Nelis Dutch Village
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Outdoor Things to Do in Holland Michigan

Regardless of the weather or the season, there are always opportunities to get outside and have fun in Holland, Michigan. Holland is a small city on the western coast of Michigan that is perhaps most famous for its iconic Dutch Windmill.

While this West Michigan city is full of history and European charm, it also has a thriving downtown area, miles of gorgeous beachfront, towering sand dunes, and endless hiking trails to explore. 

Here are the best outdoor things to do in Holland Michigan in every season:

Surround Yourself with Color and Charm During Springtime in Holland, Michigan

While the rest of Michigan is just waking up from their long winter’s nap, life in Holland is in full swing during the springtime. This is largely due to the fact that the community’s largest event, the Holland Michigan Tulip Festival, takes place each spring when thousands upon thousands of tulips bloom around town.

Tulip Time Holland Michigan Festival

Known as Tulip Time, this famous Holland Michigan tulip festival is a celebration of Dutch heritage. The festival is planned around the blooming of the tulips each year, which means that it often takes place in late April or early May.

When visitors come to town for the festival, they are often captivated by the thousands of tulips that line the city streets and highlight the public parks. But there’s no display quite as spectacular as the one at Windmill Island Gardens, in which row after row of tulips extends from the perfectly-preserved Dutch windmill that anchors the park.

In addition to the displays of flowers, the festival includes many fun and family-friendly events. Families with young children often spend a lot of their time at the Midway riding the carnival rides, but all visitors also love the unique experiences that they can enjoy at the festival, such as yoga amongst the tulips or the Tulip Time Run.

Every year, there also is an annual Dutch costume exhibit, a Dutch market, and a Dutch dancing performance, where locals and visitors alike can learn more about Dutch culture.

Tulip Time Festival, Holland - Best Things To Do In Holland, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Tulip Time Festival | photo via @mikehnatiuk

More Things to Do in Holland Michigan in Spring

While Tulip Time may be the biggest event of the spring in Holland, Michigan, there also are many other springtime outdoor activities that you can enjoy in the community.

Some other outdoor things to do in Holland during the spring include:

  • Hiking along the trails at Holland State Park, where you will begin to see the world come to life around you. There are often buds and blooms springing forth, and the tiny leaves on the trees will remind you that there’s hope on the horizon.
  • Playing a round at one of the golf courses in Holland Michigan. In the spring, these golf courses begin to open up their operations for the season, and the cool temperatures are often ideal for playing 18 holes. Some of the most popular golf courses in Holland Michigan include Macatawa Legends Golf & Country Club and West Ottawa Golf Club.
Holland Harbor Lighthouse, Holland - Fall In Michigan, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Holland Harbor Lighthouse | photo via @tbonnette007

Soak Up the Sun on a Holland Michigan Beach in the Summer

After the excitement of Tulip Time dwindles, the city and its full-time residents gear up for a summer season that is sure to be packed full of visitors.

Summer is the peak tourist season in Holland, and it’s not surprising, considering the fact that the weather is near perfect from June through August.

The warm summer sun stays up longer, allowing people to pack the most into each day in Holland, Michigan, and the cool nighttime temperatures ensure that everyone can have a late-night bonfire.

Explore Holland Michigan Beaches

One of the best things to do outside on a summer day in Holland, Michigan is visit a beach. These are some of the best Lake Michigan beaches near Holland Michigan:

The Beach at Holland State Park

This large state park is located along the shores of Lake Michigan, and it is one of the most-visited state parks in the state. Holland State Park Michigan features miles of shoreline, all of which is defined by its soft, clean sand, which young visitors love to build sandcastles in.

In addition to being the perfect place to have a summer picnic or watch the sunset, it also boasts a boat launch, a playground, and a restroom area with changing facilities. Don’t forget to check out the Big Red Lighthouse, which is just across the channel.

The Beach At Holland State Park, Holland - Best Things To Do In Holland, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
The Beach at Holland State Park | photo via @laura.hirdes.nienhuis

The Beach at Kouw Park

For a more intimate beachfront experience in Holland, consider spending a summer day at Kouw Park. This three-acre park has about 200 feet of shoreline along Lake Michigan. It is a rugged beach with a small playground, a picnic area, and restrooms.

It’s a great place for anyone who wants to avoid the crowds and truly wants to immerse themselves in the beauty of Lake Michigan. 

More Summer Things to Do in Holland MI

In addition to long and leisurely days on the beach, you will find that there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Holland, Michigan each summer. Some other outdoor activities that you could add to your itinerary include:

  • Dining outdoors in downtown Holland. Many of the local restaurants in downtown Holland have designed atmospheric patio seating areas, such as Beechwood Grill or Hops at 84 East.
  • Visit Nelis’ Dutch Village. This theme park opens up each summer and welcomes visitors who want to learn more about Dutch culture. With rides, a petting farm, and unique events, such as wooden shoe races, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this outdoor theme park.
Nelis' Dutch Village, Holland - Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Nelis’ Dutch Village | photo via @marthastejar

Treasure the Fleeting Moments of Fall As the Leaves Change Color Throughout Holland, Michigan

While there’s always an air of sadness as summer begins to wind down, most people in Holland know that the most beautiful season of the year is upon the horizon. The vibrant colors of the tulips may bring endless joy and the promise of brighter days ahead, but the deep hues of fall prove that there is beauty in change. 

To make the most out of fall in Holland, you will want to consider some of these festive outdoor activities:

Climb Mt. Pisgah Dune in Holland

Climb the Mt. Pisgah Dune in order to enjoy panoramic views of the fall colors. Located just beyond the borders of Holland State Park Michigan, the Mt. Pisgah dune is one of the largest sand dunes in the area.

When you put in the effort to climb this dune, you will be rewarded with unparalleled panoramic views of both Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.

On a clear day, you can even see the Big Red Lighthouse. While there’s never a bad time to climb the dune and experience this view, it is always most spectacular during the fall.

When the fall colors peak in mid-to-late October, you will experience bright oranges, crisp yellows, and burning reds — all beautifully juxtaposed by the bright blue waters of the lakes below. 

Mt. Pisgah Dune, Holland - Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Mt. Pisgah Dune | photo via @knudsenjm

Visit the Holland Fall Fest

While Tulip Time may be the most famous festival in Holland, its Fall Fest is just as fun — and often overlooked by out-of-town visitors. This festival takes place each October in downtown Holland, and people from around the region come to watch professional pumpkin carvers showcase their craftiest work. When they are done, the jack-o-lanterns are lit along the downtown streets for everyone to enjoy.

Holland Fall Fest, Holland - Best Things To Do In Holland, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Holland Fall Fest | photo via @r2andthesideshow

Take a West Michigan Fall Color Tour Around Holland

Of course, one of the most peaceful and relaxing ways to enjoy the fall in Holland is to take a fall color tour. You can hop in your car anytime and drive to some of the most scenic overlooks in the area. Some recommended areas to check out include Pigeon Creek Park, Sanctuary Woods, and the Fenn Valley Winery.

Sanctuary Woods, Holland - Best Things To Do In Holland, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Sanctuary Woods | photo via @angel_wings_photography_2020

Bundle Up and Enjoy the Peaceful Beauty of Winter in Holland, Michigan

You probably are not going to spend a day at a Holland beach M during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend the long, dark days of winter stuck inside. There are many outdoor activities to do in Holland, Michigan during the winter, including:

Explore Pigeon Creek Park Trails in Holland Michigan

This park is known for its endless hiking trails, which are used by outdoor enthusiasts frequently during the winter months. When the snow covers the ground, some of the most popular activities at this park include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding.

People of all ages and skill levels will be able to immerse themselves in the moment and refresh themselves as they breathe in the cold and crisp winter air.

Pigeon Creek Park, West Olive - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Pigeon Creek Park | photo via @outofdoors

Enjoy Snow-Free Streets in Downtown Holland Michigan in the Winter

Shop and dine in Downtown Holland, where you will enjoy snow-free streets.

For many, the risks of winter force them to stay inside. If you are worried about tripping, slipping, or falling because of the snow, it may be hard to get out and explore. Fortunately, Holland is home to the largest municipal snowmelt system in the country.

The endless coils of plastic tubing beneath the sidewalks pump heat to the surface, keeping snow and ice off of the walkways and making it easy for anyone to enjoy being outdoors during the winter once again. The snowmelt system will allow you to confidently explore the city of Holland, regardless of the weather.

Downtown Holland - Best Things To Do In Holland, Outdoor Things To Do In Holland
Downtown Holland | photo via @sbkooiker

More Things to Do in Holland Michigan

From its glistening shorelines to its colorful Tulips, there is so much beauty to be discovered in Holland it would be a shame to waste an opportunity to be outside.

These outdoor things to do in Holland, Michigan are perfect for people of all ages, and they are beloved by both local residents and travelers who are just visiting the city for a few days.

It’s easy to build a Holland Michigan weekend getaway itinerary or enjoy a day trip to Holland that is filled with outdoor fun in this burgeoning West Michigan community that hasn’t lost its small-town charm.

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