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Road Trip: Holland and Belgium

Day 2: The Hague to Maastricht (140 miles)

Rise early and head to the Binnenhof, a small compound of buildings on a tranquil lake that’s been the center of Dutch government for more than 600 years. Nearby sits the Mauritshuis museum, which holds Rembrandts, Brueghels, and two of Vermeer’s great masterpieces, Girl with a Pearl Earring and View on Delft. Back behind the wheel, hop on the A12, which merges with the A2 and leads down to Maastricht, one of the country’s oldest cities (settled in 50 B.C. by the Romans). Tefaf, the European fine-art fair, is held here every March, but you can soak up great art year-round: Visit the Bonnefanten for old masters. The Netherlands Architecture Institute’s new Maastricht outpost is right next door. Stop for a cocktail under low vaulted-brick ceilings at Molo 5, then order the chef’s-course dinner at Beluga for sublime fresh fish, such as wild turbot with langoustine. End the night at the Kruisherenhotel (doubles from $500), a Renaissance monastery turned design hotel.

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