Holland Michigan, just a half hour drive southwest of Grand Rapids, is home to the largest tulip festival in America, and has six million tulips planted throughout the city! ‘Tulip City’ has its roots in a rich Dutch culture, having first been settled in 1847 by Dutch immigrants, and their traditions and culture being passed down from generation to generation.
Tourism is a significant portion of Holland Michigan’s economy, driven largely their beautiful abundance of tulips and their crown jewel, Tulip Time. The festival began in 1929, with 250,000 tulips planted specifically for the event. Through the years this has only grown, with six million tulips planted, and ready to burst forth in color in early spring. These tulips are spread throughout the city, in parks and gracing the sides of streets. Beginning 85 years ago as just a tulip festival, Tulip Time has grown to be so much more, with it now a much broader time of festivity, and celebration of Dutch culture. Each day during the festival, traditional Dutch dances are performed throughout the city by nearly a thousand costumed locals, with shows lasting 5–15 minutes.
There are a number of great events and attractions throughout the festival, including multiple parades, a carnival, art and craft fairs, quilt shows, Tulip City tours, and even a town crier competition! Click here for a full calendar of events, and here for more special attractions. More information about the festival can be found at the official website: TulipTime.com
The festival only happens for about a week at the beginning of may, but Holland is a great town to visit no matter what time of year it is. Spring is certainly a great time to enjoy new life, and the tulips everywhere, but the other seasons offer just as much of a reason for you to visit. In the summer you can enjoy the beaches, sail on lake Michigan, golf, go biking, or camp. Autumn is a great time to visit the farmer’s market, listen to live music, or visit a museum. During the winter months you can get some great exercise cross-country skiing, ice skate, or stay indoors and see a show, or go bowling—and don’t forget to drink some nice hot coffee or hot chocolate at a local restaurant. Whenever you choose to go, you mustn’t miss the uniquely Dutch experiences, including the production of wooden shoes! Whatever it is you want to do, you’ve got hundreds of things to choose from in Holland Michigan.
Shopping and dining in Holland are excellent, with dozens of unique shops, art galleries, antique stores, and more, not to mention the mouth-watering dishes at the local cafés, grills, fine restaurants, and ice cream shops.
Four miles to the west of Holland Michigan is the Holland State Park, which has great campsites, picnicking areas, sandy beaches, and excellent access to the water, for boating, fishing, and swimming.
For more information about the town of Holland, visit the town’s official website at Holland.org