Now that summer has begun, a lot of us are planning vacations and trips. Michigan has many beautiful places to go visit. As a Michigan native, I may be a bit biased, but I believe its justified. Holland, Michigan is one of the prettiest areas along the shores of Lake Michigan. It is famous for its Annual Tulip Festival which was held earlier back in May. Holland additionally has lots of attractions and places to explore. Add these places to your list when you are planning your itinerary.
You’ll find Tunnel Park along the shores of Lake Michigan, with a dune stairway to lead you to scenic views. There are also volleyball nets, a horseshoe pit, a playground and areas for picnics available. The beach provides a nice area to relax and enjoy the lake breeze.
Big Red Lighthouse
Officially named the Holland Harbor Lighthouse, the Big Red Lighthouse is an essential part of Holland’s history. It took a long time for Holland to establish a harbor due to lack of support from the government and harsh weather. Its history is a testament to the determinism of the early Holland community. Visitors can view the lighthouse from two different locations. There is a boardwalk in the Holland State Park that leads to the north pier and is wheelchair accessible. Another option is to climb the dune staircase to view the lighthouse from Mt. Pisgah.
Nelis’ Dutch Village pays homage to Holland’s historical Dutch influence. The park gives a fun educational experience that takes you back in time to when Holland was originally settled over 150 years ago. There are demonstrations of wooden shoe carvings and old Dutch cheese making as well as a petting zoo, with various other activities available. Costumed dancers perform traditional Dutch folk dances and will teach visitors some easy steps. Outside of the village, there is a pub and cafe as well as their seaside shop. Additional shops are located within the village area. Admission covers all activities within the village excluding only merchandise purchases and food. Admission rates for both daily and season passes are available on their website along with their hours of operation.
Windmill Island Gardens
The Windmill Island Gardens feature a working windmill called “De Zwann” which means the Swan in Dutch. It was brought from the Netherlands to Holland in 1964 and costumed guides give tours throughout the day. Flour made in the windmill is available for purchase on-site. An antique Dutch Carousal is a popular attraction that features hand painted and carved horses. Admission tickets are available for purchase, $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages three through fifteen. Two hours is the suggested time allotment for a visit, with the gardens open from 9:30 a.m. through 6 p.m.
The permanent galleries of the Holland Museum explore Holland’s history and Dutch artwork, showing the influence of Dutch culture. The museum also features temporary exhibits throughout the year. The Smithsonian Spark!Lab will open August of 2018 and offer a hands-on experience for children and their families to enjoy. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from mid-May through September 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets pricing is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students. Children five and under are admitted for free.
Holland Princess Dinner Cruises
Experience Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa with your lunch or dinner through the Holland Princess Dinner Cruise. The two-hour ride takes place on a Victorian style paddle-wheel riverboat and passes by one of Holland’s landmarks: the Big Red Lighthouse. The boat has a fully quipped karaoke system where anyone is welcome to come up and sing a song. The Holland Princess Dinner Cruise offers both public and private cruises, with a full schedule and booking of their public cruises available on their website or by calling (616) 393-7799. Tickets for adults are $50, $35 for teens, $25 for children ages 3-13 and children two years or younger ride for free.
For additional information for what’s going on in Holland, visit their website: https://www.holland.org/