Clear Lake, Iowa: Buddy Holly Crash SiteIt'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.
Visitor Tips and News About Buddy Holly Crash Site
I am on tour with a band called Sugar Red Drive and the Tour Mgr Jay and I decided to take the band to see the Buddy Holly crash site on our way to Des Moines (Our first time as well). After looking up all the information we needed, we arrived at the the entrance to the trail and were astonished to see the sculpture of the Buddy Holly glasses is no longer there. We were there at 5 am in the morning and I don't think they put it away at night....Shame if someone took it, but a must see if you're in the area.[Gregg Morris, 07/28/2009]
Renee reports the glasses were there at the end of July.
The directions provided on the website were spot on. I visited the shrine with my cousin and good friend over the 4th of July weekend. The site is fairly easy to find with large steel black rimmed glasses mounted near the road to mark the walk path. The owners of the land which the memorial resides on have created a cleared path which is marked by little ground flags. This path runs parallel to the fence line. Make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes as the memorial is approx 1/4 mile from the road. From previous postings on this site I expected to see a memorial for the pilot of the crash Roger Petersen but did not once we go to the place. This is a small but moving shrine to four lives cut way to short.[Chris Withers, 07/16/2009]
Just look for the huge glasses that mark the trail head![Matthew, 07/11/2009]
We went to the 61st anniversary gala ball at the Surf Ballroom. It was a lot of fun listening to the Grass Roots perform.
The next day we went to visit the crash site. A new steel artwork sculpture (of a pair of black sunglasses) set onto a concrete pier base marks the entrance to the path to the sight. There are orange landscape flags marking the path. You cannot miss it. I was happy to see that so much was still present at the memorial. We took some pictures, paused for a few minutes and as we were leaving we left our own card.[Eric Trippe, 07/06/2009]
Fans of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper gathered around a bonfire in a corn field near the crash site at 1 am February 3rd, timed to coincide with the tragedy's 50th anniversary. A "50 Winters Later" concert was held at the nearby Surf Ballroom, location of the rock legends' last performance.
A day earlier, a steel monument had been added to the crash site, remembering the forgotten pilot of the plane, Roger Peterson. The memorial was created by Ken Paquette, who also made the metal guitar and record monument (that have been stolen and replaced at least once).[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 02/04/2009]
Buddy Holly Crash Site
- Buddy Holly Place, Clear Lake, IA
- North of town 4.5 miles. North of town I-35 exit 197 west on 300th Street to Fir/Buddy Holly Pl., 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.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour