Holland Michigan: Explore Dutch Heritage and Tulips
Holland Michigan is known for those wanting to celebrate and explore Dutch heritage and of course, tulips.
It was founded in 1847 by Dutch Calvinists and has a vast history that is still honored in Holland today.
Holland is a Midwest town located in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan located on Lake Macatawa near the western shore of Lake Michigan. It is less than 3 hours from Chicago, so it makes for a perfect weekend getaway.
Holland is internationally notorious for its Tulip Time Festival, which showcases over 5 million tulips of over 120 different varieties throughout the town. So, to get the scoop on what not to miss while in Holland keep reading.
Tip: Best time to see the tulips is the last week of April through May. The weather is a big factor in peak bloom, so it can be unpredictable.
You may want to check out the Tulip Tracker to see what color awaits you!
Most activities are pet-friendly, so if you are feeling inclined, bring your four-legged family member.
This family-owned park re-creates an 1800’s Dutch village for a step back 150 years and a day of fun and great picture opportunities.
There are several rides such as the infamous giant wooden shoe slide, the chair swing, the 1924 Herschell-Sillman carousel, and the 1940’s Ferris wheel that the kids will enjoy.
They have an interactive petting zoo with goats, rabbits, chickens and you can’t forget the lama.
See live demonstrations on delftware pottery making, which is a blue and white ceramic authentic to the Netherlands, watch a hand-crafted wooden shoe be made, and participate in a Dutch dance performance where you join in. The music made by the Amsterdam street organ is unforgettable.
Don’t forget to stay for a treat or lunch at the ice cream shop, enjoy some fudge or even stay for a burger and a beer (for the adults-only of course).
* There is an Entrance Fee *
Window on the Waterfront
This is by far our favorite park to see the tulips without having to pay an admission fee. Make sure to take time to walk the whole park and enjoy the tulip paths. You can also see the De Zwaan Windmill from the park as you overlook the waterfront, so have your camera ready.
* Free *
This park is located in the beautiful Holland Historic District and features brick paths flanked with lush flowerbeds. There is a gazebo in which to sit and enjoy the park. The main feature is the traditional Dutch fountain and fishpond. If you enjoy historic homes take a look around as there are many around this neighborhood park.
* Free *
Tulips line the roads and are planted in beds throughout downtown Holland.
The prettiest roads that you must make sure to walk or drive down are Washington (runs North/South) and 12 Street (runs East/West). These roads are called the Tulip Lane Boulevards and they will not disappoint.
Other curbside tulip lanes are Van Raalte, Central, and State.
* Free *
This is a park operated by the City of Holland and should not be missed.
The main feature of the park is the De Zwaan Windmill. It is America’s only authentic working Dutch windmill. Make sure to take a tour of the flour mill. Once you get to the top enjoy the views of the park. If you go during Tulip Time you will get a beautiful view of the tulip fields. The display of all the different colors just carpets the landscape.
Sit back and enjoy some music on the Four Columns Street Organ. This organ was donated to the park by the city of Amsterdam, so it is neat to immerse yourself in the true Netherlands feel.
The kids will love the Carousel and playground, while the adults can enjoy the shops which stand as a replica of the Royal Orphanage from the province of Gelerland.
* There is an Entrance Fee *
Veldheer Tulip Farm/De Klomp Wooden Shoe/Delft Factory
You can also spend time at the Veldheer Tulip Farm, De Klomp Wooden Shoe, and Delft Factory. For a small fee, you can stroll through Holland’s only tulip farm. Delft Factory is the only production facility in North America, offering over 400 different hand-painted Dutch pottery items. Deklomp Wooden Shoe Factory is where you can see how wooden shoes are made from beginning to end production.
While you are there pick up some tulip bulbs or your own pair of wooden shoes. The tip to wearing wooden shoes is to wear multiple pairs of socks, I was told no less than 9 pairs! 😊
* Veldheer has an Entrance Fee *
* Deklomp and Delft are Free *
Other Local Recommended Activities:
While you can spend an entire weekend just on tulips, Holland is great for year-round activities.
- Before you start your busy day, my kids highly recommend stopping by Good Time Donuts for a dozen delicious traditional donuts, danishes, and rolls. We enjoyed having a picnic with our breakfast treats at Centennial Park.
- It is known for spending a wonderful day at the beach. We recommend going to check out the Big Red Lighthouse, Michigan’s most photographed lighthouse, and enjoying a day at the Holland State Park beach.
- If you are feeling a bit energetic, bring your bike and enjoy some of Holland’s 150 miles of bike paths, both paved and off-road. Not only is it a great way to explore the area, but you can also visit surrounding towns.
- Saugatuck is a wonderful neighboring town bustling with restaurants and boutique shops to enjoy. Art lovers will find some neat art galleries. Feel your inner Picasso and sign up for an art class! Makes sure to stop in Kilwin’s for some delicious fudge.