Beat the winter blahs with a weekend in Mason City and Clear Lake.
Things To Do
MacNider Art Museum
Featuring the marionettes from The Sound of Music's Lonely Goatherd among other Bil Baird puppets, the MacNider Art Museum is a perfect place for art lovers. The museum also features a variety of permanent collections and events.
Music Man Square
Visit the 1912 River City Streetscape in the Music Man Square. This town center replica features an ice cream parlor, gift shop and set designs from the movie classic, The Music Man.
Step onto the hardwood floor and dance! The Surf Ballroom was the last concert venue for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper." Reminisce about the origins of rock-and-roll and teach the kids a few moves. Visit over the last weekend in January to experience the annual Winter Dance Party.
Local Craft Breweries
There are not one, not two, but three fantastic craft breweries in Mason City and Clear Lake. Take a tasting tour of Mason City Brewing, Fat Hill Brewing and Lake Time Brewery.
North Iowa Bulls Hockey
If golf isn't your thing, take in a hockey game. The North Iowa Bulls are part of the North American 3 Hockey League and their season runs September through March. Home games are played at North Iowa Arena.
Both Clear Lake and Mason City have charming downtown areas with great small-town shopping. Spend an afternoon exploring and chatting with the locals.
Where to Eat
A Mason City staple since 1920, this Greek-style steakhouse serves Iowa chops with a special blend of seasoning with a side dish of to-die-for Greek spaghetti.
South Shore Donut Co.
Gourmet donuts and ice cream treats are served out of this beach cottage-themed restaurant. After indulging, take a winter walk on the shores of Clear Lake to burn off some calories.
Where to Stay
Historic Park Inn
As the last remaining Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built hotel in the world, the Historic Park Inn has become an internationally renowned architectural wonder. Listed in the National Registry of Historic Places this property underwent a $20 million renovation in 2011, this property offers a unique blend of historical beauty and impressive architecture, along with modern amenities.