Sunday, May 2, 2010

Holland and Saugatuck Michigan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland,_Michigan

Holland turned out to be a very nice town but very long from north to south as it is located along Lake Macatawa which then turns into Lake Michigan. Around the downtown area people have tulips planted in rows on their terraces for blocks. It looks really nice now although many of the tulips seem to be almost past their prime already. Another casualty of global warming? They may need to move the festival from the first and second weekends in May to late April if it keeps getting warmer. Other interesting Holland facts are that in 2010, Holland was ranked the 2nd healthiest/happiest town in the United States by the Well-being Index and that the city is the home to the church that kicked off the trend of the "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets in 1989.

http://www.tuliptime.com/

We had thought to stay on Saturday for the Tulip Festival but as it was only the first weekend of it, there was only a craft fair and Dutch dancing in the park. Of course besides touring the tulip gardens. Bill was not too keen on any of those activities so we decided to head south along the shoreline and see what else there would be to do on his only day off. So we left in the early afternoon and found Mount Baldhead and the city of Saugatuck.


http://www.michigan.org/property/detail.aspx?p=b9024

I am not sure if we were crazy or not, but we decided to climb up the new stairs to Mount Baldhead....all 282 of them! Here was the view looking up which was rather daunting.


And here is the view from the top about a half hour later!

video

And finally the view heading back down. We could have gone down the other side which headed to Oval Beach and was a straight down drop of pure sand but it was too far to walk back to where the RV was parked.


http://www.saugatuck.com/index.asp

We definitely loved the Saugatuck/Douglas area of Michigan. It was BY FAR the best place we had been in the lower part of the state, no doubt due to the location on the water.

video

It reminded us a lot of Fish Creek in the Door with the shops and restaurants along the water. There were cars parked EVERYWHERE and we can just imagine that if it is that busy the first weekend in May, Memorial Day must be a zoo. The houses along the water were awesome with some being built up on the bluffs. There were a couple of straight up driveways that there is no way they can be used in the winter. All in all if we had to live in lower Michigan, this would definitely be our area of choice. Unfortunately there are no RV areas right in Saugatuck -- if you have an RV you need to go either north to Holland or farther south to one of the state parks on the shore. We stopped at one private campground that was open as many places aren't opening until May 15 and we didn't want to pay $27 to $35 plus the $12 entry fee to a state park, but this park wanted $44 for one night. That much for a circular park with really no amenities. So we just decided to head on to the Target in Benton Harbor and save the fees as we will definitely need to have hook ups later in the year when we need to run the air. Benton Harbor is our last stop in lower Michigan and then we are on to Indiana on Monday.

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