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Located off the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, on Lake Macatawa, Holland’s city streets feature well-preserved brick buildings full of colorful shops, cafes, and eateries reminiscent of Amsterdam. This is not a coincidence as the town wears its Dutch heritage on its sleeve. You can learn how to do a Dutch dance, try authentic Dutch cuisine, and explore a Dutch-themed amusement park here.
To delve deeper into its European ties, the Holland Museum is there to guide you through the city’s history. The Michigan town is also home to lovely lake beaches where you can swim and enjoy a variety of water sports, including kayaking, sailing, and fishing. Lake Macatawa connects to Lake Michigan through a small channel, allowing visitors to explore the two lakes simultaneously. For something a little more unique, you can also hop on a dune ride or pedal your way down the lake on a hydrobike.
The closest airport to Holland is Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids. From there, it is possible to take a bus to Kentwood Station, another one to Cherry at Grandville, and then the Greyhound to arrive at Holland. Alternatively, you might rent a car at the airport and drive 40 minutes directly to Holland. This is the more convenient option, especially if you plan to visit other areas of Lake Michigan. Within Holland, it is possible to walk or bike to most points of interest. There is also a public bus service that runs eight set routes throughout town from Monday to Saturday, connecting different sections of the city to downtown.
Spring is an amazing time to visit Holland as millions of tulips throughout the city begin to bloom, forming a carpet of vibrant colors. There is even a tulip festival in early May, complete with parades, a carnival, and Dutch dance performances. The summer features the hottest weather, which is great if you want to spend some time out on Lake Michigan or exploring the local landscapes. There are also many free events such as outdoor concerts, movies, and farmers’ markets. This is the busiest time of the year, so book your rental cabins in Holland well in advance.
In fall, things begin to slow down a bit as the temperature drops. This is a wonderful time to visit, especially if you’re into leaf-peeping. Holland’s annual Winterfest begins at the end of November, when the city is full of festive spirit as carolers wander through town and the streets are decorated with holiday lights. While the winters in Michigan can get very cold, this is a great time to come if you are interested in winter sports like cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Holland offers easy access to five beautiful sand beaches on the shore of Lake Michigan, from the more popular Holland State Park to the quieter Laketown Beach. Cool off with a refreshing swim or simply throw down your beach towel and relax. Come dusk, the beaches are a prime spot for watching the sunset as the sky bursts into color and splashes its rays on the shimmering lake.
Holland’s festivals, museums, and historic homes are all dedicated to its earliest settlers. At Windmill Island Gardens, you can see the only authentic Dutch windmill still operating in the United States, surrounded by a sea of tulips. To double-down on the Dutch doings, pay a visit to a Dutch village that features thrill rides, reproductions of 17th-century buildings, and wooden shoe-carving displays.
Home to one of Holland’s best beaches, this sprawling lakefront park offers sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the iconic Big Red Lighthouse located just across the channel. It is one of Michigan’s most photographed lighthouses, and the red exterior creates a striking contrast against the sparkling blue water of the lake.