215 votes

Surf Ballroom and Museum

460 North Shore Dr., Clear Lake, Iowa 50428 USA

Open Now
Thu 8a-4p
  • Independent
  • Public
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“stand on American Music stage”

The historic ballroom where big bands played and Buddy Holly gave his last concert is well-known throughout the country and the world. Extensive renovations; a wide variety of Big Band-era and Rock 'n' Roll mementos on the walls; and the famous cloud machine; which still operates. Dedicated in 2009 by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as part of their Landmark series of sites.

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Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 314 Reviews
  • 368 Helpful
September 24, 2014
Rated 4.0

Considered a "Landmark site" by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this is where Buddy Holly played is last show. They've done a great job of restoring and maintaining the ballroom, and turned it into a great museum dedicated to Rock.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Cindy Hoefs

  • 6 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 24, 2018
Rated 5.0

This was our second time through Clear Lake. The first time we went through, the ballroom was closed. It was great to be able to go inside this time. There is a ton of memorabilia to see inside. It was like being transported back in time. Everything has been restored and maintained beautifully. Our kids enjoyed 'dancing' on the dance floor while my husband and I read through a lot of interesting information. Definitely worth a stop in.

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Reviewed by
Megan Bannister

  • Road Warrior
  • 135 Reviews
  • 108 Helpful
August 10, 2016
Rated 4.0

The Surf Ballroom and Museum is a must-visit destination for any music lover or history buff! The ballroom is beautifully restored and is a refreshing step back in time. While there's no admission fee, suggested donation is $5.

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  • 2 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
October 03, 2014
Rated 5.0

Beautiful place that still packs in the crowds with great concerts.

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Surf Ballroom and Museum

460 North Shore Dr.
Clear Lake, Iowa
50428 USA


Open now until 4:00 pm
  • Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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