I have learned to Google "Things to do in [type in city name]" to get ideas on what to do in cities I've never been to before. I get weekly Travelzoo, TripWolf and BookingBuddy newsletters that informs me about great travel deals. One of the travel sites I usually go to, especially for last minute trips is Priceline. I scope out their lists of hotels in the area I am interested in, then find a suitable star-rating I'm comfortable with before naming my own price.
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