Drivable Family Lake Trips: Clear Lake, Iowa

Sharing is caring!

Drivable Family Lake Trips: Clear Lake, Iowa

Hey there, Des Moines area families! Looking for a budget-friendly summer escape that won’t break the bank? Well, look no further than Clear Lake, Iowa! Just a short 115-mile drive north of Des Moines, you can reach this super fun lake town in less than two hours. Trust me, it’s worth the trip!

So, what makes Clear Lake the ultimate destination for affordable summer fun? Let me break it down for you:

Drivable Destination:

Forget about long hours in the car. Clear Lake is conveniently close, making it the perfect weekend getaway for families craving some lakeside adventure. Pack up the car, load up the kids, and hit the road!

Affordability at Its Finest:

Now, when I say affordable, I mean it in the best possible way. Clear Lake offers big-city options at small-town prices. Plus, you’ll love the fact that parking is free, and many attractions won’t cost you a dime. Who said fun had to come with a hefty price tag?

Family Fun Galore:

Get ready for a summer packed with excitement! Clear Lake boasts not one, not two, but three beautiful beaches for endless sandcastle-building and splashing in the waves. And let’s not forget about the two splash pads that’ll have your little ones giggling with delight.

But wait, there’s more! Hop aboard the Lady of the Lake paddleboat, where your kids can meet the captain and even ring the bell. Talk about feeling like royalty on the water!

With several pontoon and watercraft rental companies to find that perfect fit for your family’s lake day, to fishing guides that will literally hook you up, Clear Lake is where you can make a splash!

Free Kid’s Activities:

Clear Lake knows how to keep the kiddos entertained without draining your wallet. Thursdays on Main has started up for the season and is a must-do with its strider bike course, bounce houses, live music, and tons of fun for the whole family every week until school starts. And don’t miss out on Central Gardens Fresh on Fridays, offering fresh tastes and the Bee Happy Kids Garden to explore. On Saturdays, head to the Farmers Market for a kids’ corner and live tunes alongside local vendors.

Sweet Treat capital of North Iowa:

Alright, let’s talk treats because who doesn’t love a sweet indulgence on vacation? Clear Lake is the Sweet Treat capital of North Iowa, and it’s easy to see why. From Charlie’s Soda Fountain and Fizz Co. Sips & Sweets to Cookies, etc., Da-Lish Acai Bar and The Olde Creamery, your taste buds are in for a treat. And let’s not forget about Holistic Harmony, Cabin Coffee, Scooter’s Coffee, and The Daily Grind for your baked treat and caffeine fix. Oh, and did I mention the award-winning gourmet donuts at South Shore Donut Company? Decadent desserts at Starboard Market? Amazing caramels at Ralphene’s? A huge candy selection (including vintage treats) at Larson’s Mercantile? Yeah, we’ve got it all and then some.

Cheers to Family Time:

Looking for a laid-back family hangout? Head to Lake Time Brewery and 173° Craft Distillery, located downtown Clear Lake! These local favorites offer outdoor and indoor seating, and board games, and are even pet-friendly.  Grab the whole family and enjoy some quality time together!

Where to Stay:

Now that you’re all set for a fantastic family adventure in Clear Lake, let’s talk about where to lay your head after a day of fun in the sun. Our charming lakeside town offers a plethora of options to suit every preference and budget.


For those who love the convenience and comfort of hotels, Clear Lake has you covered. With a variety of options ranging from cozy boutique hotels to well-known chains, there’s something for everyone. Plus, did you know that three of these hotels boast indoor pools? That’s right – you can keep the aquatic fun going even after you’ve left the beach!

Vacation Rentals:

Looking for a home away from home? Consider booking a vacation rental in Clear Lake. Many of these rentals are situated right on the water, offering breathtaking views and easy access to all the lakefront action. Whether you’re in the market for a quaint cottage or a spacious lakeside retreat, you’ll find the perfect accommodation to suit your family’s needs.


For those who prefer to embrace the great outdoors, Clear Lake offers several campgrounds where you can pitch a tent or park your RV. And with two famous state parks on the lake, you’ll have no shortage of scenic spots to choose from. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows around the campfire or falling asleep to the sounds of nature, camping in Clear Lake is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Plan Your Trip Today!

Ready to pack your bags and hit the road? Head over to clearlakeiowa.com to order your free guide and start planning your affordable summer adventure in Clear Lake. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Sign up for our monthly newsletter, and weekly events update, and discover Clear Lake deals emails to stay in the loop! Looking for a personal recommendation? Email me at libbey@clearlakeiowa.com for insider info. 

Clear Lake, Iowa is calling your name for a summer filled with family fun, delicious treats, and memories to last a lifetime. See you at the lake!


Sponsored Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *