Fourth of July getaway deals
There are bargains still to be had for the three-day weekend, including houseboating on Lake Powell, bell-gazing in Philly and fireworks-viewing in San Francisco.
How about a little bell-gazing for this year's three-day 4th of July holiday weekend? (Photo by Tom Mihalek/AFP/Getty Images)
Don't panic. It's not too late to get a good deal on a quick vacation for the three-day holiday weekend. Consider declaring your independence from boredom with some of the packages offered below.
* Arizona in July? It's a lot cooler when you're cruising the blue waters of Lake Powell in a houseboat. Until Friday, you can save up to 40% on a three-day rental of a 54-foot houseboat from Lake Powell Resorts & Marina. For about $1,500, you get three days on a houseboat that can sleep up to 12 people and includes a kitchen, a bathroom and other amenities. The water levels at Lake Powell, which straddles the Utah-Arizona border, are the highest in years, giving you access to areas closed to boats in the past. For details, call (888) 669-2704, or go to TravelZoo.com (the only place this deal is available).
* If you're visiting America's birthplace, Philadelphia, for the weekend, celebrate the holiday by taking one of two walking tours. The Constitutional Walking Tour is a 75-minute visit to historic sites such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House, among others. Want to get into the spirit of the holiday? Join the Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour, a 75-minute walk to more than 20 historic and, supposedly, haunted sites, including Carpenters' Hall and Pine Street. Each tour costs $17.50 for adults and $12.50 for children. Call (215) 525-1776, or go to TheConstitutional.com for the historic tours or Spiritsof76.com for the haunted tour.
* Las Vegas doesn't need an excuse to be rowdy and loud. It's that way every day, but for this holiday weekend, you can get in on the fun and save money by staying at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Under a special deal with TravelZoo.com, rooms start at $89 per night, down from the usual $150. The special package includes $40 in gambling credits and free buffet tickets. Rooms are limited so call soon. Call (877) 333-9474, or go to the TravelZoo website.
* If you're a golfing fanatic who can't think of anything to do on a three-day weekend but hit the links, visit the Hidden Valley Golf Club in Norco. For the holiday weekend, the club's regular charge of $80 per round drops to $70, plus you get 10% off your meal at the club's Villa Amalfi restaurant when you show them your score card. Call (951) 737-1010, or go to the website.
* The Independence Day fireworks display over San Francisco Bay is huge. You can see the pyrotechnics and save a few bucks by staying at the Opal, a historic five-story hotel near the heart of the city. Under a special deal, you can get a double-occupancy room starting at $99 per night, down from the usual $142. That comes with a complimentary continental breakfast. For information, go to Expedia.com and search for last-minute deals in San Francisco.
* Looking for a getaway with more relaxing pursuits? Consider a weekend exploring the wine country near Portland, Ore. The historic Benson Hotel in downtown Portland is offering a special Fourth of July package, with double-occupancy rooms from $139 per night, a savings of up to $100 per night. That includes free nightly wine-tasting at the hotel. For an added charge, the concierge can hook you up with a guided tour of local wineries, located within a 45-minute drive from the hotel. For details, call the Benson at (888) 523-6766, or go to the hotel website.
* If you can't shake the kids off your tail this weekend, bring them along for a vacation to San Diego. The Automobile Club of Southern California can put you, your spouse and your tykes in one of several hotels, such as the Country Inn & Suites near La Jolla, for as little as $287 per person, including airfare from Los Angeles International Airport. A nice feature of this offer is that you can pick a hotel closer to downtown for just a few dollars more. From the hotel, you can visit the San Diego Zoo, Legoland and SeaWorld. To book this offer, call (888) 874-7222 or click here, punch in your ZIP Code and navigate to "last-minute deals."