Located along the shores of Lake Macatawa, just miles from Lake Michigan, Macatawa is an unincorporated community known for its quaint cottages and water access.
In 1847, Dutch Calvinist separatists arrived in the area, led by Dr. Albertus van Raalte. This group of settlers settled in the midst of the native Ottawa Tribe’s land, which quickly led to tensions between the two groups. The Dutch eventually purchased the land from the Ottawa tribe later that year. Macatawa was first a resort destination in the 20th century, with large resorts that drew mostly visitors from Chicago. A series of fires destroyed nearly all of these resorts, and the area is instead home to cottages today.
Holland Public Schools operate seven schools in the community, including an early childhood center, four K-7 schools, and two high schools, serving grades 8-12. The community is also home to two private schools: Grand Haven Christian School and St. John’s Lutheran School. Secondary education is offered in Holland at four colleges: Grand Valley State University, Davenport University, Hope College and Western Theological Seminary. Amtrak service to Chicago and Detroit is available in nearby Grand Rapids.
Lake Macatawa is the focal point of the community, providing ample options for summertime enjoyment. Boating, swimming, fishing, skiing and numerous other watersports take place in the summer months, drawing visitors from all over the Midwest. Although Macatawa is unincorporated, nearby Holland offers a number of activities for Macatawa residents to enjoy. Holland hosts an annual Tulip Time Festival, which features six million tulips, and takes place throughout the city every May. This festival draws over a million tourists every May, and as such, has been ranked as the best small town festival by Readers Digest.