City trips for less

If you know when to go, you can visit four great towns without paying sky-high prices, using these tips from travel gurus.

San Francisco: Get the deal
city trip for less san francisco
Insider's Pick: For a less crowded commune with nature that locals love, go to Dolores Park. It has amazing views of downtown and is surrounded by cafes and restaurants.

Seasonal temperatures don't vary much in the City by the Bay, so go in winter, when hotel rates are 27% below their fall highs, says Connie Chang Pistilli, San Francisco blogger for social travel site Gogobot.

For a convenient and affordable hotel, bypass those at Fisherman's Wharf and head for one of the smaller boutique options in Union Square, such as the Mosser or Hotel Triton, where a typical room costs $120 to $180 a night in winter.

Short-term apartment rental site Airbnb was launched in NoCal and has 5,000 listings for the city. The site recently listed a studio apartment with a roof deck in Nob Hill (where hotel rates can top $400) for just $125 a night.

  @Money - Last updated May 02 2013 10:41 AM ET
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