Noordwijk  is a town in South Holland with 25.000 inhabitants. In summer the number of people in this beach town reaches close to double, with many tourists visiting from Germany and other parts of The Netherlands. The town features good nightlife, great dining and a great way to get to know Dutch culture. It's easy to meet locals here, especially when going out at night. People are generally very friendly, helpful and proud of their town. Noordwijk is divided into two parts: Noordwijk aan Zee (the seaside of the town, which used to be a fishing settlement is now the tourist center), and Noordwijk Binnen (the older, historic village) which is about 2 km inland from the beach.
Take a train to Leiden Centraal Station. From the bus platform at the train station take bus 20 or 21 to Noordwijk. If you're in Amsterdam and staying in the Flying Pig hostel, they have a transfer to their sister hostel in Noordwijk.
The town is small enough to walk around; from North to South would take you approximately 40 minutes and you'll walk by beautiful flower fields on the way. The two centers (Noordwijk aan Zee and Noordwijk Binnen) are very compact and car free. There are plenty of possibilities to rent bicycles, which is another good way to get around.
The beaches in Noordwijk are some of the most popular in The Netherlands, but not nearly as crowded as Scheveningen. Little restaurants on the beach feature great dining and lounging. The beach is unofficially divided in a section for young people who like to play music (the section in front of the Hoofdstraat), a family beach (Queen Astrid Boulevard) and a all sorts beach (north of the Hoofdstraat entrance). Certain parts of the beach can get quite crowded in summer, but if you are up for a short stroll you will always find yourself a spot or a more secluded place. Local people love to stroll on the beach in the winter too.
The beach of Noordwijk was chosen as one of the most attractive beach destinations by the QualityCoast International Certification Program of the European Coastal & Marine Union.