Holland Michigan

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 Michigan

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. 

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! 

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 49424

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 49423.  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 49424.  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 49424.  (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.

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!  

  • 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.  

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

We are Chris and Sherry, your travel guides!  As Michigan born travel junkies, we fully embrace getting dirty, falling into a creek to capture that great photograph or eating somewhere slightly questionable in pursuit of unearthing the very best experiences our stunningly diverse state has to offer.  Read More About Us!


Newsletter Opt-In

Free Itineraries! WHATTT?! 

Sign up for our FREE newsletter for super secret Travel Michigan tips, news and advice. 

Planning a road trip?  Need Ideas?  We can help!

Register Now to hit the road with us!    

Join our other travelers following our adventures!

START EXPLORING