Things To Do In Modesto CA, the agricultural city of Modesto in Central California’s San Joaquin Valley has an increasing number of things to do and places to visit. The region’s surrounding farmlands and orchards add flavor to the city, as does a classic car culture, and the area’s sunny weather provides a nice forecast for everything the city has to offer.

Things To Do In Modesto CA
Things To Do In Modesto CA

Downtown Modesto is a good place to get a feel for the city, especially during weekly events such as the Modesto Certified Farmers Market. The Gallo Center for the Arts and The State Theatre, as well as the historic Modesto Arch, are other cultural attractions in the bustling downtown district at great valley museum.

George Lucas was born in Modesto, California, and it served as the inspiration for his breakout 1973 film American Graffiti. The city honors these legacies through the month-long Graffiti Summer cultural celebration, which includes vintage automobiles, live music, and events throughout June. The cultural spirit of this festival, on the other hand, is palpable all year. With our list of the top attractions in Modesto is a best places, you can enjoy your next cruise through Central California.

List of 10 Things To Do In Modesto CA Today

1. Modesto’s downtown

Modesto's downtown
Modesto’s downtown

Over the last decade, revitalization efforts have transformed Modesto’s downtown district into a hub of activity. This central area of the city is filled with historic charm and modern storefronts, and more than one colorful mural catches the eye is best places.

The Gallo Center for the Arts and the pedestrian-only Tenth Street Plaza, which features shopping, restaurants, and an 18-screen movie theater, are both modern downtown attractions. There are more local dining and shopping options throughout the area, as well as several art galleries displaying local, thousand oaks park and regional works. Art can also be found on the streets, with tasteful murals adorning the sides of many downtown buildings.

Downtown is also the location for major city events such as the popular Modesto Certified Farmers Market. It also serves as a hub for much of the activity associated with the annual Summer Graffiti cultural celebration. An annual Mural Festival, First Friday celebrations, and a lavishly decorated holiday Downtown Extravaganza are among the other downtown events.

For more Modesto history, visit the McHenry Mansion and The State Theatre in downtown Modesto. Downtown Modesto, which is alive with activity long after sunset, is also the epicenter of Modesto nightlife at San Jose United States.

2. Gallo Arts Center No. 2

Gallo Arts Center
Gallo Arts Center

Since 2007, the Gallo Center for the Arts has been Modesto’s premier performance venue. It features talent from across the country, both local and regional. Today, it serves as a downtown community anchor, with several restaurants nearby for dinner and a show.

The center houses two performance venues, one of which is the 1,248-seat Mary Stuart Rogers Theater. This cutting-edge theater hosts everything from Broadway blockbusters to nationally touring speaker series, as well as comedy acts, musical performances, and holiday events at New York.

In addition to a rotating production schedule, the Gallo Center for the Arts offers educational opportunities, such as a K-12 Performance Series Modesto Junior College.

1000 I Street, Modesto, California.

3. Summer of Graffiti

Summer of Graffiti
Summer of Graffiti

Graffiti Summer is a month-long celebration of the Central Valley’s classic car culture. It takes over Modesto for the month of June with vintage automobiles, live performances, and festival events.

The event also honors hometown director George Lucas, whose breakthrough film American Graffiti was inspired by his adolescent years in Modesto in the early 1960s. This classic Modesto-based film will be shown at The State Theatre in downtown Modesto during Graffiti Summer.

The Graffiti Summer Festival, which includes the annual Graffiti Classic Car Parade, is one of the main attractions of Graffiti Summer. It includes the Modesto Historic Cruise Route and thousands of pre-1979 automobiles cruising downtown Modesto. This family-friendly car parade also includes food vendors, live music, and a car show competition; tens of thousands of people attend each year at Stanislaus County.

4. The State Theatre is number four.

The State Theatre
The State Theatre

The State Theatre of Modesto has been a great place to see a show for over 80 years, with a marquee that lights up the street. After entering its opulent lobby, the 550-plus-seat auditorium provides an ideal setting for a movie or live performance. Part of the fun of any show is the historic vibe that pervades the theater at Southern California.

The State Theatre’s film screenings range from the most recent indie releases to cult classics, many of which are not available in traditional movie theaters. Speaker series, comedians, mini golf and touring musicians are also featured on the stage.

1307 J Street, Modesto, California.

5. McHenry Mansion No. 5

McHenry Mansion
McHenry Mansion

This historic mansion was built in 1883 for Robert McHenry and his wife, Matilda. The mansion has a long history, including stints as a family home, a sanatorium, and an apartment complex, and much of its Victorian architecture still stands. It is now owned and operated by the city and is open to the public is one of the fun things.

On weekends, the public is welcome to join a free docent-led tour of this elaborately decorated downtown home. The non-profit organization that runs the tours also has a gift shop on-site with Modesto memorabilia.

The McHenry Museum, less than a block away from the McHenry Mansion, offers similar free admission and a look into the city’s past. Numerous photographs, artifacts, and exhibits document the last 100 years of Modesto history at the museum. A recreated blacksmith shop, an agricultural exhibit, and a collection of gold mining equipment are among the permanent exhibits at John Thurman Field.

1402 I Street, Modesto, California.

6. Modesto Certified Farmers Market

Modesto Certified Farmers Market
Modesto Certified Farmers Market

Between March and December, the Modesto Certified Farmers Market is held on Thursdays and Saturdays in downtown Modesto. It serves fresh vegetables, fruits, and baked goods. Hot and ready-to-eat food is also available, as are handmade artisan crafts at George Lucas Plaza.

This community event is frequently accompanied by live music, and different growing seasons provide new options each week. There is also a smaller winter market modesto nuts.

1522 H Street, Modesto, California.

7. Graceada Park is number seven.

Graceada Park
Graceada Park

Graceada Park is Modesto’s oldest city park. It was founded in 1907 and designed by the same architect who created San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. With playgrounds, tennis courts, a splash pad, and lawn areas, this historic public space continues to draw in the community.

The park’s Mancini Bowl is a rentable venue space that hosts special musical performances and movie nights. The park is located on the outskirts of downtown, near the McHenry Mansion and Museum, and makes an excellent follow-up visit after touring the mansion.

Other Modesto city parks, such as Enslen Park, are packed with family-friendly activities. This city park has additional playground equipment, baseball and softball diamonds, and a Boy Scout Club House.

Davis Community Park, located north of downtown, is another popular green space with picnic areas, tennis courts, and horseshoe pits.

Modesto, California, 401 Needham Street

8. Tuolumne River Regional Park (#8)

Tuolumne River Regional Park
Tuolumne River Regional Park

This peaceful regional park spans 500 acres and five distinct park areas across seven miles on the Tuolumne River’s south bank. With hiking trails and plenty of open space to explore, it’s a popular place to get outside and away from the city. This nature reserve is less than a 10-minute drive from downtown.

The regional park’s most popular attractions are Legion and Mancini Parks. They both have picnic areas as well as recreational facilities such as playgrounds and fishing. Ceres River Bluff Regional Park, located to the east, has similar outdoor attractions and is linked by a paved bicycle trail that follows the Tuolumne River.

9. Modesto Arch.

Modesto Arch
Modesto Arch

The Modesto Arch is a literal welcome sign and city symbol. For over a century, it has greeted visitors and residents of Modesto. Its illuminated sign bears the city slogan of Modesto: “Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health.”

The arch is located near the Gallo Center for the Arts, above a busy intersection. If you spend a lot of time downtown, the sign is bound to catch your attention. Apart from driving by or photographing it from street corners, the arch is mostly admired for its historical significance.

10. Yosemite National Park Day Trip

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park’s iconic granite mountains and cascading waterfalls are two hours east of Modesto. These inspired lands draw adventure seekers from all over the world, and Bakersfield residents and visitors flock to Yosemite all year, especially during the summer months.

With higher elevations and alpine lakes, Yosemite beats the summer heat of Central California. Most visitors to the park travel from Modesto for a weekend or a week. Many of the best campgrounds in Yosemite National Park have plenty of space for tents and RVs, though reservations are recommended during the summer.

Fishing, rock climbing, and especially day hiking are popular activities in Yosemite. Yosemite National Park’s top hiking trails include Yosemite Falls, the Mist Trail, and Mirror Lake. Hiking up Half-Dome is one of the most popular hikes in the park, and using the cable-lined route requires a permit. The Pacific Crest Trail, which spans the country, also passes through Yosemite National Park.


Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Modesto-Salida is a popular hotel for overnight stays. In their well-appointed guest rooms, the hotel has an excellent reputation for cleanliness, customer service, and general comfort. Every morning, Holiday Inn Express guests receive a complimentary full breakfast, which includes signature cinnamon rolls. In-room coffee makers, free Wi-Fi, and a fully equipped fitness center are among the other amenities.
  • The SpringHill Suites by Marriott Modesto, located off Highway 99 northwest of downtown, is a suite-only hotel with over 110 rooms. Every overnight stay includes a separate sleeping and living room, as well as a kitchenette with a mini-fridge and microwave. Each morning, a complimentary coffee bar and breakfast buffet await guests in the inviting lobby and dining area. The hotel also has a business center, an outdoor pool and patio, and free Wi-Fi in all rooms.

Hotels on a Budget:

  • The Days Inn by Wyndham Modesto, located north of downtown near Highway 108, is a popular choice due to its excellent customer service and low price. The rooms are spacious and modernly decorated, with a coffee maker, a flat-screen TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel’s outdoor pool is a popular spot to unwind and soak up some rays, and the complimentary breakfast in the morning is a great way to start the day.
  • The Comfort Inn, located northwest of downtown near Highway 99, is another budget-friendly hotel that does not sacrifice cleanliness or comfort. Guests appreciate the low rates for modern guest rooms and pet-friendly accommodations. All overnight guests have access to free parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and a front desk that is open 24 hours a day.

FAQs about Things To Do In Modesto CA

Is it worthwhile to visit Modesto?

Unlike other towns and counties in California, Modesto has a small amount of pop culture. The city is well-known for its vineyards and farmlands. Visit all of California’s wonderful attractions and spend some quality time there.

Is Modesto a pleasant place to live?

Modesto is a pleasant place to raise a family, with excellent educational opportunities for children. Modesto has a diverse range of shopping and dining options. Downtown is getting better and better, especially since the nightclubs have left and some security has been hired. The parks are well maintained.

Modesto, California, is it safe?

California’s Modesto. Modesto, California’s 18th largest city and home to approximately 201,165 people, has an extremely high crime rate. In fact, it is 102 percent higher than the national average and only 3 percent safer than the national average.

Is Modesto part of the Bay Area?

Merced, welcome to the Bay Area! Welcome to Modesto, Sacramento, and Yuba City, as well. As well as Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Salinas. Don’t worry, Tahoe City, you’re almost in another state.

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