DescriptionThis northern San Joaquin Valley city along the Tuolumne River is near California's geographic center. Modesto offers access to Sonora Pass in Stanislaus National Forest, the Mother Lode Country and the Big Oak Flat route to Yosemite National Park.
The Great Valley Museum has habitat displays pertaining to California's Central Valley, a native plant garden and live animal exhibits. It's located in the Science Community Center building, 2201 Blue Gum Ave., on the Modesto Junior College West Campus. Phone (209) 575-6196.
George Lucas Plaza, at Downey Street, McHenry Avenue and 17th and J streets, salutes native son and filmmaker George Lucas, whose 1973 film “American Graffiti” was an evocative, music-filled reverie recalling the times he spent cruising the streets of his hometown in the early 1960s. A statue in the plaza depicts two teenagers leaning against a '57 Chevrolet.
Visitor InfoModesto Convention and Visitors Bureau 1000 L St. MODESTO, CA 95354. Phone:(209)526-5588 or (888)640-8467
ShoppingVintage Faire Mall, off the SR 99 Standiford/Beckwith exit between Sisk and Dale roads, has anchors JCPenney, Macy's and Sears plus some 125 other stores.
Things to SeeBlue Diamond Growers