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December Weekend Getaways From $50/Night

Psst... I have a secret for you. If you're able to get away during the busy holiday season, you'll find some of the best weekend getaway deals of the year. Known as a slow travel time, the early weeks of December show some of the most affordable and/or value-added deals for those who are able to get away. If you can squeeze in a quick trip, you'll get a great bang for your buck.

These are just a sample of the latest offerings from a variety of popular destinations nationwide. If you have a different place in mind, contact your favorite hotel company and the local convention and visitors' bureau to see the most current promotions.

Rates From $50/Night in Panama City Beach

The "Holiday Helpings Package" at Panama City Beach's By the Sea Resorts gives a 15 percent discount on room rates to travelers who donate a canned good at check-in. Rates with the discount start at $50 per night and include daily breakfast and free kids' meals with every adult meal purchased. Three properties (Legacy by the Sea, Beachcomber by the Sea, Beachbreak by the Sea) are participating in the promotion, which runs through December 25.

New York City From $139/Night

Heading to New York for the holidays? Consider the Cool Yule offer from the GEM Hotels group, which operates properties in Chelsea, Midtown West, and SoHo. Rates start at $139 per night for stays December 13 through 29.

Shopping and More in Chicago From $199/Night

Get a jump on your holiday shopping with the Dashing Along the Magnificent Mile Holiday Shopping Package at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel in Chicago. The promotion includes accommodations, shopping discounts at Bloomingdale's and retailers at Water Tower Place mall, two cocktails, and a horse-and-carriage tour of the white lights on Michigan Avenue. Packages start at $199 per night and are available through December 30.

Wine Tasting Weekends in Napa From $139

Napa's Silverado Resort has a Wine Taster's Dream package including accommodations, a picnic lunch for two at V. Sattui Winery, and wine tastings at four area wineries. Rates range from $139 to $189 per night, varying by room class. This promotion is available through April 15; request rate code "WINE3" when booking your stay.

Poconos Holiday Getaways From $148/Night

Celebrate in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains with the Magical Fireside Christmas package at The Inn at Pocono Manor. Starting at $148 per night for a family of four, the package includes lodging, daily breakfast, elf turndown service, activity vouchers, a welcome gift, evening snack, and all taxes and gratuities. The inn puts on holiday-themed events and activities throughout the season, including ornament making, Christmas-cookie decorating, storytelling, and more. This offer is available through December 27.

Fun-Filled Weekends in Lake Tahoe From $200/Person

The Zephyr Cove Resort in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is offering a Ride, Stay, and Cruise package including a two-night stay, two single-ride snowmobile tours, and two passes for the M.S. Dixie II scenic cruise. Rates are $200 per person for the two-night stay; packages must be booked by March 30 for travel through April 2010. Request rate code "RSC200PP" when making a reservation.

Kennebunkport Christmas Shopping From $119/Person

The Rhumb Line Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine, is offering a Late Fall/Holiday Shopping Package including two nights' accommodations, two continental breakfasts, a $25 dinner gift certificate redeemable at five area restaurants, a late checkout, and discount coupons for use at Kittery Outlet Malls and Freeport Maine Outlets. Packages are available through December 30 and cost $119 per person for weekend stays.

Free MP3 downloads in Palm Desert, California

California's Embassy Suites Palm Desert is offering a Pop, Rock, Jazz and More! package from $104 per night, including accommodations, daily breakfast, evening refreshments, and a $15 iTunes gift card for each night of your stay. This package is available through December 15; request rate code "PRJ" when making a reservation.

Shop and Dine in the Rockies From $159/Night

The Golden Hotel in Golden, Colorado, is sponsoring a "Holiday Room Package" including lodging, a $20 breakfast voucher, and a $50 Visa gift card. Packages start at $159 per night and can be booked for stays through December 30. To make a reservation, visit the Choice Hotels International website and click on the right-hand link that says "Click for Hotel Deals" under the Golden Hotel listing.

Free Nights, Ski Deals in Lake Placid, New York

Participating resorts in Lake Placid, New York, have partnered with the region's Convention and Visitors' Bureau to offer Ski or Ride & Stay Packages starting at $89 per person per night (or $178 double occupancy). Deals include a third night/third day of skiing free with a two-night consecutive stay; many promotions are valid through March or April 2010.

Holiday Luxury in Stowe From $199/Night

The Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont, is sponsoring a Nights Before... package for those traveling during the holiday season. Starting at $199 per night, the package includes lodging, hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, shopping discounts at local retailers, a seasonal shopping guide, on-demand shuttle service to Stowe Village, and a take-home tree or wreath from a nearby tree farm. Packages are available through December 25.

Holidays in Boston From $104/Night

The Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston is offering discounted rates for travelers visiting over the holidays this year. Book a three-night minimum stay and get 30 percent off; prices (reflecting the discount) start at $104 per night. This promotion is available from December 17 through January 3.

Ski Free in Jackson Hole Until Christmas

The Hotel Terra and Teton Lodge, both in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are offering ski free deals for stays before Christmas. Rates start at $99 per person per night ($198 double occupancy); you'll get a free day lift ticket for each night of your stay. Travel before December 25 to ski for free. A four-night minimum stay is required; you'll receive three-day lift tickets with the package.

Cultural Weekends in Philly From $149/Night

The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown has a Diana: A Celebration package, including overnight lodging and two VIP tickets to the Diana exhibit at the National Constitution Center. The exhibit features the life and work of the Princess of Wales, and the VIP tickets enable access to both the exhibit and other attractions at the museum. Packages are available through December 31 and range from $149 to $299 per night. Request rate code "ARN" when booking your stay.

Celebrate Elvis's Birthday in Memphis From $240/Night

The Peabody Memphis celebrates Elvis's 75th birthday with a "Blue Suede Birthday Package" from $240 per night. The package includes lodging, Platinum Tour tickets to Graceland (including an audio-guided tour of the mansion and grounds and self-guided tours of Elvis' two airplanes, automobile museum, Sincerely Elvis Museum, and Elvis After Dark), and a limited-edition gold lame Elvis rubber duck. Packages are available through January 10; to make a reservation, call 800-PEABODY (800-732-2639) and request the "Blue Suede Birthday" offer. For more information, visit the Peabody Memphis website.

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