There are few places in the USA that transport you right to Europe. I had no idea while I was on my Michigan road trip that I would find a place like Holland.
The town is quaint with charm, rich in Dutch history, and hip in its flavor and activities. I was unaware such a place existed. Whether you want to explore the arts, culture and history of the area, or enjoy some serious outdoor recreation and beach time, Holland has numerous fun activities. It’s a perfect summer destination.
Lake Views at Holland State Park and Tunnel Park
I started my day with a visit to Holland State Park for some leisurely beach fun and sun bathing. I never would have anticipated that Michigan would be such a fantastic summer destination, but Holland’s beaches are gorgeous with sweeping views of Lakes Michigan and Macatawa. I continually had to remind myself that this was not the ocean! Water sports are a huge part of the scene here with beautiful sailboats passing by, families canoeing and kayaking and couples paddleboarding. Rentals are conveniently located nearby, so be sure to plan a fun beach day.
There is a beautiful tunnel nearby that leads right onto the beach with epic views. Be sure to check out Tunnel Park, set amongst the towering sand dunes leading right to the lakeshore.
Scenic Lake Macatawa in Holland
Dutch History at Windmill Island Gardens
I was really excited to take in some Dutch history, and the perfect place to do so is at Windmill Island Gardens. The gardens are beautiful with a swirl of colorful tulips and many other flowers. There are also horses on the property, happily grazing in the fields. This is the only authentic operational Dutch windmill in the United States, and guided tours throughout the grounds are available. The hosts are dressed in traditional Dutch attire, so you’re transported back in time and place, right to Holland! The view from the deck of the windmill is fantastic – you can take in the 14.5 hectares of manicured gardens, canals and dikes.
Bridge and 250-year-old working windmill at Windmill Island Gardens
Main Street Downtown
I love live music and street performances, and Holland really raises the bar with its downtown entertainment. On Thursday evenings during the summer, you can check out 30 street performers in 30 locations. I saw a fabulous performance of female gymnasts doing aerial work on swings high in the air. Holland has deservedly received a “Great American Main Street” award. Be sure to enjoy the fantastic downtown shopping and foodie fare. There are so many unique boutiques on Main Street, as well as a great café, pub and restaurant scene.
Holland had me delightfully surprised by its beautiful European charm and temperament. It’s a lovely town with friendly people and a vibrant community. There is so much to see and experience.
Located in close proximity to Canada, this is a fantastic destination for the whole family. Come enjoy the beach, the flavors and rich history of Holland. I know I will gladly return for some more Dutch charm during the annual tulip festival!
Dining at Dune Dogz in Holland