Top 5 Most Amazing Beaches in Holland MI

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Top 5 Most Amazing Beaches in Holland MI

Whether you are a resident of Holland or one of its neighboring towns, you’ll want to know where the best beaches in Holland, Michigan, are located!  Holland sits right on the shore of Lake Michigan, the third largest of the five Great Lakes.

A boy's feet walking along a beach waterline

The West Michigan area of Lake Michigan’s coast boasts some of the most popular access points to the stunning and unsalted Lake Michigan.  Whether you’re looking for something bustling with activity or off the beaten path, I have some suggestions for you to check out!

Amazing Beach in Holland MI - #1

Holland State Park

Holland State Park is the most well-known of all the beaches in Holland and attracts the most traffic throughout the sunny summer months!  Visitors and locals love the long length of the beach that has room for everyone to stretch out.  At this Holland beach, you can bring your blanket, beach umbrella, and cooler to stretch out for a day playing in the waves of our lovely unsalted lake.

A wide view of Holland State Park showing Big Red Lighthouse
Beautiful Holland State Park offers lovely soft sand and amazing views

Another perk of a visit to the Holland beach at Holland State Park is the ample parking as long as you have a recreation pass or are willing to pay the daily entrance fee.  You can find all of the information about daily fees or annual passes HERE.  If you are a Michigan resident, you can add this pass to your yearly vehicle license plate, which grants you access to all of the Michigan State Parks all year round.

Bonus! Exercise aplenty at this beach in Holland

While you are enjoying this bustling Holland beach, be sure and take a short walk out on the pier, where you can get some bonus exercise.  While you’re there, look back for a stunning view of the Holland Harbor Lighthouse, affectionately called Big Red by locals.  If you’re not sure the pier is the walk for you (it is closed when conditions are risky), then you can take a walk down the side of the channel that the boats use to travel from Lake Macatawa into the much grander Lake Michigan.  Many folks place their lawn chairs out near the channel and catch some rays while watching the boats pass by.  Don’t be surprised to see a few kites flying high over the beach while you’re there.

Big Red from the Pier
A view of Big Red Lighthouse from the Pier across the channel

One feature that sets Holland State Park apart from other beaches in Holland, MI, is amenities.  A sturdy brick building sits right on the beach with modern restrooms (and baby changing areas) along with concessions (I’m talking ice cream!) and a small gift shop.  Beach volleyball courts are available nearby, along with water sprayers to clean your feet before heading back to the large parking lot.

A seagull flies over the Pier at one of Holland's beaches
A view of the pier from the beach at Holland State Park

I could go on and on about the many offerings at Holland State Park.  It’s one of the many lovely Holland beach areas and great for hours and hours of fun in the sun.  Even camping accommodations are available.  You can choose a lot next to the sandy beach or a smidge further from the sand in a woodsier setting.  You can find more information about camping on either of these sites at the Michigan DNR website.  But before you pack up and head for the beach, I have one last tip.  If you’re not sure about the weather before you head to the state park, you can peek in on the State Park Beach Webcam

You may be here for the beaches, but you’ll still need to eat!  Check out The Seven Very Best Places to Eat in Holland, Michigan

Amazing Beach in Holland MI - #2

Tunnel Park

Tunnel Park is an unspoken hero among the beaches of Holland, Michigan.  Perfect for families, you will find a play area and large grassy park area before crossing through the concrete tunnel carved out under a dune leading onto the sandy beach and gorgeous lake view!

A couple walks down the beach together at Tunnel Park

Parking is readily available and comes with a minimum fee when an Ottawa County Parks System representative mans the entry.  Take note that an annual recreation pass is not valid at this county park.

Once you find a comfortable parking space, let the kids stretch out on the play equipment while you nab a picnic table for a quick lunch.  If you’d like to grab a quick workout while you’re there, be sure and take the stairway up the dune to get some leg action while your kids run past you up and down!  The view from the top is fantastic and makes it worth the exercise!  Finally, while in the park, check out the beach volleyball courts – challenge someone to a match or park your chair nearby and watch someone else battle it out.

Pregnant woman on one of Holland's beach Tunnel Park
The concrete tunnel that leads to the lake is unique and beautiful!

This beach in Holland is a 2-in-1 experience!

After lunch, make a quick pitstop at the modern restrooms on your way over to the tunnel (you can’t miss it).  Enjoy the short trip through the tunnel and be prepared for the breathtaking view that awaits you on the other side.  The concrete tunnel opens to a small area with a couple of benches.  A few small stairs will take you down to the white sand, a hallmark of all of the beaches in Holland, Michigan.

Once you’ve arrived at the sandy beach area, you can take a sunset walk along the shore or find a place to chill on the sand while the kids splash in the water.  The dunes and grasses come relatively close to the beach area here, and my kids always love to scale these grassy ledges.  This hip grandma finds it fun to watch, but not to climb, but if you’re adventurous, give it a try!

Holland is more than just beaches.  Here are Seven Reasons You MUST Visit Holland, Mi During Tulip Time

a couple lounges in the sand
Holland's beaches all boast beautiful sandy shores!

After you’ve enjoyed your time on the sandy beach, rest easy knowing you can use one of the handy water sprays back on the way from the tunnel to the parking lot to spray off your sandy feet. 

You can check HERE for more info on amenities available at Tunnel Park, including rules for bringing your dog.

Amazing Beach in Holland MI - #3

Riley Beach

A local favorite, Riley Beach, is a small area of beach in Holland, Michigan.  This quiet little beach boasts convenient parking and carry-in boat access (great for kayaking or canoeing).  Because this beach is small and less-traveled overall, you won’t find modern restrooms or picnic accommodations.  You will, however, still find the white sand and beautiful lake view that makes Holland beaches so lovely.

Sunset at over Lake Michigan
A sunset over Lake Michigan is beautiful from any of these local beach areas!

Be prepared to head up a somewhat steep and sandy hill to get from the parking area to the beach.  No rush – the walk to the beach area is part of the charm of this cozy little beach that lies off the beaten path.  Once you reach the sand and sun, know that the water tends to be a bit deeper at this location.  While you are catching some warm rays with fewer people around, you may be lucky enough to see some freshwater surfers enjoying the deep water and the waves. 

Amazing Beach in Holland MI - #4

Laketown Beach

Laketown Beach is a hidden little treasure in the Holland beach area!  The beach itself is small, making it much less crowded than some of the more popular options.  Unlike some of the more popular public beaches, though, Laketown offers free parking.

When you choose Laketown beach, be prepared for a hike up some pretty rigorous stairs and then back down on the other side of the dune to reach the sandy shore of Lake Michigan.  These stairs are here to help protect the beautiful dunes along the shores of the lake.  Please note that one needs to be reasonably ambitious and in good physical condition to enjoy this experience.  If you’re looking for some good exercise, then this is the location for you!  You will not want to haul a large cooler and heavy lawn chairs to this spot.

A sailboat near sunset on Lake Michigan
Laketown Beach offers stunning lake views of local boaters enjoying the water.

There are no amenities available at this Holland beach.  No public restrooms, and because of the remote location, you may have a bit of difficulty getting a solid cell signal.  But what this beach lacks in creature comforts, it makes up for in beauty and tranquility.  Once you make your way onto the beach, spread out your towel, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sound of the water and the beat of the sun. 

Because of this beach’s remote location and the effort it takes to access the water, you will find both the sand and water very clean and lovely, likely due to less human traffic than the more popular public beaches.  If you aren’t sure you can make it up and back down the stairs, know that you can always choose a spot to sit along the stairs, watch the water and seagulls, and even enjoy a gorgeous sunset.

Amazing Beach in Holland MI - #5

Kirk Park

If you have a furry friend who loves to enjoy the beach’s white sand, you must check out Kirk Park.  This Holland beach is a county park situated just a few miles north of Holland State Park.  Locals love this beach in Holland for its clean sand and less crowded atmosphere.  Be sure and come in the morning for the least crowded part of the day.  This Holland beach is the perfect location for an early morning jog with your furry friend!

Need a laugh?  You gotta read Dogs Are Gross!

The Holland Beach for Dog Lovers!

When you arrive at Kirk Park, you’ll find an ample parking area that comes with a small fee.  Once you’ve unloaded, you’ll find 68 acres of park and beach area, including trails with wooden stairs that take you through wooded areas of the dunes.  The park features modern bathrooms, a handicap-accessible loop through the trails, a play area for the kids, and even a horseshoe pit!  You can also enjoy a picnic at one of the shelters, picnic tables, or built-in grills.

a boat passes in front of a setting sun

If you’re looking for the pure white Holland beach sand, then head straight for the paved path that will take you to a deck overlooking the beach and Lake Michigan.  Keep going down the wooded path to access the sandy beach area that runs over 1/3 of a mile along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

For all of the rules concerning a responsible visit with your dog, a park map, and additional information about Kirk Park, click HERE. 

Bonus Beaches of Holland, Michigan

We’ve covered some of the most favored beaches in the area, but when I asked around for some more personal favorites from Holland residents, here’s what I found.

At the end of James Street in Holland is a small area of water access.  This area has parking for several vehicles.  The beach access is relatively limited but not busy.  If you’re looking for a location with a bit of privacy, check it out!

a couple holds hands amongst the beach grass
Plenty of beach grass adorns the dunes near many of Holland's local beaches

Saugatuck Dunes State Park is another favorite local beach in the Holland area.  Although not technically a Holland Beach, it is only about a half-hour drive south from the Holland area.  You will walk about a mile from the parking lot to the beach, but it is very peaceful.

Pier Cove Park is located just south of Saugatuck in Fennville, MI.  The area features lots of pretty rocks and shade.  Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

The Holland Beach Lovers' Best Kept Secret!

Finally – one of the best-kept secret beaches in Holland, Michigan, is lovingly referred to as “The Bowl” and is located not far from Laketown Beach.  The Bowl is a gigantic bowl-shaped, reverse-dune.  It feels a bit like you’re in a giant bowl made of sand, hence the name.  The bowl was likely carved from the ground by a massive glacier that traversed the area millions of years ago.  It was most likely a lake before it dried into the giant sand bowl we can enjoy today.

Wrapping it Up!

After reading about the many beautiful and scenic beaches in Holland, Michigan, you can probably see why I love living in this area.  West Michigan is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of the state, and dare I say, country!?  I love to travel and explore the country, but I am always happy to return to this beautiful area I call home!  Whether you’re visiting or lucky enough to live here like I do, be sure and venture out to see all of these picturesque areas, and remember to take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints!

Not sure how to use your “fancy” camera? Check out Your Ultimate Guide to Shooting in Manual Mode

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, nice article but it would be nice to know how to get to the sand bowl, not just know what it’s near! I’ve heard about it for years but have never had an address!

    • Hi Lisa! I sure do understand your dilemma! I would love to help you out, but there is no registered address for The Bowl. Thank you for reading!

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