Holland, Michigan is known as a diverse community with a strong foundation of quality of life, providing the framework for raising a healthy family and participating in a meaningful community experience. The accolades awarded to Holland in recent years are many and affirm a strong quality of life in this mid-size city where the economy is dynamic, arts and educational opportunities are paramount, community unity is tangible, and natural beauty is stunning. From the many accolades, from being named one of the 30 most beautiful towns in America by Expedia to being rated America’s second happiest and healthiest city in 2009 by Gallup, Holland is a city eager to please and willing to share all it has to offer with visitors and residents alike.
Rich in history, Holland was founded in 1847 by a small group of people from the Netherlands seeking religious freedom and better economic conditions to build their future upon. Reverend Albertus C. Van Raalte led the group through adversities of a harsh winter and little food to spring with a renewed hope. By the 1860’s Holland was accessible to commercial shipping traffic and had an institution of higher learning that later became Hope College. A decade later two railroads accelerated further economic growth. In 1871 a massive fire nearly wiped out the entire community. With the same tenacity of the people that built the original colony – the community rebuilt and was stronger than ever. By the early 20th century, Holland became known for its furniture manufacturers, and, given its proximity to the lakeshore was a vacation destination for people from Chicago and Milwaukee. This in turn created the rise of resorts, hotels and family cottages. By the 1920’s, the Tulip Time Festival was born. The 1940’s brought the first of many Hispanic migrant farm workers to settle in Holland, while the Post Vietnam War era welcomed Asian immigrants. Holland grew into a richly diverse community with strong roots in a solid work ethic – all seeking a better life. Today, Holland is a dynamic community.
Manufacturing, agriculture and tourism are the backbone of the community’s economic success.
The city is home to large companies and small independent businesses alike. LG Chem Michigan, Inc., Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Haworth Inc., Kraft Heinz Company, Challenge Manufacturing are some of the city’s largest employers. The diversity of its residents bring out a rich culture that draws vacationers to Holland to enjoy all it has to offer.
The Holland Energy Park is a combined cycle natural gas power plant on a 26-acre parcel of land near downtown Holland. It is the first power plant to be awarded the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s top honors. The Energy Park combines a sustainable power resource with a hub for education and recreation in a unique expression of our community values.
Holland has the largest municipal snowmelt system in North America. It encompasses 4.9 miles of heated streets and sidewalks through Downtown giving way to snow and slush free sidewalks and parking, making it a magnet for shoppers, runners, walkers and cyclists throughout the winter.
PARKS & RECREATION
Holland’s numerous outdoor activities make it a popular destination for the physically active and those who enjoy the outdoors with 20 parks and recreational facilities covering more than 500 acres. The watery expanses of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa appeal to beachcombers, boaters, and fishermen while 125 miles of bike and jogging paths meander throughout the city and the countryside.
ARTS & CULTURE
The Tulip Time Festival is Holland’s annual tribute to Dutch Heritage and the May flower and headlines the city’s natural and historic European flair. In 2016, the Tulip Time Festival was voted the favorite flower festival in the nation by USA Today Travel.
Downtown Holland features historic buildings that serve as the backdrop for diverse, unique specialty boutiques, shops, galleries, restaurants, breweries and specialty services. It is the place to attend community and international events, cultural attractions and our ever-popular farmers market.
Artistic and educational opportunities also abound in Holland, a college town. Hope College, a private, liberal arts institution, houses nationally renowned academic educators as well as its Great Performance Series and the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. The Holland Area Arts Council boasts a full educational schedule and highly acclaimed exhibits. The Holland Symphony Orchestra and Holland Chorale provide concerts performed by area musicians.
Even more than the accolades, however, is the resounding endorsement of our residents who recognize Holland as the best place to live, play, go to school, work, raise a family, and enjoy life to its fullest.