Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly

Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly

Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
273 reviews
Excellent
153
Very good
86
Average
28
Poor
5
Terrible
1

SneakinDeacon
Christiansburg, VA1,427 contributions
Jun 2021
After visiting the Surf Ballroom, I made the 6-mile drive down a dusty dirt road to the the site where Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens died in a plane crash in February 1959. You end up driving down a dirt road until you see a large pair of black glasses on the shoulder of the road. Park here on the shoulder then you have to walk a little over a quarter mile down a path in a corn field to the actual crash site. The crash site is marked by a small makeshift memorial with the names of those who died here. It is a somber walk but one many music fans have made over the years. While it was not crowded while I was there there were several other visitors making the walk to the site. If you are near Clear Lake you should visit the Surf Ballroom and then make the drive out to the Crash Site.
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jason R
New Hampton, IA428 contributions
May 2022 • Family
There are two markers that are worth noting. First, there’s no parking. You’re on the side of a gravel road in rural Iowa. Just park it out of the way and start walking. There are a set of glasses right by the road. There is nothing else there, other than some graffiti (people signing their names) on the posts that hold them up. To get to the site you walk west, along the fence line for about a half mile. You’ll find a couple of permanent markers out there, and often there are flowers, wreaths, and of course, glasses. The marker sit in the spot where the plane came to rest. Buddy and Richie were found in the field, about 30 feet behind you. The Big Bopper was found in the field on the other side of the fence. The fence line has plenty of use, so there is bare dirt, and mowed grass, making it an easy walk, considering there is no sidewalk.
Written May 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hadfield Parker
Las Cruces, NM26 contributions
Apr 2022 • Solo
The site is really neat. Google maps will send you to the wrong side of it. Look for 315th/Gull streets and that is where the entrance is by the glasses. Surreal experience. Make sure you go visit the Surf Ballroom (5 miles away) to see the last place that the 3 of them performed at. It’s still functioning and just like it was in 1959. Really cool experience.
Written April 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MNice
Bloomington, MN2,441 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
You can feel the souls of these famous singers as you make a brief sojourn into this farm field just north of Clear Lake Iowa. About 10 years ago we searched briefly for this site and were unable to locate it. You can now easily find it on google maps and the place where you walk into the field s marked by the Buddy Holly glasses. You will enjoy the approximately half mile walk to the actual site of the crash. People leave interesting trinkets along with just plain garbage like hotel keys. An old pole marks the exact spot of the crash. Watch some YouTube videos regarding the crash to understand where everything was at the time of the crash. For example, the Big Bopper was found a few yards and there is speculation that he may have been alive for a period of time. We enjoyed our visit because of our casual study of the singers and enjoyment of their music. Although we loved our visit and the drive was worthwhile as we were at a family event in Northern Iowa, we would not drive long distances to see this tribute.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WarrenMoonjr
Minneapolis, MN140 contributions
Sep 2021
What a strange experience.

This is probably the most historic spot in Iowa. And yet you could drive by and not even know it is there. I was expecting quite a bit more.

No signage, no markers, no parking. Just a large pair of glasses on the side of a dirt road.

Another car pulled up and informed us you have to walk about 7 minutes into the cornfield to see the actual crash site. You would never know this, it isn't marked.

So I walked down a small little abandoned dirt path. When you reach the site you see a tiny hodge-podge memorial. A wind chime, a silver guitar, the names of the 3 musicians, a few pictures on the ground. Plus some candles and beer cans.

No story, no background, nothing else. The Iowa tourism board needs to donate some money to build this up. I would suggest telling the story of what happened here. It doesn't need to be huge, but write something about these famous musicians. Maybe bring in a replica of the plane. Seems like a completely wasted oportunity.

Overall, I would not recommend visiting unless you are a huge music history nut. Don't go out of your way to see this.
Written September 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

chewbdu
Wisconsin207 contributions
Jun 2022
I grew up in the era of Buddy Holly's music so wanted to visit the site. It is on private property, but the owner is gracious enough to allow people to visit the site. You walk along the side of a corn field for about a quarter mile until you reach the site of the memorial marker. It is very humbling and sad to know you are at the place where "the music died". There is a small memorial to the three rockers who died there as well as the pilot. It is easy to get to on gravel roads and you just pull off where you can park and walk in. It is free.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aerowing
Monee, IL4,997 contributions
Oct 2020 • Solo
If you’re visiting the Surf Ballroom then you owe it to yourself to come pay respect here. There’s a map available at the ballroom if you’d like for directions. The site is about 5 miles north and about a mile of it is down a gravel road. I was on my motorcycle and had no problem riding down it. You’ll see the big black eyeglasses and know you’ve arrived. The walk is about a quarter-mile down the stretch of cornfield and there’s a small memorial honoring the musicians and also the pilot. Please be respectful and enjoy a little quiet time here.
Written November 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

N611VMandread
Tucson, United States21 contributions
Nov 2021
If you are a fan of Buddy Holly, the "Big Bopper," Richie Valens, or classic rock and roll, this somber site is highly recommended. The trail head to the crash site (which is located in a corn field) is marked by a large pair of Buddy-Holly type glasses. You can park on the side of the road, and then walk through the corn field on a well-travelled path to the crash site, which has some fan-made memorials there. Even though the deadly crash occurred over 60 years ago, people still visit this site. The landowner does not mind people walking through the field to the site.
Written November 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Geoff C
1 contribution
Mar 2020
It was one of my life's wierd experiences. After I visted the Surf ballroom, I went out to the field where the plane crashed. It was mid summer so the corn was high. Me and my friend parked on the country road, and walked through the high corn, on a path barely wide enough for one! This was in July 2006. I was quite surprised when the path opened up to reveal the mini memorial to the victims of the crash! Even more surprisingly there were half a dozen other people who had made the 'pilgrimage' through the corn! As an aviation enthusiast, and then radio DJ, I am glad I did visited. An interesting part of music history.
Written February 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kate Illinois1
Illinois4,160 contributions
Sep 2020
We were traveling on Interstate 35 and happen to read about the site nearby. Marker of the memorial site located along a gravel road. We thought we would be the only people at site .....strangely upon arrival a car pulled away and another vehicle arrived within 3 minutes of our arrival. Marker along the road is a large set of Buddy Holly's trademark eyeglasses. We did not walk to crash site of Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Richie Valens because the other people were not wearing masks. We know it was outdoors but with the increasing number of cases in area, felt not worth taking a chance. Gravel road not a high traffic area, parked on the shoulder of the road.
Written October 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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