Shop Local for the Holidays
The Bay Area is blessed with many delightful downtown shopping districts that energize even the most jaded holiday shopper, lightening your load while filling your bags with unique and creative gifts.
It’s not just the presents, but the scenery that makes shopping downtown a treat. From the rustic to the chic, each downtown has its own character, a result of the magical mix of people, circumstances and geography. Several Bay Area downtowns first boomed during the Gold Rush, more did so during the railroad expansion and others during the post-war years – and each retains elements of its origins today.
Over the years, the citizens saw the value of their special buildings and stores. Many downtowns formed associations to help them compete with strip malls and national chains, and they urge residents to spend their money locally.
There are so many other reasons to shop in a traditional downtown – the fall leaves, the decorated street lamps, the horse-drawn carriages, the pastries from that bakery you can’t find anywhere else. Below we offer a few of these deliciously unique downtowns from around the region.