Spend a Perfect Day in Modesto

Levy Real Estate Group

There’s much to see in sunny California, from Wine Country and Lake Tahoe to Disneyland and Yosemite National Park. In fact, if you have driven to Yosemite National Park from the coast, you have probably passed through Modesto, a charming town snuggled into the valley.

Modesto is surrounded by the coastal ranges and the Sierra Nevada mountain range and sits between the Tuolumne River and the Stanislaus River. Modesto is an amazing community with a vibrant downtown filled with great restaurants, fun-filled festivals, and hiking and biking trails, making it a can’t-miss destination. Read on for a list of things to do in Modesto and what to check out!

A foodie’s dream

The city is located in the heart of some of the most abundant farmland in California. Driving into town, you will pass rows of crops, dairy farms, and orchards. The various farm stands, like Rodin Farms, showcase the diversity of food grown in the area. You can enjoy the region’s locally grown fruits, nuts, and dairy products as you make your way into town or on your way back home.

You can also partake in a unique activity that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in the state: olive oil tasting. The Sciabia Family Tasting Room in Modesto offers free tastings of different types of olive oil, including flavored oils pressed with ingredients like roasted garlic and fresh olives. The Sciabica family first began producing olive oil in 1936 and is currently run by third- and fourth-generation family members.

Another family-run business near Modesto is Oakdale Cheese and Specialities, which is a must-stop for cheese lovers. Operated by fourth-generation cheese makers, visitors can watch them work while browsing and sampling hand-crafted cheeses. Here, you’ll also find a cafe with mouthwatering grilled cheeses, a serene koi pond, and farm animals.

Modesto is also home to one of the best farmers’ markets in the Central Valley, with live music, arts, kids' crafts, and offerings from local farms, including handcrafted cheeses, artisan soaps and textiles, and fresh produce. The farmers’ market is open all year, so don’t skip it!

American Graffiti Festival

George Lucas is Modesto’s most famous son, and his classic film was based on cruising the streets of his hometown as a teenager. There are murals of characters from Star Wars, statues, and a Graffiti USA Museum specializing in classic cars. Every June, Modesto hosts an American Graffiti Festival and Car Show, which features classic car parades, street fairs, and live music. This is one of the most significant events in Modesto and draws as many as 1,400 participants from around California.

Embark on a mural tour

Downtown Modesto is home to over 100 public artworks, so after browsing the market, you can check out the impressive sculptures and murals to feel inspired. Artists from across the globe travel to Modesto to use the buildings as canvases and transform the city into an alfresco art gallery. There is a map of the murals organized into a downtown tour, a perimeter tour, and a library tour.

Go to a live show

After taking in the amazing artwork, you can visit the Fruit Yard for a unique outdoor experience. The family-owned farm and market features a petting zoo and a host of seasonal events. Visitors can go fruit picking along the rows of fruit trees. The farm also boasts a large amphitheater, which sits on a 90-acre fruit orchard. It is scheduled to have performances by Train, Ringo Starr, and Air Supply in 2023.

The Gallo Center for the Arts is another perfect place to enjoy live music. The center is a gorgeous, state-of-the-art facility that hosts a variety of incredible performances throughout the year, including comedy shows, concerts, and Broadway plays. The center also hosts an outdoor concert series on the front patio in the summer. The center has hosted the likes of Steve Martin, Wanda Sykes, Tony Bennet, and John Legend.

Take a scenic almond blossom cruise

In the springtime, the almond orchards bloom beautifully — the perfect time for photos and charming drives. Take an audio tour of the almond orchards called the Almond Blossom Cruise, which offers local trivia and history about agriculture in the area, all while you explore the rolling hills and stunning vistas of the groves, farm stands, and parks.

Enjoy a wonderful meal

There are many places in Modesto to enjoy a delicious meal. Camp 4 Wine Cafe is owned by Modesto native Damon Robbins. His father is Royal Robbins, who was a rock climbing pioneer and the first person to solo-climb El Capitan’s Muir Wall in Yosemite. Camp 4 is named in honor of the climbers’ camp in Yosemite with the same name and is filled with memorabilia from the park. The restaurant and wine bar offers a simple menu with rotating dishes depending on what is in season, such as poke bowls, paninis, and charcuterie.
On a perfect day, Galletto Ristorante is another top dining destination, located in a historic art deco bank building with soaring ceilings and rich paintings. Outside, there is a vine-covered patio with a large wood-burning fireplace and a bocce ball court. The restaurant serves classic Italian fare prepared with local ingredients and has an extensive wine list.

Go for a hike at Dry Creek Trail

Modesto has many hiking trails, including Dry Creek Trail. Walking for miles amidst enormous oak trees, eucalyptus plants, and a lovely creek is a great way to spend some time outside in Modesto. East La Loma Community Park has a lush green area, tennis courts, basketball courts, disc golf, and a playground, and is a nice halfway point on the trail. This is a perfect resting area on your hike through the forest. 

Living in Modesto

If you are interested in looking at homes for sale in Modesto, working with a dedicated team of Realtors is the best way to begin. Contact the trusted team at Levy Real Estate Group today with any questions and to get started toward your real estate goals.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock


We have over 20 years of combined experience in Central Valley real estate. Day or night, with our team, our clients receive around the clock care, attending to all of your needs. Not only do we make the buying and selling process smooth, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible but we also get results! We care about our clients and work around the clock to get them the results they deserve. Contact us to ask any questions and get started. Who You Hire Matters!

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