Photos: Los Angeles: City of Angels

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  1. Los Angeles has a stunning and recognizable skyline and is a great spot to see Hollywood's A-listers, but is also known for sprawl and smog. L.A. is home to nearly 10 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2008 figures). (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The East Pavilion at the Getty Center is pictured in L.A. "The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to further knowledge of the visual arts and to nurture critical seeing by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of the highest quality," according to The Getty's Web site. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Venice Beach has the boardwalk, Muscle Beach, volleyball courts, a bike trail and many other attractions that have been luring people for decades. "Venice has always been known as a hangout for the creative and the artistic," boasts venicebeach.com. (Gabriel Bouys / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. If you're a nut about pumping iron, you'll want to one very specific part of Venice Beach. "Muscle Beach is a special area where fanatic bodybuilders pump iron in a public show of strength," according to L.A.'s Department of Recreation & Parks. This photo shows Larry Pollock striking a pose in the finals of the annual Venice Classic bodybuilding competition at Venice Beach back in 2003. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Two women walk past businesses that cater to high-end luxury item consumers along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. "The famed shopping street is known throughout the world as the epicenter of luxury fashion," claims Rodeo Drive's official Web site. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Looking for stars in L.A.? You need not look beyond The Griffith Observatory. OK, maybe these aren't the stars you had in mind, but the observatory overlooks Los Angeles from atop the Hollywood Hills. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland is the centerpiece of Fantasyland, and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. (Paul Hiffmeyer for Disneyland) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Visitors raft through realistic looking hot springs and geysers on the ''Grizzly River Rapids'' ride at Disney's California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, Calif. The 55-acre park next to Disneyland is based on California themes, and opened to the public in 2001. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. A Cownose Ray glides past as divers feed tropical fish in the Tropical Pacific Gallery at the Aquarium of the Pacific. The Aquarium features a shark lagoon and three main viewing galleries where visitors can learn about ocean issues and conservation. (Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A simulated "Jaws" shark attack is just one of the attractions that draws in visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood. Park rides include Revenge of the Mummy, Shrek 4-D, Jurassic Park, The Blues Brother, The Simpsons, and more. (Universal Studios) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. The Hollywood Sign was refurbished in 2005. The sign is one of the better-known landmarks in America, and sits atop Mount Lee in the Santa Monica Mountains. (David Livingston / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is best known for the Oscars, an annual telecast set to run for the 82nd time. "More than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema" make up the Academy's membership, according to oscars.org. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The Galleria Studio Hollywood sells merchandise along the Walk of Fame, where Hollywood's icons are immortalized. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Stars have left their hand and foot prints in concrete for more than eight decades at the original Graumans Chinese Theatre forecourt. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Dodger Stadium, opened in 1962, has seen more than 125 million fans come through its gates. Baseball fans can purchase a famed Dodger Dog and a beer, soak up some sun, take in a breathtaking view of downtown L.A., look for celebrities -- oh, and watch America's favorite pasttime. (Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. The Museum of Contemporary Art houses more than 500 pieces of art created by more than 200 artists. MOCA was founded in 1979 and "is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted exclusively to contemporary art," its Web site says. (Ted Thai / Time & Life Pictures via Getty Image) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Visitors to Olvera Street can stroll around the marketplace and shop for Mexican-inspired souvenirs. On weekends, revelers can enjoy entertainment by roaming musicans, Mariachi bands and performances by Aztec Indians. (L.A. Convention & Visitors Bureau) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. The 2,265-seat Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is clad with more than 6,000 steel panels. The hall is home to the Music Center of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. (David McNew / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The Farmers Market started in July of 1934 when some farmers pulled their trucks onto some empty land known as Gilmore Island. The farmers displayed their wares, and customers came, parked, strolled around and purchased fruit, vegetables and other goods. "The atmosphere was casual, the open air commerce enticing, the goods fresh, and the result remarkable," farmersmarketla.com claims. "Farmers Market became an instant institution." (Farmers Market) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. This diorama of a mastodon trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits is featured at the Page Museum. "Rancho La Brea is one of the world's most famous fossil localities, recognized for having the largest and most diverse assemblage of extinct Ice Age plants and animals in the world," the Page Museum's Web site claims. (David Peevers / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A surfer heads toward the water at Laguna Beach in Orange County, Calif. The state's myriad beaches draw a large number of tourists and surfers from across the country. (Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. The $1.5 million solar-powered ferris wheel runs at Pacific Park amusement park on the Santa Monic Pier. Even with its 160,000 lights, the ride is 75 percent more energy efficient than the Pacific Wheel -- the ride it replaced -- which was auctioned off on eBay for $132,400. (Andrew Gombert / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Music Director Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 3, 2009, in Hollywood. The Philharmonic regularly performs at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Mathew Imaging / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Manhattan Beach is located about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles, and features more than 2 miles of beach front, 40 acres of recreational beach area. The scenic 928-foot-long pier at the end of Manhattan Beach is easily recognizable, and fishing is permitted all year long. (Richard Cummins / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 8/11/2008 9:41:51 AM ET 2008-08-11T13:41:51

Rancho Mirage, from $99 per room per night
Take advantage of Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa's special midweek room rate of $99 for a night at the resort in Rancho Mirage, at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountain Range in Coachella Valley. With average weekday rates hovering around $149 in August, this offer saves you about $50 a night. The 240-acre property, with lakes, gardens, and fountains, is across the street from the River shopping and dining center. The 466-room resort's main attraction is the recently renovated Splashtopia, a water complex boasting two 100-foot waterslides, a 425-foot lazy river, a cliff-side Jacuzzi, a large swimming pool, and a water-play zone. The little ones can play, go on scavenger hunts and nature walks, or learn how to cook or paint at Kidtopia, a camp for kids.

When: Sundays-Thursdays through Aug. 31, 2008.

Details: Breakfast is not included. Taxes are an additional 10 percent and the daily resort charge is $20. Add $50 for weekend stays. Based on single or double occupancy; add $25 for each additional adult.

Contact: 866/423-1195, rancholaspalmas.com.

Solvang, from $119 per room per night
The Cruise the Coast package offered through the Broughton Hospitality Group includes one night at the Wine Valley Inn in downtown Solvang, a Danish-style town in Southern California's Santa Ynez Valley. Package perks include a welcome bottle of wine upon check-in (valued at $25), continental breakfast, a $25 gas rebate (taken off the bill upon checkout), and free valet parking for one vehicle. Considering that the typical hotel rates in the area run from $150 to $200 in August, the $119 special will save anywhere from $30-$80 a night. The package is also available at the following hotels at higher rates: Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica, Inn at East Beach and Inn of the Spanish Garden in Santa Barbara, and the Orchid Inn in San Simeon.

When: Through Aug. 31, 2008.

Details: Taxes are an additional 10 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 800/824-6444, winevalleyinn.com.

Mammoth Lakes, from $152 per room per night
With the Stay & Bike package, you'll be treated to accommodations at Mammoth Mountain Resort and an All-Day Bike Park Pass. The bike pass gives each person access to 90 miles of trails around the resort, which is located in central California, on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and near Yosemite National Park. In winter, ski bunnies abound on the slopes, but the summer months are perfect for biking; you can get up the hill by bike, or opt for the gondola, the shuttle, or the ski lift. There's also a full service repair shop, and Kona bike rentals are available. Rates start at $152 per room per night.

When: June 20-Sept. 22, 2008.

Details: Based on double occupancy; single bookings start at $120 per room per night. Does not include taxes of 13 percent. Bike rentals start at $40 per day.

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Contact: 800/626-6684, mammothmountain.com.

Morro Bay, from $189 per room per night
The Rock, Romance and Relaxation package includes one night at the Inn at Morro Bay on the central Californian coast, a buffet breakfast for two at the inn's Bay View Restaurant, a bottle of Central Coast wine and chocolate truffles and berries (all delivered to the room), and a 20 percent discount on a spa treatment, such as a couple's massage, at the on-site spa. The starting rate covers accommodations in a partial-bay-view room with a king-size feather bed. Upgrades to rooms with full bay views are available. The 98-room inn is located inside the 4,000-acre Morro Bay State Park, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Area attractions include wine tasting in the beautiful countryside of Paso Robles, historic San Luis Obispo and Hearst Castle. Sunday to Thursday rates start from $189 per room per night.

When: Through Dec. 31, 2008.

Details: Based on weekday stays; add $30 for Friday and Saturday. Taxes are an additional 10 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 800/321-9566, innatmorrobay.com.

Los Angeles, from $199 per room per night
The One Night Stand package, one of Hotel Angeleno's Summer Recession Hot Deals, includes a night at the 209-room hotel near Sunset Boulevard and Interstate 405 in Brentwood. You'll be minutes away from Hollywood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and the San Fernando Valley. You can feel free to pack light as the rate also covers a men's and a women's Hotel Angeleno T-shirt and all essential toiletries (a razor, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and deodorant). The hotel's amenities and services include an outdoor heated pool with a fireplace, the 17th-floor West End restaurant with panoramic city views, and complimentary shuttle service to local destinations. The summer discount offers a savings of about 25 percent. Rates start from $199 per room per night.

When: Through Sept. 30, 2008.

Details: The rate is good for weekday and weekend stays. Breakfast is not included. Taxes are an additional 14 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 310/476-6411, hotelangeleno.com.

Pismo Beach, from $215 per room per night
The SeaVenture Resort's Beaches & Back Roads package includes a two-night stay in a deluxe room (with private balcony, fireplace, and continental breakfast) and a complimentary wine tasting for two at six local wineries (including Edna Valley and Claiborne & Churchill). You'll also receive a box lunch for two, a trip to Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo, and a $20 Shell gas card to fund the jaunt. Enjoy the included tour of the farm's working grist mill and two homemade ice creams. Rates start at $215 per room per night, or $430 for the required two-night stay.

When: June 15-Sept. 30, 2008.

Details: Available for double or single bookings. Does not include taxes of 10 percent or a resort fee of $6 per night. Minimum two-night stay required. Available Sunday through Wednesday.

Contact: 800/662-5545, seaventure.com.

Slideshow: Fun in the sun

San Diego, from $259 per room per night
The Volunteer Vacation package at the 440-room Loews Coronado Bay Resort on the San Diego Bay lets you kick back at the beach—and do your part to keep the area clean for others. You'll take a tour of Silver Strand State Beach (with direct access from the hotel) to learn about the wildlife, led by a state park educator, and participate in a beach cleanup or planting project. Accommodations in a deluxe room and two boxed lunches are also included. During your stay, you can take advantage of the resort's spa, swimming pools, tennis courts, and herb garden. Rates start at $259 per room per night.

When: Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 28, 2008.

Details: Double and single bookings available. Does not include hotel taxes of 9 percent.

Contact: 619/424-4000, loewshotels.com.

Oxnard, from $275 per room per night
When you book the family-friendly Summer Getaway package at Embassy Suites Mandalay Hotel & Resort, you'll get three nights' accommodations in a two-room, two-bath suite at this southern California resort with 248 suites and beach access. You'll start each day with a full complimentary breakfast and get one in-room movie or hour of Nintendo play, two bike rentals, a $50 credit at Capistrano's Restaurant at the resort, parking, and drinks at the resort's nightly happy hour. Oxnard is about 60 miles northeast of L.A. and hosts a Salsa Festival in July. Rates start at $275 per room per night, or $825 for the required three-night stay.

When: June 1-Sept. 7, 2008.

Details: Single and double bookings available. Children under 18 stay for free. Does not include hotel taxes of 10.1 percent.

Contact: 805/984-2500, mandalaybeach.embassysuites.com.

Newport Beach, from $299 per room per night
The 532-room Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa in Orange County, about halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, is offering a Buckle Up package. It provides accommodations, bike rentals for two from Toes On the Nose, and one "Buckle Up! We're Going to the Beach!" road-trip travel kit with a $100 gas card, a tire-pressure gauge, a book of road games, travel board games, and old-fashioned candy. You'll also enjoy two 50-minute spa treatments at the hotel's Pure Blu Spa, which has 16 specialized treatment rooms, a sauna, and eucalyptus steam rooms, a full-service hair and nail salon, and a weight-training and cardio center. When you add up all of the elements of the package—the nightly rack rate of $289 per room, bike rentals valued at $30 for two, $180 per person for a 50-minute spa treatment, a the travel kit worth $40, and $100 per gas, your savings based on a three-night stay are $500 per room. Rates start from $299 per room per night, or $897 for the required three-night stay.

When: Through Dec. 31, 2008.

Details: The package is based on a three-night minimum stay. Breakfast is not included. Taxes are an additional 10 percent. Room service gratuity is 22 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 949/640-4000, newportstay.com.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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