What exactly are you looking for (shopping, hiking, relaxing with a pool) and how are you traveling? Will you be coming by train from Boston or will you be driving?
Will you be spending any time in NYC at all? If not, I highly recommend spending those 2 nights in Manhattan.
Are you driving? I think the idea of staying 2 hrs. away from the airport if you have to be there at 10 am is not a good one so you might consider 2 different locations. Your budget and the kind of spot you'd like would help. For the night before JFK, Greenwich Ct. is one idea that comes to mind where there are a fair number of hotels and a cute (upscale) town with shops and restaurants. The Delamar is very nice. For something less expensive, look at the chain hotels in Rye, NY.
Tarrytown is another idea that would work for 2 nights. You can visit the Rockefeller Estate, Kykuit from there. You could even take the train into Manhattan from there without a problem as you could from Rye or Greenwich. The Metro North commuter train services all these towns.
Thanks for all your help.
We thinnnk we'll visit Greenwich.
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