Photos: City by the Bay

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  1. City view

    The Transamerica Pyramid building is seen through the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge on June 20, 2007. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Cable cars

    A cable car makes its way up a steep hill on California Street in San Francisco on Oct. 8, 2008. The California cable car line is the least-crowded of the three working lines and is the one most often used by locals. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Alcatraz

    Seagulls fly over San Francisco Bay with Alcatraz Island in the background on April 24, 2007. The former federal penitentiary is a popular San Francisco tourist attraction. (Eric Risberg / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Cell block walk

    Visitors tour a cell block on Alcatraz Island. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The scenic route

    A car makes its way along the 49-Mile Scenic Drive on March 25, 2005, in San Francisco. San Francisco's 49-Mile Scenic Drive was opened in 1939 as a guide for visitors to The City's 1939-1940 Golden Gate International Exposition. The route includes most of San Francisco's major sights as well as winding through many of the city's colorful neighborhoods, giving visitors a look into the diversity and beauty of the area. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Chinatown

    A pedestrian walks by the Ma-Tsu temple in San Francisco's Chinatown district on February 3, 2011. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. California Academy of Sciences

    The flooded rain forest exhibit is shown at the new California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on Sept. 18, 2008. On the ground floor of the exhibit, tropical fish swim in the flooded roots of trees. Then an elevator takes visitors up into the canopy where birds fly free in a giant glass dome. (Paul Sakuma / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Sea lions

    A group of sea lions rest on a dock at Pier 39 on December 12, 2007, in San Francisco. The boisterous and playful mammals are a huge hit with tourists. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Victorian architecture

    The famous row of homes known as the "Painted Ladies" are seen from Alamo Square Park on Feb. 2, 2009, in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Surf's up

    A surfer walks out of the water at Ocean Beach on December 5, 2006, in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Palace of Fine Arts

    Birds fly in front of the Palace of Fine Arts. The building is one of many sites on San Francisco's 49-Mile Scenic Drive. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Lombard Street

    A single car drives down Lombard Street, San Francisco's most crooked street, on April 29, 2003. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Golden Gate Park

    A family rows a boat on Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park on June 21, 2011, in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Fisherman's Wharf

    Pedestrians walk through the typically crowded Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco’s most popular tourist attraction, known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, unique shopping and more. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Choose your dinner

    Tourists pick out their dinner at a local restaurant. San Francisco salutes the Dungeness Crab with its annual Crab Festival in February. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Ghirardelli Square

    San Francisco's landmark Ghirardelli Square is seen on May 12, 2003. The square was originally a chocolate factory but now houses retail shops and restaurants. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Angel Island

    A group of visitors take a segway tour on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay on June 3, 2009. Once known as the "Ellis Island of the West," the Angel Island immigration station, a historic site, was designed to control the flow of Chinese immigrants to the United States. (Jeff Chiu / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Japanese Tea House and Garden

    The Japanese Tea House and Garden is an attraction in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Today, 75,000 people visit the park on an average weekend. (Philip H. Coblentz / SFCVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Coit Tower

    The moon rises next to Coit Tower on September 22, 2010, in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: San Francisco Will Study Golden Gate Tidal Movement As Energy Source
    Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (19) San Francisco: City by the Bay - City by the Bay
  2. Image: Bridge Building
    General Photographic Agency via Getty Images
    Slideshow (28) San Francisco: City by the Bay - The Golden Gate Bridge
updated 12/7/2007 12:03:14 PM ET 2007-12-07T17:03:14

Book by:  ASAP
Travel by: Various through December 2007

The deal
This December, you can fall in love with San Francisco without breaking the bank. It may be one of the priciest lodging scenes in the US, but we found a trio of hotel deals that you simply can’t skip, all in the Union Square area. Stay at a swanky four-star for only $149/night; book an overnight at a historic hotel for just $78; or cozy up at an intimate spot for a mere $59.

Hip overnight at The Clift for $149 per night
A sojourn at The Clift is the ultimate in swanky and cool: the hipper-than-thou property is conjured up by the famous Ian Schrager/Philippe Starck duo. Frommer’s claims this swish spot is “all about young trendsetters who flock here for monochrome pale-purple streamlined rooms ... glamorous atmosphere, and a heavy dose of attitude.” The property features plush in-room amenities and a chic restaurant and bar. Rates normally run up to $325/night but Orbitz offers reduced overnights from $149!

Sojourn at Beresford Hotel for $78 per night
Built as a luxury residence in 1910, this grand mansion is conveniently located a couple of blocks from Union Square and the Theater District. Its interiors come with a wealth of authentic detail, including crystal chandeliers and arched windows. Gayot.com writes, “All rooms are pleasantly designed with high ceilings, pale walls, and firm Victorian furniture. Valuable amenities include in-room VCRs, video rentals, a continental breakfast and afternoon wine and tea.” Rack rates run up to $165/night but through Orbitz you’ll pay $78!

Stay at Mosser Hotel for only $59 per night
If you’re visiting San Fran on a shoestring, stay at the intimate and artsy Mosser Hotel, located only three blocks away from Union Square. Frommer’s describes it as “a highly atypical budget hotel that incorporates Victorian architecture with modern interior design”. Rooms are snug with plentiful amenities, and the Annabelle’s restaurant on site serves good cheap bites. Regular rates for a double room run over $140/night but book through Hotels.com and you’ll pay only $59.

The dollars
See nightly rates above, based on double occupancy.

The catch
Bring a pair of comfy shoes if you plan on tackling the hilly city on foot.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletterwhich features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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