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 11/26/2008 11:13:07 AM ET 2008-11-26T16:13:07

Pensacola, Fla., from $69 per room per night
Pensacola Beach will be hopping during the holidays. The most popular event will probably be a contest for the boat with the best electric-light decorations. (Details for this and other events are listed here.) The Days Inn Pensacola Beachfront has rooms for $69 a night during the holidays, with breakfasts included. Upgrade to a beach view for $20 more per room per night.

When: Through Dec. 31, 2008.

Details: Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Ask for the Season Your Holidays special rate.

Contact: 800/934-3301, daysinn.com.

Philadelphia, from $115 per room per night
The Philly's More Holiday Fun package includes two nights in a hotel, free parking (up to a $75 value), an 11 percent Macy's savings pass, and a free teddy bear. The list of available hotels is here; we spotted a $115 per room per night rate (or $229 for the required two-night stay) at the Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City. Tourism officials have also put together a list of things to do this holiday season in Philly.

When: Ongoing.

Details: Does not include taxes of 8 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Requires a two-night stay.

Contact: 215/665-9100, hamptoninn.com.

Philly's New Please Touch Museum

Omni Hotels, from $139 per room per night
This chain's 36 U.S. properties usually cater to business travelers, but they are increasingly trying to attract families, too. Case in point: the Holiday Sugar & Spice package. It includes accommodations (at 25 percent off normal rates) and a delivery of hot chocolate to your room. Rates range from $139 to $309 per room per night, depending on your city, or from $278 for the required two-night stay.

When: Through Jan. 4, 2009.

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Details: Tax rates will vary by city. Based on double occupancy; no single bookings. A minimum two-night stay is required.

Contact: See the list of hotels here.

Washington, D.C., from $139 per room per night
Instead of staying with your in-laws, you might prefer to stay in a room that's painted in vibrant colors and decorated with funky, modern furniture. (A room close to a lively bar might not hurt, either.) Well, if you're visiting the nation's capital during the holidays, you can. Seven Kimpton hotels in downtown D.C. are offering the Take the Elevator Home discount of 20 percent off regular rates. This means you could pay $139 a night at Hotel Monaco or the Hotel George. The special is also available at these hotels, but at higher rates: Topaz Hotel, Hotel Rouge, Hotel Helix, Hotel Madera, and Hotel Palomar.

When: Through Dec. 30, 2008.

Details: Does not include taxes of 15 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Use promo code TEH.

Contact: 800/546-7866, kimptondchotels.com.

D.C.'s Late-Night Spots

Tucson, from $159 per room per night
The Winter Wonderland Gondola Package at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa includes accommodations, a carriage ride, breakfast daily, and a pass to the Starr Canyon River & Monsoon Falls Water Slide. Guests will also receive a photo with Santa and unlimited sledding on the hotel's sled run, which takes 50 tons of ice to build. There will also be a 30-foot-tall decorated Christmas tree. Rates start at $159 per room per night, or $318 for the required two-night stay, which is a savings of almost 50 percent off regular room rates.

When: Dec. 19–21, 2008.

Details: Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Two-night stay required. Kids under 18 stay for free.

Contact: 520/792-3500, jwmarriottstarrpass.com.

Call in Sick: Tucson

New York City, from $169 per room per night
The Holly Jolly Shoppers package includes accommodations, a coupon booklet for 11 percent off items at Macy's, one subway card (good for five rides), and a Starbucks gift card (a $12 value) per reservation. The hotel is located in the Theater District, within walking distance of Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree. Rates start at $169 per room per night.

When: Through Jan. 31, 2009. Not available Dec. 27, 2008–Jan. 3, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 13 percent or local fees of $4 per room per night. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 212/869-3600, milfordplaza.com.

20 Photos: New York City, My Cut

San Francisco, from $169 per room per night
The Westin St. Francis's Glide Into the Holidays Package includes accommodations, tickets for two to the Union Square ice rink, and a skate rental (a $16 value). The hotel is also home to a 12-foot-tall rotating Sugar Castle. The French château–style castle, made by the hotel's executive pastry chef, Jean-François Houdré, weighs more than 1,200 pounds. Rates start at $169 per room per night.

When: Through Jan. 4, 2009. Not available Dec. 5–8, 2008.

Details: Does not include taxes of 14 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 415/397-7000, westinstfrancis.com.

Chicago, from $189 per room per night
The Macy's Holiday Shopping Package includes accommodations, an 11 percent visitors' saving pass, a $100 gift card at Macy's per night, and complimentary photos with the Macy's Santa (between Nov. 28 and Dec. 24, 2008). There's a complimentary shuttle between the store and the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, your base for the night. Rates start at $189 per room per night.

When: Through Jan. 31, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes and fees of 15 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Use promo code SCM.

Contact: 866/716-8103, sheratonchicago.com.

Eat Like a Local: Chicago

Elkhart Lake, Wis., from $195 per room per night
If the crowds and costs of Times Square aren't your thing, ring in the New Year in the mountains instead. Stay at the Osthoff Resort in a one-bedroom suite with a fireplace, a private balcony, and a kitchen or kitchenette. As a fun option, the resort will hold a New Year's Eve gala with dancing for adults; kids get their own celebration with an ice cream buffet (tickets start at $195 per couple for the gala, $35 per child). New Year's Eve rates start at $195 per suite per night, with deeper deals starting at $139 per room per night through the rest of the holidays.

When: Dec. 14–30, 2008.

Details: Does not include taxes of 10 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 800/876-3399, osthoff.com.

Minneapolis, from $200 per room per night
The Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis is offering the Stay 'n' Shop Package. It includes an 11 percent discount pass at Macy's, free parking (an $18 per day value), a gift basket that includes foot treatments, and complimentary coffee at the hotel bar. The hotel is located in the heart of Minneapolis's downtown shopping area. Rates start at $200 per room per night.

When: Through Jan. 31, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 13 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Available Thursdays through Sundays only.

Contact: 888/201-1718, radisson.com.

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