There's still time to organize a quick spring vacation getaway, and it doesn't have to be on some crowded tropical beach at the far end of an hours-long airline flight. ¶ The blooms you think of as symbolizing spring may have already faded in many places, but in western Michigan, the Tulip Time Festival ( is coming up May 2-9, and where else but in a city named Holland? They're serious about the seasonal flower, proclaiming more than 6 million tulips planted around the city. Along with flowers, they have parades, Dutch folk dancing and concerts (Bobby Vinton, Oak Ridge Boys). Dutch markets feature food, Dutch lace and arts and crafts.

Whether or not any of your ancestors came from the Netherlands, you'll want to visit the Holland Museum (, with exhibits about early Dutch settlers in the area.

Holland's first Dutch settlers arrived in 1847, according to the town's official visitors' website (, where local history is grouped under "All About Holland" with maps, weather and other details. And because you're going to be in town for a festival with a Dutch theme, click on "Play" for directions to the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory. The site also has what you need to know about finding places to stay, from campgrounds to hotels, and a survey of restaurants. And follow the Tulip parade downtown for a little shopping.

Michigan isn't the only place to enjoy a big spread of tulips in May.

Iowa, another destination of Dutch settlers, has Pella Tulip Time ( May 7-9 in the town just southeast of Des Moines. Pella features tulip gardens, Dutch-inspired architecture and a historic village complex of buildings that date back as much as 150 years. For history buffs, Pella also was the boyhood home of frontier lawman Wyatt Earp.

Visit Iowa a week later for the Orange City Tulip Festival ( in a town in the state's northwest corner that's named for the Netherlands' William of Orange.