We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Clear Lake, IA
Phone Number: 641-357-6151
Activities: Nightlife

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 89 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 74
    Excellent
  • 11
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Everyone in my family enjoyed this Very Much

Every summer we visit relatives in Iowa and plan excursions to places my relatives often haven't seen themselves, including on this day the Surf Ballroom. With 3 kids ages 13... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 6, 2015
AdventurousMom63
,
Thousand Oaks, CA
Add Photo Write a Review

89 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Thousand Oaks, CA
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

Every summer we visit relatives in Iowa and plan excursions to places my relatives often haven't seen themselves, including on this day the Surf Ballroom. With 3 kids ages 13, 15, and 18, 3 women and one man and a senior it is saying a lot to find a place that everyone enjoyed as much as this. The music lovers... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ankeny, Iowa
Top Contributor
382 reviews 382 reviews
105 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

Historic venue that is kept clean. Coat check for $1. Museum to wander through if it is open. Staff friendly. Two bars for drinks. Large ballroom surrounded by booth seating. Nice stage. It is a great place and worth a visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

My wife and I took a day trip to Mason City and Clear Lake. We had always wanted to visit the Surf and it surely was worth the trip. The Surf Ballroom is actually the second one, the first was across the street and burned down in 1948. It is restored to look the same way it did when the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Saint Ansgar, Iowa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

The Surf Ballroom is one of the last ballrooms in the area. They host a summer Big Band series, bringing in the big bands playing the music from the old days. So much fun to dance to In The Mood and many other favorites of the era. Great wood floor to dance on. Also is the last place Buddy Holly... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

This is a must see!! We stopped at the ballroom first and what a pleasure it was. When you walk in it's like stepping back into history. Everything has been restored beautifully. For a small donation (suggested $5) you can walk around and explore all the historical things that happened here. Go on the stage that so many artists and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015

If you're in Clear Lake, and you have a love of music, you MUST see the Surf! It's been beautifylly restored, and you can really feel what it was like to have been there when Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens performed in 1959. Be sure to see the Surfside 6 Cafe, too - lots of musical artifacts,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Mason City
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015

Thank you to the Snyder family for protecting such an historic gem and returning it to its glory. Walking through the photo galleries filled with pictures of past performers is outstanding as is the quality of music being booked currently truly wonderful!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Houston
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Anywhere in the place puts you close to the stage. Absolutely a must when in this part of the US. Besides being a great place to see a band, there's so much nostalgia connected to it and it's all right there on display.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Rochester, Minnesota
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2014

We arrived at the Surf Ballroom just minutes before the time it was scheduled to close (4PM). Besides that, they were very busy due to a big event that would be held at the venue that night. Even so, staff was remarkably friendly. You are able to walk around, and it is really like a time travel. I hope to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
23 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2014

Amazing place. It is like you have a time machine. Straight out of the 50's . Had the place to ourselves, middle of the day on a Wed. You can walk around everywhere. Can stand right on the stage where the greats played. Just was wonderful place to visit!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Surf Ballroom also viewed

 

Been to Surf Ballroom? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Surf Ballroom staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?