This summer, my family will road trip through central Iowa, and one of the stops I’ve been looking forward to is Clear Lake.
Here are a few things I’m looking forward to do (or will be saving for another trip):
My Clear Lake Bucket List
Beach time. If you know me at all, you know I love the outdoors and I love a good beach. Clear Lake has three beaches to try out: Clear Lake City Beach is near downtown, Clear Lake State Park has a 900-foot sandy beach on its 55 acres, and McIntosh Woods State Park has an unsupervised beach on a peninsula that juts into the lake. We’ll be in the area long enough to hopefully visit all three.
Stay in a yurt. A yurt is a round tent – think, fancy camping. And Clear Lake’s McIntosh Woods has a couple you can stay in, right by the lake! When’s the last time you had a chance to stay in a yurt?
Update: We did get to stay in a yurt when we traveled through Clear Lake! Here’s my review of the experience.
Visit Surf Ballroom. Clear Lake is probably most known for this concert hall, known as the last concert hall played by Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. They still have concerts there.
Visit the place where “the music died.” If you make the trek to Clear Lake simply for the Surf Ballroom, your next stop is likely the crash site trail head marker and crash site memorial. Those are about 5 miles north of the concert hall. The memorial is a ¼ mile walk into the field from the trail marker – a huge replica of Holly’s glasses.
Eat good food. I love planning trips around local restaurants. Among the ones I’ve seen recommended are PM Park, known for a good breakfast according to Midwest Living; Barrel Drive-Inn, recommended by any as having the best broasted chicken; and dining with a view a The Landing (or maybe just a drink – doesn’t the photo for this post’s graphic make you want to head straight to The Landing?). On the blog Jeni Eats, I also read that Louie’s Custom Meats is a great family-owned butcher, and we might check it out if we grill out while there.
Fun on the water. I’d love to rent a boat one of the days we’re there, but if we don’t swing that, a ride on the paddle-wheeler Lady of the Lake will still be a novelty for our kids.
Celebrate America. We’re going to Clear Lake in time to enjoy the Fourth of July celebration they’re known for. I’m looking forward to experiencing how a small town on a lake celebrates.
Your turn: What else do you recommend for me to try while we’re in Clear Lake?? Please share your tips in the comment section!
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