Every spring, Holland Michigan celebrates the community’s rich Dutch heritage and culture with the Holland Michigan Tulip Festival. The main attraction of the tulip festival Holland Michigan hosts is its namesake: the millions of tulips you will find planted in and around Holland Michigan.
Tulip Time is one of the best things to do in Holland Michigan and while the official event only runs for one week in early May every year, you usually have a month-long window between mid-April and mid-May to see the tulips in Holland Michigan in full bloom. It could vary in either direction depending on the weather – the warmer the weather the earlier the tulips pop and vice versa.
After visiting the Holland Michigan tulip festival, we think these are some of the best places to see tulips in Holland Michigan before, during, and after the Holland Michigan Tulip Festival.
Window on the Waterfront | Holland Michigan
Just slightly off the beaten path is Window on the Waterfront along 6th Street in Holland Michigan, which one of the biggest tulip planting spots that also overlooks Windmill Island Gardens. It’s a popular spot for photographers as soon as the sun comes up due to few crowds.
As you walk through the rainbow of tulips, make sure to check out the grouping that surrounds the Cornelis and Geertje statue. In fact, you ought to climb up the statue for panoramic photo opportunities. You will find cards in stakes within the tulips detailing which type you are looking at.
Holland’s Windmill Island Gardens
On the northern edge of town, you will find 36 acres of gardens with over 100,000 tulips planted and surrounded by dikes and canals. As you are walking amongst the thousands of tulips, the famed 250-year-old working Dutch DeZwaan windmill will serve as a backdrop. It is the last windmill to leave the Netherlands in 1964 and is the only authentic, working Dutch windmill in the United States.
Snowdrops, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, and many other flowers can be found as you are walking Windmill Island Gardens. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children (3-15yo) during Tulip Time, and guests are recommended to allow at least 3 hours to enjoy the grounds during the festival. Make sure to grab some souvenirs from one of the historical, colorful Dutch buildings.
Pro tip: Get to Windmill Island Gardens early in the day to avoid parking issues and backups at the entrance.
Veldheer Tulip Gardens in Holland Michigan
A few miles north of downtown off US-31, Veldheer Tulip Gardens is the only tulip farm perennial garden in town. It has been open since 1929, with over five million beautiful tulips planted each year. Expansive fields with hundreds of varieties of tulips await. As you enter, paying the entrance fee ($12 for adults, $6 for children 3-13), you will get a guidebook. Each set of tulips has a number associated with it which you can look up to get its name. Daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus will also be on display during the time of the festival. You’ll pass under windmills, over a drawbridge, and along canals and maybe even run into a cherry blossom tree or two.
As you exit, passing through the gift shop, you can also buy perennials and flowers of every kind imaginable from around the world to plant, including Holland tulip bulbs. Make sure to walk into the Wooden Shoe and Delft Factory where you can watch your very own set of wooden shoes be carved right in front of you.
Tulips in Downtown Holland
You don’t have to walk through gardens and large parks to get up close and personal with the tulips. Tulips will line the streets in single rows and be in large groupings at the corners of intersections. 8th Street, Holland’s to discover the six miles of tulips that line the streets of historic Holland and its neighborhoods. As you walk, just follow the white arrowed signs of Tulip Lane.
The colorful flowers of Spring will also sit alongside public attractions and throughout the small city parks, like Centennial Park, the heart of the Tulip Time Festival. Check out the groupings around the statue of Albertus Van Raalte and at the Dutch fountain in the center of the park.
Beyond the Tulips in Holland Michigan
If you want to enjoy an immersive journey into Dutch heritage, be sure to visit Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland. A visit to this Holland Michigan theme park will have you stepping back in time over one hundred years to when the Dutch first came from the Netherlands to Holland Michigan. Authentic costumes and wooden shoes, Dutch architecture, flowering gardens, windmills, canals, and more will greet you in this unique thing to do in Holland Michigan.
photos and article contributed by Aaron Cruz