Nestled in the Central Valley and within modest driving distance to San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose, the community of Modesto is beloved by those who enjoy time spent outdoors yet close to major cities. The population of Modesto is 212,175, making it the 18th most populous city in California.
Surrounding Modesto are miles of rich farmland, and here the Gallo Family Winery established its headquarters and later expanded throughout California to become the largest privately owned winery in the world. Also located in Modesto is the Gallo Glass Company, which is the largest wine bottle manufacturer in North America. This city is also famous for being the hometown of filmmaker George Lucas. His 1973 Academy Award nominated film “American Graffiti,” which stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford, was a coming-of-age story based on Lucas’ life growing up in Modesto.
Agriculture plays a significant role in the economy of Modesto, with almonds, walnuts, chicken and milk accounting for a large percentage of agricultural revenue in Modesto. Major agricultural employers in Modesto include E&J Gallo Winery, Gallo Glass Company, Blue Diamond Growers and Foster Farms. Other employment opportunities are in the healthcare, government and education sectors.
The revitalized Modesto downtown area has a variety of restaurants, bars and nightlife. Farmer’s markets are held three times per week, and a year-round monthly Art Walk is a main attraction. Modesto is home to the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, the Townsend Opera and other popular local performing bands.
If you want to get out of the city, the Stanislaus National Forest has several local waterways, where residents can enjoy kayaking, river rafting and boating. Yosemite National Park is just 80 miles east, providing ample opportunity for outdoor fun.
The median home value in Modesto is $283,500. The cost of living in Modesto is far less than in California coastal metro areas, but still higher than the national average. The crime rate is also higher than the national average, but law enforcement and community organizations are working diligently to improve this. Some of the more popular neighborhoods in Modesto are located on the north and northeast areas of town.
If you are looking for a more modestly priced California city, Modesto could be an option for you.