Modesto, California

Modesto: The third most populous city in Stanislaus County, California. It is located in the Central Valley of California. Modesto is known for its many parks and green spaces, its many outdoor activities, and its many attractions, such as the Gallo Center for the Arts and the McHenry Mansion.


Modesto is a city located in the county of Stanislaus in the U.S. state of California. Its population at the 2010 census was 201,165. After 10 years in 2020 city had an estimated population of 215,666 inhabitants.

The city was created 153 years ago in 1870.

Modesto is a city located in central California's San Joaquin Valley. With a population over 215,000, it is the county seat of Stanislaus County.

History and Origins

Modesto was founded in 1870 and emerged as a major agricultural and transportation hub within California's fertile Central Valley.

Key historical facts:

  • Founded in 1870 and incorporated in 1884
  • Early growth fueled by agriculture and the Central Pacific Railroad
  • dubbed the “Garden City” due to wealth of orchards, fields, and dairies
  • Home to George Lucas’ American Graffiti depicting 1960s cruising car culture

Economy and Major Industries

Modesto relies heavily on agriculture, food processing, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail sectors. Top employers are:

  • E & J Gallo Winery headquarters
  • Stanislaus County schools
  • Doctors Medical Center
  • Stanislaus Food Products canned goods facility

Attractions and Things to Do

Popular attractions include:

  • Great Valley Museum showcasing history and culture
  • Modesto Nuts minor league baseball at John Thurman Field
  • Classic car cruising culture along McHenry Avenue
  • Annual festivals like Graffiti Summer and the County Fair
  • Music and performing arts at the Gallo Center for the Arts

Modesto provides agriculture, attractions, and a unique car culture within California’s Central Valley.

Modesto locator map
Location of Modesto on California map.

Quick Facts about Modesto

Population : 215,666 (2020)
Country : United States of America
State : California (United States)
County : Stanislaus County
Postal code : 95350–95358, 95397
Phone Area Codes : 209
Official name : Modesto
Water as percent of area : 0.61%
Land as percent of area : 99.39%
Altitude : 292 feet / 89 meters
Capital city : Modesto is capital of Stanislaus County
Establishment : November 11, 1870 (153 years ago)
Time Zone : Pacific Time Zone
Local time : 13:38:54 (24th February 2024)
Population growth : 6.72% (2010-2020)
Modesto Arch image
Modesto Arch
Modesto Arch image


Modesto is located at 37°38'21"N 120°59'49"W (37.6391000, -120.9968800).

Modesto map

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The population of Modesto increased by 6.72% in 10 years.

Year Population % Change Method
2010 201,165 - census
2011 204,017 1.4% estimation process
2012 205,040 0.5% estimation process
2013 206,075 0.5% estimation process
2014 207,652 0.76% estimation process
2015 209,245 0.76% estimation process
2016 211,231 0.94% estimation process
2017 213,000 0.83% estimation process
2018 214,389 0.65% estimation process
2019 215,196 0.38% estimation process
2020 215,666 0.22% estimation process

Modesto zip code is 95350. County name: Stanislaus, County fips: 06099

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People born in Modesto (119)

People born in Modesto, including computer scientist Ralph Griswold, racecar driver Fred Agabashian, swimmer Mark Spitz, .


  • Erin Cafaro (American rower) she was born in 09/06/1983
  • Ann Veneman (Executive Director of UNICEF and United States Secretary of Agriculture) she was born in 29/06/1949
  • Adam Smith (American snowboarder) he was born in 07/09/1980
  • James Corson (American discus thrower) he was born in 14/01/1906
  • Boaz Myhill (association football player (born 1982)) he was born in 09/11/1982
  • Marcia Lucas (American film editor) she was born in 04/10/1945
  • Michael McDonald (American mixed martial artist) he was born in 15/01/1991
  • Jesse Williams (American high jumper) he was born in 27/12/1983
  • Jo Clayton (American writer) she was born in 15/02/1939
  • Kenny Roberts (American motorcycle racer) he was born in 31/12/1951
  • Herbert McLean Evans (American scientist) he was born in 23/09/1882
  • Sonny Barger (American gang member) he was born in 08/10/1938
  • Steve Forrest (American drummer) he was born in 25/09/1986
  • James Algar (Film director, screenwriter, film producer) he was born in 11/06/1912
  • Cy Young (American javelin thrower) he was born in 23/07/1928
  • Heath Pearce (American soccer player) he was born in 13/08/1984
  • Lindsay Pearce (American actress) she was born in 30/04/1991
  • Harve Presnell (American actor and singer) he was born in 14/09/1933

Schools in Modesto

College & universities near Modesto, CA

Code Name City ZIP
110875 California Beauty School Modesto (CA) 95354
118976 Modesto Junior College Modesto (CA) 95350-5800
119951 North Adrian's College of Beauty Inc Modesto (CA) 95350-2381
459170 Paul Mitchell the School-Modesto Modesto (CA) 95350
488192 DeHart Technical School Modesto (CA) 95356-9292

Stations (42)

Amtrak & bus stations near Modesto, CA

Code Name Address Type
MOD Modesto station 1700 Held Drive RAIL
TRK Denair station 3800 Santa Fe Avenue RAIL
LTM Manteca, CA 17800 Shideler Parkway RAIL
TRC Tracy, CA 4800 Tracy Boulevard RAIL
TRA Tracy, California 725 West Clover Road BUS

Post offices near Modesto

Post Office Name City ZIP
Mod Post Office Modesto (CA) 95350
Parad Post Office Modesto (CA) 95358
Cer Post Office Ceres (CA) 95307
Hudson Post Office Modesto (CA) 95355
Empir Post Office Empire (CA) 95319

Other places with the same name (2)

  • Modesto , Illinois human settlement in Illinois, United States of America with a population of 180 people.

Other cities in Stanislaus County

Cities, towns, neighborhoods & other populated places in Stanislaus County , CA.

City Name Population Title
Turlock 73,059 The most populous city in Stanislaus County, California.
Ceres 48,603 A city in Stanislaus County, California.
Riverbank 24,710 City in Stanislaus County, California, United States
Oakdale 23,228 City in Stanislaus County, California, United States
Patterson 22,542 City in Stanislaus County, California, United States
Salida 13,722 City in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States
Newman 11,702 Human settlement in Stanislaus County, California, United States of America
Waterford 8,944 City in Stanislaus County, California, United States
Hughson 7,628 City in Stanislaus County, California, United States of America
Keyes 5,601 City in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, United States of America
Denair 4,404 Census-designated place in Stanislaus County, California
Empire 4,189 Place in Stanislaus County, USA
Bystrom 4,008 Census-designated place in Stanislaus County, California
Shackelford 3,371 City in Modesto, California, United States of America
East Oakdale 2,762 Census-designated place in Stanislaus County, California

Distance to Other Cities

Modesto distances to largest California cities