Get international flair only a state away in Holland, Michigan.
To see part of this small Dutch town's history in action, climb the well-worn wooden stairs to the upper deck of the 125-foot-tall De Zwaan, Holland's 18th-century windmill. The behemoth machine creaks to life as the hand-carved wooden gears and cogs spin and whir. The air fills with fine flour dust as massive grindstones crush whole grain into flour — just as they have since 1761. It's easy for time to whoosh by at Windmill Island Gardens, which has seasonal hours from April 16 to October, but there's more culture waiting back downtown — from 17th-century paintings at the Holland Museum to local stores selling the very flour ground before your eyes.
Treat Yourself: Pick up Wilhelmina mints, wooden shoes, delicate krakelingen cookies and fine blue-and-white Delft porcelain at downtown shops such as the Holland Peanut Store, the Michigan Pantry and AlpenRose Cafe. downtownholland.com
Beach Bum: Snap Instagram-worthy photos at Big Red, the area's beloved red lighthouse, from across the channel at Holland State Park. Afterward, play in the Lake Michigan surf on the sandy beaches or walk the pier, watching the boats sail the channel. 2215 Ottawa Beach Road, 616-399-9390, michigandnr.com/parksandtrails
Night Cap: New Holland Brewing reigns supreme in a town that's now home to several craft brewers. Hops lovers shouldn't miss the brewery's insanely popular Mad Hatter IPA, while malt-lovers can't go wrong with the Poet Oatmeal Stout. 66 E. Eighth St., 616-355-6422, newhollandbrew.com
Rest Break: Comfortable amenities meet modern design in CityFlats Hotel. No two rooms are the same at this LEED-gold-certified boutique hotel, where countertops are made from recycled glass and concrete, and bedding is woven of eco-friendly bamboo. 61 E. Seventh St., 616-796-2100, cityflatshotel.com
App We Love: Trip Splitter
If you go with friends, dividing the bill can be dodgy. Take out the guesswork by recording costs and who paid in this app. Then split the expense among selected people. If you've had too many drinks and are foggy on your spending, the geo-locate tool will help you remember purchases.
Pit Stop: Saugatuck, Michigan
A Saugatuck Dune Ride ($19), takes you up 380 feet to experience the full majesty of the dunes along the crystal-blue Lake Michigan. The open-top buggy offers views of lush, wooded vegetation and golden sand mountains. The 18-seater is equipped with handlebars — but you're on vacation, so embrace the thrills of the rolling terrain and make this a hands-in-the-air adventure. Open May-October, 6495 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck, 269-857-2253, saugatuckduneride.com
Get rooted in the Dutch tradition by visiting during Holland's popular Tulip Time festival May 7-14 when nearly 5 million of the colored beauties are in blossom.
Trolley Tours, Daily
This is why you came, so hop abroad this hour-plus tour and see red, orange, pink and yellow flowers sprouting up in parks, the historical district and downtown. 74 W. Eighth St., Holland, 616-396-4221, tuliptime.com
Art and Craft Fair, May 7 & 8
Spend a sunny afternoon in the park and take home a creation from 230 fine-art vendors and exhibits. Centennial Park, 10th Street and Central Avenue, Holland, 616-396-4221,tuliptime.com
Muziekparade, May 14
Known as the music parade for its several marching bands and Dutch dancers, this is the largest parade of the fest and draws 200,000 spectators. Starting at West Eighth Street, Holland, 616-396-4221, tuliptime.com
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12:00 AM EST
February 18, 2016