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Where to stay outside NYC for easy travel by train into the city?

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Hello. We are a British mother and daughter (65 and 27) and will be staying in New England from late April to the beginning of May. After that we plan to drive from Rhode Island to a place outside New York City where we can easily travel by train into the city. Where is a nice town well outside New York City that we can either get a hotel for a couple nights and commute into the city to see friends, returning late evening each day, or else leave the car and travel in and stay for a couple of nights in a hotel in New York, then return to pick up the car and travel to Boston for the rest of our trip? All advice welcome.

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