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Kristin Luna

Deal Tracker: Sweet Discounts on Outside Lands Lodging

Need a place to stay for the much-anticipated Outside Lands festival at the end of the month? (Or have friends coming into town for the event and don't feel like putting them up?)

While hotel prices often are significantly jacked up on event weekends--particularly one like Outside Lands that welcomes more than 60,000 attendees--the Kimpton Hotel group is offering a fabulous promotion: 25 percent off its nine city boutique stays and one Silicon Valley property from Aug. 28 through 30 using the code "OLF."

Go Fly a Kite: The Bay's Best Spots

Get outdoors, relive your youth and fly a kite. Here are our favorite Bay Area spots for taking your kite for a spin.

Linda Mar

South of the city in Pacifica is a mostly-empty beach (with plenty of surfer eye candy, an added bonus), proffering a steady offshore breeze and wide open spaces. Parking is convenient, and you can grab a bite to eat at the famed beachside Taco Bell when you're through.

Crissy Field and Marina Green

The Shasta Cascades: An Affordable, Non-Tourist-Infested Getaway

Time: 3 hours
What You Get: Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, volcanoes galore

Get Your Relaxation On In Sierraville

High up in Gold Country, about a half hour from Truckee, lies the little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Sierraville. There’s no grocery store, only one sub-par Mexican joint and another café that’s sometimes open, other times not--and a whole lot of cows.

Full Moon Deals in Monterey

The moon has received no shortage of press in recent weeks. Now, she's even inspiring hotel deals. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, which took place yesterday, the newly opened Hotel Abrego has rolled out a monthly "Moon Over Monterey" special through the end of the year.

Get Your Craft On

More than 200 artists from all nooks and crannies of the country will convene at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion this weekend for the second annual Renegade Craft Fair to showcase and sell their goods.

Ceramic pottery, linens, clothing, jewelry, homemade bath goods, vintage posters, high-end stationary--the Renegade Craft Fair has it all. There will even be DIY tutorials on tasks like how to fashion old toys into bangles and earrings, and Mozilla Firefox will be on hand to help you create your own custom Web persona.

Plus, there will be a Magnolia Photo Booth on site, and who doesn't love a little posing and picture-taking fun with friends?

Waking Up in Vegas

There was never any time like the present to vacate San Francisco for a weekend and make the hop, skip and jump over to Sin City for sinful deals. With Vegas' tourism down as much as 40 percent in 2009, hotels and airlines are slashing prices left and right. Sexy airline Virgin America offers one-way fares for as little as $69, while you can catch a Southwest flight for just $75. So my question to you is: Why not go to Vegas, and now at that?

Four Grab-Your-Stuff-And-Go Day Trips

Summer's in full-swing and everyone's abuzz with their fabulous vacation plans. Have you failed on that organizational front?  Are you murderously jealous of everyone's fabulous vacation plans? Don't be. There are tons of quick grab-your-stuff-and-go day escapes within an hour of the city.  Here are four we love.

Half Moon Bay

A Guide to the Area's Best 4th of July Fetes

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, how will you celebrate our country's Independence Day? With so much on tap around the Bay Area, we'd wager you won't have any trouble finding something to do.

Fillmore Jazz Festival

Groove alongside 100,000 of your closest friends to the tunes of some of the area's greatest jazz performers on three main stages. Arts, crafts and food vendors will occupy 10 blocks should you get restless and need to exercise your legs. July 4-5, 10am-6pm, free.

The Westin St. Francis Gets a Facelift

Out-of-town friends or relatives looking for a hotel recommendation? Well, the Westin St. Francis, one of downtown's poshest hotels, just got a facelift. And it's an A+ in our book, a nod to present-day San Francisco while still preserving the building's history. 

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