Amsterdam hotels are pretty expensive so it depends on your budget. The Jordaan is nice, also the canal belt on the western side is well located.
For day trips that you go on yourself, a train to the Hague takes an hour. In the Hague, there are 2 lovely museums, The Mauritshouse, this is like a mini Rijksmuseum and everything is lovely. There is also an Escher musuem in a small ex-palace that is well woth a visit. I visited the Gemeente Museum last time I was there and was hugely impressed with this as well.
Haarlem is also great for a day trip, only 20 miinutees by train from Amsterdam. The big church on tthe square is intersting to visit and has an infoormative leaflet that they give you. There is a super brewery in an old church called the Jopen Brewewry. IIt's greeeat for lunch and a few excellent quality beers. At the toursit info office on the main square, you can get leaflets with suggested walking routes in Haarlem, well worth the 50 centrs they charge for them!