Tag Archives: Holland

Michigan: Holland and “Big Red”, I’m back!!!

The last stop on my recent day of Michigan lighthouse, beach and park hopping along Lake Michigan was Holland. It followed Musekgon and Grand Haven. Being at Holland State Park, before on this visit I decided to capture some shots first out on the open sandy sidewalk heading towards the north pier.

Holland, Michigan, Holland State Park beach, Lake Michigan

The sand retreated off the sidewalk onto the beach as I got closer and I soon wound up on…

Holland, Michigan, Holland State Park beach, Lake Michigan

Holland, Michigan, Holland State Park beach, Lake Michigan

…the narrow bridge that lead to the pier.

Holland, Michigan, north pier, Lake Michigan

The end of the walking and North Pier Light were in sight.

Holland, Michigan, north pier, Lake Michigan

The narrow pier has no barriers and rocks on both sides. The wind had died down from earlier in the day so it was a stress free walk out on the open pier! 🙂

Holland, Michigan, north pier, Lake Michigan

The pier widens right before the light. I got some closeup shots.

Holland, Michigan, north pier light, Lake Michigan

Holland, Michigan, north pier light, Lake Michigan

Holland, Michigan, north pier light, Lake Michigan

Doing a 180, I see rocks up close, the path traveled and the popular and beautiful “Big Red” Lighthouse.

Holland, Michigan, Big Red lighthouse, Lake Michigan

On the walk back I captured some more shots of “Big Red” which sits opposite the Holland Channel.

Holland, Michigan, Big Red lighthouse, Lake Michigan

What is it with those park benches?! They’re everywhere I tell ya. Of course in a romantic spot. 🙂

Holland, Michigan, Big Red lighthouse, park bench, Lake Michigan

It was a great early afternoon walk reacquainting myself with “Big Red” and the beach, north pier and Lake Michigan in Holland. No doubt I will be back again soon.

To get more information on everything, as well as photos from my previous visits checkout Michigan: Holland State Park and the “Big Red” Lighthouse.

Checkout the fun I had at my previous stops on this day again in Michigan: Back to Grand Haven Lighthouse I Go and Michigan: Coastal Muskegon on a Winter Day.

What lighthouse, pier and beach setups have you come across in your travels that you would recommend?

Michigan: Holland State Park and the “Big Red” Lighthouse

Michigan is known as the Great Lake state, being surrounded by four of them. Along the shoreline of these lakes are lighthouses, parks, harbors, sand dunes, magnificent beaches and more.

Holland State Park, one of most popular, sits on the west coast of lower Michigan along Lake Michigan.  A short drive from downtown Holland, a destination in and of itself, this park offers the visitor a lot of fun while being surrounded by incredible scenery.

Holland State Park entrance in Holland, Michigan

The beach is large. There is ample room to swim for everyone. There is also an accessible beach trail leading right down to the water.

Holland State Park Beach and Lake Michigan shoreline

Holland State Park Beach. Plenty of sand and beautiful shoreline.

Holland State Park Beach. Plenty of sand and beautiful shoreline.

The sand isn’t just limited to the beach. As with a lot of areas along lower Michigan’s west coast there are sand dunes. The sand also sits in drifts and over the sidewalks and major parking areas, adding to the ambiance.

Sand over the sidewalk at Holland State Park

Holland State Park - Sand Dunes

Many people visit the park to see the Holland Harbor Light, better known as the “Big Red” Lighthouse. It’s Michigan’s most photographed lighthouse built-in 1917 and sits on the south side of the Holland Channel. It sits on the opposite side of the channel from the park. Access to the lighthouse side to get up close and touch the lighthouse is limited, because you can only get to it through a private neighborhood.

Holland Big Red Lighthouse along Lake Michigan

Holland Big Red Lighthouse along Lake Michigan

The Holland Channel connects Lake Michigan with Lake Macatawa. On the north (park) side many people bring lawn chairs and picnics to watch the sail boats come and go from Lake Michigan. “Big Red” serves as the perfect back drop. Many people walk the boardwalk that lines the north side as well.

Channel going between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa

You can get great views of the lighthouse, beach, shoreline, channel and the vastness of Lake Michigan from the North Pier. There are two more modern lights on the pier. At times you’ll find high waves crashing onto the pier. I’ve left soaked. Though it’s not allowed, you’ll see brave folks jumping off into the cold waters which aren’t that deep. There will be others taking photographs and fishing.

Holland State Park pier

Holland State Park pier

Lake Michigan at Sunset at Holland State Park. Romantic spot at end of pier.

Holland State Park is an amazing place to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. There are always a lot of people and photographers soaking it in on the beach by the shoreline and along the pier. A great romantic spot.

Lake Michigan at Sunset at Holland State Park on the pier.

Lake Michigan at Sunset at Holland State Park.

The park and lighthouse are definitely worth a visit in the colder months too. There is ice everywhere along the pier and shoreline and snow drifts several feet high. It is a winter photographers dream. The park sits right in the lake effect snow belt of Lake Michigan.

Holland Big Red Lighthouse in the winter

Holland State Park pier. Iced rails and snow covered.

Holland State Park Beach. Snow in the winter.

I’ve been to Holland State Park several times and I’m always in awe. If your ever on a lighthouse tour or just want to hang out at a beautiful spot and on the beach along Lake Michigan, this is a must stop. What lighthouse is your favorite that you’ve visited? Any recommendations on beaches to visit on the Great Lakes or any other lake?