Those who don’t know downtown are missing an oasis amid the skyscrapers atop Bunker Hill: the California Plaza’s sunken Watercourt, set in a small amphitheater where the big building owners annually sponsor the summerlong free arts events known as Grand Performances. During fall, winter and spring, it becomes a place of quiet, drawing migrating birds and people reading books or enjoying bag lunches. It’s especially great for a relaxing interlude after visiting MOCA, which is on the back side of the same block. When you go to the Watercourt, buy a casual lunch from the yummy Famima Japanese convenience store (about 100 feet away from the fountain’s edge), sit down and relax. Or come shortly before sunset, take the stairs one floor up, and order a signature martini at the spectacular Omni Hotel bar that overlooks the fountain — a swank spot to take a friend, or just yourself. 350 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn. (213) 687-2159. —N. Jenssen
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