Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Monday, May 22, 2017

RV Park Review–Holland State Park (Holland, Michigan)

Website:     Holland State Park 
Location:    Holland, Michigan
Date:          May 2017
Price:         $39/night (Each day requires a separate $11 pass or we chose to buy an annual Michigan state park pass for $32

Holland State Park is popular for its expansive sandy beach along Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa where swimming, sun bathing, fishing, and boating are popular activities.  Holland SP has two campgrounds – the Lake Macatawa Unit and the Beach Campground (which is where we stayed and the focus of this review).  The Beach Campground is essentially a parking lot as the sites, patios and roads are paved with little grass among them.  It is nestled between dunes which adds to the scenic value and blocks the strong winds coming off of Lake Michigan.  The Lake Unit campground is much larger (211 campsites) than the Beach Campground and has more of a state park feel with trees, grass, and fire pits. 

Site description:

The Beach Campground has 98 RV sites of which 31 are 50 amp full hook-up and two camper cabins.  Some sites towards the northern section of the park have great views of Lake Michigan but be warned that strong winds can come off the lake and really shake your RV.  When we were there in early May the winds were very strong with blowing sand which made us really glad we were not near the water.

Campsites are plenty wide to fit your RV with slide outs and car next to it without feeling cramped.  Utilities are at the very back of the site so you may need an extension for your sewer hose.  All sites were level.  Every site has a picnic table.  There are no fire pits at individual sites but community ones are located near the beach and you are permitted to use your own fire pit if you have one. 


We were able to get nearly two dozen television stations with our antenna and had no problem locking into a satellite with our roof-mounted dish.  Verizon phone and hotspot worked well. 

So is this park big rig-friendly?  In general, yes.  Our site was certainly long (and wide) enough to fit our RV and the tow car next to it.  However, we did have the back five feet overhanging the sand at the back of the site.  This was no problem for us because our stabilizing jacks are in between our back tires.  We were also there at a time when the park was fairly empty so backing in and pulling out was no problem.  The sites are all set at an angle to the main road which makes backing easier. 


By far the beach is the biggest draw to the campground.  The wide beach lures sunbathers out in warm weather and is popular for a walk at sunset.  There is a playground, picnic area, community fire pits, dump station, boat launch and concession stand.  There is one restroom/shower house that was very clean but no laundry facilities.

What we liked:

We loved that fact that this campground was so close to water and the nice paved path for walking and hiking trails in the main part of the campground.  Within 50 yards from our site we could be walking along Lake Macatawa or along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan.  The beach is wide and expansive and is the place to be for awesome sunsets.  When we were there the beach was not crowded because it was cold and windy but it would be a great place to enjoy a good book under an umbrella. Definitely liked the fact that this was a full hook-up state park with level sites.


What we didn’t like:

The park is essentially a parking lot with little grass and trees.  What really surprised us was how many cars drove through the campground that were not staying there.  There apparently are no restrictions on who drives through the park so many day-use visitors came by just for a look resulting in unnecessary traffic.

Be advised there is a “no alcohol” policy in the park and campground and you have to sign a piece of paper saying you will abide by that rule.  The rule states that “Possessing or consuming alcohol is prohibited in all areas of the park throughout the entire year” even inside your RV. 

In order to enter the state park you must have a Michigan Recreation Passport which costs $32 for an annual non-resident OR you have to pay $11/day to enter the park even if you are camped there. 

Spirit’s two cents:

There are plenty of places to walk dogs here and access points to water if your dog likes to swim.  Unfortunately, they are not allowed on the beach but there is a long walking path and within the main part of the park are miles of hiking trails and a nice overlook.  This park does not have an unleashed dog park; however, there is one within five miles at the fairgrounds. 

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