I’m going to continue my quest to get you all to visit Michigan and share with you more about what one of my favorite lakeshore towns has to offer. A few weeks ago I was able to share a day in downtown Holland on my instagram but I wanted to give it a more permanent home than in my stories. Michigan is surrounded by lake shore towns and each one has their own unique characteristics and businesses. Holland is no exceptions and maybe I’m biased because Holland is where Joey and I both went to college? Regardless it’s great and I wanted to provide more of an in depth guide to the downtown area.
My favorite day to visit is on Wednesdays because the farmers market is going on. Right now it’s packed with mums, pumpkins and dahlias. The market also takes place on Saturdays but on Wednesday it’s not as crowded and you can shop a little more freely. Some of my favorite things to find there are topiaries, flowers by Ottawa Glad Growers, Visser Farms produce, Crisp Country Acres produce, goat cheese and smoked fish. I typically go right away in the morning and then quick pop in to Readers World to check out any new cookbooks or magazines. Wednesdays before school Otto is typically with me and he will argue that the best stop is at the Bowerman’s Blueberry Farm donut stand and then to Readers World to get a Peppa Pig book.
Typically that is where my morning in downtown Holland ends. But if i’m lucky enough to get the rest of the day to visit here are my favorite places. Some are new and some are tried and true fav’s that I’ve written about here and here.
So let me take you through how I would (and did) spend the perfect day in downtown Holland.
First things first, start at the Holland Farmers market if it is going on that day. Grab a blueberry donut and a big fist full of gladiolas from Ottawa Glad Growers and walk through the rest of the market.
After that head to Readers World on the corner of 8th and river and browse the latest arrivals from the magazine section. Readers World always has the best selection of books and magazines. I just picked one up this year that is the memoir of a vintage dealer and I can’t wait to dive in.
Once you have your books and magazines head to one of the awesome coffee shops in town. I love the 205, Lemonjellos and ferris Coffee. They are great for hunkering down with a hot cup and checking out your new reads. My favorite combo is the buzzed latte and honey bran muffin from Lemonjellos. If you need to sit outside the pilar church across the street from Lemonjellos has a great lawn filled with lawn chairs to lounge in and people watch.
Then it’s time to do some shopping. For women’s clothing I love JB and Me, Frances Jaye and Spring Sweet. Each have their own unique style but are filled with unique pieces you won’t find anywhere else. If you are doing some shopping for the young one head to Tweed. Maggie’s store is pinterest come to life in the best way possible. It’s filled with small business sourced books, clothing and toys. She knows the product inside out and the packaging is adorable to boot. It has a very shop around the corner feel from “you’ve got mail”. It’s quaint, warm and lovely.
I love stocking up on foodie items as well. Fustini’s Olive Oil is always a fun visit as well as Cranes Pie Pantry. I would argue though that the apple dumplings are better than the pies. While you’re there you should also get a hot apple cider. You won’t be disappointed.
That would take us to lunch. I love The Good Earth Cafe and have ordered the #5 Pueblo with no tomato for the past ten years. If you are looking to have a few cocktails with lunch I would visit New Holland Brewery. If you are in the market for a fast lunch the new Market Zero. They have deli sandwiches and sides along with small grocery items and a great wine selection.
You’d probably be full from lunch so a good walk might be nice. Centennial park is stunning especially in the summer. They have a giant Wizard of Oz book made completely out of plants. It’s a great place to wander and look at the beautiful old houses lining the park as well.
After your walk you could finish up some shopping around town by visiting downtown antiques, gezellig home and antiques and The Outpost.
Grab a cocktail before heading to dinner at Poquito and head to dinner at Seventy – Six. If you would like something more kid friendly, Big Lake Brewery has awesome food and great beer (loaded tots!). Boatwerks overlooks lake Macatawa and has a great ambiance especially in the summer.
That should take you to the evening and wrap up your perfect day in downtown Holland. This town is open year round and in typically years has amazing seasonal events like Tulip Time and the Santa parade.
Plan your trip and enjoy all that this charming lakeshore town has to offer.