Holland is located on the shores of two lakes - Michigan and Macatawa. Dutch heritage creates a large part of the city's ethnic and cultural identity, which is evident at every step, from beautiful historic downtown to the colorful May tulip festival. Visit an original 250-year-old Dutch windmill or one of several excellent museums, climb the always changing sand dunes, or sail on Lake Michigan. Here are the best things to do in Holland, Michigan. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Holland State Park Beach
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Holland State Park is well known for its enormous sandy beach on Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Popular among locals and tourists alike, the beach is perfect for any beach activity you like, from sunbathing and volleyball to building sandcastles, surfing, or just relaxing. Holland State Park has two large campgrounds, a number of picnic tables, grills, and fire pits.
It also has beach volleyball courts and a small beach house. If you like to fish, the walkway and pier along the harbor channel are the best spots for it. You can also enjoy watching the passing sailboats, waiting for the sunset, or taking photos of the Big Red lighthouse. There is a concession stand if the kids get hungry from all the activities. Holland State Park Beach is one of the best things to do in Holland, Michigan.
2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424, 616-399-9390
2.Windmill Island Gardens
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After visiting the Windmill Island Gardens and seeing the 251-year-old windmill De Zwaan, you might think you somehow got transported to the Netherlands. In fact, it is the only real, working Dutch windmill in the States that was transported from the Netherlands to Holland in 1964. Today, it is the centerpiece of a magnificent garden on Windmill Island, which becomes a magical place in May when more than 100,000 tulips bloom in all the colors of rainbow.
The 36-acre island in the Macatawa River is a popular tourist destination, and besides the windmill, it also contains a colorful old-fashioned carousel that kids love.
If you are wondering what to do in Holland, this is a great place to visit. Stroll about the island, where there is always something blooming and, during the summer, you can enjoy kids dancing traditional Dutch dances in wooden clogs.
1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423, 616-355-1030
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3.Nelis' Dutch Village
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Watching your kids trying on Dutch wooden shoes is an excellent photo opportunity. Actually, your entire visit to the Nelis' Dutch Village will consist of one fun activity after another, all worthy of being caught by your camera. This 10-acres of “authentic” Dutch village of the 1800’s with its curious architecture is a delight for grownups and kids alike.
Walk through the historic streets following your guides dressed in colorful Dutch costume, listen to the 25-bell traditional Dutch carillon, enjoy the powerful sounds of the street organ, visit the wooden shoes factory, take a spin with the dancers clomping around in their wooden shoes, let the kids play with live animals in the petting zoo, or let them fly on the Zweefmolen – a fun Dutch Swing Ride.
12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424, 616-396-1475
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4.Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk
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Mount Pisgah is a soaring dune off of Holland State Park. At its highest point, the dune is 157 feet above Lake Michigan, giving visitors breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Macatawa, the marinas, Lake Michigan, and the iconic Big Red lighthouse.
The dune is accessible via boardwalk or stairs and is a favorite of kids and adults alike; families can be seen climbing, rolling, and tumbling on its sandy face. Additional on-site amenities include picnic shelters, beach volleyball courts, and restrooms. Next read: Michigan beaches
Ottawa Beach Rd and Third Ave, Park Twp, MI 49423, 616-738-4810
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© Holland Museum
There is no better way to understand and appreciate the rich history and culture of Holland than at the Holland Museum. Since 1915, the museum has housed a fascinating collection of artifacts that exhibit the early Dutch settlement and its development into the thriving, diverse city that is Holland.
From the arrival of the Dutch to the devastating fire of 1871 and the growth that continues today, the museum is bursting with artifacts that tell a story far beyond what the eye sees in the flourishing town. Preserving and displaying history, the museum allows visitors to see and enjoy shipwrecks, art, toys, and other gifts from around the world that exhibit Dutch culture.
31 West 10th Street, Holland, MI 49423, 616-796-3329
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6.Veldheer Tulip Garden, Holland, Michigan
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In 1950, Vern Veldheer took 100 red tulips and 300 white tulips and started a hobby farm. Today, the Veldheer Tulip Garden is Holland’s only tulip farm and perennial garden and has over five million tulips planted. Guests can walk through the beautiful garden and enjoy its floral beauty, and they can also purchase bulbs and bouquets to take with them and make their homes and gardens just as breathtaking.
Perennials and flowers are brought in from around the world – and not only tulips! The Veldheer Tulip Garden, though the name may suggest otherwise, also has over 50,000 daffodils, 20,000 crocus, and 10,000 hyacinths; the end result is a parade of stunning floral color.
12755 Quincy St, Holland, MI 49424, 616-399-1900
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7.Kollen Park & Heinz Waterfront Walkway
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Kollen Park is a beautiful recreational park on the shore of Lake Macatawa located less than a mile from downtown Holland. The park has a boat launch ramp, a roofed picnic shelter with tables, and a playground for children. On a nice day, many visitors can be seen fishing off the boardwalk and enjoying themselves.
Two special landmarks include the Quertaro Fountain and the Immigrants Statue; Quertaro, Mexico, Holland’s sister city, gave the Quertaro Fountain as a gift, while the Immigrants Statue was a gift from the people of Drenthe in the Netherlands. Paved park paths connect to the Heinz Waterfront Boardwalk along the Lake Macatawa shore.
240 Kollen Park Drive, Holland 49423, 616-928-2450
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, From LA
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Tunnel Park is just that – a park with a tunnel that goes through a dune! The unique tunnel is a fun place to play and enjoy the day for children and adults alike.
The 22-acre park also has a children’s playground, sand volleyball courts, picnic areas, a dune climb, and a dune stairway that leads to the top, giving visitors an amazing view of Lake Michigan. It is a great place for sunbathing, swimming, or for just enjoying a fun day of sun, swim, and sand.
66 Lakeshore Drive, Holland, MI 49424, 616-738-4810
9.Hope College Department of Art & Art History
© Hope College Department of Art & Art History
Art lovers visiting Holland will enjoy the De Pree Gallery in the Hope College Department of Art and Art History. The gallery showcases exhibitions from internationally recognized artists as well as current student work. Visiting artists are often featured at the gallery, and workshops, critiques, and lectures are regularly held.
For those staying in Holland for an extended amount of time, the Department of Art and Art History has many courses and programs in studio, art education, and art history, and they mentor their students using everything from antique tools and materials to technologies from the 21st century. Visitors of all ages can appreciate the arts at the Hope College Department of Art and Art History.
275 Columbia Avenue, Holland, MI 49423-3654, 616-395-7500
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© Holland Princess
Enjoy a memorable cruise aboard the Holland Princess – a relatively new vacation attraction in Holland! The 65’ Victorian style paddle-wheel riverboat will take you on an exciting excursion on Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan.
The boat tour cruises past the Holland Harbor Light, more famously known as the Big Red Lighthouse, other historic landmarks, and picturesque lake homes, showing visitors a side of Holland that can’t be seen from anywhere else.
Visitors can enjoy a lovely lunch or dinner as they take in the scenery, converse with other visitors, or sing a song on the karaoke system. Kids have an opportunity to blow the boat whistle and pick treasure from the Captain’s treasure chest. The Holland Princess cruise is an entertaining way to experience Holland for the whole family.
290 Howard Ave. (Dunton Park) Holland, MI 49424, 616-393-7799
11.Holland Farmers Market
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The Holland Farmers Market, also known as the Eighth Street Farmers Market, is a one of a kind place where visitors will experience the embracing community of Holland, as well as have the opportunity to purchase freshly picked fruits and vegetables, fresh homemade baked good, beautiful bouquets of flowers, and a collection of treats such as honey, herbs, spices, meats, eggs, cheeses, and so much more.
Varied vendors are there offering sweet and savory snacks and fresh meals, making the market a great place to spend the day, have lunch, and go home with a little treat for yourself.
150 W 8h St. Holland, MI 49423
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12.Laketown Beach, Holland, Michigan
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Looking for a beach that is uncongested and breathtaking? The Laketown Beach is a secluded beach over a sand dune. From the top, visitors will get an amazing view of Lake Michigan, and on the beach they’ll find an almost private getaway for them to spend a day under the sun.
It’s a bit off the map, but getting to the beach is half the fun: visitors have to climb the stairs on the sand dune at the end of a dead-end road. A spot usually unknown to visitors, Laketown Beach is great for a day of uninterrupted sun bathing and swimming.
710 142nd Ave., Holland, MI 49423, 616-335-3050
13.Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway
© Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway
The Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway (ODCMG) has been connecting people with nature for over fifteen years. The center teaches people of all ages about the outdoors, wildlife, and conservation with a variety of fun and educational activities, workshops, and recreational programs. Visitors can walk the trails, view wildlife, or go on excursions with a naturalist from the center.
Their programs help children appreciate wildlife management, conservation, and preservation with hands-on activities. They allow young people to develop their own understanding and create their own memories, making a visit to the center an enlightening trip for the entire family.
ODCMG consists of a Nature Preserve, Wildlife Center, Birds of Prey Facility, Neshnabe Summer Village, DeWitt Wildlife Enclosure, Imagination Forest, Filmore Discovery Park, and the Kuipers Archery Education Facility.
4214 56th Street, Holland, MI 49423, 616-393-9453
14.Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market
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When looking for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, visitors of Holland don’t have to go farther than Bowerman Blueberries. Since 1954, Bowerman’s 90-acre farm has been producing juicy blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries alongside a large variety of locally grown sugar peas, peaches, plums, tomatoes, green beans, yellow beans, squash, zucchini, potatoes, onions, sweet corn, and so much more.
The farm market is open during the summer months and has flavor-filled produce for purchase, but visitors should really visit during the u-pick season. Families travel from all over for a fun day in the sun, picking their own fruit and then visiting the on-farm bakery for fresh-made sweet treats such as muffins and pies or a refreshingly cool smoothie.
15793 James Street., Holland, Michigan, 49424, 616-738-3099
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The Knickerbocker Theater has been a Holland community feature since the early 1900s. Singers, actors, dancers, orchestras, magicians – the Knickerbocker stage has seen them all – even elephants! From vaudeville acts in the ‘20s to rock concerts in the ‘80s, history has been made time and again in this regal theater.
If you are looking for romantic date ideas, watch a performance at the Knickerbocker Theater. Now a part of Hope College, the Knickerbocker still hosts an array of the college’s musical and stage performances, lectures, assemblies, poetry readings, concerts, films, and other works of art.
86 E 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423, 616-395-7890
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16.De Graaf Nature Center
© De Graaf Nature Center
Reconnect with nature by exploring the marsh, shrub, woodland, and pond trails of the De Graaf Nature Center’s 18-acre nature preserve. Free of charge, the Brower Visitor Center is filled with informative and educational hands-on displays and live animal exhibits, and the trails are always open for visitors to explore on their own or with a naturalist from the center.
Kids can learn about nature, wildlife, plants, and so much more during an active experience that they will remember for years to come.
600 Graafschap Rd, Holland, MI 49423, Phone: 616-355-1057
17.New Holland Brewing Company
© New Holland Brewing Company
New Holland Brewing Company uses their passion along with local Michigan ingredients to produce some unique Western Michigan beers and excellent spirits. You can try their meticulously produced microbrews and a range of spirits in their Northside rustic but elegant restaurant or in their popular downtown pub.
Both serve food that goes well with the beers, and it is made with fresh ingredients and in cooperation with many local partners, from bakers and butchers to farmers and tortilla makers. The pub is very popular on live music nights that feature popular or up-and-coming Michigan bands. You can also find New Holland beers all over the States.
66 E 8th St, Holland, MI 49423, 616-355-6422
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18.The Felt Estate, Holland, MI
© The Felt Estate
Though it first began as a summer home built by Dorr Felt, American inventor and industrialist, the Felt Mansion has over time been a Catholic Seminary preparatory school, a chapel, a state police post, and a correctional facility.
The history behind the decadent estate is as beautiful as its architecture, and the historic Felt Estate is now a historic landmark, chapel, and setting for weddings and receptions. The 12,000 square foot mansion consists of 25 rooms, all of which, along with the grounds, the Friends of the Felt Estate society are currently restoring.
6597 138th Ave, Holland, MI 49423, 616-335-8982
© Coppercraft Distillery
Fans of science fiction would love the distillery room of the Coppercraft: it looks like an engine room of a space ship, all gleaming metal and pipes. Distilled in their beautiful classic 350 gallons genuine Vendome® copper still, Michigan grains become award winning spirits such as vodka, whisky, rum, or gin.
This being a Dutch town, there is also a great Genever. The best way to taste their completely local products is by visiting their charming tasting room in downtown Holland, with its enormous tasting table made of gleaming wood and an entire wall of aged barrels. They have organized distillery tours a few times a week, which include trying their various products, always the best part of any tour. This attraction is for those over 21.
184 120th Ave, Holland, MI 49424, 616-796-8274
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20.Our Brewing Company
© Our Brewing Company
A relative newcomer to the Michigan craft brewery scene, Our Brewing Company is gaining popularity for their large selection and diversity of beers. They are small and make their beers one barrel at time, but the quality and very popular tap room in downtown Holland gave them a place in the social life of Holland with residents and tourists, particularly students.
The taproom is large and fun, with a huge number of taps offering a revolving selection of beers. The pub grub is excellent, and their live music and trivia nights attract large numbers of people. This attraction is for those over 21.
76 E 8th St, Holland, MI 49423, 616-994-8417
21.Holland Community Aquatic Center
© Holland Community Aquatic Center
Visitors who enjoy a day at the pool will love the Holland Community Aquatic Center. An indoor 50 meter pool, a therapy pool, a splash zone with slides and water toys, a fitness center, and a spa – there is something to ensure that everyone in the family has a great time. The center has a busy schedule of classes, from Aqua Zumba and Aqua Aerobics to classes for kids and competitive swimming events.
Visitors can also enjoy a unique game of underwater hockey – all you need is a swimsuit to have a good time at the Holland Community Aquatic Center.
550 Maple Avenue, Holland, MI 49423, 616-393-7595
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21 Best Things to Do in Holland, Michigan
- Holland State Park Beach, Photo: Courtesy of bwolski - Fotolia.com
- Windmill Island Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of Konstantin L - Fotolia.com
- Nelis' Dutch Village, Photo: Courtesy of Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia.com
- Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk, Photo: Courtesy of bwolski - Fotolia.com
- Holland Museum, Photo: Holland Museum
- Veldheer Tulip Garden, Holland, Michigan, Photo: Courtesy of shrirampatki - Fotolia.com
- Kollen Park & Heinz Waterfront Walkway, Photo: Courtesy of JGade - Fotolia.com
- Tunnel Park, Photo: Courtesy of micromonkey - Fotolia.com
- Hope College Department of Art & Art History, Photo: Hope College Department of Art & Art History
- Holland Princess, Photo: Holland Princess
- Holland Farmers Market, Photo: Courtesy of heysooooos - Fotolia.com
- Laketown Beach, Holland, Michigan, Photo: Courtesy of Elenathewise - Fotolia.com
- Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway, Photo: Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway
- Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market, Photo: Courtesy of acceptfoto - Fotolia.com
- Knickerbocker Theater, Photo: Courtesy of aerogondo - Fotolia.com
- De Graaf Nature Center, Photo: De Graaf Nature Center
- New Holland Brewing Company, Photo: New Holland Brewing Company
- The Felt Estate, Holland, MI, Photo: The Felt Estate
- Coppercraft Distillery, Photo: Coppercraft Distillery
- Our Brewing Company, Photo: Our Brewing Company
- Holland Community Aquatic Center, Photo: Holland Community Aquatic Center
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Le Do - Fotolia.com
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