Emerald City air/hotel deals, starting at $340

/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

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.