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North America > United States of America > California > San Joaquin Valley > Stanislaus County > Modesto


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Modesto is in California's San Joaquin Valley.


Modesto began in the mid to late 1800s as a stop along the railroad between Sacramento to Los Angeles. At the time, it was surrounded by sprawling farmlands. Over time, as the city grew, they began to build dams and canals throughout the neighboring foothills to help irrigate the farmland. After World War II, suburban areas expanded, and Modesto was no exception: by 1980 the city had 100,000 people, and by 2000 it had 200,000. The proximity to the bay area and relatively cheap real estate helped the city become a popular city for commuters to live in.

Today, Modesto is one of a few large cities in the San Joaquin valley, and is home to a unique blend of bay area and farming cultures.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 55 63 69 75 83 90 95 94 89 79 66 56
Nightly lows (°F) 40 43 46 49 55 60 63 62 59 53 45 40
Precipitation (in) 2.6 2.4 2.0 1.0 0.6 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.7 1.4 2.0

See Modesto's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By train[edit]

Modesto is served several times a day by Amtrak and its San Joaquin route, which runs south to Bakersfield and north to either Sacramento or the Oakland. 2 Modesto station is located about 5 miles east of downtown, at 1700 Held Dr. Bus number 25 connects with the city center.

By bus[edit]

By car[edit]

Modesto is on California State Route 99, the major north-south arterial between Sacramento and Bakersfield.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]


  • Lucas Plaza Statue (Intersection of Downey, 17th Street, McHenry Avenue, J Street and Needham Avenue). This bronze statue features two 1960s teens leaning on a car. It is a tribute to George Lucas, who grew up in Modesto.
  • 1 McHenry Mansion & Museum (906 15th St.). A restored historical home built in 1883, offers free tours year-round. The Museum is across the street from the mansion. McHenry Mansion on Wikipedia McHenry Mansion (Q6801571) on Wikidata



  • Community Business College, 3800 McHenry Ave (Take Hwy 99 to Standiford Ave, then right on McHenry), +1 209 529-3648. 8AM-5PM. Take a class for pleasure and learn a new skill. $37+.
  • Modesto Junior College, 435 College Ave, +1 209 575-6498. 8AM-5PM. One of the oldest community colleges in the state. Many buildings date back to the 1920s and 30s. Famous alumni include George Lucas and Jeremy Renner.




  • 1 Velvet Grill and Creamery, 2204 McHenry Ave, +1 209-544-9029. Has one of the best breakfast specials Modesto has to offer. Their specialty is their French toast, which is made from fresh baked bread that is deep fried and served with a homemade cinnamon butter.
  • 2 Old Mill Cafe, 600 9th St. A local favorite for breakfast. Biscuits and gravy.YUM!


  • 3 Brighter Side Sandwich Shop, 1125 K St (13th and K), +1 209 524-7531. M-F 11AM-3:30PM. An odd little place in a converted gas station. Order through the left door, write it on a bag to-go or an index card to-stay. The service is great, the seating is plentiful, and the food is delicious. $.


  • 4 La Morenita, 3500 Coffee Rd (Corner of Coffee and Sylvan), +1 209 522-5546. Great Mexican food, friendly staff and family friendly. $$.
  • 5 El Rosal, 3430 Tully Rd # 51 (In the Tully Manor Shopping Center), +1 209-523-7871. Mexican Food. Voted the best Mexican burrito in the Modesto Bee several years running.



Additional lodging options can be found in the neighboring town of Salida.

Go next[edit]

  • Sonora- 108 East. About 1 hour 15 minutes away.
  • Yosemite National Park- 132 East to J132 East to 120 East. About 2 hours away.
  • Sacramento- 99 North. About 1 hour 15 minutes away.
  • San Francisco- 99 North to 120 West to 5 South to 205 West to 580 West to 80 West. About 2 hours away to 3 hours away, depending on traffic.
  • Fresno- 99 South. About 1 hour 30 minutes away.
Routes through Modesto
SacramentoStockton  N California 99.svg S  MercedFresno
END  W California 108.svg E  OakdaleJct N US 395.svg S
Sacramento / EmeryvilleStockton  N Amtrak San Joaquin icon.png S  MercedBakersfield

This city travel guide to Modesto is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.