Have to go: Holland, Michigan Tulip Time (2024)

Holland, Michigan is the home to a kaleidoscope of tulips of every variety. This small city on the west coast of Michigan may be part of the Midwest, but a visit to Tulip Time feels like you’ve made a quick jaunt to Europe. Here’s my guide to visiting Holland, Michigan during Tulip Time.

When is Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan?

Holland’s Tulip Time takes place the first full week of May. The 2024 Festival dates are May 4 – 12.

You will see tulips throughout the city of Holland, but the best places to see them in large quantities are Windmill Island Gardens and Window on the Waterfront.  

Places to see tulips in Holland, MI

Windmill Island Gardens

Windmill Island Gardens is home to over 100,000 tulips and DeZwaan, a centuries-old windmill.  If you visit the first weekend of the festival there is a Historic Dutch Trade Fair.

Holland Michigan Tulip Time.  The historic DeZwaan windmill can be found at Windmill Island Gardens.
The Historic DeZwaan Windmill

A wagon shuttle to the entrance of Windmill Island Garden runs from the end of Lincoln Ave.  You can also walk the quarter-mile path.

Admission to the park is $12/for adults and $6/kids.  They take cash and cards, but the card line is much longer, so it’s helpful to have cash!

Our children’s favorite aspect of the park was the spinning tulip chairs, and the playground (go figure).  There is a historic Dutch Carousel, but it travels very slowly and did not impress our kiddos!

The tulips are planted in long rows. During our visit, only half were in full bloom.  It’s difficult to time the peak bloom. Unfortunately, our dates were set (and we were chasing the good weather).

Holland Michigan Tulip Time.  Windmill Island Gardens offers plenty of photo-worthy spots.
Our favorite photo-taking spot, is located across from the Carousel.

Window on the Waterfront

This city park was full of the color of tulips! This public space is free to visit and offers public restrooms. There is a walkway that can be followed from the area where the Windmill Island Gardens shuttle drops off.

Large wooden shoes painted by different artists adorn the walkways! This made for a fun scavenger hunt activity for the kids.

Holland Michigan Tulip Time - Window on the Waterfront is a public park with tons of tulip blooms!

Downtown Holland

Downtown Holland is adorable! You must stop in this walkable city and view the tulips. There is also great shopping. Unfortunately, our visit didn’t coincide with any of the parade dates! I’d love to see the Dutch dancers come down this street.

Visiting Holland Michigan's Tulip Time.  Downtown Holland Michigan dazzles with plenty of tulip blooms and great shopping opportunities.

Other things to do while visiting Holland, Michigan

Climb Mt. Pisgah

Just west of downtown Holland and east of Holland State Park lies the Mt. Pisgah dune climb! There are 235 stairs to the top and in return, you’ll receive a view of Lake Macatawa and the Big Red Lighthouse at Holland State Park.

If coming from Holland, public parking is located just past the entrance to the climb, watch for signs. Early May is a great time to enjoy the scenery, as the leaves have not fully formed on the trees.

Climbing Mt. Pisgah is one thing you should do while visiting the Holland Michigan Tulip Time.

Enjoy the beauty of Holland State Park & the Big Red Lighthouse

Just a short drive from Mt. Pisgah is Holland State Park. Visiting during Holland’s Tulip Time was still the off-season, so entrance fees were not charged and restrooms remained closed.

One of the most noticeable attributes of Holland State Park is its view across the harbor of Holland’s Big Red Lighthouse. A lighthouse has stood in this place since 1872 and the light still shines today up to 20 miles out to sea. The twin-gabled structure pays homage to the Dutch heritage of the area.

Although it wasn’t warm enough to sunbathe on the beach, the adjoining playground was a treat for the kids!

Eat at DeBoer’s Bakery

The DeBoer family has been making delicious bread, pastries, and cookies since immigrating from the Netherlands in 1956. We dined at their Northside restaurant (only open for breakfast & lunch) and were pleasantly surprised by the affordable food & great service. Come hungry- the portions are huge!

Travel tips for Holland Michigan Tulip Time

Springhill Suites Grand Rapids West

Book your hotel well in advance! I started looking in January and the hotels in downtown Holland were already very pricey – with limited options. We decided to stay closer to Grand Rapids at the Springhill Suites Grandville (<-check rates). The hotel was a 25-minute drive from Holland but located conveniently to the highway, shopping, and dining. If we weren’t budget travelers, a downtown hotel would be better for walkability.

Michigan’s May weather is unpredictable! One day we were in short sleeves, another day we wore our winter coats! Make sure you pack for four seasons.

I recommend contacting the Holland Visitor Bureau ahead of your trip to find out the location of special events. It’s easy to request a brochure on their website.

Have you been to Holland? Do you plan to visit during Tulip Time?

Interested in more Tulip-themed travel? Did you know that The Canadian Tulip Festival happens every year in Ottawa, Canada? Find out more: Ottawa in Bloom- Canadian Tulip Festival with Kids. Another nearby garden to enjoy in Michigan is the Frederik Meijer Gardens near Grand Rapids.

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Holland, Michigan Tulip Time.  The best places to view tulips + other tips for visiting Holland.  Things to do in Holland, Michigan including the State Park! #puremichigan
Things to do in Holland, Michigan during Tulip Time.  The Tulip Festival happens the first week in May.  This festival is fun for kids of all ages!  Here are my tips for when you go. #PureMichigan
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2 thoughts on “Have to go: Holland, Michigan Tulip Time (2024)”

  1. Pingback: Everything is coming up roses at Frederik Meijer Gardens - yodertoterblog

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