An itinerary for a Glorious Day on the Lake

Ah, the lake life. It’s yours to soak up when you visit the Holland area. From relaxing on the beach to getting out on the water, you’ll find wonderfully refreshing ways to make the most of summer right here on the shore of Lake Michigan.

While water is the star of the season, the Holland area has so much more to offer. Check out this itinerary (click here for a printable version) with six of the many destinations we recommend for a perfect Day on the Lake in the Holland area:

  • The Windmill Restaurant – Get a hearty start to your Day on the Lake by experiencing an authentic Holland tradition: Breakfast at the iconic Windmill Restaurant, on West 8th Street in downtown Holland. The family-friendly diner with Dutch-themed decor serves breakfast all day, along with a delicious selection of sandwiches, burgers, soups and desserts available from early-morning opening until closing at 2 p.m. The house specialty is the famous Windmill Hashbrown Omelet, not to mention scrumptious home-baked bread including cinnamon rolls. 

  • Holland Farmers Market – After breakfast, you can pick up food and other provisions for your Day on the Lake just a block away at the Holland Farmers Market, which is held on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in the 8th Street Marketplace. Nearly 100 vendors are on hand offering fresh local produce, baked goods, flowers and more – all made or grown right in Michigan. The Holland Farmers Market is open until 2 p.m. through the summer and fall, with the 8 o’clock hour reserved for immunocompromised, elderly or other high-risk guests.  

  • Market Zero – Not going to be in town on a Wednesday or Saturday? No problem. Walk just a few hundred feet down 8th Street from the Windmill Restaurant to Market Zero, where you can stock up for your Day on the Lake with delicious grab-and-go meals and drinks. The family-run urban market’s café has a wide variety of coffee and whole-fruit smoothies on tap, while the deli offers artisan sandwiches and salads that bless both your taste buds and your health. You can even pick up local Michigan craft beer and fine wine from the gourmet grocery on-site. Market Zero opens at 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed Sundays.
     

  • Go Pleasure Boating – For the main event of your Day on the Lake, head to one of many Holland-area vendors that rent watercraft or take you out on the water on a charter boat. You can pick up a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard from Macatawa Boat House, for example, then make your way out through the channel to Lake Michigan past the picturesque Big Red lighthouse. If you’d like a guided paddling tour, check out KayakHolland for trips down the Holland area’s scenic Pigeon River, through the marsh around Windmill Island or past the gorgeous homes of Lake Macatawa. For a higher-octane afternoon, rent a jet-ski from Holland Water Sports, get behind the wheel of a powerboat and take the family tubing, or put yourself in the captain’s chair with a pontoon boat rental from Mac Adventures. Another great way to get out on the water is with one of the Holland area’s many fishing charters that give you the ultimate Great Lakes sportfishing experience, a sailing charter with Deeplake Ventures or Nancy Anne Sailing Charters, or a relaxing Lake Macatawa cruise aboard the Holland Princess, an old-fashioned Victorian-style paddlewheel boat. Whichever way you want to spend your Day on the Lake, be sure to reserve your boat in advance. 
     
  • Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant – After a Day on the Lake, why not sit down to a nice dinner on the water, too? The newly remodeled patio at Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant overlooks beautiful Lake Macatawa just outside downtown Holland. The restaurant has the look of an old boat factory. But instead of building watercraft, the kitchen turns out innovative New American meals with first-class service on the waterfront. Boatwerks is open daily for lunch and dinner, with live music on the patio on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer.
     

  • Heinz Waterfront Walkway – Extending from Boatwerks into neighboring Kollen Park is a waterfront path that’s ideal for an after-dinner stroll. In addition to a 4,000-foot boardwalk along Lake Macatawa, the park features the Queretaro Fountain, which is a gift from Holland’s sister city in Mexico. You can also see the Immigrant Statue, a gift from the people of Drenthe in The Netherlands, where many Holland pioneers trace their ancestry. Then, to keep your Day on the Lake going past sunset, walk a few short blocks from Kollen Park back to 8th Street and enjoy downtown Holland nightlife.

RELATED: Here’s your itinerary for a Bike & Beach getaway to the Holland area

Looking for a place to stay to bookend your Day on the Lake in the Holland area? You can choose from downtown hotels, beachfront cottages, charming B&Bs, relaxing campgrounds and more. Find your place to stay in the Holland area and start planning your Day on the Lake!