Experience a touch of Dutch culture along the shores of Lake Macatawa in Holland, a charming town in lower Michigan. Although it sits just three hours from Chicago, this bucolic spot feels a world away from the bustle of the city. Here, traditional windmills spin lazily next to breathtaking fields of brilliant tulips. Wander through colorful rows of flowers, explore the adorable downtown area, or head to nearby Lake Michigan to check out historic lighthouses and swim in the cool waters. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or visiting with the whole family, book a stay at a Holland vacation rental today. Check out the best neighborhoods to visit in Holland.

1. Downtown

Windmill
Source: Flickr/Peter C in Toronto Canada

Enjoy full-on small-town charm in Downtown Holland. A major hub of activity, this area buzzes with festivals and visitors year-round. Grab a cup of coffee from one of many local cafes, and spend a pleasant morning exploring the independently owned shops on 8th Street. Vacation rentals downtown sit within a few minutes’ walk of more than 20 restaurants, as well as indulgent candy and fudge companies, so you’re always near a great meal. Choose from a wide variety of apartments and upscale condos; for a classic Holland view, choose a property near the historic windmill.

2. Midtown

Source: Pixabay/3dman_eu

Midtown offers an elegant residential vibe, just a short walk from the energy of Downtown. Here, stunning historic homes tower above rows of perfectly manicured tulip gardens. Leave your car in your vacation rental’s garage; the best way to explore Midtown is on foot. Spend a sunny afternoon strolling under the trees, and make your way to Kollen Park for lovely views of Lake Macatawa along the well-loved boardwalk. In the summer, the park is a great place to watch Independence Day fireworks.

3. West Holland

Sunny Lake Macatawa
Source: Flickr/Paul

Feel like a local in West Holland. Just off the beaten path, this quiet area has a comfortable, welcoming feeling that’s great for families. Follow the residents’ lead and enjoy leisurely bike rides along wide streets or make the most of your vacation rental’s backyard with an outdoor dinner. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, visit the DeGraaf Nature Center for its well-curated exhibits and fascinating programs. Make the most of a summer vacation with a rental along Lake Macatawa; some features boat slips, private docks, and small beaches.

4. Maplewood

 Mapplewood
Source: FLickr/pverdonk

Relax completely in Maplewood, a residential area situated just outside of Holland’s tourist zones. Wake up to quiet mornings, and start your day with coffee on your vacation rental’s back porch. Many local homes feature large yards, making this neighborhood a great choice for families with young children. When you’re ready to explore, hop on the MAX Transit buses that run through the area for a hassle-free ride; if you prefer to drive, downtown is less than three miles away. Choose a property near the Matt Urban Sports Complex for easy access to three playgrounds and multiple basketball courts.

5. South Holland

South Holland
Source: Flickr/Mike Boening Photography

Rest your head in a sparkling new condo in South Holland, one of the city’s most rapidly growing areas. Here, beautifully designed developments create a comforting community feeling, and sprawling farm fields allow plenty of room to breathe. The West Michigan Regional Airport makes its home in the neighborhood, so you can travel from baggage claim to your vacation rental in minutes. Interstate 196 runs nearby, connecting you quickly to other parts of Michigan.

6. The Heights

 Tulip Festival
Source: Flickr/Sandeep Pawar

Stay close to everything Holland has to offer in The Heights, which lies east of downtown. This residential area boasts a mix of families, couples, and individuals, so it’s easy to fit right in. Bring your canoe and fishing pole to explore the expansive Paw Paw Park, or pack your running shoes and join the locals for their evening exercise. Learn about the history of Holland at the Van Raalte Farm Park, where you can walk through a historic farm house or hike along extensive nature trails. In the winter, the area is a popular spot for cross-country skiing.

7. Windmill Island Gardens

Windmill Island Garden
Source: Flickr/M Gleason

If you’re visiting Holland for the legendary Tulip Time Festival, a vacation rental near Windmill Island is a convenient choice. A few minutes’ drive from any local property brings you to this sprawling park, where you can marvel at floral fields and tour the island’s working windmill. After tulip season, visit to see ever-changing garden display or watch the annual painting competition by the Macatawa River. Pick up a souvenir or a Dutch snack at the onsite souvenir shop, or visit the stores of the nearby Holland Town Center for an afternoon of shopping.

8. Holland State Park

Sunset Over Lake Michigan
Source: Flickr/Derek Dirks

Test the waters of Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan on the same day at Holland State Park. Choose a vacation rental near the park for the fastest access; the beaches fill up quickly on hot summer days. Hike along the Black Lake Boardwalk to watch boats pass through the Holland Channel, or stake out a patch of sand on Lake Michigan and enjoy a day of swimming and beach volleyball. If you want to get on the water, rent a boat or Jet Ski from a variety of local companies.

9. Macatawa

Macatawa
Source: Flickr/Rachel Kramer

Located across the channel from Holland State Park, the Macatawa area offers easy lake access and a quiet atmosphere. Tucked away on a small peninsula, this community offers a selection of historic cottages and sprawling waterfront homes. Most vacation rentals sit within a short walk of the local white-sand beach, so you can reach Lake Michigan in minutes. If you’re traveling by boat, look for rentals on the Lake Macatawa side of the peninsula for calm water and easy launches.