Things to do in Holland During The Tulip Time Festival
Michigan,  Midwest,  Travel

The Best Place To See Tulips In Holland Michigan

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If you plan to visit the Tulip Festival, our guide will help you find the best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan.

Holland’s Tulip Time Festival ushers in the long-awaited arrival of spring as millions of tulips burst into bloom, painting the town with an array of vibrant colors. The community is rich in Dutch heritage and culture, making the Holland Tulip Festival a must on any Michigan bucket list.

There are endless ways to enjoy the tulips in Holland. Take iconic tulip photos at the Windmill Island Gardens, experience Dutch culture at Nelis’ Dutch Village Family Theme Park  & Wooden Shoe Factory, then buy a few tulips to take home from Veldeer Tulip Gardens. While everyone claims their spot is the best to see tulips in Holland, Michigan, we share a few of our favorites.

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Holland Tulip Time Festival
Holland Tulip Time Festival

When Is Holland’s Tulip Time Festival

The tulips start blooming in Michigan around late April, with the festival happening one week in early May. The Tulip Time Festival is one of North America’s most popular tulip festivals.

Pro Tip: Visit Holland the week before or after the Tulip Time Festival for fewer crowds. The tulips are still in full bloom. However, the festivities will be over.

Where To Stay For The Tulip Festival

Holland has various accommodations, from renting out a lake cabin on Airbnb to staying at one of the downtown hotels. We recommend staying right in the heart of the action at the Courtyard by Marriott. This will allow you to walk to most of the Tulip Time attractions and be within walking distance of restaurants, breweries, and shops.

Tip: Book your hotel or cabin early in the year, as many hotels start to book up way in advance for this event.

What To Expect At Holland’s Tulip Time Festival

The Tulip Festival is not an event that happens strictly at one particular place; on the contrary, there are many places throughout Holland to enjoy the tulips and various activities. Crowds accumulate quickly, so I advise arriving early to ensure parking.

Enjoy Dutch Dancers from local high schools, catch tulip time parades, stroll down tulip lanes, or participate in the tulip time run. The acres of tulip fields paired with dutch windmills make this the best place to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Come experience for yourself why the Holland Michigan Tulip Time Festival is one of the best small-town festivals in the United States.

Pro Tip: Make reservations in advance if possible. This goes for attractions and restaurants. Many restaurants are flooded with tourists, thus making wait times over an hour long. If possible, eat during an off-hour for fewer crowds.

Tulip Time Festival in Holland Michigan
Windmill Island Gardens is a must.

Windmill Island Gardens

One best place to see the tulips in Holland Michigan is Windmill Island Gardens. The picturesque windmill makes the ideal backdrop to fields of colorful tulips. The windmill named De Zwaan, is the only authentic Dutch windmill still in operation in the US. Guests can purchase locally-ground flour at the gift shop.

Windmill Island Gardens is home to a hand-painted Dutch carousel, an Amsterdam street organ, a cute Dutch-themed village, a playground, and a picnic area. During the Tulip Time Festival, many guides were adorned in traditional Dutch costumes and educational presentations.

The best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan is Windmill Island Gardens
Windmill Island Gardens

Tips For Visiting Windmill Island Gardens

  • There is an admission fee to enter Windmill Island Gardens; we recommend checking their website for the most updated fees and event information. They do take credit.
  • Bring a stroller if you have small children. There is a lot of walking, and many paths are paved.
  • There was a food stand available for those looking for a snack.
  • Parking is limited, and once the lot is full they will close off the entrance to Windmill Island Gardens. Guests will then have to find public parking and walk if they wish to visit still. Get there early!

Veldheer Tulip Gardens

Another must-see spot during any visit to Holland during Tulip Time is Veldheer Tulip Farm and Garden. Not only is it your one-stop-shop for tulips, but it is home to the DeKlomp wooden show and delft factory. Browse this gorgeous tulip farm’s vast variety of tulips, then have the tulip bulbs shipped to your house in the fall!

Best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan
Tulips Gardens in Holland, Michigan

The gardens tend to get very busy during Tulip Time, so plan on arriving early and purchasing tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the garden gate.

Nelis’ Dutch Village

Kids will love this traditional Dutch village with fun activities, rides, shops, and gardens. The Nelis Dutch Village immerses visitors in the Dutch culture with demonstrations such as wooden shoe carving and Dutch dancing, and kids can even make their own Dutch Stroopwafel cookie!

The rides are geared at younger kids offering attractions such as swings, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, and pedal cars. There is a giant wooden shoe slide, a kids’ corner, and a petting zoo. If you have young kids in tow, this is the best spot that offers beautiful tulips views alongside entertainment. It is a win-win.

Wooden Shoe Factory
Wooden Shoes in Holland

Go To The Carnival

For the more adventurous crowd, venture down to the midway at the Tulip Time Carnival, where a wider selection of rides and games are available. Every year the city of Holland puts together a fun carnival downtown. The Tulip Time Carnival Midway also offers a good variety of rides for younger kids.

Typically carnival fare such as funnel cakes, sausages, and other fried favorites are around every corner. Check the Tulip Time Calendar for details on performances, events, and operating times.

This past year, the carnival put special precautions and regulations in place with the ongoing pandemic.

Tulip Time Festival Downtown Holland Michigan
The best spots to see tulips in Holland, Michigan

Stroll Downtown Holland

Regardless of when you visit Holland, a stroll through the downtown area should be a priority. Especially pay a visit to 8th Street. With darling boutiques, local eateries, craft breweries, and art galleries scattered throughout, make it is easy to spend a whole day exploring downtown!

Blooming tulips line the streets, and flower boxes often overflow with tulips in spring. Boutiques are full of trendy spring fashions while spring flavors make their way onto menus everywhere.

Centennial Park, with its beautiful gardens full of tulips, is a great place to visit before grabbing lunch at one of the many food trucks. Many will argue that Centennial Garden is the best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan

Pro Tip: Restaurants in the downtown area can get very busy during the Holland Michigan Tulip Festival. I recommend visiting during non-peak hours or attempting to make a reservation.

Tulip Time Scavenger Hunt

Every year Tulip Time releases a fun new scavenger hunt! It takes guests all through the city as they discover fascinating facts and unique sites. Be sure to check their website for the yearly hunt with clues!

Trying on Wooden Shoes
Tyring on Wooden Shoes

Holland Museum and Dutch Galleries

Step back in time to learn about the history of Holland and its Dutch heritage. The Holland Museum has an impressive collection of Dutch artifacts and artwork. It tells the story of how Holland was founded by Dutch immigrants, all leading up to the wonderful community that it is today.

Pro Tip: This is a great rainy-day activity in Holland. Check the weather during your visit and pencil in the Holland Museum for a day with inclement weather.

Tunnel Park

Tulips may be taking center stage for a few weeks, but ensure to visit the shore of Lake Michigan during your visit. One of the best things to do in Holland, Michigan, is visit Tunnel Park. Tunnel Park is somewhat shielded from the winds coming off the lake since you have to walk through a tunnel in a dune to get to the beach.

Tunnel Park in Holland Michigan
Tunnel Park in Holland, Michigan

The park has a great playground and a portion of the dune you can climb up. At the top of the dune, there is a picnic area with an incredible view of the lake. The beach area is through the tunnel, which makes a fun photo option.

Note: This park typically charges admission, along with Holland State Park.

Holland State Park

While tulips are not the main event at Holland State Park, Lake Michigan offers a great scenic backdrop for picnics and beach walks. The Big Red Lighthouse sits proudly at the shore, signaling to nearby ships. The state park has a vast beach perfect for watching the boats or sunsets. During the summer, many flocks to the beach for family fun, sunbathing, and watersports.

Tip: This can be ideal for relaxation or a picnic depending on the weather. Springtime weather can be fickle, with strong winds and chilly temperatures closer to the lake.

Best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan

Best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan

Bike Through Holland

A great way to see the beautiful Holland tulips is by biking. Whether you want to bike downtown, to the lakeside, or to the scenic state parks, Holland has 150 miles of bike trails to explore. If bringing your own bike isn’t possible, bike rental locations are scattered across the city.

Biking tours and weekly rides are also available for guests looking for a unique biking experience while connecting with others.

A visit to the Holland Tulip Time Festival will be an experience you will never forget. Beautiful flowers are around every bend, making the city come alive after the long cold days of winter. Start planning your itinerary today!

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The Best Place To See Tulips in Holland Michigan

best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan
The best place to see tulips in Holland Michigan