There are many reasons to spend a getaway in the city this summer. Typically, you'll find thinner crowds as locals head out of town for their own vacations. Plus, fewer business travelers on weekends can mean reduced rates at upscale hotels. This year, the savings potential is even greater as properties slash rates to recoup bookings from the lull in tourism due to the recession.
Here are a few cities on sale for the summer, from notoriously pricey New York City to true bargains like San Diego:
New York City
Expect big savings in New York City this summer. In May, NYC & Company, the official tourism site for the city, launched its "NYC '09" promotion, which it claims offers "visitors unprecedented value and opportunity" to stimulate short-term bookings during the global recession. Expect discounts on hotels, attractions, tours, and even Broadway shows in addition to the affordable prix-fixe menus of summer restaurant week.
There are plenty of other ways to save. Here are a bunch of Big Apple deals ripe for an Escape Under $500:
- The Gem Hotel: Save 15 percent off summer rates, starting at $135 per night, through September 7. Hotel locations include Chelsea, Midtown West, and SoHo.
- Hilton: Discounted rates are available at the Millennium Hilton, Hilton New York, and Waldorf Astoria from $159 per night. The one caveat is that it might be a little difficult to find the lowest rates for consecutive nights.
While New York City can still be pricey even while on sale, the Happy Deals posted by the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau can make any budget, well, happy. Save up to 35 percent off hotels, with rates starting at $65.60 per night. For those truly on a budget, the site also lists a slew of free things to do.
Here are a few other deals on specific hotels that will easily fit within the budget:
- Hotel Occidental: Book through San Diego Hotels.com and save up to 50 percent at this downtown hotel named a "Top Value" by our sister site TripAdvisor. Rooms start at $45 per night.
- Omni San Diego Hotel: Stay three nights for the price of two, with rates starting at $139 per night, through July 31.This offer is available through Hotwire.
While I've highlighted just two U.S. cities, consider looking for deals in other urban centers. Chances are you'll find some great bargains for summer. For example, Chicago's tourism site is presenting summer hotel deals from $91 per night. At most hotels, you can save more by staying longer, up to 40 percent. Philadelphia has a robust set of hotel packages from $189 for two nights, plus free parking (a savings of about $75). And, in Washington, D.C., you can save 30 percent when you stay three nights, with rates from $89 per night.
Come across any great city deals lately? Please share them with other readers by posting a comment below.
If you'd like to learn about other Escapes Under $500 destinations in between columns, follow me on Twitter @AnneBanas.
(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Hotwire.)