Meandering Mendoza: A Walking Tour
Most of Mendoza’s wineries and activities lay outside of town, but make time in your schedule to explore this little city. Its shady tree-lined avenues invite the casual stroll, and unlike Buenos Aires, you can get a feel for many of Mendoza’s different faces within one day.
(1): 10:00 Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno (MMAM)
Nothing to wake you up like a nice jolt of modern art. Head to Plaza Independencia to begin your day in the humble Modern Art Museum, featuring rotating exhibitions of local and national artists. When you’ve moseyed on through, head back into the Mendoza sunshine and towards the mountains.
(2): 10:30 Walk up Aristedes Villanueva St.
In the evening, all the bars along this boulevard fill with people that spill out into the sidewalk. During the day there are a handful of nice shops for window gazing.
Try a stop at Santangelo Gallery (Olascoaga 631), featuring a well-rounded collection of works, all by local artists. Further up the street, peek into Mutantes (Paso de los Andes 720), a DIY boutique where three art students display their collections as well as items from other local designers.
(3): 11:30 Parque San Martin
Do a lap around the lake in sprawling Parque San Martin. If it’s warm, consider a mid-morning ice cream stop. When you’ve done the rounds, head back down to town through the park’s main gates or portones, along Emilio Civit St. Along this wide, open boulevard you’ll pass the colonial mansions of many of Mendoza’s most prestigious families.
(4): 1:00 Lunch at Maria Antonietta
Lunch in Mendoza used to be a practice in monotony before this bright little cafe opened. Everywhere you turned, nothing but milanesa (breaded meat patties), pizza, milanesa, pizza…
Maria Antonietta breaks the mold, serving up fresh salads and scrumptious sandwiches and homemade scones. They also make American style breakfast sandwiches all day long.
Now try to catch some zzz’s or lounge around with a good book in your hotel or in a plaza because you’ve run up against the endearing but sometimes vexing siesta, where everything (except the cafes) close.
(6): 5:00 Mercado Central
Head over to this indoor market to stock up on meats, cheeses, herbal remedies, nuts or dried fruits. There is an array of local and imported delicacies from mango paste to whole baby goat.
(7): 5:30 General La Paz
From Mercado Central, dart out a side entrance towards General La Paz street. Along these bustling few blocks, you’ll find street vendors with their wares displayed across the sidewalk, as well as a handful of indoor marketplaces mostly selling clothing and footwear.
(8): 6:30 La Alameda
From General La Paz you’re just a stone’s throw from La Alameda, a generous pedestrian boulevard lined with elegant and curving trees. In this bohemian section of the city, stroll past the booksellers and artisans, and find yourself a cafe to enjoy a tea and some flaky pastries. You have the rest of the afternoon to relax, take another siesta and gear up for dinnertime.
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