Windmill Island Gardens is a beautiful oasis on the edge of downtown Holland, featuring a 260-year old working Dutch windmill “De Zwaan” (meaning graceful bird/the swan), built in 1761. The windmill, which reaches 125 feet from the ground to the top of the blades, towers over 36 acres of gardens, dikes, canals, and picnic areas. Over 100,000 exotic tulips bloom here in the spring, making for amazing photo ops. The rocks that make up the island are made of Coldwater Shale. The Post House is an exact replica of a 14th-century wayside inn. Inside, you can view a 12-minute movie - The Story of DeZwaan. Kids will love the children’s gardens, the playground, and an antique Dutch Carousel featuring hand-carved and painted wooden horses.
Holland State Park, Allegan State Forest, and other nature preserves nearby offer camping, many trails and paths to hike, and a variety of wildlife to see. Saugatuck Dunes State Park is about ten miles away, and the Holland Harbor Lighthouse (aka Big Red) is just a few miles away. Water temperatures range from an average of 34.9°F in February to 71.8°F in August. While swimming might not be a good idea in the winter, there are plenty of other winter activities to enjoy, including snowshoeing, sledding, and cross-country skiing.