As the largest city in Stanislaus County, Modesto has more than 200,000 inhabitants. This makes it the 18ty largest city in California. Situated in the Central Valley of Northern California, this small farming town gained a small bit of fame as the setting for the George Lucas film “American Graffiti.” He grew up in Modesto, making this one of the city’s biggest claims to fame.
An abundance of trees and farmland contribute to the culture of Modesto. The city produces milk, almonds, walnuts and chickens. Much of the reason for this is the fact that the area had very hot summers and cold winters.
Tourist spots in Modesto do exist, in spite of the small town lifestyle. The McHenry Mansion was built in the 1880s by a rancher and banker. Visitors may tour the historic home or hop on over to the McHenry Museum to learn more about the city’s history. Other fun locations include the George Lucas Plaza, Gallo Center for the Arts and downtown nightlife.
Modesto has a rich farming culture but also hosts a minor league baseball called the Modesto Nuts. Music festivals also come to town in the summer. Plus, the Modesto Symphony Orchestra performs on a regular basis at the Gallo Center.
Education in Modesto is on par with the rest of the state. The Modesto city schools have more than 30,000 students attending 23 elementary schools, four junior high schools and seven high schools. Modesto Junior College, Community Business College and CSU Stanislaus both take a large portion of local students.
Many people choose to move to Modesto because of its low cost of living. Plus, the city is just 90 miles from both Fresno and San Francisco. It is also conveniently located for day trips to Sacramento and Yosemite National Park.