The historical mid-size city of Alkmaar is a great destination for a day trip from Amsterdam. You can get there by car or by public transport in about one hour’s time.
Alkmaar has a monumental center with lots of nice buildings and canals. The main tourist attraction is the (seasonal) weekly cheese market. Alkmaar is surrounded by typical flat and green countryside. You can also combine your visit to Alkmaar with the Northsea coast, with attractive coastal towns like Bergen aan Zee and Egmond aan Zee.
The best way to discover the historical center of Alkmaar and the countryside surrounding the city is of course by boat. Alkmaar Boat Rentals is the place to go to. They are affordable, they have different boats to choose from and several nice add-ons.