Holland is located on the western shores of Michigan. It is best known for its Dutch heritage, beautiful beaches, and its famous Tulip Festival.
Thousands of people flock to Holland in the spring to see gorgeous tulips in bloom, but there are many other amazing things to do and see during the summer and fall as well.
Holland is a perfect spot for a Midwest weekend getaway. It is situated on the shores of two lakes (Lake Michigan & Lake Macatawa).
We took a short day trip to Holland in June 2022 with our toddler and newborn while we were staying in South Haven, Michigan. It’s about a 35-minute drive between South Haven and Holland.
We had a great time in Holland, but we really want to visit again and stay longer. There are many more things that we would like to do and see.
This round-up of 17 things to do in Holland, Michigan includes both things that we did and things that are on our list for next time.
17 Things to Do in Holland, Michigan
1. Holland State Park Beach
No trip to Holland, Michigan is complete without a visit to Holland State Park Beach.
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the beach offers stunning views of the water as well as a chance to swim, sunbathe, and play in the sand. The state park also has sand volleyball courts and a fishing pier along the harbor channel.
There is a playground on the beach for kids. There is a sign that says the playground is designed for children age 5-12, but our 1-year-old was able to do some climbing, go down the slide, and swing.
Holland State Park is also home to one of Holland’s most iconic landmarks, the Big Red Lighthouse. It can be viewed across the channel from the beach.
There is a concession stand with picnic tables and public restrooms right on the beach. They have a variety of cold drinks and ice cream, snacks, and hot food. We ate there when we visited and it was good! They also sell beach gear and souvenirs.
For those who want to explore beyond the beach, the park also has miles of hiking trails and two large campgrounds.
2. Nelis’ Dutch Village
Nelis’ Dutch Village features a replica of a Dutch streetscape, tons of rides and activities, and a variety of shops and food options. All of the rides and activities are included in the admission price.
Visitors can take part in traditional activities like clog dancing and wooden shoe making. There is also a playground, Ferris wheel, carousel, and other rides.
The petting zoo was a blast for our toddler. They had pigs, llamas, goats, sheep, rabbits, and chickens.
There is a gift shop with a wide variety of traditional Dutch food and goods. Sample some Dutch cheese, pick up a souvenir, or enjoy Dutch fudge or peanut brittle.
3. Climb Mt. Pisgah
Mt. Pisgah is a giant sand dune near Holland State Park Beach. We parked at Black Lake Boardwalk East right off Ottawa Beach Road. This was a free and perfect place to park.
We had a beautiful walk along Black Lake Boardwalk to Holland State Park. After hanging at the beach for a while, we came back to climb Mt. Pisgah.
The start of the climb to Mt. Pisgah was very close to where we parked at Black Lake Boardwalk East. The climb to Mt. Pisgah is short, but it will get your heart pumping and your calves burning.
After climbing 239 stairs, you will reach the summit of the giant sand dune and be treated to views of both Lake Michigan, Lake Macatawa, and the iconic Big Red Lighthouse.
The views at the top of the steps are definitely the main attraction, but if you are looking to get some more steps in, there is a flat boardwalk through the trees that leads to more dirt trails in the woods.
4. Eat at Dune Dogz
Dune Dogz is along Ottawa Beach Road, only half a mile away from Holland State Park. You will walk by it if you park at Black Lake Boardwalk East and walk over to the Mt. Pisgah Trailhead.
Dune Dogz is famous for its wide variety of hot dogs. You can also choose from delicious appetizers, ice cream, smoothies, and freshly squeezed lemonade here as well.
It is a great place to grab lunch or a snack, especially after climbing to the top of Mt. Pisgah or spending the day at the beach.
5. Play Mini Golf
There is no shortage of mini-golf options in Holland!
Dutch Village Adventure Park: 18 holes of mini-golf on a scenic and somewhat challenging course – they also have batting cages and ice cream
Pirates Landing at Captain Sundae: 36 holes of mini golf + ice cream sundaes – sounds like a good combo
Craigs Cruisers: 18 holes of mini-golf + many other fun attractions including outdoor go-karts, batting cages, eurobungy, and swan boat rides
Lost City Mini Golf – a great 9-hole indoor option if the weather is not ideal or you want a break from the sun
6. Visit the Shops in Downtown Holland
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, head to 8th Street in Holland, Michigan. This quaint street is lined with charming shops, each with its distinct personality.
With beautiful historic buildings and cobblestone streets, Holland was named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes Magazine.
You’ll find over 100 locally owned shops in the downtown area with everything from home décor and clothing to jewelry and art. There are also galleries, restaurants, and brew pubs.
7. Climb the Dunes at Tunnel Park
Tunnel Park is another popular beach in Holland. It is well known for its tunnel through the dunes to get to the beach. The alternative route to the beach is up the stairs and over the dune.
Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, hiking, and swimming at the beach. Tunnel Beach has a playground and multiple covered picnic areas. The park is open year-round, making it a great destination for a winter walk or a summer outing.
8. Go Blueberry Picking
There’s no denying that Michigan is famous for its blueberries. And what better way to enjoy the fruits of summer than by heading out to a local farm to pick your own?
Holland and the surrounding area offer a wide variety of family-owned U-Pick farms and orchards. A great way to snag some fresh produce, farm-to-table food, and delicious baked goods.
9. Stroll Around Windmill Island Gardens
No visit to Holland, Michigan is complete without a stroll around Windmill Island Gardens. The 36-acre island is situated in the Macatawa River.
The centerpiece of the gardens is a 251-year-old working Dutch windmill, which was built in the Netherlands and shipped to Holland in 1964.
The windmill is surrounded by beautiful tulip beds, making it an incredible place to visit during tulip time in May. The island is still worth a visit even if you aren’t going while the tulips are blooming, as there are many other blooming flowers and fun attractions.
Visitors can ride on the antique carousel, stroll the walking trails, explore a charming Dutch village, complete with canals and Dutch-style buildings, and check out the working street organ, which was a gift from the city of Amsterdam after World War II.
No matter when you visit, Windmill Island Gardens is sure to delight.
10. Go to the Farmer’s Market
The Holland Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm rain or shine during the outdoor season. The market is open year-round, but hours are more limited during the indoor season.
The market is located in the 8th Street Marketplace downtown. Shop for flowers, fresh produce, baked goods, and many other delicious foods. You will also find decor, body care items, jewelry, and more.
11. Outdoor Discovery Center
Outdoor Discovery Center is a non-profit outdoor education area, and it is a great place to take kids.
There are wildlife exhibits, fishing ponds, and hiking trails to explore. The trails wind through forests, meadows, and wetlands, providing a chance to see native plants and wildlife up close.
There is also an awesome 7-acre natural playground.
The interpretive exhibits and demonstration areas provide children with the opportunity to learn about the environment and the local Michigan ecosystem.
12. Take a Cruise on the Holland Princess
If you want to get out on the lake, consider taking a cruise on the Holland Princess. The Holland Princess is a beautiful, glass-enclosed double-decker paddlewheel boat that offers sightseeing cruises of the city as well as lunch and dinner cruises.
Cruises start on Lake Macatawa before heading out to Lake Michigan. You’ll get to see all the best sights of Holland from the water, including Windmill Island, the tunnel of trees, and more.
The lunch and dinner cruises are especially popular, as they offer a chance to relax and enjoy a meal while taking in the scenic views.
13. Kollen Park & Heinz Waterfront Walkway
Kollen Park is a great place to take a stroll, go for a run, or enjoy a picnic. It is situated on the shoreline of Lake Macatawa, not too far from downtown Holland.
The Heinz Waterfront Walkway is a beautiful path that winds along the waterfront in the park, and it’s perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride. There are also plenty of benches where you can sit and admire the view.
Kollen Park also features a boat launch, fishing areas along the boardwalk, picnic shelters, and a playground.
14. Check out the Local Breweries
Holland is home to several great breweries, each with its unique style and flavor. In addition to being a great place to sample different beers, Holland’s breweries are also great places to relax and socialize.
Many of the breweries offer tours, tastings, and events, so you can learn more about the brewing process and sample unique, locally-made pours.
Big Lake Brewing
New Holland Brewing Company
Our Brewing Company
15. Splash Around at the Holland Community Aquatic Center
The Holland Community Aquatic Center features a 50-meter competition pool, a warm-water lap pool, a kids’ splash zone and zero entry pool, a big water slide, a lazy river, and a water slide, as well as a snack bar and plenty of seating. There are also individual and family changing rooms available.
The Aquatic Center is completely indoors, making it a great activity any time of year.
16. Avoid Crowds at Laketown Beach
If you’re looking for a great, uncrowded place to enjoy the outdoors, Laketown Beach is the perfect spot.
Located just a short drive away to the southwest of downtown Holland, Laketown Beach offers a wide variety of activities for all ages. It is a secluded beach at the end of a dead-end road, making it less congested than other beaches in the area.
You do have to climb a big set of stairs over a sand dune to get to the beach, but the views at the top of the stairs are breathtaking (and not just because you’re out of breath from climbing those stairs!).
17. Visit Van Raalte Farm Park
Van Raalte Farm Park is named after the historic farm home and barn that stand in the center of the park. The farmstead was built by Benjamin Van Raalte, son of Holland’s founder. Visitors can get a glimpse into the early days of the Dutch settlement in the area.
The farm also offers a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including Dutch heritage celebrations, farm-to-table dinners, and live music performances.
The land surrounding the farmhouse has been turned into a large and well-maintained nature and recreation area with hiking trails, picnic shelters, and play structures. The park is popular for sledding and cross-country skiing in the winter.
That rounds out our list of 17 Things to Do in Holland, Michigan. Make sure to add this charming Midwest destination to your bucket list!