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.

Visitor Tips and News About Buddy Holly Crash Site

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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]

Buddy Holly crash site.

Buddy Holly Crash Site

We took a family day trip to northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. The Iowa tourist information people recommended stopping here, but didn't know the exact directions. Thanks to my good friend Google we found Your directions were perfect, but we came from the north and could have saved a little time by taking the County B20 exit. Never once saw any sign leading to the crash site. It's a neat little shrine commemorating everyone. A real quick and close freeway detour, worth the time for a picture and to say you have been there.

[Gary & Crystal Hopkins, 11/10/2012]

Celebrity tragic ends and easy highway access don't always connect...

Buddy Holly Crash Site

22728 Gull Ave., Clear Lake, IA
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.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

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.
Pyramid HousePyramid House, Clear Lake, IA - 6 mi.
In the region:
SPAM Museum, Austin, MN - 37 mi.

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