Many people are in awe of the famed tulips that bloom in Holland year after year, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience their brilliance. Colors in any hue from bold pinks to deep, dramatic reds take over fields en masse, showing no signs of slowing down when springtime comes around. At the first hint of color, the landscape is Instagram-worthy... but travelers don't necessarily need to book a flight all the way to the Netherlands in order to see this incredible array. The city of Holland, Michigan, showcases its own tulip blooms each year, and it's also home to the only authentic Dutch windmill in the U.S. The windmill itself is still in operation and makes for quite a stunning scene not far from the Macatawa River. Here's what future visitors should know about visiting this little slice of Holland right in the state of Michigan.


Related: Historic Tours: Before NYC Was English, It Was Dutch

Visiting Holland Michigan: Tulip Season, Dutch Windmills, & More Top Attractions

Of course, the biggest draw to Holland, Michigan is its working windmill. It's the only authentic Dutch windmill in the U.S., DeZwaan, that's still in fully-operating condition, making it a worthy tourist attraction to visit. DeZwaan can be found at the Windmill Island Gardens which, as its name implies, is home to 36 acres of tulip fields. While it's an attraction for the books, the best time to visit Windmill Island Gardens is during the late spring (May) just before or while the tulip fields are in full bloom. For those who have never seen the windmill in person before, this will likely be the first stop on the trip.

Fast Facts About The DeZwaan Dutch Windmill

  • DeZwaan means 'The Swan,' and was originally built in 1761 in Krommenie before it was (carefully) brought to Holland, Michigan.
  • DeZwaan arrived in Michigan in 1964 following negotiations between the U.S. and the Dutch government, and it would be the last authentic Dutch windmill to ever be brought across international waters.
  • The person responsible for running the windmill is a Dutch-certified miller, who guests can greet as they learn more about the history of DeZwaan.
  • Visitors to Windmill Island Gardens will have the chance to tour DeZwaan, learning about its inner workings and its history as an original, authentic Dutch windmill, as well as its journey across the Atlantic to its final home in Holland, Michigan.

Those who opt to tour DeZwaan will be able to see its authentic Dutch architecture up close, which has survived and been carefully maintained for more than two centuries. One of the things guests will learn during their tour involves the unique construction of the windmill, which includes a sloping brick design intended to help rainwater runoff. The entrance to the windmill sports two double doors which, at the time, would have been used to allow farmers to easily enter and exit the mill with their horses and wagons. However, the bulk of the work in the mill done by farmers took place on the upper floors, thus the purpose of the 'elevator.' The windmill operates a pulley that's wind-powered in order to hoist bags of wheat to the upper levels, which is where it would be ground.

Take note of the miller's 'wooden shoe telephone.' According to, this wooden shoe would be lowered down via a rope, and visiting farmers or family would leave notes or payments for the millers on the floors above.

Most of the milling was done on the fourth floor of the DeZwaan. Visitors can still see the Roman numerals carved into the wooden beams that directed the workers responsible for constructing the windmill. These same Roman numerals are what were used by modern-day millwrights, as well, who were responsible for re-assembling the structure.

On the Gallery Floor, visitors to DeZwaan will be able to get an up-close look at blades that cut their way in circular motions several stories up from the ground level.

  • Blade Length: 80 feet
  • Blade Width: Six feet

Related: Royal Palace: One Of The Most Iconic Netherlands Landmarks

Visiting During The Tulip Time Festival

This is one of the most popular times to visit Windmill Island Gardens due to its brilliant display of tulips, of which there are an estimated 100,000, at least. In full bloom, visitors will be able to see at least 60,000 different tulip flowers, with dozens of varieties to observe and take photos of.

Dates of Operation Admission Costs
GA: April 18th - October 7th, daily Adults - $12
Tulip Time Festival: May 7th - 15th Children 3-15 - $6
Peak Bloom Week: July 24th-30th Holland residents - FREE

Those visiting Holland, Michigan will not be disappointed in this authentic display of Dutch history and culture. With more to explore besides DeZwaan, including historic 'Little Netherlands,' a variety of Dutch shops, and sampling traditional Dutch delicacies, this is worthy of a day or weekend trip to Michigan's lakeshores.