I know Utrecht is a popular secondary base for exploring the Netherlands, but I'm wondering if anyone has used Utrecht as a home base including their time in Amsterdam?
As part of a 10 week trip next summer, I am trying to finalize plans for 19 days in the Netherlands. We plan to have a long term car rental during this leg of the trip (even though I know it will be a nuisance to park most of the days). I have quite an exhaustive list of the possible to-do's throughout the entire country, knowing we won't be able to accomplish even half of it, but just want to know the options and tailor things to the weather and what the family feels like on any given day (kids will be 8 and 12).
My current plan is to stay 1 week in Utrecht, with our accommodation being walking distance to the train station. We would spend some days in Utrecht, and some days taking the train into Amsterdam. For the second week I have an AirBNB just north of Utrecht in Maarssen picked out where we'd take more day trips with the car (Kroller-Muller Museum, Giethoorn, Woerden, etc.). We'd also still be able to drive or take the train to amsterdam for anything we missed or wanted to do, or north to Hoorn, Alkmaar, etc..
This would be followed up with 4 nights in Delft, where we could choose from things to do there, the Hague, Rotterdam, etc.
My question is whether anyone has used Utrecht as their home base for the Netherlands, including days where they go into Amsterdam? My family is not big on large cities, and I already have determined i want to spread out our day trips into Amsterdam, and know we'll be happier staying outside of the city. Haarlem is mentioned as RS's favorite home base, but the accommodation there is considerably more expensive. The train from Utrecht to Amsterdam Central is listed as only 26 minutes, compared to 17 minutes for Haarlem to Amsterdam. Is there any reason you foresee that i'd regret this decision? 20 minutes extra on the train for 3 or 4 of the days seems like a fair trade-off. Our goal is truly for slow travel, and I'm trying to move accommodations as little as possible.