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Holland (Michigan)

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Holland, Michigan [1] is a city of about 30,000 in West Michigan, on the shore of Lake Michigan. It is best known locally for its popular beaches and more widely for its Dutch immigrant heritage, showcased each spring in Tulip Time, a festival featuring countless flowers lining the city's streets.

Get in[edit]

Holland is best accessed by car, as it has limited public transportation. It sits along US-31 and I-196, making it a convenient trip from Chicago (I-94 to US-31) or Detroit (I-96 to I-196).

Holland also has daily train service from the Amtrak Pere Marquette line between Grand Rapids and Chicago.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Windmill Island, 7th Street at Lincoln Avenue, by the Macatawa River. Features an antique carousel, an Amsterdam street organ, acres of gardens (with, of course, tulips) and the 240-year-old working De Zwaan windmill, the last to be dismantled and moved out of the Netherlands.
  • Veldheer Tulip Gardens, 12755 Quincy Avenue, [2]. Adjacent to the DeKlomp Factory. Open from April to mid-October. Along with over four million tulips, the gardens also feature daffodils, hyacinths and other spring flowers. Bulbs and perennials are offered for sale. Admission to the gardens is $6.
  • The DeGraaf Nature Center, 600 Graafschap Road, [3]. An 18-acre botanical preserve with an interpretive center and lots of trails to explore.
  • Lake Michigan, with its popular white sand beaches and tall dunes, is a short drive to the west. Holland State Park is on the north shore of Lake Macatawa and can be reached by Douglas Avenue / Ottawa Beach Road. Big Red Lighthouse, however, is on the South shore of Lake Macatawa, and although it can be easily viewed from the state park, can not be reached directly.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Dutch Village theme park, 12350 James Street, [4]. Comprises a number of Dutch-style buildings (including a windmill) housing souvenir and gift shops, restaurants, a wooden shoe factory and a costume museum, reached by meandering paths that wind through formal gardens and over a small stream.
  • In May, the week-long Tulip Time Festival [5] celebrates the region's Dutch heritage with a community street-cleaning parade, a children's traditional-costume parade, a music parade, over 1,500 teenagers dancing in wooden shoes, and lots of activities for the entire family.
  • In December, the two-week Dutch Winter Fest includes a children's lantern parade and a visit by Sinterklaas. Visitors can browse the Kerstmarkt, an open-air Christmas market of decorative booths featuring handcrafted souvenirs and local food, open for three consecutive weekends at the Eighth Street Market Place. For one day, the market is also host to an ice-sculpting contest in which local teams attack 150-pound ice blocks armed with chainsaws, hot irons and delicate crafting tools, and visitors can vote on their favorite sculpture.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Downtown Holland, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes eight blocks of more than 100 shops and restaurants housed in Victorian buildings. The sidewalks are heated by underground hot-water pipes, making shopping a pleasant experience even in winter. Most shops are open until 9PM during the week.

Two characteristically Dutch handicrafts can be purchased at the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory, 12755 Quincy Avenue, the only factory of its kind in the United States. You can watch the artists producing both delftware, a traditional blue-and-white pottery originally produced around the town of Delft in the Netherlands, and wooden shoes, on machines that were imported from the Netherlands.

Eat[edit][add listing]

When visiting a town that emphasizes its Dutch heritage, you may naturally wish to sample some Dutch food. Perhaps unfortunately, there aren't a lot of restaurants that capitalize on this interest. The only one with a relatively broad selection of Dutch food is the Hungry Dutchman Cafe in the Dutch Village theme park; be aware, however, that it isn't open year-round, so if you visit outside the tourist season, you may be out of luck.

There are several places in town where you can purchase Dutch confections, including the acquired taste of double-salt (dubbel zoute) licorice.

  • Piper, 2225 South Shore Drive, +1 616 335-5866, [6]. Fantastic view of the lake, good food and great service. They even take extra special care of guests with food allergies, very impressive.  edit
  • Blue House Bistro, 220 W. 8th Street, 616-355-1994, [7]. Blue House Bistro is a casual boutique bistro locally owned and operated by award winning Chef Angie K. The restaurant is located on West 8th street in Downtown Holland, Michigan between Kollen Park and The Civic Center. The restaurant has an extensive and innovative menu featuring the best Neo-American Creole Fusion style cuisine in West Michigan.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Prior to elections in 2008, beer and wine were not legal for sale on Sundays in Holland. This has since changed, however, and spirits may be purchased any day of the week.

Holland is the home of New Holland Brewery, a micro brewery with a pub located on 8th Street in downtown.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Crimson Cottage Inn, 2009 West Lakewood Blvd, +1 616 994-0922, [8]. This three bedroom B&B is in a quiet wooded area and the owners really take care of every detail down to the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies every day.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Saugatuck, about 15 minutes south on I-196.
  • Muskegon, about 45 minutes north on US-31.


Routes through Holland
Benton Harbor-Saint JosephSaugatuck  S noframe E  JenisonGrand Rapids
MuskegonGrand Haven  N noframe S  SaugatuckSouth Bend


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