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Top Things To Do In Modesto

Located between Silicon Valley and Yosemite National Park, Modesto is home to both the latest cultural attractions and nature to explore. As the birthplace of George Lucas and the cult film ‘American Graffiti,’ the city thrives on pop culture history. Its many wild areas and parks make it a prime destination for outdoorsy types, and its delicious selection of restaurants and bars make it a great place for a bite. Check out our complete list of Modesto vacation recommendations below.

Modesto has a lot to offer to visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re new to the city or haven’t experienced it to the fullest, we put together a list of things for the whole family to try.

The best things to do near Modesto include:

  • Take a tour of the Victorian McHenry Mansion
  • Have a tasty meal at the Commonwealth restaurant
  • Explore nearby Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
  • Visit the acclaimed and historical McHenry Museum
  • Check out the iconic George Lucas Statue

Vacation planning is made easier with budget-friendly things to do in Modesto. Pack your itinerary with a few of the affordable things to do in this California city.

Here are some of the cheapest things to do near Modesto:

  • Grab a delicious bite at Me’Mo’s Middle Eastern Cuisine
  • Explore the outdoors on the San Joaquin Wildlife Refuge Nature Trail
  • Pack a picnic and head to Mavis Stouffer Park
  • Grab some poles and go fish at Lake Don Pedro
  • Enjoy local art at the Third Thursday Art Walk

Whether you’re looking for a quirky pop-culture haven or a historical adventure, Modesto is full of must-see landmarks and cultural experiences.

Some of the most popular attractions near Modesto:

  • Celebrate the cult film ‘American Graffiti’ with Graffiti Summer
  • Check out the historic Modesto Arch, built in 1921
  • Visit the lovely and historical Forestiere Underground Gardens
  • Explore the streets of lively downtown Modesto
  • Try your hand at striking gold at California Gold Panning

Modesto is full of experiences and adventures that anyone can do today. Check out these great spots to eat good food or grab a beer.

Exciting activities near Modesto:

  • Treat yourself with a meal at Dan’s BBQ
  • Wander the exhibits at Great Valley Museum of Natural History
  • Sit down and relax with a pint at Last Call brewery
  • See a local band play at the Deva Café
  • Grab a delicious sandwich at Brighter Side

Paint the town red in this fun California city. Nightlife in Modesto is casual and unique, with plenty of bar games and live music.

Nighttime activities near Modesto:

  • Embrace the kitch aesthetic at Tiki Cocktail Lounge
  • Play some pool and grab a drink at The Running Iron
  • Relax on your own or with friends at the Aqua Hookah Lounge
  • Try your hand at karaoke at Runaround Sue’s bar
  • Hit up P Wexford’s Pub for some Irish Nachos and live music on Thursdays

Camping, hiking, brunch — there’s plenty of things to do during your off-days. Modesto is perfectly located near Yosemite National Park, where visitors and locals alike can go on a weekend camping trip.

Weekend activities near Modesto:

  • Grab some gear and take a hike at Yosemite National Park
  • Stop in for a tasting at E. & J. Winery
  • Settle in for bottomless mimosas at La Mo Café
  • Take a train ride at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
  • Experience the evolution of aircraft at Castle Air Museum

There are many diverse activities for families in Modesto — parks, farms, and museums are just a few things that will excite children of all ages.

Family-friendly things to do near Modesto that kids will enjoy:

  • Adventure around Dry Creek Regional Park
  • Take a walk or play some ball at Graceada Park
  • Have a blast with bumper cars and outdoor games at FunWorks
  • Pick some berries out at VanderHelm Farms
  • Have a fun learning experience at Central Valley Play and Grow

Whether your date is a movie buff or a comedian, romance is in the Modesto air. Whether you want to go with a classic dinner or try something new, the city is brimming with date ideas.

For the romantics, here are some date night ideas near Modesto:

  • Catch a foreign film at the State Theater
  • Paint and sip the night away at Pinot’s Palette
  • Play a game of tag at Laser Quest
  • Enjoy a unique dining experience at Camp 4 Wine Café
  • Discover your new favorite comic at St. Clair Theater

Whether you’re team building or just out for a good time with the squad, there’s plenty of fun to be had for groups in Modesto.

A few things to do with your friends near Modesto that everyone will like:

  • Cheer on the Modesto Nuts at John Thurman Field
  • Get competitive and have it out at the Extreme Paintball Park
  • Experience a scavenger hunt walking adventure with Operation City Quest
  • Puzzle your way out at Escape Modesto
  • Grab a pint and relax at St. Stan’s Brewery

Relaxing in Modesto includes the usual spa treatments, but also includes a range of galleries and creative spaces, movie theaters, and more.

Modesto things to do indoors include the following:

  • See a performance at the Gallo Center for the Arts
  • Treat yourself to a day of pampering at The Spa Magnolia
  • Wander the gallery or take a class at Mistlin Gallery
  • Try some award-winning whiskeys at Do Good Distillery
  • Catch the newest blockbuster at Galaxy Riverbank 12 Theater

With Yosemite so close by, it’s impossible to miss out on all of the great outdoor activities to do in and around Modesto. While the mountains are a short drive away, there are plenty of city parks to explore.

For active things to see in Modesto, try the following vacation ideas:

  • Grab some produce and home made goods at the Modesto Farmers Market
  • Take a stroll down the Virginia Corridor Trailway
  • Make a splash rafting down the Stanislaus River
  • Meander Modesto’s wide array of bike trails
  • Go underground and explore Black Chasm Cavern

Modesto has one-of-a-kind restaurants, concert venues, and antique shops that are worth uncovering. Look no further — we compiled a list of Modesto’s best kept secrets.

Here are just a few of the must-see places near Modesto:

  • Scare yourself silly at the Higbee Horror Haunt
  • Mix it up for a German-Chinese lunch at Noah’s Hof Brau
  • Discover historic treasures at Remember Me Antiques
  • Catch a summer concert in the park at Graceada Park
  • See some small waterfalls on the Natural Bridges Hiking Trail

Top Attractions