbies and self-expression with “Find Your Voice!”  It runs from June 1 – July 21.

Whew!  Are you as exhausted as I am?  That’s quite the list!

Maybe I should have warned you ahead of time that you’re going to need a BIG bucket.  I mean, that’s A LOT of summer fun right there!

Fill your tank, my friends.  Fill it right up to the very top with all your favorite things this summer.  Get out and enjoy everything this beautiful town has to offer.

Ready, Set, Summer!