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“You can feel the history!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Surf Ballroom

Surf Ballroom
Clear Lake, IA
641-357-6151
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Ranked #1 of 10 Attractions in Clear Lake
Type: Bar/ Clubs, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Adventure
Activities: Nightlife
Attraction details
Clear Lake, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“You can feel the history!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

The owners of this iconic landmark have done a great job attracting top-tier performers along with maintaining the historical feel of the venue. No one should ever come to North Iowa and not make a stop at the Surf - where history in music lives.

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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80 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    65
    11
    4
    0
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Surf Ballroom- Where the Music Died”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

Having last been at this ballroom in 1970 I am pleasantly surprised at the work and restoration done to capture the rock and roll era of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and DJ Richardson.
The museum and collection of guitars is amazing.
The best part for me though was the backstage prep-room where performers at the Surf have left their autograph, comments, song lyrics for posterity. Very cool.
If you are passing through Iowa on I-35 be sure to take a break and stop here.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Cool place with a LOT of history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Saw Queensryche and Stryper play here 3/22/2014. Didn't realize that this was the venue that Buddy Holly & Richie Valens played their last gigs before their tragic accident. Lot of memorabilia on the walls of the many many acts that performed here in the past. Nice retro type place replete with hardwood floors.

Visited March 2014
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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A must see for fans of Holly, Valens and Richardson.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

A must see for a Holly, Valens, Big Bopper fan. They have a ton of memorabilia on the walls and you could spend hours just reading through it. It's free to visit, but we've only been there during daylight hours. The routinely have shows there so visiting in the evening may cost you admission.

Definitely check out the gift shop.

Look for Don McLean's opening verse to "American Pie" on the wall of the green room. I believe it's to the right of the door.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clear Lake, Iowa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Historical”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Being at the historic Surf Ballroom leaves a person with a fascinating feeling. The history, the aura, the ambiance. Well worth the time!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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