Local Tips

A frozen Lake Michigan scene from Grand Haven State Park
Grand Haven State Park in February. For yet another picture of Big Red from Holland State Park, see The Internet. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Top Ten Things to Love about Holland

By Kathleen Schenck
February 14, 2019

  1. The beach. Even if not especially in the deep freeze of winter, our West Michigan beaches captivate us. From the sounds of waves colliding with the ice shelf to the sight of a lone seagull gliding over the grayscape, Lake Michigan beckons us still and always as the powerful, palpable heart of our region.
  2. The diversity. With racial, cultural, linguistic, economic, political, religious, and educational (Spartan and Wolverine!) differences among us, Holland may well be one of the most diverse small town communities around. The stereotype persists that we are the Land of DeVos with nothing but conservative Christians from windmill to tulip. But we are much more than convenient caricatures that wind up the butt of the joke or the next national headline on the “homogeneous” Midwest. Hollanders know better, and continue to find ways to work, play, grow and learn together, as seen in Holland Weekly’s recent article on the Kinderparade: http://www.hollandweekly.com/past-issues/issue-14/.
  3. All the people who genuinely want to understand each other better, help their neighbor, or both. See Shanley Smith’s article, From Catalyst to Activist here: http://www.hollandweekly.com/past-issues/issue-7/.

    Young women in jean jacket laughing on hiking trail with hand over forehead.
    Hope student and Hollander Shanley Smith. Photo by Grace Hulderman.
  4. Tamales. Enough said. http://www.hollandweekly.com/past-issues/.

    A man smiles big as he holds open the lid exposing a dozen tamales.
    Juan Rodriguez of Tamales Plus. Photo by Holland Weekly.
  5. Van Raalte Farm. Beautiful in any season, close to town, and free: http://www.hollandweekly.com/past-issues/issue-2/.

    A bench sits atop a green grassy hill with white gray clouds dotting a blue sky.
    Sledding hill at Van Raalte Farm Park. Photo by Holland Weekly.
  6. Saugatuck Dunes State Park (close enough).
  7. Hope College Basketball. DeVos Fieldhouse flips the script on typical sports arena seating by placing the cheap bleacher seats on the floor and up the first ten rows or so, while the pricier chairbacks are situated behind the bleachers. Seven bucks gets you a seat so close to the action, you can hear exactly why the Olivet coach got a tech.

    Bright lights shine down on the glossy wooden floor of DeVos Fieldhouse.
    Hope Basketball in the DeVos Fieldhouse. Photo by Holland Weekly.
  8. Tree-lined streets.
    A line of sycamore trees on a slightly snowy day.
    Sycamores line a south Holland street. Photo by Holland Weekly.

    A bright red maple and a golden yellow tree dot a neighborhood street.
    Rosa Parks Green neighborhood in the city of Holland. Photo by Holland Weekly.
  9. Blueberries, and the resulting pies.

    A tan crust with a cutout of an "S" with some blueberry seepage peeking through.
    Homemade blueberry pie. Photo by Holland Weekly.
  10. Mid-century modern architecture. (Article coming soon!)

    An earthen brick church with a sliding, swooped roof angled down and the north face made of windows, and the sides with tall narrow rectangles.
    Maranatha Church building on Central and 37th in south Holland dedicated in 1962. Photo by Holland Weekly.