Claiming a rich Dutch history, Michigan’s Holland is a fabulous college town blessed with natural beauty. Discovering Holland’s white sandy beaches, enjoying miles of paved paths, and visiting unique museums is one of the best experiences to have while exploring the state of Michigan. Whether you wish to go hiking in the Lake Michigan dunes and enjoy magnificent views, admire the beauty of a 250-year-old Dutch windmill, attend the colorful May tulip festival, or just wander the streets of the award-winning downtown area, there is no shortage of amazing things to do in Holland, MI.
1. Windmill Island Gardens
Holland’s 36-acre paradise island, Windmill Island Gardens is one of the town’s most popular destinations. The main attraction is definitely the 250-years-old DeZwaan windmill that grinds wheat into flour. You can purchase this locally grown flour at their on-site gift shop. Apart from the windmill, visitors can stroll about the island and see over 100,000 tulips in bloom or check out the cute hand-painted Dutch carousel. These picturesque gardens on Windmill Island in Holland, MI are also a popular destination for weddings.
2. Nelis’ Dutch Village
If you wish to celebrate the town’s rich Dutch heritage, make your way to the lovely Nelis’ Dutch Village. Once a single Dutch Market, this fun village offers a variety of attractions ranging from cheese-making demonstrations and the wooden shoe factory to the interactive petting zoo where your kids can get close to animals like cows and sheep. Nelis’ Dutch Village also boasts many fun rides such as the famous Dutch chair swing ride and pumper cars.
3. Holland State Park
Beach lovers will want to pay a visit to the charming Holland State Park. Located just a short drive from the center of Holland, this Lake Michigan park is well-known for its expansive beach and magnificent views of the Big Red lighthouse. The park is a great place to enjoy activities like hiking, building sandcastles on the beach, and sunbathing. There is also a picturesque lake, as well as wooded areas that are ideal for hiking.
4. DeGraaf Nature Center
Searching for free things to do in Holland, mi? Make your way to the DeGraaf Nature Center, an 18-acre nature preserve that consists of many habitats including pond trails, marsh, forests, and meadow. Expect to find many different trails that you can explore on your own or with a guide from the nature center. Don’t miss the Brower Visitor Center where educational hands-on displays and animal exhibits can be found.
5. Centennial Park
Located in the heart of downtown Holland Michigan right across the road from the Holland museum, Centennial Park is a beautiful Victorian-era park that attracts large crowds of both tourists and locals. Some of the park’s main amenities include a lovely gazebo that can be rented out for wedding ceremonies, many flower beds, and an authentic Dutch fountain. Vacationers can also look forward to visiting the park’s Veterans’ Memorial that honors Dutch settlers in Michigan.
6. Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Michigan is not short on fabulous state parks and the Saugatuck Dunes State Park is one of them. Located in Allegan County, this state park is a great place to visit for nature lovers, hikers, and birdwatchers. The park is also home to freshwater coastal dunes and its terrain varies from rolling hills to steep slopes. Travelers visiting the park in winter will have an opportunity to see a few endangered plant species. In winter, the park offers activities like cross country skiing.
7. Tunnel Park
This 22-acre park is one of the best open green spaces to visit in Holland for people staying in Michigan with their kids. This tunnel park that goes through a dune boasts everything from picnic areas and volleyball courts to a nice children’s playground and a dune climb. Whether you wish to go sunbathing and swimming or you want to enjoy hiking a dune stairway and admire spectacular views of Lake Michigan, Tunnel Park offers an abundance of outdoor activities for the whole family.
8. Mount Pisgah
A soaring dune, Mount Pisgah is one of the best places to visit in Holland and enjoy views of Lake Macatawa, the marinas, Big Red Lighthouse, and Lake Michigan. Nestled 157 feet above Lake Michigan, the dune boardwalk at the summit offers the most amazing natural experience in the state of Michigan. Some of the amenities that travelers will find at Mount Pisgah include beach volleyball courts, restrooms, and picnic shelters.
9. Veldheer Tulip Garden
Dotted with cute bridges, canals, and picturesque windmills, the Veldheer Tulip Garden is a must-visit destination when exploring the town of Holland. In spring, visitors can admire the beauty of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils. Apart from enjoying the garden’s floral charms, you can also purchase bouquets and bulbs at the on-site shop to take back home. Don’t leave these magnificent gardens before paying a visit to the famous De Klomp wooden shoe factory.
10. Outdoor Discovery Center
A non-profit outdoor education organization, Holland’s Outdoor Discovery Center offers everything from interpretive exhibits to a variety of programs and demonstrations. From the Imagination Forest where the little ones can hop on rocks to having close encounters with falcons, eagles, and owls at the De Witt Birds of Prey Center, the Outdoor Discovery Center offers a wide range of activities to enjoy. In case you wish to go hiking, the nature preserve boasts nearly 5 miles of trails.
11. Holland Princess
Travelers who wish to enjoy Holland, MI tours should look no further than the Holland Princess. Hop inside a Victorian-style paddle-wheel riverboat and enjoy a relaxing lake cruise and a mouthwatering dinner. During this boat excursion on Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan, passengers will have a chance to see historical landmarks like the Holland Harbor Light and the Big Red Lighthouse, as well as colorful Dutch lake homes.
12. Holland Farmers Market
One of the best ways to experience a city is to go to its farmer’s market. This is why a visit to Holland’s Farmers Market should be included in your Michigan travel itinerary. Whether you wish to purchase fruits, veggies, eggs, and cheese or you prefer to have ready-to-eat local dishes, this farmers market is a real foodie paradise. Make sure to try the fresh homemade baked goods, as well as imported Dutch cheeses. Vendors at the Holland Farmers Market are also selling beautiful bouquets of flowers, herbs, and spices. We think the Holland Farmers Market is one of the best ways to experience the local culture and is a top thing to do in Holland MI.
13. The Felt Estate
The history of the Felt Estate is simply amazing. This historic landmark was a summer home of the famous inventor Dorr Felt, a chapel, a Catholic school, a correction facility, and even a state police post. Nowadays, this spectacular estate is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the region. The 12,000 square foot mansion is a sight to behold, as well as the outdoor chapel that can be rented out for receptions and weddings.
14. Holland Community Aquatic Center
Once you get tired of all the outdoorsy activities in this part of Michigan, pay a visit to the Holland Community Aquatic Center with your kids. The variety of activities to enjoy here is simply mind-blowing. Swim in the indoor 50-meter pool, enjoy a water cannon fight, go for a spin in an awesome vortex pool, join a unique game of underwater hockey, and zoom down a giant waterslide. There is also a nice fitness center and a spa where adults can unwind. If you wish to attend classes, go on a short Aqua Zumba and Aqua Aerobics course. To have a good time at the Holland Community Aquatic Center, all you really need is a swimsuit.