31 Exciting Things to Do in Holland MI

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Looking for things to do in Holland MI?

Known for its Dutch heritage, scenic lakeshore setting, and blooming tulip displays, Holland, Michigan wows travelers with its mix of culture, nature, and small-town charm.

In this article, we highlight the very best of Holland and a few hidden gems to get you started with plans to visit this captivating lakeside destination.

Fun Things to Do in Holland MI

Admire Art at a Gallery

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Visit the Lake Effect Gallery to see a great selection of works by local artists including jewelry, stationery, and prints.

The Kruizenga Art Museum at Hope College has a mix of exhibits and permanent collections. Admission is free.

The Holland Area Arts Council hosts three galleries where visitors can see art collections. They also offer single-session classes for aspiring artists. Times will vary by class and some are even free!

With the rotating exhibits, you are bound to find something new to discover.  

Experiencing the variety of mediums and styles at the gallery makes for an inspiring activity.

Discover Creativity with Public Art 

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Holland CVB

Holland has over 300 public art sculptures scattered throughout the downtown area.

Strolling past these imaginative sculptures, like the flower-shaped benches along 8th Street or the Blue Moose statue, allows travelers to enjoy an outdoor art exhibition. 

Read the plaques to learn about each piece and its artist for another layer of insight.

Finding new sculptures around each corner becomes an engaging scavenger hunt.

Explore History at the Holland Museum 

The Holland Museum provides an overview of the area’s history through exhibits and artifacts.

At this museum, you can explore the origins of Dutch settlers in Holland, learn about the growth of the city, and see antiques from the Victorian era. 

Notable exhibits include a 250-year-old anchor recovered from Lake Macatawa and recreations of an old general store and a Native American wigwam.

With its compelling exhibits and knowledgeable staff, the Holland Museum enables travelers to dive into the captivating history of this lakeshore town.

At the museum, you can visit an Armory a historic caboose for free. In addition to the museum, travelers can see the Cappon House and the Settlers House with the cost of admission: $7 (adults) | $5 (seniors) | $3 (students) | Under 5 is free.

Enjoy the Beach at the State Park 

kids feet on a wet beach
Holland CVB

Holland State Park Beach along Lake Michigan is a beautiful setting for travelers to swim, relax, or partake in water sports.

The park’s wide, sandy beach provides plenty of space for sunbathing, building sandcastles, and playing beach games. 

Hike the trails that wind through the scenic dunes above the beach to appreciate the diversity of landscapes.

End your day watching the sunset over Lake Michigan for an unforgettable memory. 

For more adventure, rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on-site and paddle along the lakeshore. 

Explore Local Flavor at the Farmer’s Market 

flowers and fruits at a farmer's market
Holland CVB

Love farmer’s markets? Discover the local tastes of Holland at the Saturday Farmer’s Market that is held downtown.

You can sample fresh produce from local farms, select fruits for a picnic, and chat with vendors about their products. 

The downtown market is located at 150 W 8th St (at the civic center). They are open on the first and third Saturday of the month from January through April. You can find them open every Wednesday and Saturday from May through November.

The cheerful, community atmosphere makes the Farmer’s Market a can’t-miss weekend activity.

Savor Craft Beer 

craft beer booklet that is a passport for different ales
Holland CVB

Holland has an impressive craft beer scene.

Visit New Holland Brewing and take a tour and learn the brewing process, then sample creations like Dragon’s Milk bourbon barrel-aged stout.

Or try the seasonal offerings at Our Brewing while sitting outdoors in the beer garden.

From IPAs to sours, sampling Holland’s craft beer lets you taste the city’s entrepreneurial spirit in craft ales.

Indulge in Dutch Food

sausage inside a buttery flaky crust
Simon G.

Experience Holland’s Dutch heritage through cuisine at places like deBoer Bakkerij and Nelis’ Dutch Village.

Try stuffed stroopwafels, meat-filled pastries, Dutch split pea soup, and more Dutch cuisine. 

Visit in early May for the Tulip Time Festival featuring Dutch dances costumes, and food vendors offering traditional Dutch treats. It’s one of several attractions in Holland.

Or, sign up for one of the Holland Tasting Tours to try local foods while learning the town’s history from a local. 

Wander Through Tulip Fields

rows of red tulips growing

Holland comes alive in spring when millions of vibrant tulips bloom.

Take in the gorgeous colors and floral scents at Veldheer Tulip Garden or Windmill Island Gardens.

Meander through fields of flowers and snap eye-catching photos.

Purchase your favorite bulbs to grow your home garden with some eye-catching varieties of tulips.

Escape to Tunnel Park 

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Holland CVB

Visit Tunnel Park along Lake Michigan north of Holland. Walk along the beautiful beach and dramatic bay views at this serene park. 

For swimming and sunbathing, locals recommend the tunnel end of the beach. 

Pack a lunch and make a day of it while exploring the wooded dunes. At sunset, watch the reflections dance across the water in Holland’s scenic landscape.

Ride Bike Trails

family riding a bike trail in a wooded area next to a river
Holland CVB

Pedal Holland’s scenic bike paths and trails along Lake Macatawa and through the woodlands.

Rent a bike and cruise the 10-mile Lakeshore Trail or try mountain biking at Pigeon Creek Park‘s wooded tracks. 

Pack a picnic and spend an afternoon riding to parks and landmarks.

With routes for all levels, Holland’s bike trails let you enjoy vibrant tulip displays, waterfront views, and fresh air.

Experience Tradition at Dutch Village

large yellow Dutch show with sliding board for kids
Holland CVB

Step back in time at Nelis’ Dutch Village theme park.

Watch performances of traditional music and dance, browse quaint shops, and learn from costumed interpreters demonstrating Dutch crafts and trades. 

Enjoy rides like an antique carousel housed in an old Dutch windmill.

The charming setting makes the village a fun way to immerse yourself in Holland’s Dutch heritage.

Delight in Sweet Treats

scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream in a cup

Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Dutch stores in downtown Holland. Try apple strudel, cinnamon rolls, and Blanket at Dutch bakeries like deBoer Bakkerij

Or visit Kilwins for fudge, ice cream, and chocolate-dipped treats made daily.

With samples and smiling staff, these shops make it easy to find a new favorite indulgence.

Hike Mt. Pisgah 

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Holland CVB

For sweeping views, hike the trails up Mt. Pisgah, a large dune just south of Holland State Park.

Climb the stairs to the tower at the summit for panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the marram grass-covered dunes. 

Be sure to bring a camera to capture the scenic overlooks along this moderate hike through forests and over dune ridges.

Explore DeGraaf Nature Center

DeGraaf Nature Center‘s 18 acres of diverse ecosystems give an educational introduction to Holland’s natural landscape. Wander woodchip trails through prairie, wetland, and forest habitats while identifying birds, flowers, and native wildlife along the way. 

Inside the nature center, interactive exhibits detail the area’s ecology and engage kids through hands-on learning. 

Sign up for a naturalist-led program like a birdwatching hike, nighttime sky viewing, or native plant walk for deeper insight into southwest Michigan’s riches. Enjoy connecting with Mother Nature just minutes from downtown.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

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Holland CVB

For a uniquely Holland experience, take a drive along the Tulip Gardens and Lanes.

These designated routes along rural roads allow you to take in gorgeous tulip displays lining backyards and fields. 

Cruise past Technicolor rows of tulips, hyacinths, and other flowers. Snap photos and soak up the cheerful beauty blossoming across the countryside. 

Make stops at highlights like Vermeer Garden Center to explore even more varieties.

Following the Tulip Lanes lets you fully immerse yourself in Holland’s spectacular floral legacy.

You can cruise the tulip lanes by car or bike on the following streets.

  • Van Raalte (between 8th and 28th Streets)
  • 28th Street (between Van Raalte and Columbia Streets)
  • 12th Street (between Kollen Park Dr. and River Ave)
  • Washington Street (between 8th and 16th Street)
  • Central Street (between 12th and State Street)
  • State Street (between Central and 28th Street)

Enjoy Street Performances 

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Holland CVB

During summer weekends, Holland’s 8th Street downtown is filled with live music and entertainment.

Listen to jazz bands during the Jazz on 8th concert series on Friday nights. 

On Saturdays, take in pop-up street performances like magic shows, dance troupes, and energetic drumming ensembles.

Holland celebrates its lively performing arts scene by bringing it outside for all to enjoy.

Shop for Souvenirs

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Holland CVB

Find the perfect Holland memento at downtown shops like the Wooden Shoe Antique Mall

Browse windmill decor, Dutch clogs, and local goods. 

At the Outdoor Discovery Center, pick up nature-themed gifts like field guides, hiking gear, and logo apparel. 

At Reader’s World, find books on Holland’s history and charm. 

Have fun finding the perfect item to bring home a little piece of Holland from its unique shops.

Take a Day Trip to Union Pier

view of dunes and beach at union pier

Make the 30-minute drive to the Union Pier area for a charming day trip from Holland. 

Browse antique stores, relax on a quiet beach, or pick fruit at a U-pick farm. Stop at award-winning eateries for BBQ at Grill House or fresh pie from Blueberry Patch.

The low-key vibes make a stay in Union Pier appealing for strolling a beach, poking through boutiques, or laying in the sun.

Make a Splash at the Holland Aquatic Center 

woman and kid in pool with a floatie

The Holland Aquatic Center is ideal for families looking to stay cool and have fun. Little ones will love the zero-depth entry, lazy river, splash pad, and waterslides. 

Take an inner tube down the rapids slide or practice strokes in the lap lanes.

With affordable rates and weekends, adults swim free, and the center offers accessible water recreation for all. A single visit pass is $13 for non-residents.

Savor Asian Fare at Mizu Sushi

plate of sushi

Mizu Sushi‘s all-you-can-eat menu lets you indulge in many flavors of sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese fare.

Fill up on specialty rolls like the Lake Macatawa with smoked salmon and cream cheese or udon noodle soup. 

Mizu’s friendly servers will happily explain the extensive offerings. Leave satisfied and ready to explore more of Holland’s Dutch dining scene.

Enjoy the County Fair

carnival food trailers at county fair
Holland CVB

Each August the Ottawa County Fair comes to town, bringing rides, games, live music, and family fun.

Thrill seekers will love the midway rides while the little ones can enjoy barnyard animals and magic shows. 

It wouldn’t be a county fair without classic eats like elephant ears and corn dogs.

At night, settle in for a concert under the stars. The county fair offers wholesome entertainment for all.

Take a Stroll Through Centennial Park

topiary shaped like a book in a park for the tale of Wizard of Oz
Holland CVB

Centennial Park‘s scenic location in downtown Holland makes it a favored local spot for picnics, walking, and relaxation.

Stroll the storybook path and admire the topiary book of The Wizard of Oz. Toss a ball on the large playground, or take kids to the interactive water features.

The green space, flowering gardens, and water views make Centennial Park an urban oasis worth savoring.

Step Into Wooden Shoes

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Holland CVB

Discover the art and tradition behind this quintessential symbol of the Netherlands. Watch as skilled woodcarvers use special knives to carefully sculpt wooden shoes from blocks of poplar wood at De Klomp Wooden Shoe Factory

Learn how the shoes are constructed without nails, using precise joinery for comfort and durability. Then customize your pair by selecting styles, colors, and engraved designs.

Trying on the shoes and clomping around provides an entertaining, hands-on experience and brings Holland’s history to life. 

Discover Delft Pottery

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Holland CVB

After you visit the Wooden Shoe Factory, stop at the Delft Factory painting studio to make your Dutch-inspired creation.

See talented artisans’ hand-painting elegant blue and white pottery using traditional Delft techniques from the Netherlands. 

Watch them meticulously paint intricate designs before hand-dipping each piece in a glaze mixture. Then design your tile, plate, or figurine to take home as the perfect Dutch souvenir. 

The Delft factory lets you witness centuries-old artistry firsthand and bring home a timeless Delft treasure.

Tee off at Clearbrook Golf Club 

female golfer in white top and light peach shorts holding a putter

Clearbrook Golf Club is regularly named among Michigan’s top public courses. The 18 scenic holes wind through forests and wetlands, with elevation changes adding challenge. 

Clearbrook also has a driving range, putting green, and a pro shop stocked with gear and the club is open to the public.

Playing at this club lets golfers chase birdies against a beautiful natural backdrop.

Master Your Mini Golf

Enjoy family fun at Captain Sundae’s Minigolf course right downtown. The nautically-themed course features obstacles like a giant octopus, pirate ships, and a huge ice cream cone windmill. 

As you make your way through the 18 holes, try to ace a hole-in-one past waterfalls, caves, and footbridges. The kitschy course art and bonus challenges on each hole add to the entertainment. 

After you play, reward yourself with a delicious soft serve from Captain Sundae’s shop next door. With its lively seaside theme, bonus challenges, and sweet treat prizes, Captain Sundae’s minigolf promises smiles for the whole group.

Admire the Big Red Lighthouse 

people sailing on a boat next to the big red lighthouse
Holland CVB

Standing guard at the entrance to Holland’s harbor since 1907, the Big Red Lighthouse is an enduring emblem of the city’s maritime heritage.

Ascend the steps to the top of the tower for panoramic views of Lake Macatawa, the channel leading to Lake Michigan, and the shoreline dotted with boats. 

Back on the ground, stroll through the maritime museum filled with artifacts that bring Holland’s past to life, including exhibits on the lighthouse keepers and stories of shipwrecks aided by the light.

Seeing the towering lighthouse up close and exploring its history provides an illuminating glimpse into Holland’s roots as a lakefront town and port.

The Big Red Lighthouse remains a beloved beacon welcoming visitors to the Midwest.

Get Your Catch Cooked

man holding a fish in water

Cast your line at Holland State Park’s scenic pier stretching into Lake Michigan for excellent salmon and trout fishing. The clear waters off Holland draw hungry fish. 

Ask the bait shop for tips on setup and technique or book a charter to benefit from an experienced guide. After reeling in your catch, head to a local market to pick up ingredients for a fish fry. 

Or visit a lakeside restaurant where the chefs will happily prepare your catch for dinner.

Just make sure you are using an area service, like CoHooker Lake MI Fishing Charter, that is within Michigan’s Catch and Cook program.

With its abundant fish and variety of ways to enjoy your haul, Holland offers superb fishing fun.

Indulge in Sluggo’s Pizza

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Holland CVB

Go for a generously topped artisan pizza at Sluggo’s Pizza downtown. Their creative topping combinations like the Maverick with bacon, onion, and banana peppers will keep you coming back. 

Sluggo’s uses hand-tossed dough, zesty sauce, and whole milk mozzarella for the perfect crust and flavor balance. 

Gather a group to sample several pizzas like the veggie-loaded Garden or the Carnivore piled high with pepperoni and sausage.

With its cozy, laidback vibe and delicious pizza creations, a meal at Sluggo’s is a must for any visitor.

Swirl, Sniff, Sip, and Savor

Savor ciders at Warner Vineyards tasting room in downtown Holland. Try best sellers like Peach & Honey or Moscato during a sunset on a summer weekend.

Warner Vineyards’s welcoming tasting room, musical entertainment, and passion for winemaking create a memorable winery outing.

At the Coppercraft Distillery, get a behind the scenes tour to see the art and science of crafting spirits.

In the Cherry Republic tasting room, sip some of the cherry best wines from their collection of fruity blends.

Before leaving, grab a chilled bottle from Tanglewood Winery and pour yourself a glass made from Michigan peaches while you enjoy the lakeside at nearby Saugatuck Dunes State Park.

Catch a Concert

steel framed building with tall glass windows
Holland CVB

The Holland Civic Center hosts top-notch concerts, theater, dance, and comedy throughout the year.

Recent musical acts range from classic rock legends to pop chart-toppers, ensuring a lively lineup of concerts.

Check the calendar and enjoy a night out on the town at a supreme theater for family-friendly musicals, thought-provoking dramas, and funny improv nights.

Look for seasonal events like Holiday expos, Girlfriends Weekends, and more.

The Best Time to Visit Holland MI

red and orange tulips in bloom with a windmill in the background

I love to visit in the Spring with my family because and see the tulips in bloom and in summer to enjoy the beach. However, if you dress accordingly, you can enjoy Holland any time of the year.

Spring (April – May) – This is prime tulip season when millions of colorful blooms blanket the city. Attend the annual Tulip Time Festival in early May for Dutch costumes, dances, parades, and more tulips than you can imagine. The weather is mild and many attractions open for the season.

  • Spring Highs reach the pleasant 60s-70s by May.
  • Lows range from chilly 30s in March to milder 40s-50s in May.

Summer (June – August) – Warm sunny days are perfect for beaches, water sports on Lake Michigan, hiking through dunes, and outdoor concerts. Summer is the high season with all attractions open. The Fourth of July brings festive parades and fireworks.

  • High temperatures climb to the 80s on average with warmer days in the 70s-90s.
  • Lows drop to the comfortable 50s-60s.

Fall (September – October) – Fall foliage is gorgeous around Holland. It’s harvesting season with apple and pumpkin picking at nearby farms. The weather is cooler for comfortable outdoor exploring. Fewer crowds make it enjoyable to stroll, bike, and dine.

  • Fall highs range from the balmy 60s-70s in early fall lowering to the 50s by late fall.
  • Lows range from chilly 40s to brisk 50s.

Holiday Season (November – December) – Holiday magic comes alive with light displays, Christmas markets, horse-drawn carriage rides, and seasonal events. Watch Sinterklaas arrive by boat from the Netherlands. Ski or snowshoe at nearby resorts.

  • Wintertime highs hover around freezing with colder days in the 20s.
  • Lows frequently dip to the frigid teens.

Like Chicago, the city of Holland is near Lake Michigan. Read this post with tips on how to dress in Chicago for every season as a guide.

Last Thoughts on Things to Do in Holland Michigan

From waterfront adventures to cultural experiences, Holland has diverse attractions that invite you to create meaningful memories while exploring this charming lakeside town.

After visiting dozens of times, wanted to share some of the hidden gems and great spots that make things to do in Holland worth the drive.

Safe travels.

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