Every year hundreds of Tippecanoe County residents travel to Holland, Michigan (link). Some go to study the country of Holland where their forbearers came from, others simply go for vacation.
Many go for the Tulip Time Festival. During this festival, millions of tulips are on display throughout the area. Whether going by car, Imperial Travel or a company bus (Purdue often has a bus going for employees) the trip is well worth it. This year there were several days of good weather.
At a 3.5 to 4 hour trip, a one day trip is possible, but a multi day stay is suggested.
Tulip Time week includes 3 parades on 3 different days. Traffic can be pretty heavy after the parades. Parking areas for the parades are limited close to the parade routes, so be prepared for a trek. Visitors to this year’s Tulip Time this year were treated to trees and other blooming flowers in addition to the millions of tulips in bloom.
Local attractions often open for the season during the festival, or just before May.
Dutch Village (link) shows Hollander life during the 1800’s, kids have plenty of fun opportunities. Several shops are available for food and souvenirs. Adults: $10, kids: $8 (under 3 free)
Windmill Island Gardens (link) is more spread out than the Dutch Village, but contains a full size imported windmill. It has large tulip beds, a small museum and a gift shop. Adults: $8, kids: $5
The Holland Museum downtown (link) presents a good primer for Dutch life. Adults: $7, kids: $4, fewer than 6 free.
Veldheer Gardens (link) contains several million tulips, a wooden shoe booth where a docent makes shoes for tourists to watch. Delft blue pieces are also made on site. The gift shop has both as well as imported items. During blooming season gardens have an admission fee, adults: $10, kids $5, under 3 free. There is no charge for the gift shops. Veldheer also raises buffalo, selling the meat.
Big Red, (link) one of the most photographed lighthouses in America, stands at the entrance to Lake Macatawa (AKA Black Lake). The best public view of Big Red, Holland Beach, is subject to Michigan DNR fees.
Now is a good time to plan your visit for 2015 Tulip Time.