Feel like you are in the Netherlands without having to travel abroad – right in the heart of America! Named America’s Best Small Town Festival by
Reader’s Digest, the Holland Tulip festival has been held every May in Holland, Michigan since 1929. Experience the culture of the town at
the Volksparade, enjoy Klompen dancing, America’s only authentic working Dutch windmill, tasty Dutch food and of course thousands of colorful tulips.
- Reserved grandstand seating with seatbacks for the Volksparade ‘People’s Parade’
- Enjoy the Dazzle Tulip Time Showcases with over 25 brilliant acts of talented local singers, show choir and orchestral performances
- Memorable Saugatuck Dune Ride with local guide
- See America’s only working Dutch windmill and one of the nation’s most photographed lighthouses, ‘Big Red’
- Tour of Tulip City and Ottawa Beach with a step-on guide
- View over 100,000 Tulips in and around Holland
- Experience authentic Dutch culture at Neli’s Dutch Village
- See local artist beautiful quilts and tulip paintings on display
- Free airport shuttle or hotel parking for duration of tour
- Bag handling (1 per person) at hotels
- Fees/tips included for attractions/meals
- Welcome reception, 24-hour emergency call service, free bottled water on motor coach
DAY 1 – WELCOME TO MILWAUKEE, WI OR GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Welcome to Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Grand Rapids, Michigan. This evening you’ll meet your fellow travelers and Discoveries Director at our evening welcome reception at your chosen starting city. Tomorrow we will be off to Holland, Michigan for Tulip Fest!
DAY 2 – WELCOME TO MICHIGAN/SAUGATUCK SAND DUNES/MUSIC PERFORMANCE
We’ll begin our travels to Holland after a delicious breakfast. If your starting city is Grand Rapids, you will visit the delightful Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park before heading to Saugatuck. Here we take a comfortable tram through the outdoor garden to learn about the amazing flowers, plants and sculptures hidden within this 158-acre garden. For those that started in Milwaukee, we head south through Illinois to enjoy a tasty lunch in Indiana. Next, we journey to charming Saugatuck to hop aboard a Dune Buggy. Here we ride the unique sand dunes that line Lake Michigan’s eastern shore. Our guide will discuss the history of the town, how the sand dunes formed over the years and of course provide an exciting ride. Tonight we arrive in Holland, where we will unpack our bags for the next few days. Tonight we partake in a memorable dinner in downtown Holland. B, L, D
Special Evening Show: We’re sure to be amazed by the Dazzle Tulip Time Showcases, featuring over 25 local acts of talented singers, show choir and orchestral performances. Those who started in Milwaukee will see this show on Day 3.
DAY 3 – WINDMILL ISLAND GARDENS/VOLKSPARADE/TULIP CITY TOUR
This morning we tour America’s only authentic working Dutch windmill known as ‘De Zwaan’, or ‘The Swan’, which was brought over from the Netherlands in 1964. Here and in the surrounding Windmill Island Gardens, we view over 100,000 tulips and also visit the little Netherlands village display and gift shops. After lunch, we enjoy reserved premium grand stand seating to watch the Volksparade ‘People’s Parade’. Following the white glove inspection and street scrubbing, the marching bands, amazing floats and entertaining specialty entries will parade their way down the freshly scrubbed streets. Don’t miss Holland’s talented high school marching band as they dance in authentic wooden shoes while playing their instruments. This afternoon, a guide in full Dutch attire will lead us through the vibrant tulip lanes, Holland’s historic district, city parks and award-winning downtown. Tonight we see stunning panoramic views of Lake Macatawa while we savor a delectable dinner. B, L, D
Note: Those who left from Milwaukee will enjoy the Volksparade on Day 4. Some of the attractions on Day 3 – 4 run in a different order then noted on itinerary.
DAY 4 – NELI’S DUTCH VILLAGE/QUILT SHOW/OTTAWA BEACH/BIG RED LIGHTHOUSE
After breakfast we visit an authentic Dutch village to see live wooden shoe carving and have the opportunity to have a pair personalized as an authentic keepsake. We will also admire Dutch dancers and explore the Frisian farmhouse with cheese- and chocolate-making demonstrations. The renown blue-and-white ceramic Delft Pottery, or Delftware, will be demonstrated. These hand-painted creations are crafted by experienced Dutch artists and glazed in a centuries-old process. After experiencing these fascinating aspects of Dutch life, we head to the Art in Bloom display and Quilt show. Here we see exquisite handmade bed quilts, wall hangings and art quilts as well as gorgeous tulip paintings by local artists. After lunch, we welcome a guide onto our motorcoach to tour Ottawa Beach on Lake Michigan. We will also have a chance to see one of the Great Lakes’ most famous lighthouses, affectionately known as ‘Big Red’. Next, we visit the Holland Bowl Mill to learn how their beautiful wooden bowls are handcrafted. Tonight, enjoy our last night in Holland exploring the unique shops, restaurants, and colorful tulips throughout downtown Holland’s historic district. B, L
DAY 5-HOME TO GRAND RAPIDS/VALDHEER TULIP FARM/CAPPON AND SETTLERS HOUSE
This morning after breakfast tour the only Tulip farm in Holland at the Valdheer Tulip Farm. Here we can walk through 5.5 million tulips and purchase perennials and flowers brought in from around the world. Next, we step back in time as we tour the historic Cappon and Settlers house. Built in 1874 and home of Holland’s first mayor, this historic house is now restored to its appearance in the 1900s. Lastly, we will enjoy a homestyle lunch in the nearby town of Zeeland before heading back to Grand Rapids with delightful memories of the Dutch heritage and colorful tulips. B, L
DAY 5- HOME TO MILWAUKEE/DEGRANDGRAMPS BLUEBERRY FARM/CHICAGO BOTANICAL GARDEN
After breakfast we say good bye to Holland and head to DeGrandchamps Blueberry Farm in South Haven. Here we meet the DeGrandchamps, the family that runs the farm. They will discuss how their blueberries are grown and even treat us to a freshly baked blueberry muffin. Next we’ll have a tasty lunch in New Buffalo before heading to the expansive Chicago Botanical Garden. We will ride on a comfortable tram through the 385-acre outdoor garden to learn about their colorful variety of plants and flowers. Then, we travel back to Milwaukee with fond memories of the Dutch culture and new found friends. B, L
Night 1: Hampton Inn and Suites Milwaukee/Franklin (May 3rd) or Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Airport(May 4th)
Nights 2-4: DoubleTree Holland (May 4-7, 2020) or Hampton Inn Holland (May 5-8, 2020)
May 3-7, 2020 (Milwaukee departure)
May 4-8, 2020 (Grand Rapids departure)
Price Per Person:
Double $1,427; Single $1,755
Depart/Return: Milwaukee, WI or Grand Rapids, MI
Pre-/Post-Tour Hotel: $208/night
Highs in the low 70's /lows in the low 40's
Schedule your flight to arrive by 5:00 p.m.
If you started in Milwaukee schedule your flight anytime after 7:00 p.m.
Starting hotel offers 24-hour complimentary shuttle service.
Complimentary for duration of tour.
Moderate to moderately extensive walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking can be on uneven surfaces.
Refrigerators, microwaves, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards, Coffee makers, swimming pools and exercise rooms throughout tour.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further details approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing all your final documents.
Updates: Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/HTF.
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