We often talk about the tourists who visit our beautiful little town each summer.  People with summer homes who flock to the lake for some much-needed relaxation outside of their busy lives in the city.  I’ve always thought to be a true ‘tourist’ you had to travel abroad; visit an unfamiliar place or region you’ve never been to before.

I was wrong.

The dictionary definition of tourist is a person who is traveling or visiting a place for pleasure.

Well, isn’t that perfect?  I would imagine most people come to town for pleasure.  To enjoy our gorgeous lake and all it has to offer.

But what about us?  The locals?  While many people head to Clear Lake each summer season, the locals often go elsewhere for vacation.

This year there’s an added difficulty in getting away or going on an adventure due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.  Uncertainty has left us feeling unsettled, creating a bit of fear about large crowds and big cities.  Thus, we’ve come up with a solution…

Be a tourist in your backyard!

We often take for granted all the fun activities and attractions right here, right at our fingertips.  When you live somewhere long enough, the nostalgia wears off and it stops being an interesting destination and more just the place you get groceries and run other errands.

Clear Lake is where you live and work.

But not where you play.

Well, we’re challenging you to make play be a priority this summer.  As many local events and activities have been postponed or cancelled, people are desperate for entertainment.  For social interaction and a connection to anyone and anything.

This summer let’s treat Clear Lake like a new destination experience.  See the town in a new light.  Visit attractions and businesses through the eyes of a tourist and enjoy all the incredible things it has to offer.

Let’s get started!

Crash Site: Visit the memorial at the plane crash site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP ”The Big Bopper” Richardson, where the plane came to rest following their final concert at the Surf Ballroom in 1959.

Central Gardens: Engulf your senses in splendor and serenity as you stroll through this colorful masterpiece.  This beautiful public garden and green space is located on 2.7 acres near downtown Clear Lake, Iowa.

Arts Center: The ultimate definition of culture, right here in downtown Clear Lake.  Mosey around the grounds and take in the many incredible exhibits, including the outdoor sculpture garden.  The Center is a space where everyone is welcome to browse, to be inspired, to create, to discover, to explore, to learn, to practice, to perform, to observe and to innovate.

Fire Museum: Relive the history of firefighting when you visit the Clear Lake Fire Museum. This unique building was inspired and built by members of our community and the Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Surf Ballroom: An iconic piece of rock and roll history, the Surf Ballroom’s legendary history is etched into the hearts and minds of music lovers across the globe.  Riddled with bits and bobs from the music industry, it’s a true musical masterpiece of history.

Lady of the Lake: An authentic paddle wheel excursion boat located in Clear Lake, Iowa with public and private cruises through the summer months.  Sit back, relax, and take a tour of the shoreline from a new point of view!

Veterans Memorial Golf Club: A 9-hole par 36 course recognized both regionally and nationally as one of the finest public courses in Iowa. For beginners or the seasoned golfer, it’s a great place to get out and hit the sticks.

Parks & Beaches: City Park, located in the heart of downtown Clear Lake, is a grassy haven of fun for anyone.  Pack and picnic to enjoy before you walk over to City Beach for some fun in the sand and sun!

State Park Beach, located along South Shore, is a hotspot for family fun.  With picnic tables and grills, you can spend the day frolicking in the cool water, lounging in the sun, and top it off with a cook-out to feed a king.

There you have it, friends!  To help assist with this fun list of activities, the Chamber has put together Family Fun Packs.  Filled with visitor info, coloring pages, beach balls, fishing bobbers, a scavenger hunt and other fun items, these will be available to pickup curbside at the Chamber office on Friday, June 19th.  Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more details coming next week.  NOTE:  There are a limited quantity of Fun Packs – ONE per family, please, so many can enjoy!!

See you at the Lake!