There are many eco conscious ways to explore the Netherlands beyond Amsterdam. A series of convenient, flat bike paths connect you to all points in the country, and you can follow them right out of the city to places such as the Keukenhof Garden, with its seasonal tulip beds; the fishing village of Volendam; the cheese town of Edam; and the Muiderslot Castle in Muiden.
Skirting the water and venturing through fields of livestock, the view from the bike path reveals the beauty of the Dutch countryside and connects you to the same panoramas painted historically by Dutch landscape artists. There are also plenty of places to stop on the way for refreshment.
If you’re not a biker, you can still get out of town economically on a comfortable boat. Holland from the water is a beautiful experience, and you can cruise from Amsterdam center right into the countryside, where you can meet the cattle producing all that great cheese, and see the iconic Zaans Schans windmills.
The Netherlands is connected by a strong railway infrastructure that will take you anywhere you want to go, including Amsterdam to Leiden in under an hour for an excellent day trip. Leiden is a vibrant university town with beautiful canals and architecture and a fascinating history; it is where pilgrims lived for several years before sailing to the New World. Visitors can connect with this heritage at the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, a living history museum depicting a 17th-century pilgrim house.