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Surf Ballroom

Clear Lake, IA
+1 641-357-6151
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Review Highlights
The Surf Ballroom brings back memories....

We stopped at the Surf Ballroom before visiting the Buddy Holly crash site. It was a cold March day... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
John B
A cool place to visit

anyone into old rock-n-roll will love this place worth stopping and seeing. great employees and... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Jim H
Read all 251 reviews
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Overview
  • Excellent84%
  • Very good12%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“dance floor” (22 reviews)
“rock and roll” (21 reviews)
“big bopper” (46 reviews)
LOCATION
Clear Lake, IA
CONTACT
Website
+1 641-357-6151
Write a ReviewReviews (251)
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All reviews
"dance floor"
in 22 reviews
"rock and roll"
in 21 reviews
"big bopper"
in 46 reviews
"buddy holly"
in 41 reviews
"ritchie valens"
in 27 reviews
"crash site"
in 31 reviews
"phone booth"
in 7 reviews
"dressing room"
in 7 reviews
"music history"
in 10 reviews
"walls and ceiling"
in 3 reviews
"plane crash"
in 11 reviews
"ball room"
in 5 reviews
"step back in time"
in 8 reviews
"walk around"
in 9 reviews
"bar area"
in 4 reviews
"definitely worth a stop"
in 4 reviews
"general admission"
in 3 reviews
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1 - 10 of 250 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

We stopped at the Surf Ballroom before visiting the Buddy Holly crash site. It was a cold March day but I could imagine the Surf and Clear Lake being very busy with summer vacationers. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper had very short...More

Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

anyone into old rock-n-roll will love this place worth stopping and seeing. great employees and willing to show you around

Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2018

We've been traveling around the country for a few weeks. I've always wanted to see the Surf Ballroom if I ever got close to IA. As it turned out, we were going right through Clear Lake. We stopped at the Surf Ballroom. As soon as...More

Thank Gil1018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 18, 2018

Wow! We were amazed at the historic value of the Surf Ballroom. We were overjoyed to see all the talent that has played there. We purchased a shirt and a few items from the small gift shop. Definitely worth the trip!

Thank TravelingCriticChic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2017 via mobile

Full of nostalgia...just wonderful...easy to find..plenty of parking...I visited in December a better choice may have been a warmer month to enjoy the lake.

Thank bombcheles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2017

What a beautiful historic place, If you are not familiar with The Surf, it is the place that Buddy Holly and Richie Valens played the night that they died in a plane crash shortly after the end of their show. There are hundreds of photos...More

Thank Cwulfing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2017

The Surf Ballroom and Museum has so much musical history. There is a large parking area out back. Admission is free, but a $5 donation per person is suggested. The Surf is a self guided tour, so you can take as long or as little...More

Thank erjunebug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2017

I wish we had reserved more time for this place! I figured this was only a memorial for Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and The Big Bopper. While there is much to see regarding those 3 musicians, there is SO MUCH MORE to see here! We...More

Thank Stacie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2017 via mobile

The Surf lives on because of a the generosity of the Snyder family whose construction company restored it back to 1946. When you enter the ballroom you are magically transported back to an age most of us did not live through. Everybody from Buddy Holly...More

Thank Charles M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2017 via mobile

The ballroom is still frozen in the 60s. Check out the walls and ceiling in the green room. There are signatures from the performers of today and yesteryear. Guitars and photos grace the walls. A tour and stop on the stage would be worth your...More

Thank Julie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
WINN77
September 18, 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Alyshinnie | Reviewed this property |
Sorry I'm not sure as I'm from Scotland but I'm sure if you contact the Surf Ballroom direct they will be happy to help. Sounds amazing, hope you manage to get booked and have a great time
0
Votes
James H
February 2, 2016|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Kathryn R | Reviewed this property |
They can always come to look at the building and free museum. Would assume they could attend any event not listed as 18 or over
2
Votes
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