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Welcome to Holland, the home of tulips, stunning Lake Michigan beaches, fun breweries, a rich Dutch heritage and so much more.
We love visiting Holland just about any time of the year: in the summer and fall the beaches swell with visitors to popular Holland State Park; in the winter there’s the charming outdoor holiday market, “Kerstmarkt,” and the spring brings the National Tulip Festival, “Tulip Time.”
We’re sharing some of our favorite things to do when visiting this fun west Michigan beach town.
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Discover Holland MI Fun
If you’re looking for fun beach towns or just a spot for a road trip – perfect for families, couples and girlfriend getaways alike – this west Michigan city set of the shores of TWO lakes (Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa) is worth checking out.
Whether you’re going for a Holland day trip, a romantic getaway or planning to stay a few nights, we’ve got you covered.
We’re sharing everything you need to have a great time here, including some of our favorite restaurants in Holland; a shopping guide to 8th street in Hollands downtown shopping district and so much more.
Read on to discover 25 TOP things to do in Holland, MI.
Holland, Michigan has a lot going for it: it’s big enough to offer a variety of things to do, both in terms of outdoor activities (like hiking neat the lake Michigan shoreline ) and cultural experiences (such as visiting the local tulip farms and attractions celebrating the area’s rich Dutch heritage.
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Visit Holland Michigan
When you visit Holland, there are some essential things you have to do before you leave to get the full “Holland Experience.”
We know the highlights of this beautiful little town, and we don’t want you to arrive unprepared.
Bounded on one side by the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, with picturesque Lake Macatawa in the center, it’s a good idea to know where you want to go when you travel to this pretty town.
From Dutch windmills and beautiful parks to beaches and a must-visit brewery company, here’s our list of DON’T-MISS spots in Holland, Michigan.
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Spend a Day at Tunnel Park
Your first stop in Holland Michigan is Tunnel Park, the 22-acre land of warm, gold sand and stunning blue water.
There’s nothing quite like traveling underneath a tunnel built into sand dunes to be met with Holland’s beautiful Tunnel Park on the other side.
You’ll find comfortable picnic shelters, clean restrooms, a children’s playground and -best of all- a wide sandy beach for swimming at this 22-acre park.
Lake Michigan feels a little different when the magic of Holland is surrounding you.
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Visit the Holland Farmers Market
The Holland Farmers Market is not a limited one: alongside the heaps of produce fresh from the surrounding farms, you’ll find so many more homemade goods.
From lively street music to armfuls of flowers to fresh produce, a turn around the farm market of Holland offers a refreshing break from tourism.
Experience the Holland community when you take a leisurely stroll through the booths of the farmers market!
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Pick Fresh Blueberries at the The Blueberry Farm
One of the booths you’ll probably spot at the farmers market is Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market, but if you want the full experience, you’ll have to visit their farm.
Bowerman Blueberry prides itself in its fresh, delicious blueberries that they’ve been growing since 1954.
Whether you would rather pick them yourself or buy them from the market, Bowerman Blueberry Farms is awaiting your visit!
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Attend the Tulip Time Festival
Tulips are everywhere when you enter the city of Holland at the right time of year. Of all the attractions of Holland, the tulips are by far the most famous.
Tulip Time is the festival that Holland residents live for and Holland visitors come for – the Dutch heritage, the unity of Holland, and the tulips tulips tulips!
During the eight days of Tulip Time Festival, tulips line the streets, the community parades through the city, and downtown Holland lights up with a contagious energy.
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Visit the The Tulip Parks
If you just can’t get enough of the tulips of Holland, there are a few great places to find more!
The tulip parks in Holland are vastly loved and immaculately kept. These gardens are wonderful date ideas and great for a family walk!
Here are the best tulip parks in Holland to get you started:
Windmill Island Gardens Windmill Island is a shrine to the beauty of Holland’s tulips. With a quaint Dutch windmill overlooking a field of tulips in a plethora of shades and colors, this island sits at the top of our list.
Centennial Park At the picturesque Centennial Park you’ll find benches to lounge in, fountains and flowers to enjoy, and, of course, a stunning tulip display.
Veldheer Tulip Garden As Holland’s only tulip farm and perennial garden, this has to be next on you Holland must-see list.
The park features a celebration of tulips and Dutch heritage, De Klomp (the best place for a wooden shoe), and even real life bison that are kept on the farm.
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Climb Mount Pisgah
The dune climb and boardwalk of Mt. Pisgah overlooks a view of the lake that will stop you in your tracks.
Mt. Pisgah stands 157 feet above Lake Michigan and is a 200-star climb, but if you’re up for the task, go for it.
You’ll be rewarded with an amazing Lake Michigan vista before you; watch the whitecaps roll in and crash on the shoreline and you’ll be glad you made the climb.
Enjoy the platforms, benches, and wooden stairs that lead you down the dune!
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Discover Holland State Park Beach
At Holland State Park, one of the most popular state parks in the entire state of Michigan, a beautiful lake experience awaits you.
This Holland harbor, set on the spot where the Black River (flowing from Lake Macatawa) lets into Lake Michigan, is more than water and sand.
It’s Lake Michigan in all its glory – foamy white waves, jaw-dropping sunsets, and a peaceful atmosphere that lies over every corner of the laketown beach.
If you’re itching for some fun and games, explore the volleyball courts at the park!
Discover natures beauty, as well as a staple of Michigan beaches – Holland’s bright red lighthouse.
It’s like a shining beacon; when you see it, you know you can make yourself at home. You’ve arrived at Holland State Park beach.
We love Holland State Park because it also offers excellent ADA accommodations for those using wheelchairs and other mobility devices. You’ll find wide, paved pathways and an accessible playground, too.
For another great state park near Holland offering excellent ADA accessibility, visit Grand Haven State Park and experience Grand Haven’s beautiful beach!
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Discover Grand Haven, Michigan
Explore Grand Haven, one of Michigan’s TOP beachtowns – just north of Holland on the shores of Lake Michigan.
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Visit the Outdoor Discovery Center at Macatawa
If you want to wander a little farther away for an outdoor activity, Lake Macatawa makes for another beautiful lake day on the unforgettable Michigan lakes!
The Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway offers all kinds of nature and recreational opportunities, including wildlife sightings and the greenway that connects Macatawa to Zeeland, MI running straight through Holland.
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Experience The Dutch Village
Your next stop is Nelis’ Dutch Village, a place for traditional Dutch food, kids roller coasters, and a petting zoo.
Here, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about the Dutch community and see performers make wooden shoes.
Spend time exploring the history of Holland’s people and petting goats and alpacas in the critter barn.
If you have kids, they’ll enjoy every feature at Nelis!
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Van Raalte Farm Park
Holland’s historical sites are more than mere museums.
The Van Raalte Farm Park and nature preserve is beautiful all seasons of the year, but if you’re visiting Holland in the winter, you can’t miss this.
The home was built by Benjamin Van Raalte, whose father founded the city of Holland. On the house’s site, you’ll find hiking trails in the summer and a great hill for cross-country skiing or sledding when there’s snow.
Van Raalte also includes a park made for dogs and play structures for families.
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Tour the Holland Museum
The Holland Museum is your spot for a rainy day in the city.
With educational tours, you’ll visit exhibits that feature art, Dutch history, and even a Smithsonian lab for kids.
Stroll down every hallway and explore every artifact and painting for the full discovery of Holland’s origins.
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Try One of the Holland Boat Tours
It’s time to get back outside and on the water with Holland’s boats tours!
For a peaceful or romantic evening, the Holland Princess glides through Lake Michigan’s harbor on dinner cruises.
For more of a watery thrill, check out Holland’s watersports and jet skis! You may want to reserve an entire day for this part of your trip. Once you get on the water, you won’t want to get off
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Explore the Holland Aquatic Center
If you’re not quite ready to get out of Holland’s water, the Holland Community Aquatic Center has a place for you to swim, exercise, and play!
Did you say waterpark? You’ll find a one-of-a-kind water play structure here, too.
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Window on the Waterfront
Welcome to a park in Holland that deserved its own place on our Holland list.
Kollen Park and Heinz Waterfront Walkway, otherwise known as The Window on the Waterfront, is the place to go if you’re seeking all the classic amenities of a beautiful park.
This 30-acre waterfront park is home to the Queretaro Fountain, Immigrant Statue, and is a great place to walk to the rhythm of Holland’s shorefront waves.
After you visit this waterfront park, every other park may pale in comparison.
Shop 8th Street and Explore Downtown Holland
Nearby the Heinz Waterfront is downtown Holland, where all the best things of Holland congregate together.
Streets of tulips, live music, shopping, friendly locals, and delicious food all await you in the downtown area.
the main drag is 8th Street, where you’ll find breweries, cafes, cute shops and boutiques…you can easily spend an entire day perusing all the fun stops on this brick-paved street.
This is the perfect place to start and finish your Holland trip (trust us, you’ll want to come back after the first time).
De Graaf Nature Center
Get back into nature at De Graaf Nature Centers, where wildlife and geology meet forested trails.
There are a few different choices of nature centers in Holland, but this one is a great option if you’re looking for wheelchair and stroller accessible walkways through nature.
Enjoy the varying scenery, wildlife exhibits, and mineral samples all at De Graaf!
Find EVEN More Holland Michigan Fun
Use our Ultimate Guide to Holland Michigan for even more detail about the best places to stay, play, eat and beach in this west Michigan beachtown.
Tour Hope College
This private, four-year liberal arts college was founded 1851 by Dutch immigrants who settled in Holland.
The grounds are simply lovely” lush lawns with neatly trimmed, colorful gardens and stately ivy-covered buildings.
It’s located right downtown, but once you step on the ground, you feel miles away.
Have an Amazing Ice Cream Experience at Captain Sundae
247 W 40th St, Holland, MI 49423 (616) 393-4900
365 Douglas Ave, Holland, MI 49424 (616) 396-5938
We’ll get right to it here: if you’re going to do ONE memorable thing on your visit to Holland, MI (after visiting the state park, of course), let it be a stop at one of the two captain Sundae locations in Holland.
You may wait in line, but trust us, its worth the wait.
These ice-cream shops boast some of the most unique and inspired soft-serve concoctions we’ve ever witnessed, using mixtures of popular cereals and candies.
In an age of instagrammable-foods, Captain Sundae needs to be at the top of the Michigan list.
DON’T MISS IT!
Tip a Few at the New Holland Brewing Co We’re creatures of habit: we started visiting New Holland Brewing years ago, shortly after the opened.
We stopped in to split a flight and munch on some apps ( I think they were mini sliders), and we were so glad we did.
The light and airy downtown Eighth Street location had us hooked, and we return every time we’re in the area just to check in on what’s new.
Discover West Michigan’s Top Craft Breweries
Use our Michigan Breweries Guide to discover some of the BEST craft breweries in the state.
Visit Hops At 84th East Head into this Eighth Street taproom ready to eat (and drink). To start with you’ll find 65 craft beers on tap…so get ready to try some of Michigan’s best.
Be sure and leave room for our favorite eclectic appetizer, the Duck Potsticker, and the Flatbread Funghi.
Belly Up to the Itty Bitty Bar As dive bars go, this one is a classic , but they’ve kicked it up a notch with some really good food.
We’re talking meatloaf made with Waygu Beef; Roasted Bone Marrow and some of the best Buttermilk Fried Chicken this side of the Mason-Dixon line
Shop Holland’s Dutch Winter Christmas Market: KerstMarkt Held in the downtown Holland area as the farmer’s market, this winter market is so much fun to explore during the holidays.
Local artisans and farmers set up booths and bring everything from fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreaths, greenery and boughs of holly to handmade wool mittens, hats, candies and other perfect Michigan-made gifts.
If you’re going to do one special things this holiday season, make it a day trip to this festive little Dutch Christmas market in Holland.
Other Places near Holland, MI
- Learn about the Coppercraft Distillery
- Read our post on Saugatuck
- Explore nearby Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Beer City
- Laketown Beach
Hotels in Holland
When you experience Hollands best, it’s more than you can fit in one day. Before you leave for your trip, you’ll want to find a great place to stay!
Check out these Holland hotels for a full Holland experience.
About the Author- Kyrsten Newlon is a content writing and editing intern for mymichiganbeach.com. Growing up in Kalamazoo, she wrote and read everything she could. Now, she is a student at Grace College with Journalism and Communications majors and an English minor. She has been published by Grace College, the Winona Lake Newsletter, Input Fort Wayne, and various online blogs. Kyrsten loves raising puppies to be service dogs, spending time in coffee shops, and adventuring through Michigan.
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