The city of Modesto is tucked into the Central Valley of Northern California. Located 90 miles east of San Francisco, the city is home to over 200,000 people. Modesto is a relatively laid-back area, with some popular historical sites, attractions and performing arts centers. A bronze-statue built to immortalize Modesto filmmaker George Lucas, the mind behind films such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, can be found at the ‘Five Points’. Downtown Modesto also features a variety of upbeat restaurants, bars and other night life. The Downtown area also hosts an Art Walk on the third Thursday of every month, a multi-venue event. Check out some of the most prominent attractions to see in Modesto.
What to do:
Sunshine Rafting in Stanislaus River - 18210 Sonora Road, Knights Ferry, CA 95361
This popular rafting trip about a half hour outside the center of Modesto is perfect for adventurers of all skill levels. The 8 mile river trip lasts anywhere from three to five hours, and features a mix of rapids, relaxing paddles and beaches to tie up and go for a swim, or stop for lunch.
Modesto Nuts (Single-A Baseball) - 601 Neece Drive Modesto, California
The Modesto Nuts are the Single-A minor league team of the MLB Colorado Rockies. They play approximately 70 home games at John Thurman field, and are an excellent opportunity to bring the family to a baseball game. Minor league games are the perfect place to catch a glimpse of up and coming baseball players, or some big-name players in the minors for a rehab or practice stint.
Gallo Center for the Arts – 1000 I St, Modesto, CA
The Gallo Center for the Arts is a state-of-the-art performing arts center. Opened in 2007, they host events such as music, comedy, Broadway, and holiday specials. Check out their online calendar of events to see what will be at the center soon!
Big League Dreams Sports Park: Manteca - 1077 Milo Candini Dr, Manteca, CA 95337
Big League Dreams Sports Parks was begun by two brothers who had a dream of giving youth and adults alike the opportunities to experience the feeling of the big leagues. Today they operate 11 facilities across the Western United States. Their Manteca, CA facility features replica stadiums of Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium, amongst others.
The McHenry Mansion - Corner of 15th & I Streets, Modesto, CA 95354
The McHenry Mansion is the only Victorian home in the city of Modesto. The mansion was built in 1883 by Robert, a prominent businessman of his time, and his wife, Matilda. The mansion began undergoing restorations in 1977, and after a 2011 fire, is currently going through another one slated to be finished in 2013. Today the mansion offers tours, and can be rented out for special occasions and parties, including weddings.
Aquatic Dreams Scuba Center - 1212 Kansas Avenue, Modesto, CA
The Aquatic Dreams Scuba Center is a full service SCUBA and snorkeling center. They offer CPR, lifeguarding and scuba training, along with swim lessons and pool parties. Along with offering lessons and certifications, they offer scuba diving boat trips for certified divers.
Eats & Drinks:
Marcella’s Mexican Restaurant: 3507 Tully Road, Modesto, CA
With large portions and a variety of food types, Marcella’s menu will provide food for many tastes. Their menu includes salads, tapatias, seafood, sandwiches, and A La Carte enchilada, taco & burrito options.
Galletto Ristorante: 1101 J Street, Modesto CA
Galletto Ristorante is a family owned restaurant opened in 2001 with the vision of serving the best Italian food in the valley. They serve a variety of classic Italian dishes at reasonable dinner prices, with an extensive wine and cocktail list as well.
The Boardroom Bar & Lounge: 1528 J St, Modesto, CA
The Boardroom is a popular, slightly upscale bar and lounge. It’s reviewed as a great spot to relax and catch up with friends over drinks, with a trendy, classy feel to it. A clean and classy bar with promise for a great evening with good friends.
Bella Italia Ristorante: 2625 Coffee Rd, Modesto, CA
Recently recognized as the “Best of Modesto” of restaurants by Trip Advisor out of 275, this Italian restaurant and pizzeria is a spot not to be missed. They offer a variety of pasta, ravioli, calzone and pizza dishes and meals to choose from, and is widely regarded as a great restaurant across the Modesto area.
The Ice Cream Company: 2401 E. Orangeburg Ave. #650 Modesto, CA
The Ice Cream Company has offered homemade, creamy ice cream for over 30 years. Opened in 1979, they feature old-fashion ice cream, along with a good selection of food items such as sandwiches, soups, wraps and a kids menu. Under new ownership since 2011, the Ice Cream Company has undergone huge facelifts, re-opening in 2012 with new floors, booths and tables. A must-see, local favorite in the Modesto area.