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Need advice for Amsterdam day trip to quaint town with biking/windmills

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Aug 13th, 2015, 09:32 AM
  #1
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Need advice for Amsterdam day trip to quaint town with biking/windmills

Our group consists of 2 families with 4 children ranging in age from 12-18. Next May (end of month) we have 2 1/2 days in Amsterdam and would like to spend a good portion of one of those days on a day trip out of the City. In a perfect world I'd be looking for something fairly close (1hr train?) that has the following qualities:
- quaint, picturesque town
- great paths to walk along water
- biking paths for a several hour ride with windmills (with rental bikes)

Maybe all of that doesn't exist in the same spot...but I'm aiming high. We're just looking for a way to get out of the big city see the countryside while the kids burn off some energy.

I've been reading about places like Broek in Waterland, Zaanse Schans, Spaarndam, etc but would love some input from someone with personal experience.

Flowers would be nice as well but we're realizing that we're probably several weeks past the tulip season.
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Aug 13th, 2015, 12:03 PM
  #2
 
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Annase Schans is no quaint village but a rather industrial area with the windmills.

How about - train to Gouda - one of Holland's nicest regional towns - rather dreamy and rent a bike there and cycle to Kinderdijk - the largest collection of windmills in Holland and a bike path leads right thru them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=kind...=1600&bih=1075

Maybe about a 25 mile round trip - taking about three hours all told on a slow pace.

Broek in Waterland, north of Amsterdam is a quaint area that's nice to bike in some some windmills - take the free bike/pedestrian ferries across the Harbor and following signs - you could bike all the way to Marken - an aoutdoor museum of old houses and traditional ways - a longer ride of mayber 25 miles each way - boats go there to from Amsterdam - could take them one way - buses go too but not sure that they take bikes.
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Aug 13th, 2015, 07:36 PM
  #3
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Thanks for the advice PalenQ. I should have clarified that when I mentioned bike ride...I'm thinking 5 miles at best. I don't see the group being able to accomplish 25 miles

I will look further into Gouda. Problem is most of the searches I do come back about cheese!
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Aug 13th, 2015, 07:55 PM
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How about Haarlem? Lovely town and w/ the National park right outside of town

https://www.google.com/search?q=haar...IVAzmICh3ofA1P

https://www.google.com/search?q=nati...IVjpmICh0_xw5-
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Aug 13th, 2015, 09:14 PM
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We liked Haarlem, too.
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Aug 14th, 2015, 12:44 AM
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5 miles is not very much - even for the 12-year old.
Agree with Haarlem, or start in Overveen, near Haarlem. If the weather is good you can take in the beach at Bloemendaal - have lunch there.

The best site to check for rain on the day is www.buienradar.nl. Very accurate for short term rain predictions.
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Aug 14th, 2015, 11:02 AM
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- biking paths for a several hour ride with windmills (with rental bikes)>

Sorry I thought by that comment you meant a longer ride than 5 miles. So scratch that - Zaanse Schanse would be the next largest group of Dutch windmills I believe - take a train to Koog Zaandijk (? not sure of station name) and it's a short walk from there.

for a few mile bike ride I'd suggest putzing around Vondel Park - you can rent bikes there.
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Aug 14th, 2015, 12:26 PM
  #8
 
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You could consider taking any of several slow-paced organized bike tours from Amsterdam to nearby places - check MacBike - for rentals or tours:

http://www.macbike.nl/
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Aug 14th, 2015, 05:44 PM
  #9
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Thanks for all the advice. We weren't trying to get very far with the bikes...more like riding along for several hours to mainly take in the views, stop and take photos and maybe stop and have lunch. While the windmill would be nice, I think finding a nice ride through a beautiful area is more important than having passed a windmill along the route. I'll look into Haarlem more.
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