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Affordable America: From Books to Brokers

Hilton Hotels' BounceBack Weekend rates start at $95 a night and apply Thursday through Sundays at more than 240 hotels. Guests receive continental breakfast each morning (800/445-8667).
The Inter-Continental "Leisure Options" program, available weekends in city hotels and all week at resorts, lets guests choose one of the following: an upgrade to junior suite or Club Inter-Continental, an additional guest room for half-price, breakfast for two, or up to 1,000 bonus miles with participating airline partners (800/327-0200).
Marriott's "Can't Beat Friday" rate gives guests an extra 10 to 20 percent off already discounted weekend rates when a Friday night is included in the stay (800/872-9563).


ILLINOIS The Eagle Ridge Inn & Resort in Galena is a place for people who like golf, and lots of it— the 6,800-acre resort has 63 holes. A two-night summer package including three rounds of golf and two clinics a person is $379 weekdays, $429 weekends (800/892-2269 or 815/777-2444).

LAS VEGAS Booking rooms in America's casino capital can be something of a gamble— rates vary wildly depending on season, occupancy, and whether or not a convention's in town. At Caesars Palace, a glitzy classic on the Strip, weekday prices begin at $69, compared to a $129 ante on weekends (800/634-6001 or 702/731-7110).

MAINE Antiques and fine linen help create an air of gentility at the eight-room Pomegranate Inn, in a historic Portland neighborhood. Monday-to-Thursday rates begin at $95, including full breakfast (800/356-0408 or 207/772-1006).

MICHIGAN You won't find any televisions at Stafford's Bay View Inn, a 31-room hideaway on Little Traverse Bay. You will find porch rockers, croquet, and bargains— $79, versus $128 weekends— until May 23 (800/456-1917 or 616/347-2771).

NEW JERSEY Two blocks from the shore in Cape May, the Victorian Mainstay Inn is known for its genteel afternoon tea. From mid-October to mid-May, rooms start at $95 for guests who stay at least two nights midweek— nearly half off the weekend rate (609/884-8690).

SAN FRANCISCO The cinema-themed Hotel Bijou throws in big-screen perks, such as a lobby theater and casting calls for extras in movies being shot around the city. Best: it's cheap year-round and a steal midweek until March. Rooms are $79, versus weekend rates of $89 to $109 (800/771-1022 or 415/771-1200).

SOUTH CAROLINA The Westin Resort Hilton Head Island sprawls across 24 acres of Atlantic waterfront. Through March 8, its Beach & Breakfast package includes a room priced at $130 on weekends, for $89 Sunday through Wednesday (800/228-3000 or 803/681-4000).

VIRGINIA Indulgent service combined with a respect for privacy have given the Inn at Little Washington its fame. The tough part is getting a room. Try midweek, when rates start at $290, as opposed to $390 on Friday, $435 on Saturday (540/675-3800).

WASHINGTON Remember the cliff-top resort above a waterfall in Twin Peaks?That's the Salish Lodge & Spa— but in real life there are no weird goings-on. Salish's $249-a-night Midweek Retreat includes a $75 credit toward the spa and a $75 dining room credit. It's available until June 30 and after October 1 (800/826-6124 or 425/888-2556).

YOSEMITE California's Tenaya Lodge offers Warm Up to Winter rates until April 4: $69 a night Sunday through Thursday. Don't miss spa treatments and hikes through Yosemite. Rates drop again in fall (800/635-5807 or 209/683-6555).


Boston Harvard University Art Museums, including the Arthur M. Sackler, Busch-Reisinger, and Fogg— All free on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon (617/ 495-9400). Museum of Fine Arts— Pay what you wish Wednesday 4 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. (617/267-9300).

Chicago Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum -- Free on Tuesday (312/922-7827). Art Institute of Chicago— Free on Tuesday (312/443-3600). Field Museum— Free on Wednesday (312/922-9410). Museum of Contemporary Art -- Free the first Tuesday of each month (312/280-2660).

Fort Worth Kimbell Art Museum— Permanent collection always free; special exhibitions half price on Tuesday (817/332-8451).

Los Angeles Getty Center— Always free (310/440-7300). Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena— Free the first Thursday of every month (818/405-2141). Los Angeles County Museum of Art— Free the second Tuesday of each month (213/857-6000). Museum of Contemporary Art— Free on Thursday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (213/621-2766). Natural History Museum— Free the first Tuesday of each month (213/763-3466).

New York Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum— Free on Tuesday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (212/860-6868). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum— Pay what you wish Friday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (212/423-3500). Museum of American Folk Art— Always free (212/977-7170). Museum of Modern Art— Pay what you wish Thursday and Friday 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (212/708-9480). Whitney Museum of American Art— Free on Thursday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (212/570-3676).


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