In the spring, Holland is blooming with colorful tulips. Several streets in the community are lined with many varieties of beautiful tulips that can be enjoyed on foot or by car. The city is best known for its annual Tulip Time Festival, which celebrates the community's Dutch heritage with music, parades, and much more.
The Holland area offers many other things to do during the year. In the summer, the sandy swimming beaches at Holland State Park and Tunnel Park offer fun and relaxation, and Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan are popular for boating and fishing. The area offers many trails that are excellent for biking, hiking, jogging, and cross-country skiing.
Michigan's Tulip City
Holland is well known for its annual
Tulip Time Festival
, and when spring arrives, you'll find tulips in bloom all around Holland. You'll typically find the flowers in bloom in April, but depending on how warm the weather has been, the tulips can start to appear earlier. When they're in bloom, you can view many small tulip gardens in downtown along 8th Street. Tulips also line several city streets, including Washington Boulevard, Van Raalte Avenue, Central Avenue, West 12th Street, 16th Street, 28th Street, and State Street. You can also enjoy tulips at several city parks, including Centennial Park, Window on the Waterfront Park, and Kollen Park.
The Tulip Time Festival
happens May 5-12, 2012, and this year's performances include The Oak Ridge Boys, Doug Gabriel - Number One Hits Tribute Show, The Second City, Singing With Sinatra, Barbershop Harmony on Parade, The Big Band Jazz Experience, and New Odyssey Dinner Concert. The annual festival is a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, and the event includes parades, theatre, traditional Dutch dance performances, food, children's activities and much more.
Holland Area Attractions
Windmill Island Gardens
is one of the most popular attractions in Holland. The park opens for the season on April 7, 2012. The jewel of Windmill Island is a large Dutch windmill, which dates back to the mid 1700's. It is surrounded by 36 acres of flower gardens, dikes, canals, and picnic areas. Over 150,000 tulips are in bloom at Windmill Island in the spring. The park also features an Amsterdam street organ, children's carousel ride, and a miniature Netherlands Village made by the early settlers. Windmill Island is located close to downtown, near 6th Street. There is an admission booth at the entrance to the long drive to the park. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $4.50 for children (5-15), and free for young children (4 and under).
The Annual Lakeshore Blessing of the Bikes
happens on April 29, 2012, at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. Bring your bike and start the motorcycle season with a blessing.
Cappon House and Settlers House Museums
are on West 9th Street, not far from Kollen Park. The Cappon House was built in 1873 and was home to Holland's first mayor, Isaac Cappon. Irish Canadian immigrant Thomas Morrissey built the small Setters House in 1867. The two museums are part of the Holland Museum
The Civil War Muster at Van Raalte Farm
happens on September 22-23, 2012. The free event will in feature a Civil War battle re-enactment, as well as music, impressions of historical figures, performances, medical scenarios, and period-style vendors.
is a popular fun spot. The activity center features go-karts, bumper boats, miniature golf, batting cages, and an arcade. Craig's Cruisers is on Chicago Drive, just east of US-31.
Nelis' Dutch Village
is Holland's unique theme park, with authentic Dutch architecture, a towering 25-bell carillon, wooden shoe factory, Zweefmolen - Dutch chair swing ride, petting zoo, and more. Nelis' Dutch Village is at the southeast corner of US-31 and James Street.
Edge Ice Arena
has two NHL-size ice rinks that are available for hockey leagues, figure skating, drop-in hockey, and ice skating lessons. The arena is at 4444 North Holland Avenue, east of US-31.
Graafschap Heritage Center
is great place to learn what it was like at the Holland, Michigan colony in 1847. The center has a wealth of information on the city's history. It is located on the lower level of Graafschap Church at 5973 Church Street, near the intersection of 60th Street and 146th Avenue.
Holland Community Aquatic Center
features a 50-meter indoor pool, vortex pool, two-story water slide, zip line, splash zone, and fitness room. The public aquatic center is a great place to swim anytime of the year. They offer swim lessons and can host groups or parties. The facility is at 550 Maple Avenue.
is located downtown in the old post office, which was built in 1914. The museum has exhibits related to Holland and local history, a variety of Dutch paintings, and an archives and research library. It's an excellent place to learn about the Holland area's rich heritage.
The Holland Princess
riverboat provides scenic cruises of Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. The 65-foot Victorian-style paddlewheel boat offers lunch or dinner cruises and is available for private gatherings. The public cruises run May through September. The boat docks at on the north side of Lake Macatawa at Dunton Park, near the boat launch.
has an excellent NCAA Division III athletic program. The Flying Dutchmen's basketball teams always play well, and its rivalry with Calvin College can be fierce. For the current sports calendar, visit the Hope College athletics web site.
The Knickerbocker Theatre
hosts live concerts and shows throughout the year. The theatre is located at 86 East 8th Street in downtown.
The Ottawa County Fair
happens in late July.
The fair features midway rides, a demolition derby, tractor pulls, rodeo, harness racing, animals, food, and much more. The fairgrounds are located on Ottawa Beach Road, west of 152nd Avenue.
The Park Theater
hosts live concerts and shows. The theatre is located at 248 South River Avenue, across from Centennial Park.
Sundae Sundae Golf Golf
has two 18-hole miniature golf courses that include a windmill and waterfall. It also has a snack shop. The facility is at 631 East Lakewood Boulevard.
Veldheer's Tulip Farm & De Klomp Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory
has over five million tulips that you can walk through and enjoy in the spring. You can also see a herd of American Buffalo. The gift shop sells tulips, Delftware, and wooden shoes. It's a great place to purchase different varieties of tulip bulbs in the fall when it's time to plant them. Veldheer's is located at 12755 Quincy Street, just east of US-31.
Art & Sculptures
Holland hosts Art in the Park each summer, and there are many sculptures around the city. See the Art in Holland page
for more about art in the Holland area.
The Holland Farmers Market
offers baked goods, candy, fresh produce, fudge, herbs, honey, flowers, and other goodies. It's open from on Wednesdays and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in mid-May through November, and then open on Saturdays through early December. The farmers market is held at the Eight Street Market, just west of downtown near the police station.
Holland State Park
Located about six miles west of downtown, Holland State Park is a summertime destination with a long sandy swimming beach on Lake Michigan. The park has a large beach house with changing facilities and restrooms. There are several picnic tables near the channel to Lake Michigan, which are great for watching boats and enjoying the view of the Big Red Lighthouse. Visitors enjoy taking a relaxing stroll on the pier near the channel, and fishermen often cast their lines into the channel in hopes of catching fish.
Holland State Park has two large campgrounds: one near the beach and another that is about a quarter of a mile east of the main park, near Lake Macatawa. The beach campground has 98 modern campsites with electrical service and restrooms. The Lake Macatawa campground has 211 campsites with electrical service and restrooms nearby. A small beach on Lake Macatawa is across from the campground. For camping reservations, call (800)447-2757 or visit the Michigan DNR's web site.
Holland Area Parks
In the City of Holland and nearby townships, there are many nice parks for outdoor fun and adventure:
- Adams Street Landing is small park on the north side of Adams Street that offers access to the Macatawa River. The park is often used by fishermen, especially in the spring.
- Alpenrose Park is small park at the corner of 8th Street and Central Avenue in downtown. The quaint park is home to the statue "Joy of Music" and has a small garden.
- Beechwood Park is on Beech Avenue between Lakewood Boulevard and Douglas Avenue. The park has shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, and a ball diamond. A playground and picnic area is on the south side of the park.
- Black Lake Boardwalk East and West are two small parks on the northwest side of Lake Macatawa, which was called Black Lake in the past. The parks offer scenic views of the lake, picnic areas, and spots for fishing.
- Centennial Park is a nice park in downtown, across from City Hall. The park has a fountain, gazebo, and veteran's memorial. In the spring, the park has several beautiful tulip gardens. A historical marker is located just south of the fountain.
- Columbia Park is on the campus of Hope College and features tennis courts and volleyball courts. The park is at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 13th Street.
- Dunton Park is on the northeast shore of Lake Macatawa and features a small swimming beach, fishing piers, and boat launch on the lake. Two picnic shelters and five picnic areas can be used for gatherings. A unique climbing apparatus, swings, and playground equipment offer fun for kids. The park has a short walking path and a scenic boardwalk meanders along the shoreline. There is a small sledding hill that can be used on snowy days.
- Evergreen Commons Garden Center features a small community garden and greenhouse that is associated with the Evergreen Commons Senior Center. Exercise stations are located on the east side of the park, near the sidewalk along Central Avenue.
- Hallacy Park is a simple park with nice landscaping at the corner of 6th Street and Columbia Avenue.
- Holland Heights School Park is east of US-31, off Hope Avenue and north of 16th Street. The park is adjacent to Holland Heights School and has a ball diamond, soccer field, tennis courts, picnic shelter, and playground. A short walking path loops from the parking area around the ball diamond and soccer field and then back to the parking area.
Kollen Park is a very nice park on Lake Macatawa, a short distance from downtown. A small picnic shelter and picnic tables offer pretty views of the lake. There is a larger picnic shelter that can be used for gatherings with a playscape nearby. Kollen Park has a boat launch on Lake Macatawa, and nearby there are day-use boat slips, where boats can temporarily dock. The park sometimes hosts concerts at the band shell on the south side of the park. A short distance to southwest, the sculpture "The Immigrants" honors those who traveled by boat to America. A paved path winds through the park, which connects to the Heinz Waterfront Walkway.
- Maplewood Youth Complex is between 35th and 40th Streets. The park has a soccer field, ball fields, basketball courts, and a playground.
- Michigan Avenue Park is a small pie-shaped park between 29th and 30th Streets, on the east side of Michigan Avenue. The park has an exercise station and is a resting spot for the Hospital Neighborhood Fitness Routes.
- Moran Park is a nice rectangular park between Pine and Maple Avenues on 22nd Street. The park has several tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, two basketball courts, and a volleyball court. There are two picnic shelters for small gatherings and a nice playground for kids.
- The Park Township Dog Park, Skate Park & Recreation Area are on the south side of Ottawa Beach Road, across the airport. The large skate park is popular with skateboarders. The dog park has fenced in areas for dogs to play and run. A playground, picnic shelter, basketball court, and ball diamond are also at the park.
- Paw Paw Park is west of downtown, on the north side of Paw Paw Drive. It is a favorite with fishermen in the spring, who like to cast their fishing lines in the Macatawa River. A picnic shelter and port-a-pot are available from the parking area. A trail winds through the park and can be used for hiking and cross-country skiing. The park has an area to launch a kayak or canoe on the river.
- Prospect Park is a rectangular park with many tall, old trees. The park is pretty in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. The park has playground equipment and a few picnic tables. A dirt walking path forks through the park.
Quincy Street Park is a large athletic complex in Holland Township, north of downtown Holland. The park has three softball fields on the east side of the park, which are accessible from a parking lot off of Quincy Street. Several baseball diamonds are accessible from parking lots off of 144th Avenue. Picnic facilities and restrooms are available at the park. During soccer season, the park has soccer fields. A paved trail connects the east and west sides of the park and parking areas.
- Ransom Park is on the south side of Ransom Street in Park Township. The park has a ball field, basketball court, picnic shelter, and playground. The paved trail along Ransom Street passes by the park.
- Rosa Parks Green features two basketball hoops and a baseball diamond. A picnic shelter and playground are on the southwest side of the park. The park is on College Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets.
- Smallenburg Park is home to a large skate park, which has concrete ramps and jumps. Two picnic shelters, a playground, and restrooms are also available. The park is adjacent to Holland Municipal Stadium and Hope College's DeWitt Tennis Center. Bouws Pool is on the south end of the park.
- Tunnel Park is nice park on Lakeshore Drive, northwest of downtown Holland. The park offers a large sandy swimming beach on Lake Michigan, which is very popular during the summer. Two large picnic shelter and several picnic tables are located on the ground level, with more picnic tables available on the bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan. The playground has a sandy base and several pieces of playground equipment. Kids love to climb on the large sand hill that is located next to the stairs to the bluff area. Four sand volleyball courts are on the north side of the park. Restrooms and changing facilities are available. You need to climb stairs and walk down a steep sandy incline to get to the beach, so if you aren't able to climb stairs, you'll prefer the beach at Holland State Park.
- Van Raalte Farm Park has an extensive trail system for hiking and cross-country skiing. Parking areas are available from 16th Street, 24th Street, and Country Club Road. A playground and picnic shelter are on the south side of the park. There is also a sledding hill and picnic tables available.
- Water Tower Park narrow rectangular park on the south side of West 28th Street, west of Washington Avenue. The park has an exercise station and small playscape. The park is a resting spot for the Hospital Neighborhood Fitness Routes.
- Wendt Park in Park Township is on the north side of James Street. The park has a ball diamond, volleyball court, picnic shelter, and restroom on the south side of the park. The north side of the park has a playground with a playscape, swings, and climbing apparatus. A basketball court, soccer field, and four tennis courts are nearby.
- Winstrom Preserve has two soccer fields, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, and two ball fields. A small playground is near the northern ball diamond. A disc golf course is in the wooded parts of the park and is accessible from the parking area on 160th Avenue. A paved trail intersects the park and connects to the trails along Perry Street and Ottawa Beach Road.
- Wolters Woods Park has two shuffleboard courts and two horseshoe pits. A picnic shelter and
a playground are located north of the parking area. A short hiking trail loops through the woods, back to the parking area.
- Window on the Waterfront Park is a large park between Columbia Avenue and River Avenue.
The park has two soccer fields and a ball diamond. A scenic overlook provides views of the Macatawa River, a wetland, and the windmill at Windmill Island. A paved trail forks through the park reaching 6th Street, Columbia Avenue, and River Avenue. A few flower gardens are located near the trail. The sculpture "Geertje & Cornelius" is south side of the park, near 6th Street.
Holland has streets with designated bike routes or with wide road shoulders that are perfect for riding around town. Designated bike routes are on 8th Street, 24th Street, and Lincoln Avenue. There are bike lanes along parts of Country Club Road and 40th Street. There are several streets with wide shoulders, including Central Avenue, Columbia Avenue, Maple Avenue, 10th Street, 13th Street, 21st Street. See the maps page
for detailed maps of bike routes.
Cars sometimes park along the streets with the wide shoulders, so you will need to slow down near parked cars and look out for approaching vehicles when passing them. Stay alert and use caution when riding along the road.
Holland Area Trails
The Holland area has an abundance of trails for outdoor recreation. The maps page
can provide you with maps of the trails listed below:
The Holland Area Trail System
has miles of paved trails are located along
roads in Holland, Holland Township, and Park Township. It is one of the best paved trail systems in Michigan and is used throughout the year. The trails are generally four feet or more wide and are used for biking, jogging, roller-blading, and walking. The sidewalk along South Shore Drive is considered part of the trail system and is used regularly. The Holland Trail System can be used to reach many parks in the area, including Holland State Park, Tunnel Park, Quincy Street Park, Window on the Waterfront Park, and many others. The trail system connects to trails in Laketown Township,
The Big Red Lighthouse Trail
starts at a parking lot at the end of South Shore Drive. At the end of the road, you'll turn into an area with a guardhouse, where you will need to tell the guard that you wish to visit the lighthouse. There is a parking area just beyond the guardhouse on the right side of the road. From there, you'll walk approximately a quarter of a mile to the lighthouse, which is on the shore of Lake Michigan. The walking route to the lighthouse has nice views of Lake Macatawa, the channel to Lake Michigan, and Holland State Park.
The Heinz Waterfront Walkway
goes past the Heinz plant in Holland, which is home to the world's largest pickle factory. The walkway starts at 16th Street and leads to Kollen Park. The scenic boardwalk offers a pleasant walk along Lake Macatawa and has benches in a few spots where you can stop and enjoy the view. The walkway connects to the paved path at Kollen Park, which loops around the park to the parking areas and goes northeast to 8th Street.
The Holland-Saugatuck Trail
enables users to bike, walk, or jog between Holland and Saugatuck. The paved trail is about 11 miles long one way and connects to the Holland Trail System.
The Holland-Grand Haven Trail
is a paved trail for biking, walking, and jogging, and is approximately 23 miles long. The route allows users to bike between Holland State Park and Grand Haven State Park. The trail periodically offers views of Lake Michigan and Pigeon Lake and connects to the Holland Trail System.
Hospital Neighborhood Fitness Routes
are located south of downtown in the area surrounding Holland Hospital.
The sidewalk routes for walking and jogging have directional signage at street corners to indicate which way to turn to follow
one of the routes. There are exercise stations and fitness route maps at Evergreen Commons Garden Center, Michigan Avenue Park, Moran Park, and Water Tower Park. See the maps page
for a map of the fitness routes.
Paw Paw Park's Trail
curves along the Macatawa River, meanders past a wetland/pond, and winds through an area with tall bushes and trees. The trail is dirt/grass and is less than a mile long. It can be used for hiking and cross-country skiing.
Riley Street Trails Park
has miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails that wind through mostly woods, sometimes between tall pine trees. The trailhead is on the south side of Riley Street, but it can also accessed from 160th Avenue. A restroom is near the parking area.
is on 68th Street, south of Lake Macatawa. The park has a dirt/gravel trail that loops to a tall set of stairs (maybe four stories high) that leads to a longer trail loop that is hilly and briefly offers views of Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan through the trees. In the spring, there are small wild flowers located near the trail. There are picnic tables near the parking area.
Stu Visser Trails
has trailheads on Ottawa Beach Road and on Lakewood Boulevard. The dirt/gravel trails are for hiking and total less than a mile. The trail follows the path of a creek, and there are overlooks/fishing piers at points along the trail.
Window on the Waterfront Park
has a series of paved trails that total around a mile in length. The trail can be used to reach River Avenue, 6th Street, and Columbia Avenue. It passes a few flower gardens and follows along the Macatawa River and a wetland. The trail has views of the windmill at Windmill Island and the Macatawa River. There is parking available at River Avenue and Columbia Avenue.
Wolters Woods Park
has short dirt/gravel hiking trail that starts near the parking area and loops through the woods back to the parking area. The trail is over a half of mile.
Van Raalte Farm Park
has an extensive series of dirt and grass trails that can be used for hiking and cross-country skiing trails. There are three trailheads: on the south side of Adams Street, on the east side of 112th Avenue, and on the north side of 24th Street.
Lake Macatawa is very popular for pleasure boating during the summer. You'll find boats of all sizes cruising the lake. Lake Michigan is easily accessible from Lake Macatawa from a channel near Holland State Park. Larger boats and sailboats regularly use the channel to access the big lake.
There are three public boat launches on Lake Macatawa at Dunton Park, Kollen Park, and a boat access site along Ottawa Beach Road. The launches at Dunton Park and Kollen Park have large parking areas not far from the launch ramps. The boat access site along Ottawa Beach Road, west of 160th Avenue, has a smaller parking area, but is closer to the channel to Lake Michigan, which is a little over a mile away.
Boaters have two choices of yacht clubs on Lake Macatawa:
- Bayshore Yacht Club is on the north side of Lake Macatawa, located at Yacht Basin Marina. The yacht club hosts races and participates in many sailboating events.
- Mactawa Bay Yacht Club is on the south side of Lake Macatawa, near the far west end of South Shore Drive.
Boaters have several choices of marinas on Lake Macatawa, including
Crescent Shores Marina
Yacht Basin Marina
There are three areas to launch a kayak/canoe on the Macatawa River:
- Along River Avenue on the west side of Window on the Waterfront Park, there is a parking area with a sidewalk that leads to the kayak launch at the river. The launch is less than a mile from Windmill Island, which can be seen from the river.
- Just over two miles to the east, there is a kayak/canoe launch at Paw Paw Park, and you need to walk east from the parking area to reach the river, where you can drop in your boat and climb in.
- You can launch a kayak/canoe on the river from Adams Street Landing on Adams Street, near 104th Avenue. There are quite a few trees along the river at the park, so it's not as easy to get a boat to the river here and climb in as at the other two launches.
On Lake Macatawa, there are boat launches at Dunton Park and Kollen Park, as well as a lake access site along Ottawa Beach Road on the north side of the lake.
The Holland area offers several places to fish on Lake Macatawa. There are fishing piers at Black Lake Boardwalk (East and West), Dunton Park, and Kollen Park. A popular place to fish is at Holland State Park, along the channel between Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. Chinook salmon, brown trout, steelhead trout, largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and walleye are some of the fish that you can catch at Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan.
Many fishermen like to go fishing on the Macatawa River, especially in the spring. Favorite spots include the area near the kayak launch at Window on the Waterfront Park, on the river banks at Paw Paw Park, and along the river at Adams Street Landing.
If you like a fishing adventure, there are several charter services available in Holland that can take you fishing on Lake Michigan. Charter fishing services in the area include:
Cyndie Sue Charters
Deep V Sportfishing Charters
Sea Flea Charters
Tangled Mess Charters
If you don't have a Michigan fishing license, you can purchase one online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site
More About Holland
Two major roads, US-31 and I-196, provide easy access to Holland by car, but if you prefer train rides, the Amtrak station at 171 Lincoln Avenue is not far from downtown. The Pere Marquette Train has daily service between Grand Rapids and Chicago, and the train stops in Holland. The Haworth Inn and City Flats Hotel are less than a half of a mile from the train station.
If you like shopping, downtown Holland has many unique shops and boutiques within walking distance, especially along 8th Street. There are many free parking areas in downtown close to shopping.
You'll find more many more shopping choices along US-31, northeast of downtown. Westshore Mall is at the corner of James Street and US-31. Meijer, Target, Walmart, MC Sports, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many more stores are within a mile of the mall.
For places to eat, there are several popular restaurants downtown, including the 8th Street Grille, the Windmill Restaurant, and New Holland Brewing. Near Westshore Mall and the shopping area along US-31, you'll find many more of restaurants, including Culver's, Dairy Queen, McDonald's, Qdoba, and Red Robin.
If you need more information on events, lodging, and more about Holland, the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
is a great resource.