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tulipWhat comes to mind when you think of Holland?  Tulips?  Wooden Shoes? If you don’t want or can’t travel to The Netherlands, there is an alternative.  Holland, Michigan has it all.  This quaint little town in western Michigan hosts a Tulip Time Festival every spring.  The weather is still cool but warming. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of tulips of every color are in bloom.  The town comes alive with Dutch charm second only to well…The Netherlands.

Klompen DanceI had the great pleasure of attending the Tulip Time Festival.  It was a transformation into beauty and culture.  We attended the parade that showcased every possible Dutch custom.  I was most impressed with the Klompen Dancers.  There were several groups in the parade and brought such delight watching the synchronized footwork.  Spectacular!  We visited the Dutch restaurants, shopped for Dutch souvenirs and gifts, and thoroughly enjoyed the thousands and thousand of tulips.

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Holland has several each areas to enjoy.  Holland State Park Beach has 2 miles of white sandy coastline that is clean and well maintained to enhance the family experience.  Picnics tables are provided along with clean restrooms and a shower/changing room.  Enjoy a walk along the pier or a snack or beverage at the Snack Shop.  The beach is safe and clean for a day of family fun.

Tunnel ParkAnother great place for family fun is Tunnel Park, a short distance from Holland State Park Beach.   This park is great because of the sand dune hills, the scenic overlook, the playground, cookout areas, and, of course, the tunnel entrance to the park. The smaller beach area at Tunnel Park is compensated by the other activities the park has to offer.

For a real Dutch experience, visit Nelis’ Dutch Farm.  The offer activities appealing to both children and adults including trying on wooden shoes, lessons in klompen dancing, demonstrations of making delftware (the blue and white pottery synonymous with the Dutch), and taking pictures in Dutch costumes.  There is a farmhouse and barn preserving life of Old Holland 100 years ago.

In the Holland Town Center is many unique shopping opportunities including the gift shops, the Hungry Dutchman Cafe, the Holland House Candle shop, De Zoete Haan fudge shop and the Dutch Dip Ice Cream Shoppe.  Souvenirs and special gifts can be found for everyone on your list as well as in every price range.

Springtime is a very busy time of year for  Holland, Michigan.  The Tulip Time Festival brings a half a million tourists to this quaint Dutch town on the shores of Lake Michigan.  The tulip displays at Veldheer Tulip Gardens and throughout the town is mind-boggling and absolutely gorgeous.  There is no place on earth to see so many gorgeous, blooming, and varied tulips except…The Netherlands.

Have you visited Holland, MI and the Tulip Time Festival?  Tell me about it.