Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 2010 Kona Dr. Dew, Moose Bicycle XXL (fat bike), Yuba Mundo V3
Yep, either of those (and that style in general) should work fine. You might also check out some of Raleigh's
hybrid line, and Specialized's All Road
Not that that's anything close to a complete list of brands for hybrid-type bikes. Trek, Specialized, and Raleigh just seem to be some of the most commonly available.
If you're pretty sure you're going to enjoy and stick with this, spend towards the upper end of your price range, or even somewhat higher ($600-$700ish). If you're really unsure if riding is going to "take", depending on how much of a hit to your wallet $500 is you may want to go with a lower-priced bike ($300-$400) with the intent of replacing it in a year or two if you really get into riding.
Go to your local bike shop and explain to them what you need and your price range. If they're good they should be able to help you find a bike that fits and suits your needs. If you have a friend who is really into riding, bring them along. They should be able to make sure your LBS is actually helping you
rather than just helping themselves make a sale.
Consider buying a model of bike from last year of the year before if the LBS has one you like in the right size. You can save a good chunk of change that way, or get a better bike for the same money.