Things to Do in Holland, Michigan
From its Dutch traditions to sugar sand beaches, Holland, Michigan, is a favorite year-round destination for all types of travelers.
Seated on the shore of Lake Macatawa in Michigan, Holland is one of the Midwest’s most charming small towns. Whether spending a girl’s weekend shopping and dining in the award-winning downtown or taking a family trip to the dunes, Holland is the perfect one-stop destination.
Celebrating Dutch heritage
An outpost of Dutch culture and tradition, Holland celebrates its motherland with blooming tulips, wooden shoes and a giant windmill. Millions “tiptoe through the tulips” for eight days each May at one of the world’s top five tulip festivals. More than 5 million tulips spring up over town in vibrant beds of every hue. It’s a tradition that started in 1927 when Holland purchased 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands. And, while the flowers are the belle of the ball, attendees of the Tulip Time Festival also enjoy klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, parades, an artisan market with hand-crafted works from more than 200 regional artists and workshops like floral arranging or landscape photography.
If you can’t attend the Tulip Time Festival, the European flavor of Holland is celebrated all year with Dutch traditions and activities. Experience what it was like to live in the Netherlands more than 100 years ago at Nelis’ Dutch Village, tour the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory and tower over 36 acres of gardens atop the famous windmill named “De Zwaan” (the Swan).
Beaches and surrounding towns
Holland boasts lakes that feel like oceans with white, sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. For a minimum daily fee, beachgoers enjoy clean restrooms, safe swimming areas and views of the iconic “Big Red” lighthouse at Holland State Park.
Secluded Laketown Beach – just southwest of Holland – is sandwiched between two private beaches and offers a more rustic, serene experience. If you have the stamina, climb the 500 stairs to reach the top of the sand dune for a truly spectacular view of Lake Michigan. And for the perfect playground, head to Tunnel Park -- a park with a large tunnel that cuts through a giant sand dune to Lake Michigan.
Just a town over is Saugatuck, home to one of Conde’ Nast Traveler’s “Top 25 Beaches in the World.” Its rolling dunes and winding waterways can be explored 365 days per year. Ride the dunes on a buggy or embark on a sailing adventure. And, don’t forget to spend some time out of the sand experiencing Saugatuck’s creative roots with its many art galleries and events.
There’s no doubt you’ll be smitten with a trip to this Michigan town!