Holland, Michigan is a destination place. Most tourists come when the famous Tulip Time Festival is going on - browsing through the shops, seeing the parade, eating junk food. It’s what Holland is known for.
But what is there to see when Tulip Time isn’t happening? Lots.
Downtown Holland is easy to get to, and easy to walk through. Depending on the day, it may or may not be easy to find parking. The streets are lined with shops, and people have to dodge the old-fashioned folding chalkboard signs that pepper the sidewalks.
There is literally no way you can walk around downtown and not see the bronze statues. One of my personal favorites is the one with the mermaid girl.
I love this statue. Our ventures usually don’t bring us by it very often, but I have loved it ever since I first set eyes on it.
Little children love posing with the mermaid girl.
And it’s not just the mermaid girl that people see. Probably the most well known statue is the one of the family band.
Metal footsteps lead up to the statues. When I was little, I used to step in the footsteps, because my feet were so small. I would always pose with the singers, mouth open and arms outstretched, like they were posing.
Reader’s World is a bookshop that is exclusively located in Holland.
It’s quite big for a bookshop, and the shelves are chock-full of books. Even if you have never heard of the book store, you could find it quite interesting.
If you happen to venture down toward the college campus, you might see this clock.
This is the Dimnent Chapel. It belongs to Hope College. It was completed in 1929 and has been a symbol of Hope College ever since. It is named after the president of the college.
Speaking of clocks, there are a couple more here that you should check out on your downtown visit.
This is the Tower Clock. That’s what everyone calls it, and that is its name. It is located on River Avenue.
And then there is my personal favorite, the Sand Castle Clock.
When the hour strikes, the children on the face turn around, like the clocks in the old movies. I’ve only seen it once, but ever since, I’ve wanted to see it again. It’s just fun to look at, too, with the bright colors and all. The Sand Castle is a toy shop, so the children featured on the clock makes sense.
So after looking at all the signature clocks down here, why not jog over to 8th Street Grille for lunch?
8th Street Grille is one of the best places, if not the best place, to eat downtown. Juicy burgers with crunchy pretzel buns, floppy fresh steak fries... and the soup bar. I would have to say their signature dish is the Chicken Corn Chowder, and that’s what I always get.
But if 8th Street Grille isn’t really your type, Lemonjello’s is a great place, too.
What about dessert? Well, no trip to downtown Holland is complete without a stop at The Holland Peanut Store.
Yes, there are peanuts...
But most of the locals here don’t even notice that after some time. What people get here is the candy.
There are three glass cases full of expensive candy. There is chocolate dipped bridge mix, double chocolate dipped bridge mix, chocolate stars, chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered cashews, and many different kinds of truffles!
After picking out candy, you can go over to the fireplace and eat it. I love this fireplace, and my uncle built it, so I always feel a thrill of pride when I see people sitting at it.
There is always a fire going when it’s cold outside.
I love downtown Holland. It is my very favorite place to go walking around.