The city of Holland spreads on the shores of two lakes – Michigan and the Macatawa. The instantly felt Dutch heritage plays a substantial role in creating the ethnic and cultural identity of the city, from the historic downtown to its colorful May tulip festival.
The architecture in Holland is stunning, decorated by many beautiful mid-century modern homes built during Holland’s prosperous agricultural past.
There are also several outstanding museums in Holland, including the Rahr-West Art Museum, Zeeland Historical Museum, and The Village of West Michigan History Center.
If you are coming to Holland for the first time or looking for more to explore, this list is a nutshell of all the great things one can do here and meet the city up close.
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- Top 10 Things To Do In Holland MI
- Visit the Windmill Island Gardens
- Relax At Holland State Park Beach
- Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk
- Walk Through the Veldheer Tulip Garden
- Enjoy Art at DePree Art Center and Gallery
- Visit Laketown Beach
- Learn About Nature At The Outdoor Discovery Center
- Visit Knickerbocker Theater
- Grab a Drink At The Coppercraft Distillery
- Visit The Saugatuck Dunes State Park
- Summary Of The Top 10 Things To Do In Holland MI
Top 10 Things To Do In Holland MI
Visit the Windmill Island Gardens
1 Lincoln Ave, Holland // +16163551030
Located in the quaint village of Holland, Michigan, Windmill Island is the part destination, part theme park, and all fun! Its main attraction is the only working Dutch windmill in the United States.
Over 200 types of tulips grow at Windmill Island Gardens, which lies between two branches of the Holland Parkway. It boasts stunning lake views and stunning views of Holland.
Windmill Island Gardens hosts numerous events throughout the year, including the annual Dutch Tulip Time Festival. This unique festival is held during the last two weeks of May and features windmill tours, floral displays, concerts, food, and fun for everyone!
The gardens include an authentic Dutch windmill, which alone blows me away, and many other details radiating that unmistakable Dutch vibe that we all love about the Netherlands. What luck to find such a special place in Michigan!
Relax At Holland State Park Beach
2398 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland // +16163999390
Holland State Park features a large sandy beach on Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. The park is one of the areas most commonly identified as Holland City Park.
The beach is accessible through two large campgrounds with picnic tables, grills, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball courts, and fire pits. A sand dune boardwalk takes visitors to the beach from the parking lot near tennis courts.
There are also lavatories on site. Holland State Park also has the Grand Island Trails, accessible through a wooden boardwalk that’s great for strolling along the shoreline to enjoy nature.
Holland State Park is the perfect place for family vacations or a day trip with friends! You can cool off with some water sports, ride your bike along the designated biking trails, or go for a hike on one of the miles of walking trails.
If you are hungry, there are picnic tables with grills scattered all over the park. If you wish, you are welcome to bring your own food! There are no stores or restaurants at the park, so be sure to bring a cooler and ice for any food or beverages you want while at the beach.
Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk
There are plenty of great outdoor things to do near Holland that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Mount Pisgah is a dune that rises 157 feet above the Lake Michigan shoreline and is the peak of a landmass that extends into Lake Macatawa. Family and couples looking to spend some quality time together and enjoy a beautiful view will love this offshoot of Holland State Park.
There are picnic tables at the top for relaxing and two hiking/biking trails that traverse the park. The park also has a 400-foot pier where visitors can go fishing.
Mount Pisgah is one of the best attractions in the park due to its amazing views and incredible architecture.
It is covered with footpaths, complete with interpretive signs on flora and fauna you might encounter on your hike. There is something for everyone in this park, no matter what age you are.
Walk Through the Veldheer Tulip Garden
12755 Quincy St, Holland // +16163991900
A tulip farm and perennial garden lie at Veldheer Tulip Garden, Holland’s only tulip farm. The park boasts millions of tulips. In addition to the beauty of the flowers in the garden, you can buy bulbs and bouquets to take home and beautify your gardens.
In the early 1950s, the Veldheer Tulip Garden began as a small hobby farm. Today, it has become one of Holland’s most popular spring attractions, along with Holland State Park and the Dutch Village.
An estimated half a million people from all over the country arrive at the tulip garden each year to see its beautiful flowers.
The Veldheer Tulip Garden is a four-acre plot of land in a residential neighborhood with a twenty-foot tall stone wall. There’s a pond, an amphitheater, picnic tables, and a ten-room garden shop.
As spring unfolds, Veldheer Tulip Garden appears covered in various shades of red. They have over five million tulips planted throughout their gardens! It’s genuinely a fantastic place to visit.
Enjoy Art at DePree Art Center and Gallery
160 E 12th St, Holland // +16163957500
If you’re in Holland, you will enjoy the De Pree Gallery in the Department of Art and Art History at Hope College. In addition to showcasing international artists, the gallery also displays student work.
Additionally, visiting artists are frequently featured at the gallery, and non-residents are regularly treated to workshops, critiques, and lectures while in Holland.
It is no secret that Hope College Department of Art and Art History hosts various art events at their De Pree Gallery throughout the year, so this is an attraction that is open all year.
The gallery is open year-round, and the grounds it stands on are also so beautiful that they do not require a particular season for visiting.
Before you visit the gallery, I suggest taking a few minutes to explore the grounds outside. From sculpture gardens to beautiful courtyards and ponds, I enjoyed the scenery around the gallery, which enhanced the experience of admiring art.
Visit Laketown Beach
6710 142nd Ave, Holland // +16163353050
Now, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Michigan. Located along Lake Michigan, this hidden gem near Holland reveals the surprise of a long stretch of fine white sand dunes on its shoreline. Within walking distance from downtown Holland, the beach offers a beach house that serves as a community café for visitors to enjoy snacks and refreshments on hot summer days. In addition, you will find four boat docks available for rental, launching kayaks and fishing vessels into Lake Michigan for water sports activities.
Visitors to Lilydale Road will notice that there aren’t many major businesses or shops nearby, just the occasional private house.
This is the only hint that the beach exists. So you can spend your time viewing Lake Michigan, hanging out on the beach, and exploring the woodlands to get away from everything else in the world indeed.
It is a secluded beach over a sand dune. From the top, you will get a fantastic view of Lake Michigan, and on the beach, you will find an almost private getaway for them to spend a day under the sun.
It’s slightly off the map, but getting to the beach is half the fun: you will have to climb the stairs on a sand dune at the end of a dead-end road.
Learn About Nature At The Outdoor Discovery Center
4214 56th St, Holland // +16163939453
The Outdoor Discovery Center was established in 1999 by a group of local nature lovers to make nature accessible to everyone. The center’s founders envisioned a place where adults and children could connect with nature through hands-on activities.
Since its inception, the Outdoor Discovery Center has grown into an internationally recognized resource for outdoor education programs that promote environmental stewardship through sustainable outdoor recreation.
The Center staff did an incredible job of creating an environment where you feel like you are in the center of nature. The facility contains over forty naturally landscaped acres with streams, ponds, and more than ten miles of trails.
The outdoor recreation activities are also offered at the Outdoor Discovery Center, perfect for any season. The center is open throughout the year, and there is something fun to do during each of the four seasons.
Springtime activities include Kayak Central, mushroom hunts, and the Spring Trout Derby.
The Outdoor Discovery Center’s fourteen acres are located just outside of Holland proper, giving everyone a taste of the natural world.
As soon as I arrived at the center, I headed to the front desk to pay, only $5/person if you are over four. This surely is one of my favorite things about the center — all their programs, workshops, camps, naturalist-guided hikes, and classes are nearly free!
Visit Knickerbocker Theater
86 E 8th St #3504, Holland // +16163957890
The Knickerbocker Theater is a historical landmark, and it is no surprise why so many couples and families come to the theater looking for romantic date ideas.
The architecture of this beautiful venue is classic and beautiful, featuring French-style doors and ceiling tiles within the auditorium. The setting alone takes you back in time, even if it’s just for a night at the theater.
The Knickerbocker Theater in Holland, Michigan, has been a critical feature of the Holland community for over a hundred years. Initially opened in 1913, the theater became an essential part of Holland‘s teeming social scene.
It was often referred to as “theater of the people” because admission prices were sometimes as low as 10¢ per person!
The only original vaudeville theater in Michigan, the Knickerbocker is so much more than just a concert venue. Visitors can enjoy classic movies, plays, musicals, and ballets at this stunning landmark.
Grab a Drink At The Coppercraft Distillery
184 120th Ave, Holland // +16167968274
Coppercraft Distillery is a small artisan distilling company located in Holland, Michigan. While not a large city, Holland has been home to micro-distilleries since before the turn of the century. As Holland was originally a Dutch colony, the Dutch tradition of distilled beverages is honored at Coppercraft. They embrace the art and science of distilling as well as the history and culture.
The distilling process takes place in their state-of-the-art still room. Grain is carefully milled, mashed, and fermented before being run through the still three times to extract alcohol.
Depending on the type of spirit being produced and what flavor and aroma they desire, grain is distilled at different temperatures. Coppercraft is known for its award-winning rum and whisky and Dutch-style gin Genever.
After taking a tour through the building, see the actual distilling process of the current batch of whisky. You can then enjoy some small-batch Michigan distilled spirits at their Speakeasy bar. Finally, if touring the facility made you hungry, head to their restaurant for delicious sandwiches and some traditional Dutch food.
Visit The Saugatuck Dunes State Park
6575 138th Ave, Holland // +12696372788
The Saugatuck Dunes State Park is a lesser-known natural attraction located in the West Michigan city of Holland. However, this park is worth considering when planning your next vacation in Michigan due to its location.
The park offers many things to do: hiking, biking, birding, horseback riding, and camping. Hikers and cyclists can also enjoy a 2.7-mile trail that runs through the dunes and ends at the lake.
Once you’re done appreciating the spectacular view, you can continue down the beach or head back to your car. Also, don’t forget to visit the visitor center which is located not too far from the park’s entrance. Exhibits highlight the maritime history of Saugatuck Dunes and surrounding areas such as Holland’s “Shipwreck Coast.”
Summary Of The Top 10 Things To Do In Holland MI
Holland is becoming one of the most popular places to visit in Michigan. It is now considered one of the most loved tourist destinations in the country.
There are so many things that you can do while visiting this city. In addition, multiple activities are available throughout the year. This makes Holland a perfect destination for exploration or vacation regardless of what the season is.
Whether it’s running through the tulip fields with the kids, checking out the golf courses in the area, trying one of the fantastic restaurants, or perusing Grant Street, not a single visitor could ever feel bored in Holand.