Visit This Charming Michigan Town With a Touch of the Netherlands
You don't have to leave the states to feel like you're in the Netherlands when visiting Holland, Michigan! This town is full of charm and Dutch Heritage. It's located on the shore of Lake Macatawa and the western side of Lake Michigan. With white sandy beaches, beautiful gardens, and touches of the Netherlands it really makes the perfect and unique getaway.
This blog post contains affiliate and referral links that may reward me in the event of a subscription or sale (at no extra cost for you).
Here's my list of all the things you don't want to miss out on when visiting!
Tip Toe Through Tulips- Tulip Time Festival
We visited during the annual Tulip Time Festival, which is held the first week of May. Millions of colorful tulips are planted all over the city and it's truly a sight to see! If you want to avoid the crowds plan your visit the week before or the week after the festival. Early, mid, and late-blooming varieties are planted every year so you're guaranteed to see them! There's also a carnival, Dutch Dance performances, and parades (some events may be canceled due to COVID).
Neli's Dutch Village
12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424
Neli's Dutch Village is actually considered a theme park, and it's probably the cutest theme park I've ever been to! Here's a little of what you'll find...
- Quaint streets with canals and houses that replicate a Dutch village- inside you'll find specialty Dutch shops, cheese making, cafes, and restaurants
- Demonstrations, dancers, and performances
- A petting zoo where you can even buy food to feed the animals! They had sheep, goats, bunnies, chickens, a cow, and even a llama!
- Rides for all ages (Ferris wheel, swing ride, carousel, mini zip-line, Petal Pumper cars, large wooden shoe slide)
There is an admission fee, but you can save $1 on each ticket when you purchase online!
Windmill Island Gardens
1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423
The Windmill Island Gardens is home to a 250+ yr old Windmill- De Zwaan, which was shipped from the Netherlands in 1964 to the city of Holland. It's the only working Dutch windmill in the United States! I love that you can still go inside it, see how it works and what it was used for. You can even climb all the stairs to the top for an incredible view!
You'll also find beautiful gardens, another cute Dutch village with shops, a carousel, an antique street organ (that was played on the streets of Amsterdam), and a little Dutch Village display that was built by former settlers. The park is open from April to October, and there is an admission fee to get in. We had so much fun here!
12755 Quincy St, Holland, MI 49424
Is there anything more unique than walking through flower fields and watching Buffalo roam?! The Veldheer Farm is stunning during Tulip Time, but they also have 10 acres of beautiful perennial flowers planted in the summer! You can also view their beloved Bison from the fields!
Downtown and Shopping on 8th St.
With historic buildings, cobblestone streets and modern touches, downtown Holland is definitely worth the visit. Forbes Magazine has also named it one if "America's Prettiest Towns". Do some window shopping in downtown Holland. 8th street is lined with cute boutique shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. In the summer you'll also find street performers every Thursday from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm. In the winter don't worry about snow or ice-covered streets thanks to the snowmelt system- tubing underground that heats the streets! Kilwins chocolates was our favorite stop here!
Visit a Beach and "Big Red"
2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49423
Big Red is the most photographed Michigan lighthouse. It's located in the beautiful Holland State Park. This is probably the most charming lighthouse I've ever seen! The beach area next to it is also stunning. With the soft sand and rolling waves, It really feels like you're at a beach on the ocean! I would love to come back and visit in the summer months! This park also has camping, picnic areas, a boat launch, a concession stand, restrooms, and changing areas. We watched the most amazing sunset here!
Our favorite Holland Restaurants
28 W 8th St #220, Holland, MI 49423
We loved having breakfast at this cozy, nostalgic restaurant! Instead of toast, ask for the cinnamon roll- you'll thank me later! I also had the hashbrown omelet which was amazing! If you're a hot sauce lover- they have an amazing selection to choose from to go with your breakfast or lunch!
New Holland Brewing
66 E 8th St, Holland, MI 49423
If you love good beer and food this is such a great place to have dinner! There's both inside and outside seating. We ended up outside on a chilly day, but the patio heaters were amazing!
Where to Stay
Blackberry Ridge Manor
If you're looking for a peaceful and unique getaway, we loved staying at this charming Airbnb! It's located about 10minutes from downtown Holland but feels like you're staying in the country. This is one of those places where I felt completely relaxed and welcomed. The hosts were amazing and added the best exrra touches to make our stay special! You can even watch horses graze in the backyard. This Airbnb includes a workspace, couch, bathroom with shower, a reading space, and a full kitchen.
Click here to book!
We stayed in Holland for 2 nights and loved every second of it. Although we went during the Tulip Time Festival, I can definitely see this being an amazing trip any time of the year. Holland, Michigan is truly special!
I will also be writing a blog post on the Tulip Time Festival, so keep an eye out if you're interested!