Right on the outskirts of the town of Clear Lake, Iowa, you and your four-legged pal will find Clear Lake State Park -- a lovely little chunk of nature known for its 900-foot stretch of beach. Though the grounds are mostly open, there are quite a few pockets of forest and thick brush scattered throughout the park -- keep an eye out for these, as you may be able to spot songbirds, deer, opossums, or even owls if you're lucky!
You'll get to pick from 173 different campsites here, most of which come with electric hookups. There are only 8 basic sites and 8 full-hookup sites, so if you're looking for either lot type, you may want to reserve ahead of time. Drinking water is provided for campers, as is an on-site dump station. If you have any worries while away, just pop in to the registration building to have your mind put at ease. Rates to stay here start at $6 per night for a basic site during the winter months and go all the way up to $19 for a stay on a full-hookup lot in the busy summer months.
By far, the biggest draw of this park is Clear Lake! This body of water makes for the perfect summer getaway spot -- complete with sunbathing, water skiing, swimming, and more. Fishing is also permitted, much to the delight of visiting anglers. Come wintertime, you'll still have access to the lake and the grounds, but any running water is turned off to prevent frozen lines. No matter what time of year you visit, be sure to check out the nearby Surf Ballroom -- the historical site where Buddy Holly and two other performers played before boarding the infamous flight that would be their last.
When it comes to bringing your furry friend to this state park, you'll be happy to know that they are permitted to stay in the campground and wonder the surrounding terrain -- on-leash, of course. The only places that your pupper cannot go are the park buildings and the designated swimming beach.
To enjoy one of Iowa's lakes the best way, be sure to visit Clear Lake State Park!