Here's how to have the most enjoyable day in Clear Lake, Iowa

Clear Lake, Iowa, sits on a natural spring-fed lake in Northern Iowa. Situated halfway between Minneapolis and Des Moines, the lake town is a significant stop on Interstate-35.

While it’s a lake town with beaches and boating, you’ll also find a place known worldwide for its spot in rock ‘n roll history. Here’s how I spent a perfect day in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Central Gardens is almost three acres and features more than 20 themed gardens. The only free public garden within 90 miles of Clear Lake has over 18,000 visitors annually.

9:30 a.m. Central Gardens

Iced tea is my go-to drink, so I was excited to see the variety available at Holistic Harmony. They sell brewed tea and bulk custom blends you can take home and brew yourself.

10:30 a.m. Holistic Harmony

Then we were off to the Surf Ballroom and Museum, where Buddy Holly, Richie Vallens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson made their last performance. Plan to spend at least an hour.

11:30 a.m. Surf Ballroom and Museum Tour

We had lunch at The Other Place, a regional original with 11 locations throughout Iowa and Kansas. They offer a made-from-scratch menu, and you can taste the difference.

12:45 p.m. Lunch at The Other Place

After lunch, we drove into the countryside to visit the crash site in an Iowa corn field, the entrance marked by a gigantic pair of Holly-style glasses.

1:45 p.m. Memorial Crash Site Visit

After some serious shopping in the quaint shops in downtown Clear Lake and a stop at the original Cabin Coffee for a midafternoon pick-me-up, we walked a few blocks to the Lady of the Lake boat docks, where we got out on the lake.

2:45 p.m. Shopping in Downtown Clear Lake

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