About three hours from Chicago if driving and about half an hour from the Grand Rapids, Mich. airport if flying, Holland’s beaches, restaurants, shopping and attractions make the town a good choice for the long Labor Day weekend.
Where to stay
There are several B&Bs in Holland but another choice is City Flats Hotel. A Leed gold certified hotel with every room sporting a different décor, City Flats is a block off the main downtown street and an easy drive to Windmill Island, a top Holland attraction.
The rooms have wonderfully high ceilings and windows and the City Vu Bistro, the hotel’s penthouse restaurant, has good flatbreads, small plates and an excellent beer and wine selection. Plus with 56 rooms, it is definitely a boutique hotel although the description is over used.
What to do downtown
Just walking 8th street, Holland’s main downtown shopping avenue, is fun. The problem is there are so many good stores to browse for home accents and food stuff you might easily forget you also want to go over to Windmill Island or Tunnel Park Beach. Be sure to stop in at Teerman’s of Holland, a multi-space home, clock and whatever store where you can find absorbent bamboo dishtowels.
The Alpen Rose Café on 8th street is perfect for a coffee or tea and nosh break although breakfast here is also wonderful. For an upscale meal check out Butch’s, also on 8th street, where you may bottles of wine and beer to take home.
What to do nearby
It is not very commercial but it is very Dutch. You can go up inside the Windmill which is real and was imported from the Netherlands where they took it apart, numbered the pieces and put it back together in Holland, MI. A working mill, you can buy its flour.
There are also interesting small buildings to visit and photograph and a carousel to ride.
The park’s beach is fun to visit because access is through a short tunnel under a sand dune to protects fragile plants. The beach is family friendly but usually not overcrowded.
Holland has other beaches, an inlet from Lake Michigan with a lighthouse on the lake and charming areas to drive. So go exploring. Once you find Holland, Mich., you are likely to put it on your places to stop whenever traveling the western part of the state.
All photos (c) Jodie Jacobs