Holiday destinations in Modesto, California
Photo credit: tourinplanet.com

In many ways, the name Modesto, which translates from Spanish as “modest,” has remained appropriate for this unpretentious and modest city.

In many ways, the name Modesto, which translates from Spanish as “modest,” has remained appropriate for this unpretentious and modest city.

The fact that Modesto, California, is the hometown of director George Lucas and served as inspiration for one of the most well-known films about high school angst set in the 1960s, “American Graffiti,” may surprise many visitors to the area.

Modesto is still known for this movie, and there is even an annual celebration called Graffiti Summer conducted in its honor. However, this is by no means the only reason to go there.

The city is close to famous places like Yosemite National Park and is surrounded by stunning natural scenery.

You may have Holiday destinations in Modesto, California experience nature in a variety of other parks and rivers in the city itself, and can even go rafting on the Stanislaus River.

Modesto is famed for its art scene in addition to its natural beauty, and you can discover museums, galleries, theatres, and concert venues all across this unassuming but unexpected city. Let’s find the best things to do in Modesto CA.

Modesto’s downtown

The downtown area of Modesto has undergone revitalization during the past ten years, becoming a hub of activity. In this core area of the city, there are both modern businesses and historic architecture, plus some eye-catching murals.

The Gallo Center for the Arts and the pedestrian-only Tenth Street Plaza, which houses shops, eateries, and an 18-screen movie theatre, are two popular modern downtown attractions. Additional local eateries, shops, and art galleries featuring regional and local works of art may be found all around the area. Tasteful paintings adorn the sides of many downtown buildings, so art is also present on the streets.

Big municipal events like the well-known Modesto Certified Farmers Market can be seen downtown as well. Many of the activities associated with the yearly Summer Graffiti cultural extravaganza take place there as well. Other downtown activities include First Friday celebrations, an annual mural festival, and a lavishly decorated holiday Downtown Extravaganza.

The Gallo Arts Center

Since 2007, the Gallo Center for the Arts has been Modesto’s top venue for performances. It features nationally touring artists as well as regional and local performers. Today, it serves as a community focal point in the downtown area, with a variety of dining options close by for supper and a show.

Two performance spaces, including the 1,248-seat Mary Stuart Rogers Theater, are located within the facility. This cutting-edge theatre hosts a variety of performances, from Broadway blockbusters to nationally touring lecture series, as well as comedic acts, musical productions, and seasonal events.

The Gallo Center for the Arts offers educational programs, such as a K–12 Performance Series, in addition to a recurring production schedule.

Summer of Graffiti

Graffiti Summer is a month-long celebration of the Central Valley’s antique vehicle scene. Vintage cars, live music, and festival activities take over the entire month of June in Modesto.

The occasion also honors George Lucas, a local filmmaker whose ground-breaking film American Graffiti was based on his adolescent years in Modesto in the early 1960s. The State Theatre in downtown Modesto will undoubtedly show this iconic Modesto-based film during Graffiti Summer.

The weekend-long Graffiti Summer Festival is one of the best things to do in Modesto, which features the Graffiti Classic Car Parade every year, is one of the main draws of Graffiti Summer. The Modesto Historic Cruise Route and downtown Modesto are also shown, along with thousands of pre-1979 vehicles. Tens of thousands of people attend this kid- and family-friendly automobile parade each year, which also has food vendors, live music, and a car show competition.

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