While visiting family in Chicago this summer I decided to take the kids to the beaches of Michigan. As a child, we would go to the cottages of our friends who summered in Michigan. As suggested by my brother we ventured to Holland, Michigan.


Escape to the country of Holland in only 2 hours from Chicago in Holland, Michigan. Dutch influenced town with beaches and restaurants will make you feel like you took a flight and not a drive.

How Far is Holland Michigan from Chicago

A quaint town about 2 1/2 hours from Chicago along Lake Michigan. You feel you took a flight instead of I-94 to this Dutch-influenced city.

holland mi

Road Trips from Chicago– Holland, Michigan


Where to stay in Holland Michigan:

We stayed right downtown at the City Flats Hotel, a super modern hotel that is the only LEED Gold certified hotel in the Midwest. Basically they are super environmentally conscious and have been certified.

Think minimalist with extra room. The rooms were equipped with 2 queen sized beds and plenty of room to move around them. Each bed had its own flat screen as well. I like the layout of the room as it led to privacy and limited fighting among the kids and who watched what. If you take a look around CityFlats’ website you will see all the rooms have a little bit different decor.


The bathroom was another amazing amenity. With a huge walk in shower that was tiled in natural stone. The ceilings were at least 9 feet high so it made everything look bigger.

Guest rooms at CityFlatsHotel Holland are filled with unique and luxurious décor items and contain a number of environmentally-friendly features including:

  • Cork flooring installed with low-VOC adhesives
  • Naturally hypo-allergenic bamboo linens
  • Locally manufactured CityDrēm Mattresses (moderate comfort)
  • Curtains lined with a black-out fabric to reduce energy needed to heat and cool room (keep kids in bed longer)
  • High efficiency heating and cooling units with occupancy sensors
  • Low-flow faucets and toilets using 30% less water than standard fixtures
  • Light fixtures with energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs
  • Countertops made from Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) Certified recycled glass and concrete www.c2ccertified.com
  • Locally manufactured furniture and décor
  • Low-VOC paint

cityflats Holland Mi

Things to Do In  HOLLAND,MI holland michigan to chicago

Located right downtown Holland, MI, Cityflats Hotel was a perfect location to walk to restaurants and shops in the cute downtown of Holland. On Thursday nights during the summer, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.,  they have street performers up and down 8th street. T

hey block the street from car traffic and there are tons of people and “artisans” there to entertain the family. Bring some dollar bills as they all have tip jars out!

Also, a quick walk from City Flats is Kollen Park which is on Lake Mactawa. It is about 1 mile each way but a great look at the homes of the area and you pass the  Cappon and Settlers Home (2 historic homes).

We ate at Boatwerks located near the park, which was a great view but less than great food. Overpriced but like I said a great place to eat outside or go for a drink and take in the lake scenery on their extensive outdoor deck. There is also play equipment nearby that the children played on while we waited for our table.


We also ate at the New Holland Brewery, located on the main strip of shops and restaurants. A new and hip local brewery which is a very large restaurant. I am always a little weary of large restaurants and the volume to feed everyone. The beer was great the food once again just ok. Don’t bother ordering the Caesar salad very wilted and no flavor considering how much dressing was on it. The appetizers looked good so I would definitely give it another chance.

Do not leave Holland, MI without trying Captain Sundaes and deBoer Bakery and Restaurant both on Douglas Ave a quick drive from the hotel and on the way to the beaches. OMG is all I can say. Reasonably priced and too good for words. WOW. I gained 10 lbs between the two. Also, the kids will love the Peanut Shop on 8th Street a candy haven.

windmill Island Holland michigan

Just a quick drive down the road from CityFlats is also Windmill Island. A beautiful location and very educational for the kids. They have a working flour mill that is 250 years old. Unfortunately, the Windmill was under construction during our visit so it was not producing flour but we were able to tour the windmill. A super cool experience for the kids.

windmill island2 Holland mi

The flowers were amazing too.


If you happen to be in Holland on a Wends or Saturday, be sure and hit the Farmers Market. Also just a few blocks away from City Flats Hotel. In front of the civic center. I have never seen this many vendors and such amazing produce. Wow. I wish I was able to bring some home.


BEACHES: The water was cold for us Virginians,(Mom especially) even in August, but the kids loved running up and down the dunes. We went to Tunnel Park only but wish we would have ventured to Holland State Park to see Big Red Lighthouse and compare the beaches.

If you need a swimming pool for the kids, you need to stay at a different hotel but overall our experience was great at City Flats and if in the area I would try it again.

Thanks again to CityFlats for sharing your hotel.

 How far are you willing to travel for a weekend trip?