Turlock, CA, is a city located within Stanislaus County. The city is home to 72,740 residents. With a population of this size, it is the second largest city within the county behind Modesto.
Turlock was incorporated into the country in 1908 and derived its name from the Irish village of Turlough. Although incorporated in 1908, the city was first founded in 1871 and was a very prosperous settlement until becoming an official city.
After its incorporation, it became an agricultural hub, but along with the boom came racially charged altercations between the Japanese and American workers.
Over time the city fixed its racial issues and continued on its prosperous route, even having a housing boom in the 1980s and 90s. With this boom came an increase in revenue the city became an attraction, and people started visiting Turlock.
In order to make the best of your trip, check out what to do in Turlock, California if you plan a visit here.
Things to Do in Turlock
1. Explore Carnegie Arts Center
Carnegie Art Center was opened in 1916, and this art exhibit has a long history, including a renovation in 2011. This center is one of the few art centers found throughout the Central Valley Area.
There is an assortment of things to keep you, and the family preoccupied. It’s common for someone to spend an entire day in this center.
You can, of course, look at the quality art pieces that flood the building, attend some of their educational classes, or even witness a lecture and learn about the history of the museum and the history of art.
Another benefit of coming to this center is that 25% of its programming is dedicated to children and teens. Your children will not just feel like this is a boring art museum but feel like this is a place that caters to them as well. It will be a great family bonding day and see beautiful art pieces.
2. Go to the movies at the Regal Cinemas Turlock Stadium 14 Movie Theater
Regal Cinema is the second-largest movie theater chain in the world, and there is a reason. It provides good services and, better yet, good movies. Every movie theater experience is not the same; everyone is unique in their way.
This movie theater is particular because crowd control is always reasonable, unlike some in the big cities.
Sometimes a movie feels better when it is in a different city. Some take the family, grab the iconic popcorn, and have a blast watching the latest new film.
3. Experience the Cigar Vault
Smoking cigars is a tradition that goes back a long time. This cigar lounge is, of course, not the place for children, but if you are a cigar-loving person, then this is the place for you.
You could bring your adult friends or bring some new friends you made in the city, take a seat and smoke some of the finest cigars Turlock has to offer.
The one thing better than smoking a cigar is having it with a drink in your hand, and don’t worry, the cigar vault has you covered.
It’s the ultimate experience to sit and have a laugh or relax. The Cigar Vault is where all your worries go away, and the fun begins.
4. Have some Mexican food at the La Mo Restaurant and Cafe
The area of Turlock is predominantly Latin area, so it would only make sense to indulge in Latin cuisine. No better place than La Mo Restaurant and Cafe so that you can come either in the morning or the night. Either way, it will be a wonderful experience that will go down in the history books.
This family-run business has aimed to provide high-quality service while supporting the local community by only buying food products from local markets. You can have the chance to eat in their courtyard and enjoy their assortment of food, from burritos to enchiladas.
They even offer classic Latin pastries that are sure to feel that space in your stomach. This quiet, popular restaurant will leave you satisfied and give you a new perspective on Latin food because it doesn’t get any better than getting the food straight from the source itself. So take a peek inside and have a good time.
5. Take your vitamin on the Tuolumne River Trail
Sunshine is often the most recommended thing for people. Walking while the sun is out will rejuvenate you and make you feel new again. What better place to have that walk than the Tuolumne River trail, which works as a hiking trail and a bike trail?
It would be the moment to take a walk, clear your mind, catch a tan, or do whatever you want. This 3.4-mile trail has everything you need. Even as the name suggests, it has a river that runs parallel to it so you can have a walk, run, or bike ride with a beautiful river beside you.
It can sound unentertaining until you actually walk down the trail, look around, see the river, see the hills on the horizon and realize how much beauty and joy just simply taking a walk can be.
6. Spend one day at the Turlock Golf and Country Club
Golfing can be one of the most peaceful and thought-provoking sports a person can play. It’s like playing chess but on a much larger platform. At this golf and country club, be ready to see one of California’s most beautiful golf courses.
This 18-hole course also has the distinguished honor of being the oldest in the Turlock area, and it comes equipped with all the things you would expect to find on a golf course. You will see bunkers, waterways, etc.
They even offer classes if you genuinely want to improve your skills, and you may even have the chance to learn from PGA pros themselves. It is the perfect little getaway and a country club, so style and class are their mottos.
7. Have fun with the interactive exhibits at Great Valley Museum
The great valley museum has a two-pronged goal. First, they want to preserve the environment, and they want to encourage people to find solace in science, and they do an excellent job at both.
They provide interactive exhibits so you and your family can learn new things about the environment and the animals that inhabit them.
It’s a learning experience meant to show people why they should care about the environment. If you want your kids to learn about the environment in a fun way, then this museum is the place to be.
They even have a planetarium for those looking to see some plants. This planetarium is an open area where you can see some exotic plants that can only be found in the immediate Turlock area.
8. Explore yourself at the Rembrandt and Rose
Have you ever wished you could paint the next masterpiece while sipping a glass of wine? Now you no longer have to wait, thanks to Rembrandt and Rose. This interactive shop combines the love of some people for wine and art and puts them into one class that is a blast.
They even welcome beginners, so it’s an all-encompassing environment that will leave you with not only a stained shirt but your tastebuds satisfied.
So take a peek inside, have fun, and let loose. This shop is the ultimate place to have fun and create the next Picasso.
9. Discover the Ranch of Horror
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, the Ranch of Horrors should be on your list while you are in town. You can find this ranch at 900 N Broadway, and you will undoubtedly get a thrill out of your visit. But this place is not just chilling. It is also a lot of fun!
The ranch features about 13 horror attractions that can be enjoyed all year round, not just as a special Halloween thrill. You will find the most popular attractions: House of Dystopia and the Zombie Escape, but it is worth checking them all out.
While most of the attractions in this horror ranch are also entertaining, you should think twice before bringing young children with you. It can be ideal for teenagers, who will most likely appreciate and understand the thrill.
10. Attend a live performance at the Turlock Community Theater
The Turlock Community Theater is the best place for live performances and the opportunity to see your favorite artists in an incredible atmosphere.
Turlock Community Theater was opened for the public in 1999, and you can find it at 1574 E Canal Drive. Here you can enjoy all types of live shows, from concerts to symphonies and thematic live events featuring new artists and the most notorious names.
If you are a fan of dance shows, brace yourself because, at this Community Theater, you can see plenty of those. There are ballet, ethnic, and jazz dance shows and modern dancers that you will be charmed by!
The place has 1000 seats and an incredible acoustic, so the conditions are nothing less than the best.
11. Embrace wellness at Valley Vibes
Even if you are on vacation, that doesn’t mean you have to forget about your healthy lifestyle. Valley Vibes is the best place to take care of your health while having a great time in Turlock.
At Valley Vibes, you can exercise and meet exciting people who share the same view on a healthy lifestyle. There is also the option to ask for private coaching if you want to avoid being in the presence of all the other people while you do your workout.
You can practice meditation and yoga and learn new things about such wellness activities here.
12. Dine and play at Ten Pin Fun Center
Fun activities and delicious food can all be found at Ten Pin Fun Center. This entertaining center has an excellent restaurant where you will find all dishes prepared by the best chefs. There are also 34 bowling lanes where you can have a great time with your group of friends or family.
If you want to have a whole party, you can make a reservation at the Outdoor Beer Garden and enjoy the privacy you need for your event.
At Ten Pin Fun Center, you will enjoy plenty of fun events and activities, too, as they have such events often.
13. Do some sports at BMX Bike Park
For those who like outdoor activities, BMX Bike Park is the best place in town, and you can miss it during your stay in Turlock, California.
You will find this park at Walnut/Christoffersen Storm Basin along 4013 N. Walnut Avenue, and you should plan a whole day here as there are plenty of things to do.
At this park, you will find biking jumps and routes for different levels, so even if you are a beginner, you will still have a great time here.
Don’t forget to wear all the proper safety gear while biking in the BMX Park, and get your friends with you for a fantastic time.
14. Be a shopper for one day at Monte Vista Crossings Shopping Center
Monte Vista is an excellent place for going shopping. There is something for all shoppers here, and the range of products is impressive. Everything is for sale, from the most notorious brands to exceptional items at Monte Vista Crossings Shopping Center.
The surface of the shopping center is 181,780 square feet, and it has everything from clothes to healthcare and decorations, as well as more specific stores like sportive ones where you can get all kinds of equipment.
It will be easy to spot this shopping center right on Monte Vista Avenue and an essential town point.
15. Check out the University Art Gallery
The University Art Gallery is the artistic essence of Turlock but also part of the city’s identity. It was designed to display the work of local artists and surprise the beauty that people in Turlock have to offer.
However, despite its original purpose, this place became an icon for cultural diversity and freedom of expression in all its creative forms. Checking out the University Art Gallery will be a cultural experience that everyone with a taste for art will enjoy.
16. Taste some honey and wine at Tsymbal Winery
Who doesn’t like honey and wine? But you can only say you’ve tasted the best varieties of these two specialties once you try the honey and wine at the Tsymbal Winery. Find this winery on 4231 Idaho Road and taste the best bottles of wine and exquisite honey varieties while you are in the area!
Here you can find original honey types, such as blueberry honey or clover honey, which come in jars of all sizes. You should bring some home with you, as they are hard to resist!
If you are interested in the wine produced here, you will be satisfied too. Their wine varieties include California Bouquet, a mix of plum, honey, raspberry, cherry, and Sunbeam that is made of apricot, honey, nectarine, plum, orange, and raisins.
17. Try the best produce at Turlock Certified Farmers Market
The local Farmers market is open every Saturday from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm, and it is one of the best things to check out in Turlock. You will find this market at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, which has taken place since 2016.
The market location was the first melon festival from 1912, and it holds an exciting history, besides high-quality local food you can enjoy and purchase here.
Feel free to shop around and mingle with the locals, as you will have an exciting experience and a great learning opportunity.
18. See some stunning exhibits at Stan State Art Space
Another fascinating place to visit if you are attracted to art displays is the Stan State Art Space. Here you will find exhibitions of student artists and local artists with outstanding talent.
Visiting the Art Space is free of charge, and it commonly hosts art seminars and meetings with the artists. If you want to explore your creative side, this is the place to go, as it has a great atmosphere and invites everyone who loves art in all its forms.
19. Relax at Donnelly Park
Donnelly Park is one of the main attractions of Turlock, not only for tourists but also for locals. This park is ideal for picnics, barbecues with your friends and family, and spending quality time in nature.
The surface of Donnelly Park is roughly a 40-acre area with plenty of playgrounds for children to play in and areas for basketball lovers. But be aware that the picnic area is usually packed, and if you want to catch a spot, you should come early in the morning.
20. Try out some local beer at Dust Bowl Brewing Co
The Dust Bowl Brewing is another place you want to check out in Turlock, especially if you appreciate a good beer. The brewery launched its first beer in 2009, Hops of Wrath I.P.A., and it has stayed at the top of many consumers’ preferences since then.
But this is not just a brewery, as you can find a restaurant, a beautiful garden, a dining area, and an inviting patio. Overall, you could spend a few good hours here and learn a lot about how beer is made while enjoying great food!
Note that you will need a reservation to ensure you get a spot, as this is a popular place in Turlock, and most often, it is packed.
Best things to do in Turlock, California with kids
Here’s a list of the top 5 things to do in Turlock, California with kids if you are planning a family trip here:
- Pedretti Park: Pedretti Park is a fantastic place for outdoor fun with kids. It features playgrounds, picnic areas, and open green spaces perfect for games and relaxation. The park also has a skate park and basketball courts for older kids to enjoy.
- Turlock Sports Complex: This complex offers a variety of recreational options for families. It includes sports fields, walking paths, and playgrounds. It’s a great place for kids to engage in active play and sports activities.
- Columbia Park: Columbia Park is a popular destination for families. It features a large playground with equipment suitable for different age groups. The park also has shaded areas, picnic tables, and a splash pad that’s particularly enjoyable during the warmer months.
- Turlock Family Aquatic Center: If you’re visiting during the summer, the Turlock Family Aquatic Center is a must-visit. This water park offers a range of water attractions, including slides, pools, and splash areas suitable for both young children and older kids.
- Turlock Historical Society Museum: For a dose of education and history, consider visiting the Turlock Historical Society Museum. While it might not be as physically active as the other options, it provides an opportunity for kids to learn about the local history and culture of the area.
Best time to visit Turlock, CA
The best time to visit Turlock, like many other places, depends on your preferences and what you want to experience during your trip. Here are some considerations for each season:
- Spring (March to May): Spring is a pleasant time to visit Turlock, as the weather starts warming up but isn’t excessively hot yet. The temperatures during this period generally range from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (18-24°C). The landscape is lush and green due to the recent rainy season, making it a good time for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s parks.
- Summer (June to August): Summer in Turlock can get quite hot, with temperatures often exceeding 90°F (32°C) and sometimes even reaching the triple digits. If you enjoy warm weather and outdoor events, this might be the time for you. However, be prepared for the heat and consider staying hydrated and using sunscreen. There might also be local events and festivals taking place during the summer.
- Fall (September to November): Fall is considered another great time to visit Turlock. The weather begins to cool down, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities. Temperatures during this season usually range from the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (18-24°C). Fall is also harvest season in the region, so you might have the opportunity to experience local farmers’ markets and agricultural events.
- Winter (December to February): Winter in Turlock is relatively mild compared to many other parts of the United States. While temperatures can drop to the mid-40s to mid-50s Fahrenheit (7-15°C), it’s still a comfortable time to visit. Rainfall is more common during the winter months, contributing to the area’s agricultural productivity. If you’re not a fan of hot weather, winter might be a good time to explore the city’s indoor attractions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Turlock, California, is best known for its strong agricultural heritage, as it’s situated in the heart of California’s Central Valley. The city is renowned for its production of dairy products, poultry, almonds, and walnuts. Additionally, Turlock hosts the Stanislaus County Fair, which showcases the region’s agricultural richness and offers entertainment for residents and visitors.
A fun fact about Turlock, California, is that it is home to a unique bronze statue of a “Turlock Historical Tree.” This whimsical sculpture stands as a tribute to the city’s agricultural roots and creativity, featuring various historical objects and symbols intertwined with the branches of a tree. It’s a charming representation of Turlock’s history and local spirit.
Yes, Turlock, California, is often referred to as the “Heart of the Valley.” This nickname highlights the city’s central location within the fertile and agriculturally rich Central Valley of California.
Turlock, California, offers a range of enjoyable free activities.
1. Explore Donnelly Park’s green spaces and playgrounds, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market, and take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Downtown Turlock.
2. Engage with the community by attending free local events and festivals. Delve into the wealth of knowledge at public libraries, unwind in the recreational haven of Pedretti Park, and appreciate the city’s public art installations.
3. Enjoy the outdoors at Columbia Park’s open areas and take advantage of free workshops and talks at community centers.
Lastly, keep an eye on California State University, Stanislaus, for opportunities to participate in enriching free events.
Turlock is located in the Central Valley of California, situated between Modesto and Merced. It’s approximately 20 miles southwest of Modesto.
The Turlock Certified Farmers Market typically operates on Saturdays from May to October, offering fresh produce, crafts, and more.