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 6/2/2009 2:45:06 PM ET 2009-06-02T18:45:06

These hotels are offering reduced rates, free golf, museum passes, and the chance to explore California's gorgeous coastline, wine country, and beaches.

San Rafael, from $89 per room per night
Four Points by Sheraton San Rafael is offering 20 percent off when you book and pay seven days in advance. San Rafael is 19 miles north of San Francisco. The hotel has an outdoor heated pool and is located in a small valley overlooking northern California. Rates start at $89 per room per night, which represents savings of 20 percent.

When: Ongoing.

Details: Does not include taxes of 11 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 415/479-8800, starwoodhotels.com.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, from $99 per room per night
Carmel Inn & Suites makes an affordable and convenient jumping-off point for exploring California's central coast. The inn is within walking distance of the beach and close to shopping and art galleries. Carmel-by-the-Sea is about five miles south of Monterey. Rates start at $99 per room per night, which includes Wi-Fi access and breakfast daily.

When: Ongoing.

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

Contact: 800/325-8515, carmelinnandsuites.com.

Healdsburg, from $99 per room per night
Healdsburg, 70 miles north of San Francisco, is a lesser-known gem of Sonoma wine country. There are 100 local vineyards in the area, and many offer free tours and tastings, Simi Winery among them. There are also lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors, such as kayaking and bike riding. The Best Western Dry Creek Inn is offering a 40 percent off promotion right now, which drops rates to $99 per room. You can upgrade to the Hotel Healdsburg, with rates starting from $340 per room per night. Check out Healdsburg Lodging Coalition for more options.

When: Ongoing.

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Details: Does not include taxes of 12 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Good on weekday stays (Sunday through Thursday); weekend rates might be slightly higher.

Contact: 800/222-5784, drycreekinn.com.

Palm Desert, from $139 per room per night
The Unlimited Golf Package at Desert Springs, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa includes accommodations and unlimited golf for two people during the length of stay (the regular rate for each round of golf would normally start at $55). The resort has two 18-hole courses, both designed by architect Ted Robinson, "King of Waterscapes." Palm Desert is about 15 miles from Palm Springs. Rates start at $139 per room per night.

San Francisco, my cut

When: June 17–Sept. 27, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 11 percent. Based on double occupancy; no single bookings. Use promo code GOF.

Contact: 760/341-2211, desertspringsresort.com.

San Francisco, from $149 per room per night
The Westin St. Francis is offering a Stay Two, Get Three promotion for weekend stays: When you stay two nights, you get the third free. The 614-room main building just completed a $40 million renovation. The hotel is right in Union Square, a major hub for shopping and sightseeing. Rates start at $149 per room per night, or $298 for the required three-night stay (with the third night free).

When: Through Dec. 31, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 14 percent. Based on single or double occupancy. Stay must start on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.

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

Huntington Beach, from $199 per room per night
The standard summer rate at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, 45 minutes south of L.A., includes special activities through Labor Day. Kids under 12 eat free and receive a welcome gift at check-in; there are also children's activities by the hotel's pool, including balloon art and face painting. The hotel is pet-friendly and supplies complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, and sand pails and shovels. It's a short walk from the hotel to the beach. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, a live calypso band serenades guests by the pool. Rates start at $199 per room per night.

When: Through Sept. 7, 2009.

Details: Does not include taxes of 11 percent. Based on single or double occupancy.

Contact: 714/845-8000, hilton.com.

San Francisco, from $219 per room per night
The King Tut Standard Package at the InterContinental San Francisco includes accommodations, breakfast daily (a $50 value), two tickets to the King Tut exhibition at the de Young Museum (a $65 value), two passes on the city's CultureBus (a $14 value), and a $25 credit for one treatment at the I-Spa. The exhibit displays more than 130 artifacts from the tomb of King Tut. Rates start at $219 per room per night.

When: June 27, 2009–Mar. 28, 2010.

Details: Does not include taxes of 16 percent. Based on double occupancy; single occupancy rates start at $194 per night.

Contact: 415/616-6500, intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com.

Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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