I have a friend visiting me from the East Coast next month and, while she's not really into the whole Fisherman's Wharf/ Pier 39 SF experience, she's also never been to California ever. While scratching my brain to come up with appropriately touristy activities that would be fun for a visitor and resident alike (and not cost us a fortune), I started hunting online for free entertainment deals and coupons . . . for my own city. First I scoped some great insurance company discounts and free maps. Score!
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Then I caved and purchased the San Francisco/San Mateo book from Entertainment.com for $22.75. My friend may be only in town for a weekend but I'm betting on some savings all year-round. Sure, it's awkward whipping out a coupon regardless, but who's to know you aren't visiting?! This may be an affordable way to experience those local things you'd usually pass up as too expensive (or would pay full price for) at a bargained rate, and let you go out of your comfort zone on your next free weekend. Many of the deals last for a while so looks like I'm set for all my visitors in 2010! (Most major US metropolitan areas/travel destinations offer these, and if you save at least $25, you've paid for its value already!)