My husband and I are visiting the tulip festival this March/early April 2016. We will be staying 10 days and would like to take full advantage of all our days. We have an international driver's license so renting a car is definitely a possibility. We don't have to stay near the tulips since we hope to be moving around, we can stay anywhere interesting. Suggestions?
Have a look in or around Monnickendam, some 15 km north of Amsterdam. Nice small historical harbour town on the former Zuiderzee. Good base for exploring the very Dutch landscape around. Less than 10 kilometers from Purmerend railway station for visiting cities, where a car is only a handicap.
For a more urban environment Haarlem is a good place to stay, only 20 minutes by very frequent train to Amsterdam. Beautiful historical city without the tourist crowds.