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Surf Ballroom

Clear Lake, IA
+1 641-357-6151
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Review Highlights
History at it's best!

Wow! We were amazed at the historic value of the Surf Ballroom. We were overjoyed to see all the... read more

Reviewed 18 January 2018
TravelingCriticChic
,
Sioux City, Iowa
In the area

Full of nostalgia...just wonderful...easy to find..plenty of parking...I visited in December a... read more

Reviewed 7 December 2017
bombcheles
via mobile
Read all 248 reviews
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Overview
  • Excellent84%
  • Very good12%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“dance floor” (21 reviews)
“rock and roll” (21 reviews)
“big bopper” (46 reviews)
LOCATION
Clear Lake, IA
CONTACT
Website
+1 641-357-6151
Write a ReviewReviews (248)
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All reviews
"dance floor"
in 21 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
"dressing room"
in 7 reviews
"phone booth"
in 6 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
"gift shop"
in 12 reviews
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1 - 10 of 247 reviews

Reviewed 18 January 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 7 December 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 3 December 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
See more reviews
Reviewed 22 October 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 11 October 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 2 October 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 23 September 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
Reviewed 22 September 2017

If you are a fan of music, this place is chick full of interesting memorbilia and history. Mostly and obviously dedicated in the memory of Holley, Valens and Booper. But a number of other muscians have frequented The Surf and is one of the go...More

Thank Skidadoftwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2017

They used to have Annual tribute concerts here, but I'm not sure if they do now. The Ballroom was closed when I stopped by, but the history of the place was just as meaningful. Next trip I'll check if there's a schedule ahead of time....More

Thank Walter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2017

We stopped by here to see the last place Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens played before their untimely deaths. Unfortunately it was not open, but we were able to see the historical markers outside and peek in the doors. Looking forward to coming back and...More

Thank Hezzy_t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
WINN77
18 September 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
1 February 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