I would like to visit the Rijksmuseum from the Rennaisance hotel (near Centraal station). Although it is only 1 mile, what are the preferred public transportation options for this route?
Tram #2! (Or 12—they run on the same route for this portion.) The route itself is widely considered scenic (guidebooks often have a tour route built off the tram route). Just walk about 5 minutes from your hotel, the wait won't be more than a couple minutes, and exit at the Rijksmuseum stop. Signs and announcements on the tram will keep you oriented so you don't miss the stop. The same tram can be used to reach many other museums and attractions.
You also have the option of walking back up to Centraal Station, riding the metro two stops, and then walking ~500m to the museum, but that's less scenic, involves going out of your way more, and takes around the same time.
It would also be a nice bike ride if you rent a bicycle.