Oakland

It's All Happening Downtown in California's Urban Centers

New hotels: check! Updated arenas and convention centers: check! Restaurants offering every global cuisine imaginable: check! Urban parks with sprawling outdoor space: check! And everything within walking distance to make planning multiday events easier: absolutely!

California’s varied downtown areas are thriving. Here’s a look at the urban renaissance, from south to north.

SAN DIEGO

Horton Plaza Park Restored to Glory

Living Centerpieces Grown in Oakland

Centerpieces don’t get any more sustainable than the Garden-in-a-Can from the Oakland-based company Back to the Roots. The cans or mason jars of flowering basil, dill, sage and cilantro were used as table decorations at a San Francisco entrepreneur summit sponsored by Inc. Magazine, at a forum of the nonprofit Social Venture Network held in a San Diego hotel ballroom and, not coincidentally, at the wedding of the brother of the company’s co-founder Nikhil Arora.

Culinary Walkabouts Offer Mouthwatering & Team-building Delights

California's cities are so rich in culinary treasures, there aren’t enough meals in a day to give visitors a fair taste. Food tours offer a solution, allowing groups to experience a half-dozen or more gastronomic options, while learning about the destination’s history and landmarks. A plus: Food is a universal language. Tacos, pizza and chocolate are some of the most e ective means of bringing together people of di erent cultures, job types and ages. Here are six delicious adventures, from San Diego to Sacramento.

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