In the mitten state, we often can’t wait to remove our mittens. Even the mildest of winters doesn’t dispel the yearn for Michigan’s summertime essence. The urge to sprawl upon a sugary sand beach further intensifies the closer the millions of Holland’s famed tulips progress toward blossoming.  


The colorful sprouting bouquet signals summer’s imminence, encouraging Michiganders to solidify their season of sun-soaked plans. And if those plans include camping at Holland State Park, you should probably plot even sooner — like right now.


Holland State Park remains among the state’s most popular state parks, with more than two million visitors annually. Securing a campsite can be competitive, especially on holidays and weekends. Holland State Park Supervisor Sean Mulligan said reservations can be made up to six months in advance of the desired date, joking that many devoted campers have booking down to a science to swiftly secure coveted periods.


A visit vibrantly illuminates the reasons inspiring such widespread admiration. With two large campgrounds, the park resides between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, spurring ample opportunity for water-based recreation and relaxation. The park, which is about seven miles from Downtown Holland, features a quarter-mile beach on Lake Michigan, an accessible playground, concessions, connections to nonmotorized trails and more.

“I know the beaches are the biggest draw, but the entire area is nice,” Mulligan said. “There’s a lot to see out here and being able to help make a safe environment for the general public to visit is something I’ve enjoyed for a long time.”

Day visits provide plentiful amusement amid Holland State Park’s 140-plus acres, but camping immerses you into the quintessential summer experience. The park comprises 309 camping sites with some variances between the two campgrounds, Lake Macatawa Campground and the Beach Campground.


The Lake Macatawa Campground features two loops of sites, Pines and Woodstock. The Pines Loop offers a more traditional campground experience, with sites nestled in wooded terrain. The Woodstock Loop meanwhile boasts a more open layout with abundant direct sunlight but remains backdropped by wooded scenery. A half-mile removed from the bustle of Lake Michigan, a quieter atmosphere transpires throughout the Lake Macatawa Campground.


For those who enjoy the buzz of the “Big Lake,” Mulligan said the Beach Campground is essentially a large parking lot surrounded by sand, suited well for RV campers since it’s level ground. Additionally, 30-plus sites are full hookup with electrical, water and sewer. Tent camping is permitted, however it commands weighing down without staking and likely requires using a mattress or cot to sleep comfortably.


Campers can book a stay lasting a maximum of 15 days. Mulligan stressed the importance of understanding the difference between the campgrounds when reserving to avoid surprises upon arrival. Between the two campgrounds, Holland State Park hosts options for an array of preferred camping styles.


30-amp sites are $38 per night, 50-amp sites are $42 and full hookups are $50. Stays coinciding on weekends and holidays include a $3 premium. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 800-447-2757.


Both campers and day visitors can tap into an assortment of summertime fun in the family friendly environment of Holland State Park. Whether it’s simply reading a good book on the beach, working up a sweat playing volleyball or paddleboarding out on the lake, the park is a natural playground for all ages and interests.


Holland State Park’s pier and walkway along the harbor channel is also a popular fishing spot or a place to appreciate the stunning views of Lake Michigan activity, sunsets and Michigan’s most photographed lighthouse, Big Red.

 Holland State Park Beach

Swimming is of course the highlight of any summertime Holland State Park visit, and Mulligan said the park emphasizes water safety. Lake Michigan’s spectacle is easy to appreciate but it also demands respect. Beachgoers should always heed the flag system, which indicates swimming conditions. Red signifies the presence of dangerous currents and the recommendation to avoid the water. When there’s a double red, dangerous conditions prompt a possible closure of water access — it’s possible to receive a citation if you enter the water.


Mulligan also noted that Holland State Park administers boating access about a mile from its grounds. Additionally, if you don’t have your own, there are boat rental opportunities in the area to really make the most of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa.


Holland State Park’s striking natural beauty anchors its appeal, but the nearby downtown provides added entertainment for when visitors are ready to get off the beach, too. Downtown Holland contains premier shopping and dining, with more than 100 locally owned boutiques, shops, galleries and restaurants.


Summer is for stripping away life’s complexities and spending as much time as possible outdoors. It’s about refreshing oneself in the water before appreciating a stunning sunset and then gazing into a starry sky. It’s for connecting with nature’s splendor with no concrete plan beyond that. Holland State Park positions its visitors to best experience summer’s wondrous outdoor possibilities. Book your camping excursion now and unlock new levels of Michigan summertime essence later.

And when there aren’t any open spots for camping at Holland State Park, Holland’s range of accommodations — from boutique hotels to nationally-known properties to cabin rentals and beyond — has something for everyone. Find your homebase and relish a summertime adventure in the renowned Holland area.