Clear Lake, Iowa: Buddy Holly Crash Site

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
22728 Gull Ave., Clear Lake, IA
Directions:
From the Surf Ballroom in town, drive north on Buddy Holly Place. Turn right at the stoplight onto US Hwy 18. Drive a half-mile. Turn left at the stoplight onto N. 8th St. Drive north about five miles. As the road bends left, turn right onto gravel 310th St. Drive a quarter-mile, then turn left onto gravel Gull Ave. Drive a half-mile. You'll see the big eyeglasses on the left, at the intersection of 315th St. You can park on the shoulder.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Buddy Holly Crash Site.

Buddy Holly Crash Site
It's the spot where the beloved rocker with the geek glasses and hiccup-y voice met an early end. The site is often marked with items added by visitors. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [01/24/2016]

Visitor Tips and News About Buddy Holly Crash Site

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Glasses.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

The driving directions posted by Leanna D. in 2013 were spot on today. The farmer upon whose land we trod has mowed a nice path right to the memorial. He plows and plants right after the memorial, so take the path on the left and you'll end at the crash site.

[Kim Wheeler, 05/17/2016]

Pilot memorial.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Walk past the glasses to the actual crash site. My first visit, I didn't realize you could walk down a path to the crash site, where the markers are for the four who died there.

[Lala, 07/14/2015]

Buddy Holly Crash Site.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Fun place to visit and only a short drive off the Interstate.

[Sam S., 08/21/2014]

The cornfield where Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper went down in 1959 always strikes us as the cheeriest of fatal crash sites. Visitors continue to leave small offerings to the rock legends -- notes, sun glasses, a can of "Buddy" soda, a bouquet of flowers -- and celebrate their lasting impact.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

(As of this writing, part of the regular route is closed due to road construction. So here's an easy detour.). The road to this site is unpaved, but not too bad. An easy way to get there from I-35 is as follows: take exit 197 and go west of the freeway. Take your immediate first right to go north on Hickory Avenue. Go north about a mile and a half to 315 Street. Take a left and go west about a mile. 315 Street dead ends at Gull. You should see the giant Buddy Holly glasses right in front of you, with the walking path to the left of the glasses. The walk takes maybe 10 minutes each way. Many people leave unusual tribute items there. [Leanna D., 07/04/2013]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Large Chicken, Ice Cream ConeLarge Chicken, Ice Cream Cone, Clear Lake, IA - 5 mi.
Surf Ballroom: Buddy Holly's Last GigSurf Ballroom: Buddy Holly's Last Gig, Clear Lake, IA - 6 mi.
Tiny Church: Guardian Angel Roadside ChapelTiny Church: Guardian Angel Roadside Chapel, Clear Lake, IA - 6 mi.
In the region:
Farmer - Pitchfork Pete, Albert Lea, MN - 30 mi.

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