The Run Down

Welcome to Part II of our Michigan Road Trip guide. Last week we stopped by Saugatuck, Michigan for some boating, hiking, and beach time. For Part II, we're headed about 25 minutes north of Saugatuck to Holland, Michigan where we'll be combining loads of eating with some outdoor escapades. Here are the highlights.

1. Explore @ Downtown Holland

2. Beach time @ Holland State Park

3. Walk @ Mount Pisgah

1. Downtown Holland

For our first stop we’re headed to Downtown Holland to get a sense of what this place is all about. Well, this place is all about food, pubs, and ice cream. Where Downtown Saugatuck felt more like a quirky beach town, Downtown Holland felt like a neighborhood on Chicago’s North side. It was bustling with people and there were more food and drink options than you can count.  It’s easy enough to walk through Downtown Holland and explore whatever place catches your eye. Below we’re showing off two eateries we visited. 

Crust 54

I know we’re only a few hours away from Chicago, but for some, that’s more than enough time for to start feeling homesick. Well, if that’s you, then right in the heart of Downtown Holland is a casual pizza place that serves up Chicago style deep dish and thin crust pizzas.

If you don’t want to wait a long time at some of the other restaurants in the area, this place seats you quick, doesn’t bust your wallet, and makes a quality pie.Kilwins

Right next to Crust 54 is an ice cream and fudge shop that seems to have taken over small towns all across Michigan. This is where you want to stop to satisfy that sweet tooth. They have huge cases full of caramel apples, all sorts of fudge concoctions, and of course ice cream.

2. Holland State Park

Our next stop is an outdoor excursion to Holland State Park. This is about a 15 min drive from Downtown Holland on the shores of Lake Michigan. After indulging ourselves with pizza and ice cream, we’re going to be doing some hardcore lounging at the beach.  Here are some tips to get you on your way.

– Parking at the beach will cost you $9.
– There are a few free parking spots down the street from the beach, across from Mt. Pisgah. There can be a lot of traffic, and these free parking spots let you avoid some of that.
– There are public grills on beach if you’re thinking about doing a cookout
– You can also camp here. See this site to reserve a spot.

The pictures below show the route from our free parking spots to the beach. It’s about a quarter-mile walk on a walking path.

If you didn’t have enough food before coming here, there’s a general store on the walk to the beach. They have some killer mini donuts for $1 each.The walking path follows along a canal that goes out to Lake Michigan. You’ll see sail boats coasting beside you as you make your way to the beach.When you finally get to the beach, it definitely is a sight to take in. It’s massive, the sand is soft, and you’ll definitely forget that your in the middle of the country instead of the coasts. 

3. Mt. Pisgah

Our last stop in this guide is Mt. Pisgah. This isn’t really a mountain, but we’re going to say it’s close enough by Chicago standards. This is a giant sand dune near the beach that we’re going to be hiking up. The top of the dune is about 157 feet above Lake Michigan, and luckily for us, we can get to the top via stairs.

The trail starts off on a dirt path that winds through a forest and ends at a huge stair case.

At the top of the stairs are a couple of different observation decks that give you a scenic view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding dunes.

If you don’t want to stop at the top of Mt. Pisgah, you can continue on the deck which will lead you to a 2-3 mile trail through a dense forest.