Travel to Western Michigan – Episode 849

categories: USA Travel

Fun Things to Do in West Michigan (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the western part of Michigan as the Amateur Traveler talks to Veronica Bareman from and Holland Michigan about her neck of the woods.

Why should someone go to West Michigan?

Veronica says, “I have lived in Michigan my whole life. I am a born and bred Michigander, so I have seen all four corners. I guess if you can call the mitten state a four-cornered state. Michigan is just, stunningly beautiful. We have all four seasons represented in fantastic ways. We have water, of course, everywhere, right in the center of the five Great Lakes.

“If you like, outdoor recreation. We have skiing, we have our landscape, we have everything from, not really giant mountains like you would find in the Rockies or anywhere, but we do have plenty of mountainous regions that will get you some good skiing.”

“We have all the water sports, we have just about any sport you can imagine can be done here in Michigan. We have amazing food, of course. We’re in America. Everywhere in America has some kind of amazing food, but I’m slightly partial to the West Michigan type of food and we are Midwest-friendly here in Michigan and especially West Michigan.”

Veronica takes us on an itinerary starting in Grand Rapids. We visit museums like the art museum and the public museum, as well as the Gerald R Ford Presidential Library and Museum. 

If you are a fan of public art come during ArtPrize in the second half of September. The city will be turned into a city-wide art display. Visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park for more natural beauty and art including a colossal version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse. Every spring the gardens have a butterfly exhibition called “Butterflies Are Blooming”.

See the animals or ride on a zip line at the John Ball Zoo. Veronica says you know you are a West Michigander when you have sat in John Ball’s lap.

Take in the nightlife at the BOB (Big Old Building) or one of the other restaurants and taverns Veronica recommends.

Then we head to the Dutch-influenced town of Holland Michigan. During Tulip Time in the spring Holland is covered with displays of tulips. If you see a variety that you want for your yard you may be able to buy it at Veldheer Tulip Gardens.

See a working windmill at Windmill Island Gardens or ride the rides and learn about Dutch culture at Nelis’ Dutch Village. Pick up a pair of wooden shoes to take home.

Holland is near Lake Michigan and you can enjoy the beach and the Big Red Lighthouse at Holland State Park or head down to the big sand dunes at Saugatuck Dunes State Park. For the best local view, hike the steps up Mt. Pisgah Dune Climb and Boardwalk.

You don’t have to be Dutch to enjoy Holland and West Michigan… but it wouldn’t hurt either.





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Show Notes
Ford International Airport
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Gerald R Ford Presidential Library and Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum
1928 Spillman Carousel
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park – Grand Rapids, Michigan – Amateur Traveler
Cinema Grand Rapids North and IMAX
Fred and Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming
Cinema Grand Rapids North and IMAX Theatre
Melting Pot Grand Rapids
The Green Well
John Ball Zoo
Tavern 23
Brick and Porter
Social Misfits
Holland, Michigan Visitors Bureau
CityFlatsHotel Holland
Tulip Time
Windmill Island Gardens
De Zwaan (windmill)
Nelis’ Dutch Village
Veldheer Tulip Gardens
Delft Pottery
Holland State Park
History of the Big Red Lighthouse in Holland, Michigan
Saugatuck Michigan
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Travel to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (and Mackinac Island) – Episode 484
Mt. Pisgah Dune Climb and Boardwalk
Find FREE and Fun Things to Do in Holland Mi with this Ultimate Guide


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

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