Holland Mi Michigan: 7 Incredible Places to Visit This Year  

Holland Mi Michigan | By Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com

Holland Michigan was named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes Magazine! See for yourself what makes this town so special! 

Downtown Holland’s iconic cobblestone sidewalks line the streets with over 100 unique and locally owned shops, galleries, eateries, and brew pubs. Be sure to visit on a warm Thursday evening during the summer to watch lively street performers entertain shoppers from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

You can dine, shop and explore all year round thanks to Holland Michigan's effective snow-melt-system.  Snowmelt keeps downtown sidewalks and streets free of ice and snow so you can safely shop throughout the winter! 

Holland is more than just tulips or the downtown area, it has nature centers, boardwalks, campgrounds and lots of hiking trails to explore!

What to See and Do In Holland Mi Michigan

The Much Anticipated Holland Tulip Festival

The annual Holland Tulip Time festival is a much anticipated explosion of color, activities, shows, parades and dances.  The festival occurs the first two weeks in May. 

Get Our Interactive Map and Planner!

Each fall, the City of Holland Parks Department plants around 316,000 tulip bulbs in city parks and along the Tulip Lanes.

Don't miss fantastic photographic opportunities and experiences for the whole family!  Looking for a tour? Hop aboard a trolley for a narrated tour that passes by  the city's most exquisite tulip gardens.  There is so much more than flowers to experience!  CHECK IT OUT! 

Grab Our Interactive Tulip Time Map & Planner

Click here to get our Tulip Time Interactive Map!

Holland Michigan Shopping

So yeah, I MAYYY have a whole page dedicated to shopping in Holland! Don't judge!! ;)

As time goes I'll be adding lots to this page!  I'd love your input on your favorite places!

Holland Princess

290 Howard Ave, Holland, MI 49424, 616 393 7799 

Are you aching to get out on the water? The Holland Princess, a Victorian style paddle-wheel river boat, has fun public and private cruises.  Grab your friends or family and enjoy the sites while on a lunch, dinner or sunset cruise!  

All cruises begin on Holland's Lake Macatawa and cruise to the channel.  If the weather is good the Holland Princess will cruise through the channel and into Lake Michigan.

You'll get a chance to photograph the BIG RED lighthouse while seeing picturesque lake homes, historic land marks, and lots of nature.  Lunch and dinner cruises run May through mid-September.  The cruises are two hours and run rain or shine.  Click here for more information!

The Big Red Lighthouse

2215 Ottawa Beach Road, Holland State Park View, Holland Mi Michigan

Did you know The Big Red Lighthouse is Michigan's most photographed lighthouse?  For a great view of Big Red, travel to Holland State Park Beach Parking lot and walk along the boardwalk to the north pier (wheelchair accessible).

You can also view Big Red from Mt. Pisgah, where the dune stair case takes you 157 feet above sea level. There's lots of info and directions below about that.

The narrowest point of the channel connecting Lake Michigan to Lake Macatawa is at the Big Red Lighthouse!  The channel is only 180 feet wide so it's a showstopper when huge freighters navigate through the passageway.  Definitely a cool sight!

Who Wants Ice Cream!?

ARRR! Visit Captain Sundae at two locations in Holland!  Holland North-365 Douglas Avenue and Holland South-247 West 40th Street.

Ahoy Matey!  It's impossible to FULLY enjoy Holland without a stop at Captain Sundae's for nautical themed ice cream treats!  Maybe you need to try a Yucky Sailor or their delicious Kiss the Captain which involves creamy vanilla ice cream topped with gooey hot fudge, crushed cookies, a bright red cherry and a Hershey's kiss! 

Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway

4214 56th Street, Holland Mi Michigan.  Nature & Wildlife Areas, Hiking Trails, Outdoor Activities, Nature & Parks. FREE!

This amazing nature center has a fantastic Birds of Prey Exhibit and the Visitor Center has lots of touch exhibits of bird wings, bones etc. There are lots of well groomed walking paths that lead you through beautiful marsh lands and wooded areas. 

Don't miss the awesome wildlife viewing platforms and overlooks so you can get a birds eye view of the diverse Macatawa River environment. 

The Outdoor Discovery Center has a pond that you can "catch and release" fish!! The center provides the poles and tackle so you can practice your skills! It's a great place for kids as there are lots of hands-on things to do. They have a wonderful raptor house and discussion area.

The Outdoor Discovery Center rescues raptors that can't be returned to the wild. They have a golden eagle, two bald eagles, several owls, red tail hawks, falcons and more.They are open year round and allow use of their trails to ski in the winter.  Oh and did I mention this place is free?! ;)

Holland State Park

2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland Mi Michigan.  Camping, Paved Bike Trails, Great Sunsets!  The campgrounds are walking distance from the beach with showers and bathrooms. 

Be sure to reserve your spot early as they fill up quickly in the summer, especially close to holidays. Visit the Michigan State Park and Harbor Reservations website to book.

The Lake Macatawa campground is a traditional campground offering 211 campsites, the Beach Campground is tucked between sand dunes with 98 paved campsites and 31 full hook-up sites.  Nice restrooms available.

Both campgrounds are within 50’ of swimming beaches and Lake Macatawa Campground is only ½ mile from Lake Michigan.

Holland State Park Headquarters

 is located near 3rd street right after you pass the sign for Holland State Park-see map below.  It is a great place to obtain brochures, a map of the area and ask questions.

Mt. Pisgah Dune Boardwalk

2238 3rd Ave, Holland Mi Michigan.  (Off Ottawa Beach Road)

This incredible dune east of the Holland State Park is accessible via a boardwalk and stair system. With its apex 157 feet above Lake Michigan, the boardwalk offers breathtaking views of Lake Macatawa, marinas, Lake Michigan and the Big Red Lighthouse.

Holland Mi Michigan MapHolland Mi Michigan Map

Location:  Look for the white gazebo which marks the start of the trail.  It is paved until you reach the 237 stairs to climb to the top to view the lighthouse and lakes.  There are two viewpoint levels so be sure to check them both out. 

The rest of the trail is not a boardwalk, it's a dirt trail (see my photo above).  Enjoy the walk through a cool wooded forest with numerous trail markers.

Parking: On our first visit we had a heck of a time finding the parking location for the boardwalk (I had to ask two people working in their yards!) as you cannot park on 3rd Ave. If you are driving south, drive past the State Park sign, pass the Mt. Pisgah trail head white gazebo on your right and look for a very small brown "Mt. Pisgah Parking" sign. There are two lots on the left. 

Restrooms: The second parking lot closer to the State Park has a port-a potty.  There is not a restroom near the boardwalk.  There are also restrooms at Holland State Park and Lake Macatawa Campground to the east of the trail head.

Park Hours: April 1-Oct 31: 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Nov 1-March 31: 8 a.m.-dusk.

If you are unable to obtain parking in the two small lots on Ottawa Beach Road, proceed to the Holland State Park Beach Parking lot and walk back.  You will need to have or purchase a Michigan State Park Pass.

The Mt. Pisgah Trail system does not lead to the beach.  You will need to walk there from your parking space along Ottawa Beach Road.

Be sure to wear athletic shoes, bring water and your camera!  

Where to Eat:  So, a Traveling Michigan reader highly recommends Crazy Horse.  We haven't been there yet but if you go let us know how it is!!

  • No dogs are allowed on Mt. Pisgah wood stairway and boardwalks.
  • Dogs are not allowed on the beach.  
  • No fires.

Holland Cottage Rentals

The Holland Area Visitors Bureau has a nice list of available home rentals.  

Houses on or overlooking Lake Michigan tend to be pricey. But prices drop a block away from the beach, and houses on Lake Mackatawa are less expensive than on Lake Michigan. 

Keep Reading!

  1. Travel Michigan Home Page
  2.  ›
  3. Holland-Michigan

Sherry Trautman Bio Picture

About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
Read More About Us Here

Join our newsletter of Michigan Explorers!

Share Social

When you wish destinations came with a 30 second trailer so you can see what you’re getting yourself into.  

If you whine and are nice, IM us and we will tell you if you are truly screwed or not. 

Where Do You Want To Start Your Next Adventure?

Slickstream Search Box