Tulip Time returns to Holland

Tulip Time is almost here in Holland, Mi. (J Jacobs photo)
Tulip Time is almost here in Holland, Mi. (J Jacobs photo)

After a bruising winter it’s time to go to a town that celebrates brightly colored flowers with dancing, art, music and windmill-ground flour. No passport needed.

It’s Holland, MI where everything Dutch is celebrated year ’round but where when May comes tulips line the streets and the town is in festival mode.

Plan now to visit because accommodations fill fast. Tulip Time is May 4 through May 12, 2019. Week days are  less crowded but to catch the events you want, check the schedule.  To see the schedule visit Tulip Time events.

Dutch dances begin May 2, Tulip Town Tours, the artisan market and Art in Bloom, Tall ships, Tulip Time Quilt show are May 4.  But many of these events continue through the festival.


Tip: Don’t limit your time to just the main festival site.

Windmill Island has an authentic, working windmill. (J Jacobs photo)
Windmill Island has an authentic, working windmill. (J Jacobs photo)

My favorite stop is Windmill Island Gardens on the edge of the downtown.   It has a real, from-Holland, working Dutch windmill. There is also an antique children’s carousel and replica Dutch buildings. For Tulip time there is a Dutch Trade Fair and Dutch food.

Next are two places  on the outskirts of town near the highway that feature gardens and Dutch goods: Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens /DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory where you can watch shoes being made and delft painted, and Nelis’ Dutch Village Family Theme Park  & Wooden Shoe Factory which is geared to kids.


Accommodations I like the Courtyard by Marriott Holland Downtown and CityFlats Hotel that is also downtown. To see more choices visit Holland  Hotels.

Dining. I haven’t had a bad meal there. Among my faves are Alpenrose Restaurant and Curragh Irish Pub.But walkthe main street, 8th Street, and explore. There are lots of boutiques and good restaurants plus good sculptures to see and photograph.

Go. Enjoy!

Jodie Jacobs




Spring equals Tulip Time

Anytime is a good time to visit Holland, Mich. but for glorious spring blooms go during Tulip Time

Third in spring blooms combined with a great destination series is Holland Michigan

It is Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan.

It is Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan
It is Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan

Anytime, is a good time to visit Holland, Mich. where an authentic Dutch windmill grinds stone ground flour, fine-crafted beer is on tap and visitors can see wooden shoes and Dutch-style pottery made from scratch.

However, the town is ready for its closeup the first two week of May. In 2011, its famed Tulip Time festival stretches from May 7 through May 14.

Gorgeous yellow and red tulips line the streets, and black, purple, crimson, white and pink tulips fill Windmill Island. Dutch dancing brings crowds to downtown parks and parades are almost every day. Come for a parade May 11 or May 12 but parade lovers will want to stay for the Grand Finale, May 14.

To avoid the crowds and more easily snag a hotel and restaurant reservation, go the first week in May because the tulips are already showing off their glorious blooms.

Where to stay

The Haworth Inn and Conference Center on the Hope College Campus fills fast because it is within walking distance of the historic downtown and TulipTime activities. Breakfast comes with the room and apples, coffee and tea are always out on a table.  Haworth Inn, 225 College Avenue Holland, Mich. 49423 (800-903-9142).

The Leed certified, contemporary styled CityFlats Hotel with its popular CityVu Bistro, is also downtown at 61 East 7th Street, Holland, Mich. 49423, (866-609-2489).

Holiday Inn Express, Best Western and Hampton Inn are east of downtown Holland near US Highway 31. Click Holland Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) for accommodation availability. The city’s CVB website also lists B&Bs, camp sites and other accommodation choices.

Tour Windmill Island
Tour Windmill Island

What to see

If interested in events check Tulip Time but don’t worry if they aren’t convenient. The town has many attractions including DeZwann, an authentic, brought-over from Holland windmill, on Windmill Island at7th Street and Lincoln Avenue, (888-535-5792). It has the only Dutch Mill Society’s certified miller outside of the Netherlands. Walk Windmill Island’s canals, gardens and shops.

Try to catch the Dutch Trade Fair, May 7-8. And browse shops on the town’s historic 8th Street, its main street.

Before leaving, be  sure to stop at the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory east of downtown near the highway. You can watch shoes being carved and talk with artists working on the only authentic Delftware made in the US.

See artists make Delftware and wooden shoes
See artists make Delftware and wooden shoes

Where to eat

Even if staying at an inn that serves a free breakfast, go over to Alpenrose Restaurant at 4 E. 8th Street, (616.393.2111) to ooh at its European ambiance over breakfast or a mid afternoon break.

Stop at New Holland Brewing at 66 E. 8th Street, )616-355-6422) for good pizza, sandwiches and beer.

Now throw some clothes and the camera into the car and go.

(Photos by Jodie Jacobs)