Modesto was possibly most famous for “cruising”: inspired by the 1973 film American Graffiti, hot rods used to parade its streets at night, showing off their high arches and flashy paint jobs. Cruising’s banned now, but you’ll still see plenty of vintage vehicles about town. And in June, the Graffiti Summer festival sees more than 1,200 meticulously polished muscle machines parade the streets. Hotels in Modesto can be hard to find during the festival – follow our guide to bag the best-value options, all bookable via Culture Trip.
A boon for self-caterers, this Marriott Residence towards the northern reaches of town offers one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Fully self-contained, they offer separate sleeping and living areas, fully stocked kitchenettes, 55-inch flatscreen TVs and deep, comfortable sofas. They’re roomy too: even the studio is 260sqft (24sqm), while the two-room suite spans a generous 713sqft (66sqm). The decor in each is sleek and sober, with dark stained-wood desks and dark-leather furniture. Beyond the suites, expect extras such as a BBQ/picnic area and on-site laundry.
Sitting pretty between the urban delights of San Francisco and the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park, this IHG Holiday Inn makes a great break for road trippers. Cultural, sports and adventure activities such as the Boomers Family Fun Center and the Gallo Center for the Arts are all nearby, as are stores to replenish stocks for the drive. Blackout blinds and whirlpool tubs are just some of the comforts available in the stylish rooms, and hot breakfasts are complimentary.
A top choice for accessible travel, this Hampton Inn offers guestrooms and suites meticulously equipped for those with mobility issues, hearing difficulties, and other needs. For those looking to explore further afield, it’s 15 minutes’ drive from catching a Modesto Nuts ball game at John Thurman Field and the family amusements of Funworks. All rooms offer deep, super-comfortable Hampton beds, blackout curtains and Waterpik showerheads in the bathroom. In the common areas you’ll find a fitness center, pool and gym. Buffet breakfast is complimentary.
Convenient for vacationers who prefer to stay outside the hustle and bustle of downtown, the La Quinta Inn is in Salida, Modesto’s northern satellite. A pet-friendly hotel, it offers plenty of shared amenities such as a pool and hot tub, laundry facilities, a fitness center and even a gift shop. White tiles, palms trees and broad, balustraded landings give common areas an unmistakably Californian feel, while guest rooms are boldly decorated in purples and creams, with checked carpets and lime curtains. Accessibility is given a lot of thought.
College sports venues, the Gallo Winery and sights of downtown Modesto, such as the Gallo Center for the Arts and the McHenry Museum, are the closest attractions to this slick Best Western, ideally placed on the route to Yosemite. Soundproofed glass gives every room a sense of cosy isolation, complemented by deep tubs, marble bathroom counters and soothing bronze-and-wood decor. Common amenities include complimentary full breakfasts, a relaxing spa and hot tub and a well-appointed fitness center.
Sitting an easy five-minute drive northwest of downtown Modesto, this Marriott offers 111 suites of varying degrees of luxury. All come with separate living areas, well-stocked kitchenettes, and deep sofas that roll out in case you’ve brought company but want some privacy. Common areas are distinguished by clean, organic lines, parquet floors and vivid blue- and burgundy-furnishings, while the suites are more muted, featuring Scandinavian wood tones, blues and grays. A hot buffet breakfast, outdoor pool and gym are complimentary.
Sitting 15mi (24km) southeast of Modesto in the satellite town of Turlock, this Hampton Inn is a great choice for weary road-trappers. Offering a good spread of standard and accessible guestrooms, it has all you need to recharge after a long drive. Most importantly, all rooms feature Hampton’s signature beds and blackout curtains, guaranteeing excellent sleep. Everything else you’d expect on site is present and correct: a heated outdoor pool, well-appointed fitness center and a generous, complimentary, hot buffet breakfast.
Sitting southeast of Modesto, in Turlock, this IHG hotel is an all-suite affair. Decked out in light wooden tones with touches of grey and metallic green, the plush quarters offer everything you need for a self-contained stay. Well-stocked kitchens contain everything but conventional ovens, while the separate living areas are centered on plush sofas. Pets are welcome, and you can let your pooch off the leash at the nearby Pedretti Park.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.