Haarlem has more to offer than just a historic downtown. Take a look at the beautiful surrounding region. For example, the beach is the base of operations for many Haarlemmers. By train you can be at Zandvoort station within ten minutes. Or grab a bike and take the Zeeweg via Overveen to Bloemendaal aan Zee.
Between Haarlem, Amsterdam and Velsen lies recreational area Spaarnwoude. You can enjoy hiking and biking, as well as canoeing, swimming or mountain biking. Also almost around the corner is the colorful Bulb Region and Keukenhof.
In the "backyard" of Haarlem lies National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. A beautiful vast forest and dune area between IJmuiden, Haarlem and Zandvoort. You have enormously rich flora and fauna and dune lakes like 't Wed and the Oosterplas. Walking, cycling and swimming are wonderful here.
If you want to spend a day exploring the area, you can also book a hotel in Haarlem. The extensive public transport network will take you everywhere. Prefer to spend the night in a quieter area? On the outskirts of the city, and beyond, there are also plenty of options.