If you have never been to Tulip Time (The Tulip Festival) in Holland, MI then this one is for you!
The Tulip Festival happens each year in early May. Keep an eye on their website and social media for the exact dates! In 2022, it was May 7-15.
Where To Stay For Tulip Time
We stayed in Grand Rapids at the Springhill Suites Marriott (West Grand Rapids). I had never been to Grand Rapids or Holland before, so it was nice to explore both. I fell in love with Grand Rapids!
Plus, it was cheaper to book a hotel in Grand Rapids. We had a 20-30 minute drive, which really was not too bad, and I liked having the option to explore both places.
I would consider staying in Holland next time, but I equally enjoyed exploring Grand Rapids too. So, it’s just your preference. It was nice to escape from the crowds in Holland.
When you choose your dates, watch out for college graduation when you book your trip. Hope College is in downtown Holland, and the first weekend of Tulip Time was also graduation weekend.
Try to go on the weekdays if possible because the weekends are absolutely insane!
Best Spot To See Fields of Tulips
Veldheer Tulip Gardens ($15/person) was THE BEST!!! If you want to be blow away by a massive field of tulips, this is the spot!
Get there right when they open at 9am. There were lots of tour buses in town from all over. We were one of the first cars there along with like 3 tour buses.
There is a $100 fine PER FLOWER if you try to pick one or damage them.
Windmill Island Gardens ($12/person) was just ok to me.
It has the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the US. (They make flour.) It was not up and running though when we visited. They shut the whole operation down during c-vid, and they haven’t started up just yet.
The tulips were pretty here, but it didn’t have the same WOW factor that Veldheer had.
If you’re more interested in touring the windmill and having a more carnival like experience, this would be the place for you.
Free Places To See Tulips
Centennial Garden (Right in the heart of Downtown Holland.)
Tulip Lane (Nice for a drive or a stroll. Cute houses to admire too. You can also buy fresh cut flowers here for $5.30 a bouquet.)
Window on the Waterfront (Park)
Next time I would consider doing the Tulip Photo Walk. These do sell out, so book ahead!
Off the Beaten Path
The Holland Bowl Mill was super cool! It is off the beaten path. My mom bought a beautiful white oak salad bowl. I got a walnut charcuterie board.
What I Would Skip
The Tall Ships (Well, I should say the ONE Tall Ship.)
You have to go to Boatwerks Restaurant, which is right on the water. It is $5 for a dockside tour. After scoping it out, we decided that it was not worth it just for that. However, if we had more time I would have gone there to eat and enjoy the views of the tall ship. I’m a sucker for a good restaurant on the water.
Tulip Immersion Garden (Ottawa County Fairgrounds)
We drove by this on our way to the state park. It was just some tulips in raised stands…not the impressive fields of tulips that I was looking for. Might be a good backdrop for a few pictures, but I’d skip it.
Best Places to Eat in Grand Rapids
(*Something To Note: Many restaurants are closed on Mondays. We ran into this issue with a few that we wanted to try.*)
Founders was excellent!!! The Belgian Twist was my favorite beer. Sandwiches were wonderful and so was the beer cheese dip!
Donkey Taco: Service was a little slow, but the food was excellent!
San Chez: We sadly didn’t get a chance to try this one, but it came HIGHLY recommended from multiple sources. It is a tapas place, and I am a HUGE tapas fan.
Other recs that we didn’t get a chance to try: Luna, MeXo, Licari’s, Hancock, Little Bangkok, Gaslight Kitchen, Social Misfits, Palio, Ando, Kitchen by Wolfgang, Butcher’s Union, One Twenty Three, Rockwell Republic, Stella’s, Brick and Porter, Tupelo Honey, Forty Acres, Zivio, Wolfgang’s, Sundance Grill, Little Bird, Royals, Terra, Grove, Knoop, Hotel Mertens, Uccellos, Peppinos, Pind, Bombay Cuisine, Brewery Vivant, The Mitten Brewing Company, New Holland Knickerbocker, Grand Rapids Brewing Company
Best Places to eat in Holland
Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: deBoer’s bakery was AMAZING!!! They have two locations too. We went to the location on W 16th.
Peachwave Frozen Yogurt & Gelato (The girls who work here gave us some great recs. They told us about the Holland Bowl Mill!)
Other recs we didn’t get to try: Bowerman’s, Crust 54, Mizou Sushi (very highly recommended!), Crazy Horse
Shopping in Holland
The Seasoned Home
Seedlings (It’s not quite on the downtown strip, but close enough.)
Onalee (Clothes and cute stuff )
Gliks (This store is kinda like a Dry Goods. They have super cute clothes. I got a really nice Michigan sweatshirt.)
The Poppy Peach
Apothecary (Great for little knickknacks and souvenirs.)
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