This current version of the lighthouse in Holland State Park was built in 1936, but previous versions stood on this site as far back as the late 1800s. We enjoyed sitting in the shade of a tree just across the narrow waterway from Big Red, watching watercraft of all sizes come and go.
We drove around downtown Holland a little bit, but didn't think we had time to get out and walk. In retrospect, I wish we had. This is a neat downtown. Combine Victorian era architecture with lots of neat shops, art galleries, and unique restaurants and coffee houses, and you have a downtown that wins prizes from the people who award those sort of things.
Worth a visit.
Authentic (I think) Dutch folk dancing is performed periodically throughout the day in front of the windmill. I admire anybody who can move about so nimbly while wearing these wooden shoes. Apparently they don't have any guys willing to dance, as all the "boys" you see in the dance are girls in boys' clothing.
More photos at my Windmill Island Travelogue.
This is one of the two bridges that can be crossed to walk out the the light house. (The other is handicapped accessible.) Its colorful presence reminded me of Van Gogh paintings containing similar structures.
This 240 year old Dutch windmill is really the centerpiece of the island. It was dismantled in the Netherlands and painstakingly re-assemble on this site. Costumed guides give tours to explain the history and workings of this windmill, then perform Dutch folk dances in front of the structure.
See my Windmill Island Travelogue for additional photos.
Windmill Island is a 36 acre, commercial tourist attraction located very close to Holland's downtown district. Although we found the admission a little price (US$6.50), we nonetheless enjoyed our visit and ultimately found it a very worthwhile visit.
In addition to the center attraction, the windmill, there are garden areas, canals with a dutch-style bridge, a carousel, street organ, shops, and lots of colorfully-costumed guides.
In 1945 Vern Veldheer planted 400 tulip bulbs in and 8x10 flower bed, just as a hobby. Today the Veldheer enterprise has grown into an 80 acre farm with an average of four million builbs planted each year. They offer more than 1,000 varieties of flowering bulbs which are distributed to all 50 states. The best time to visit is in May, when the tulips are a glorious riot of color. Later in the growing season other varieties of perennials may be seen blooming.
Open to visitors year round, Veldheer's also includes a wooden shoe factory, and the only Delftware factory in North America, making the famous blue and white dutch pottery from scratch. Free tours are offered for both wooden shoe and Delftware factories year round.
The idea of Tulip Time was introduced at a meeting of the Woman's Literary Club in 1927. Miss Lida Rogers, biology teacher at Holland High School, suggested that Holland adopt the tulip as its flower because of its close ties to the Netherlands, and set aside a day for a festival. She titled her talk that day "Civic Beauty" and spoke at length about the area's unique sand dunes, its fine trees, safe water supply, pure milk, and ample playgrounds. She advocated planting more trees, and because the Chamber of Commerce was seeking something appropriate, suggested planting tulips in every yard. She concluded with reading a poem, "Come Down to Holland in Tulip Time."
In 1928, City Council, under Mayor Ernest C. Brooks, appropriated funds to purchase 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands. These bulbs were to be planted in city parks and other areas. Initial plans called for a "Tulip Day." Bulbs were available to Holland residents at one cent apiece.
It was in 1929 that thousands of tulips bloomed, and Holland invited visitors to come during the week in May that included the 15th. Because of interest shown, it was decided to make Tulip Time an annual event with Mrs. Ethel Telling as the first chairman.
By the mid-'30s Tulip Time was a nationally known event and nine-day festivals were staged up until World War II. It was also in 1933 that Ethel Perry, high school girls' gym teacher, trained the Dutch Villagers, later known as Klompen Dancers, to perform Dutch folk dances.
Due to the continued warm weather trends and global warming, in the summer of 2001 the festival board of directors and staff made the decision to move the festival up one week earlier, and shortened it to 8 days. This would allow the festival to better coincide with the blooming of the tulips.
You have to check out the Holland State Park. It was a great sandy beach along Lake Michigan, with beautiful views of "Big Red" (a lighthouse), sailboats and sunsets.
Facilities include two large campgrounds, picnic areas, shelter, playground, beach house, concession and boat launch.
Hours: Park gates and registration office are open from 8 am-10 pm. Visitors must leave the park by 10 pm.
Entrance Fees: Daily Vehicle Permit: $4
Annual Motor Vehicle Permit: $20
Commercial Vehicle/Daily: $15.
Camping Rates: $15 per night. Campground open April 1 - October 31
This is what most people really come to Holland for. Its a very small amusement park with a kind of Dutch tulip and wooden shoe theme. Of the more interesting things to do are feeding the goats and looking at the exhibits. I did find some of the things they set up to be educational, though not what I would call enlightening. The exhibits tend to be about cheesemaking and tulip farming, with a few other things like a weighing house and some souvenier shops. Among the more notable shops is a cheese shop I found a bit pricy, but there is also a Belgian chocolate shop (imported chocolates) which I thought to be a pretty good deal and quality. Lace wasn't cheap but seemed to be of very good quality. Entry is $8 for adults, $5 for children. See my travelogue for more.
-Tulip time festival: from beginning to mid. of May each year .
-Dutch village .
-Windmill Island .
-Veldheer's Tulip Gardens, DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory.
-Hope College Organ Recitals .
-Ottawa lake .
In this picture is DUTCH DRAWBRIDGE ,the scene surrounding the 200 yr old ,one of famous place you should see .
We have a real working windmill from the Netherlands that some people like to see. We also have one of the few wooden shoe manufacturing places in the US. The best one is to get a look at Big Red - our Lake Michigan light house. It's a protected National Site. And it's right across the harbor entry from Holland State Park - Michigan's busiest.
I'm a Lake Michigan water lover, and am very interested in old lighthouses.
Holland has lovely white sand beaches that stretch for miles. At the end of the harbor is a picturesque red lighthouse. One of the most scenic parts of the Lake Michigan shoreline.
I never did, but maybe you should. I always came across with the Star when I walked along the marina. I now wonder why I didn't take a ride, but maybe you should.