Nothing says springtime in Michigan better than the arrival of tulips, and there is nowhere better to view them than Holland, Michigan. The abundance and varieties leave many visitors in awe. Driving through the downtown, you’ll discover streets lined with tulips and parks overflowing with them. Settled in 1847 by the Dutch, Holland offers many opportunities to learn about Dutch heritage and the link that they have to tulips and the Netherlands.
A popular place to not only see tulips, but to learn cultural aspects of the Dutch is Windmill Island Gardens near downtown. Windmill Island is open daily from the 3rd Saturday in April through early October. Visitors there will discover an authentic Dutch windmill that was originally built in the Netherlands, but dismantled and moved to Windmill Gardens in the 1960s. The windmill is fully operational, and flour can be purchased that is milled on site. Windmill Island is one of the top wedding destinations in the state of Michigan with its gazebo and Amsterdam Street Organ. Guests to the gardens can also purchase wooden shoes and ride the antique Dutch carousel.
Other places for visitors to learn about the Dutch include Nelis’ Dutch Village, Veldheer Gardens, DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory, Cappon & Settlers House, and the Holland Museum. Veldheer Gardens also offers fields of tulips for viewing and a herd of buffalo. In addition to that, you can order many varieties of tulips for your own garden along with many other types of plants, such as crocuses and hostas.
Holland hosts a Tulip Time Festival the second week of May each year when its six million tulips are in bloom. Generally the best time for tulips is the last week of April through the first two weeks of May, but it’s always wise to call ahead and find out current conditions. Booking a room in advance during this time is advised as well.
Consider visiting this lovely town on Lake Macatawa, surrounding yourself with the scent of millions of tulips and treading the cobblestone walkways as you shop. If you work up an appetite, you can rest in one of the many fine eating establishments, or you may prefer to sip a cool drink and people-watch as you enjoy one of the outdoor cafes in the exciting downtown.