The Best Hotels to Book in Modesto, California

Modesto may be known for its motor parade, but its also home to plenty of beautiful hotels to enjoy a pit stop while in California
Modesto may be known for its motor parade, but it's also home to plenty of beautiful hotels to enjoy a pit stop while in California | Courtesy of Hampton Inn by Hilton Turlock /
Hugh McNaughtan

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.

1. Residence Inn Modesto North, for self-caterers


A large bed with white linen, and dark wood furniture, in a room at Residence Inn by Marriott Modesto North
Courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott Modesto North /

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.

2. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Modesto-Salida, for road-tripping in California


A large bed with white linen and a wooden headboard in a room with a separate seating area at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Modesto-Salida, an IHG Hotel
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Modesto-Salida, an IHG Hotel /

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.

3. Hampton Inn & Suites Modesto-Salida, for catching a ball game


A room with two beds, with pink headboards, and dark-wood furniture at Hampton Inn & Suites Modesto
Courtesy of Hampton Inn & Suites Modesto /

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.

4. La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Modesto Salida, for easy highway access


A large bed with white linen and a dark-wood headboard in a room with a purple-painted wall and patterned carpets at La Quinta by Wyndham Modesto Salida
Courtesy of La Quinta by Wyndham Modesto Salida /

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.

5. Best Western Palm Court Inn, for sightseeing


A cosy room with a dark-orange wall, a double bed, wooden headboard and striped carpets at Best Western Palm Court Inn
Courtesy of Best Western Palm Court Inn /

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.

6. Springhill Suites Modesto, for easy access to downtown


A room with two double beds, green patterned carpets and framed photographs on the wall at SpringHill Suites by Marriott Modesto
Courtesy of SpringHill Suites by Marriott Modesto / Expedia

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.

7. Hampton Inn Turlock, for a good night’s sleep


A room with a double bed, beige walls and curtains, and gray patterned carpets at Hampton Inn by Hilton Turlock
Courtesy of Hampton Inn by Hilton Turlock /

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.

8. Candlewood Suites Turlock, for all-suite comforts


Two double beds with wooden headboards, framed artwork on the walls and patterned carpets in a room at Candlewood Suites Turlock, an IHG Hotel
Courtesy of Candlewood Suites Turlock, an IHG Hotel /

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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