Clear Lake, Iowa: 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.
Address:
22728 Gull Ave., Clear Lake, IA
Directions:
North of town. I-35 exit 197. Drive west on 300th St. for one mile. Turn right onto Grouse Ave. Drive a half-mile. Turn right onto 310th St. (dirt road). Drive a quarter-mile. Turn left onto Gulf Ave. (dirt road). Drive a quarter-mile. You'll see the big glasses on the left, at the intersection of 315th St. Park there, then walk west into the field, following the cleared path, for a quarter-mile.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Buddy Holly Crash Site

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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]

Gull Ave and 315th St.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Grouse Avenue is closed due to construction. Instead take 300th Street to Fir, make a right and go down to 320th Street, make another right, and then the immediate next right onto Gull. Park just opposite 315th Street and you will see the famed glasses. Follow the fence which will be on your right to the memorial. Beautifully moving.

[John L., 06/30/2013]

Buddy Holly crash site nearby.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Great directions! Wouldn't have found the crash site without your help.

[JayCJay, 02/14/2013]

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.
Fort Custer MazeFort Custer Maze, Clear Lake, IA - 6 mi.
In the region:
World's First Tractor, Charles City, IA - 37 mi.

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