My husband and I recently visited Holland Michigan on our first trip checking out the lighthouses in Michigan.
While we enjoyed seeing “Big Red” the real treat was enjoying all the beautiful tulips around town. The weekend before had been their annual Tulip Time Festival. For almost 90 years this annual event has featured over 5 million tulips blooming everywhere you look in the city. Tulip Time has been given many different accolades including being named the nation’s Best Flower Festival, America’s Best Small Town Festival and the 2017-2018 Tulip Festival of the Year.
We waited until the weekend after the festival to avoid all the crowds but still catch the tulips while in bloom. We were not disappointed.
Over the years millions of people have gathered to enjoy this display of beauty. There is also much to celebrate of the Dutch heritage with traditional garb and dance, watching the artists create wooden shoes from a block of wood and the beautiful blue Delft dishware.
We visited Nelis’ Dutch Village, a perfect place for families. Along with the thousands of tulips, there were kid-friendly rides, an ice cream shop and Dutch dancers performing every half hour. After watching the Klompen Dancers, families could stay and learn some of the Dutch dance steps themselves.
If you go, you must get some of their fudge. So delicious!
Our second stop was Windmill Island Gardens. Situated on the edge of downtown Holland, the gardens have the only working Dutch windmill in the USA. Named “De Zwaan” (the Swan) this windmill was brought over from the Netherlands in 1964.
Tours are given of the working windmill and you can purchase flour and other grain products. The windmill is 125 feet tall from the ground to the top of the blades and they say the view from the fourth floor is spectacular. I would have loved to climb to the top but with my arthritic knees, I chose to remain on the ground. I can only imagine what the view from the top must be looking down on all the thousands of tulips.
We loved seeing the workers in their native Dutch costumes.
The gardens also had so many beautiful flowering trees and canals. My husband and I walked and snapped pictures until we had to stop because my legs were swollen from all the walking. Coming home, I had to use pain meds and ice to get relief, but for all the beauty of God’s creation, it was well worth it.
Reflecting back on all the beauty, I was reminded of how awesome a creator God is. He could have made one flower, but he made such a multitude of different flowers and trees. He could have made tulips all red, but look at what he created – just for us to enjoy.
If you ever wonder to Michigan in the spring, you must check out Holland Michigan.
Besides the beauty of the flowers and trees, the downtown area has so many neat shops and coffee bars. Throughout the downtown area you will find many statues.
Tulip time in Holland Michigan will be one of my favorite road trip memories.