Holland, MI: Where All Are Welkom
Dutch Heritage and Celebration in the USA
Brimming with culture and strong civic pride, Holland’s Dutch heritage has been preserved and celebrated—a nod to the visionaries who gave the city its name. From the downtown architecture and authentic delicacies to traditional events and attractions, there is no better place to immerse yourself in a true Dutch experience stateside.
Capturing the revitalizing power of spring and dating back to the 1920s, Holland’s annual Tulip Time is one of the nation’s most celebrated flower festivals. The nine-day event features parades, Dutch dance performances, artisan markets and music—and over 5 million tulips in bloom. You’ll find another slice of the Netherlands in West Michigan at the Windmill Island Gardens, home to the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the U.S. Then, step back into yesteryear at Nelis’ Dutch Village, an 1800s replica Dutch settlement, where you can take a ride on an antique carousel and learn a few steps of the traditional “Klompen” dance, complete with costumes and wood-carved shoes.
Big Red Lighthouse
Of course, a must-visit stop on any Holland itinerary is “Big Red,” Michigan’s most photographed lighthouse that watches over the channel connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. The iconic, three-story Big Red Lighthouse is visible from across the water. But for an unforgettable experience, head to Mt. Pisgah, where a dune staircase takes you 157 feet above sea level to a breathtaking panorama of the shoreline—where you can meet Big Red(nearly) in person.
Vibrant Downtown Holland, Michigan
Named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes and an “All-American City” by the National Civic League, downtown Holland’s cobblestone sidewalks and tree-lined streets dotted with Victorian lampposts (swoon!) pave the way to more than 100 unique and locally owned shops, galleries, eateries and brewpubs.
The city’s historic downtown stays active year-round thanks to a robust snowmelt system, the largest municipally owned system in the country. Snowmelt keeps downtown sidewalks and streets snow-and ice-free, allowing residents and visitors alike to stay active during the winter months.
Dutch Food Delights
For traditional Dutch fare downtown, try the volkorenbrood (Dutch brown bread) at DeBoer Bakkerij Restaurant or the balkenbrij (corned beef hash) at The Wooden Shoe Restaurant. If you're craving a Michigan staple instead, order the Lake Superior whitefish at BoatwerksWaterfront Restaurant, where picturesque views of Lake Macatawa are included.
Peruse boutiques for unique goods and gifts along 8th Street at Tin Ceiling or Cherry Republic—a locally owned shop devoted to Michigan’s Montmorency tart cherry. The shop offers over 200 cherry-based products (chocolate covered, jams, salsas, baked goods...you name it!). Cap off your shopping with a Dragon’s Milk, a bourbon barrel-aged stout, at New Holland Brewing or a glass of cabernet sauvignon in the Tasting Room at Warner Vineyards, one of Michigan’s oldest wineries.
The Wonderful World Of Holland: Did You Know?
One of the best-known stories in American literature, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” is said to be inspired by Macatawa Park, just minutes away from downtown Holland, along the tranquil shores of Lake Michigan, where “Oz” author L. Frank Baum spent summers vacationing. Centennial Park is worth a visit for book lovers, where you’ll find a free outdoor exhibit dedicated to Baum’s famed story. Thousands of annual plants intertwine to create a whimsical mosaic, and you can follow the yellow brick road and see life-size bronze statues of Dorothy (and her little dog, too), Tin Man and Scarecrow—all while winding through a lush, moss-covered landscape.
If you’re looking for a destination that combines small-town charm with big-city amenities, your search is over. Discover all that Holland, Michigan, has to offer—in a new-world town where little moments become lasting memories.