At beautifully designed Parque Independencia, throngs of joggers and cyclists lope and pedal along footpaths and trails while families float on paddle boats in this urban sanctuary that gets heavier recreational use than any other public park. Having celebrated its centennial in 2002, it offers 112 hectares of verdant open space with museums, a small zoo, a rose garden, tennis courts and other athletic fields, a hippodrome, and an important soccer stadium.
Covered with bright-red bougainvillea, a neoclassical pergola follows the lakeshore on Bulevar Oroño where, nightly at 8:30 p.m., colored lights illuminate a fountain of Aguas Danzantes (“dancing waters”). Farther south, the Museo de la Ciudad (Bulevar Oroño 2350, tel. 0341/480-8665, www.museodelaciudad.org.ar , 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 2–8 p.m. weekends, free) focuses on Rosario ’s history.
Immediately west of the lake, the Museo Histórico Provincial Doctor Julio Marc (tel. 0341/472-1457, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Fri., 3–7 p.m. weekends and holidays, free) traces regional development from the earliest cultures through the Spanish invasion and evangelization on the frontier, but its focus is the postindependence period.
Immediately west of the museum, the Newell’s Old Boys soccer stadium is colloquially known as El Coloso (The Colossus). To its south, the park’s largest single construction is the Hipódromo Independencia, the racetrack.
Creatively built into abandoned grain silos, Rosario’s newest museum is the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Rosario (Blvd. Oroño and Río Paraná, tel. 0341/480-4981, www.macromuseo.org.ar , 3–9 p.m. daily except Wed., US$1) a few blocks from Parque Independencia. Overlooking the river at the north end of Blvd. Oroño, it has frequently changing shows by contemporary artists and traveling exhibitions.