Oakland

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

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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

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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.

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