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Staycation Itinerary: A day in Montevideo with friends

Everyone should treat themselves as often as they can; a local adven­ture to try for just that is simply a Gal Pal’s Day out in Montevideo.

Exploring Nature and Shopping Itinerary

What to pack: A cam­era for photo opportuni­ties, good walking shoes, a reusable shopping bag for any purchases.

Morning: Grab your bestie(s) and make the choice to have a great day, starting with some bold, flavorful coffees, laucs, or pressed juic­es from the first stop on the Gal Pal’s Day Out in Montevideo itiner­ary, Cup ‘a Joe. This locally-owned coffee drive-thru sits at the in­tersection of Highway 212 and Highway 7 in Montevideo. Pro Tip for this spot: try a blended laue at least once. Conversations are had frequently at the window; a lot of life stories get shared. Enjoy those first sips while you make your way to behind Main Street where one of the town’s largest parks is.

Smith Park hosts a Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. Artisans set out their works to be sold; you can enjoy homemade sweets from Ollie Joy’s Sweet Treats or jams and a pletho­ra of baked goods from Pauline Stranlund, as well as stop by to scoop up a new handmade pil­low or blanket by Linda Scheop. Visiting with the vendors and the patrons at the farmer’s market al­ways broadens the hori­zons, as there are people from all over the state that stop by. Now that you’ve got coffee and a goody or two, it’s time to find a quiet place.

Late morning: Chin­hinta Park has long been a hidden gem in Monte­video. It is a small park that boasts a disc golf course, a creek, a wood­en footbridge, a paved walkway, and lush green­ery that surrounds the tiny park. It’s a getaway if you know how to find it. It has two entranc­es; the most commonly known entrance is right off of busy State Road. There is street parking available, but one should always proceed with caution. At the other end of the park, there is an­ other entrance that is in a quieter, more residential area. With the gnats and other bugs having seeminly died down a bit, a leisurely storll through a pcturesquepark nestled quietly away in the town creates time and room to just breathe.

Plazita III, located off of highway 7 recently opened with a full menu and sports bar.

Lunch: Plazita, a Mexican restaurant located off Highway 7, is decorated inside with murals that surround you while you eat and enjoy authentic Mexican cui­sine. There are a variety of dishes to choose from, as well as a variety of desserts from different cuisines; a large slice of tiramisu was surprising in the best way when it was spotted on the menu. It was joined by other long-held favorites like fried ice cream and flan.

Afternoon: Once you’re refreshed and re­charged from your time with nature and lunch, find your way down to Tranquility, a new tea and wellness shop located in downtown Montevideo. Immediately upon walk­ing into this metaphysi­cal shop there are tables laid out with crystals and teas and a myriad of products aimed at every­ thing from spirituality to homeopathy. Tranquility is home to dozens and dozens of crystals with just as many different kinds of tea. There are two shop cats that roam free within the Tranquili­ty. They are both friendly with calm demeanors. A brush up against your leg from Buddy, the chubby black cat, is an instance to stop and say hello. Sweet Pea is the other shop cat – a shy white cat that may or may not come out and visit.

Just across the way from Tranquility sits the second-hand clothing store, Classic Review, that sells clothes for ev­erybody. After you’ve looked over every piece of clothing in your style, you’ll need to remem­ber that they have an entire downstairs full of clearance items. This is a place to keep in your rotation if you are on a tight budget. The clothes are reasonably priced, the quality is nearly new, and there is often a sale of some sort going on.

For even more of a look at this itinerary, fol­low the QR code at the end of this article.

One of two shop cats who resides at Tranquility Tea & Wellness.

A creek located in the Chinhinta Park nestled away off of busy State Road. Street parking is available; please always use caution.

Reporter & photography by Cynthia Christians