Photos: The Emerald City

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  1. Art & architecture

    The Experience Music Project and the Seattle Space Needle share acreage on the Seattle Center Grounds. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Bell Harbor Marina

    Boats move in and out of the Bell Harbor Marina, with the Seattle skyline as a backdrop. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Ballard Locks

    Visitors watch as boats make the transition from the fresh water of Lake Washington and Lake Union to the salt water of Puget Sound through Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, Seattle's Scandinavian neighborhood. (Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Seattle Art Museum

    The downtown Seattle Art Museum, designed by architect Robert Venturi, opened to rave reviews in 1991. (Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Lake living

    Modern apartments and condos sit on the hill above houseboats on Lake Union. The small Houseboat Tour takes passengers on a one-hour trip around the lake showing off the homes. (Barry Sweet / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Fish do fly

    Seattle's Pike Place Market is world-famous for its fresh seafood and produce, and its lively arts and crafts scene. (Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Curl up with a book

    With shelves specifically arranged in a non-linear formation, the main lobby of the Seattle Central Library. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Seattle Central Library

    A visitor to the new Seattle Central Library views an art installation set into an escalator wall in downtown Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Arch exhibit

    A stunning arch with usable space connects old and new exhibit areas at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. Set in the heart of downtown Seattle, the center is within easy walking distance of more than 6,000 hotel rooms. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Fun, sun & sports

    Parasailing on Puget Sound, with SAFECO Field (home to the Seattle Mariners) and the Qwest Field (home to the Seattle Seahawks) in the background. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A mile a minute

    Seattle Center's Monorail was built for the 1962 World's Fair, making the one-mile trip between the fairgrounds (now the Seattle Center campus) and the downtown retail district in less than two minutes. The Experience Music Project museum is in the background (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Mount Rainier

    The majestic Mount Rainier watches over pleasure boats on Puget Sound. (Tim Thompson / Seattle CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 11/24/2008 9:57:06 AM ET 2008-11-24T14:57:06

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare on Alaska Airlines and three nights' accommodations, from $340 per person—plus up to $56 in taxes.

When: Through Dec. 28, 2008.

Gateways: Portland, Ore.; add $114 for San Francisco, $192 for L.A.; additional gateways available.

The fine print: Does not include taxes and fees of up to $56 per person. Based on double occupancy; no single bookings. Lowest prices are based on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday departures; other days will cost approximately $20 more per person. Breakfast not included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Dec. 25, 2008.

Contact: Alaska Airlines Vacations, 800/468-2248, alaskaair.com.

Why it's a deal: We priced out the trip components independently for comparison purposes. A Kayak search produced a $199 round-trip fare between Portland, Ore., and Seattle in early December (Alaska Airlines). The best available rate at the Inn at the Market is $185 per room per night, which gives a total of $555 for a three-night stay, or about $278 per person. That brings the total to about $470 per person for this trip when booking independently. So you'll save $81 by booking the package instead. Also note that Alaska allows one checked bag for free, an increasingly rare perk these days.

Trip details: The Save in Seattle package begins with a direct flight to Seattle on Alaska Airlines.

Your base for the three-night stay will be the Inn at the Market at Pike Place Market, one of Seattle's most popular tourist attractions. At the market, you can experience the antics of the fishmongers (it's not uncommon for a huge salmon to fly by your nose on its way to the scale) and buy from local growers. There are also restaurants and shops.

Each of the 70 rooms at the inn has floor-to-ceiling bay windows with views of downtown, Elliott Bay, the market, or the Olympic Mountains. There's also a public rooftop with 360-degree views.

Nearby attractions include the iconic Space Needle, the Seattle Center, the Experience Music Project, the Seattle Art Museum, and the shopping of downtown.

Note that hotel-airport transfers aren't included. There are some bus service options with fares starting at $1.25. The hotel concierge can arrange car service to and from the airport for you for about $50 each way. A taxi will cost about $35.

For more ideas on what to do, visit the official Web sites of Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau or Washington State's tourism board.

Seattle's December temperatures typically peak in the upper 40s Fahrenheit and bottom out in the mid 30s. It is Seattle, so don't forget that rain jacket.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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