The city has been designated as Tree City USA. Modesto is well known for its rich agricultural history: its county, Stanislaus, ranks among California's top six counties in terms of agricultural production. Modesto's main agricultural products are almonds, milk, walnuts, chickens and corn silage. Modesto is located in the Central Valley, 68 miles (109 km) south of Sacramento and 90 miles (140 km) north of Fresno.
Its distance from other locations includes 40 miles (64 km) north of Merced, California, 92 miles (148 km) east of San Francisco, 66 miles (106 km) west of Yosemite National Park and 24 miles (39 km) south of Stockton. Modesto has been honored several times as Tree City USA. Modesto also offers relatively easy access to all of the professional sports offerings in San Jose and San Francisco, two hours away. In addition to its natural beauty, Modesto is also known for its art scene, and you'll find museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls all over this low-key but surprising city.
Modesto is centrally located in the San Joaquin Valley, one of the largest agricultural areas in the United States. Modesto City-County Airport is located east of California State Route 99, within the city limits. Downtown Modesto is also known for its Art Walk, where you can take a self-guided tour that includes art installations, murals, and other quirky exhibits, as well as giving you an overview of this part of the city. The track and field competition includes the Modesto Relays named after director Tom Moore after his death.
In Modesto there is also a small stream called Dry Creek, which although heavily polluted by agricultural runoff, is located next to several parks in Modesto. Modesto is well known for its rich agricultural history, its county, Stanislaus, ranks among California's top six counties in terms of agricultural production. There are other elementary school districts within and adjacent to the city of Modesto school boundaries that feed high schools. Modesto's racial makeup was 130,833 (65.0%) white, 8,396 (4.2%) African American, 2,494 (1.2%) Native American, 13,557 (6.7%) Asian (1.5%) Filipino, 1.3% Asian Indian, 1.2% Cambodian, 0.7% Chinese, 0.6% Vietnamese, 0.5% Laotian, 0.2% Japanese, 0.2% Korean, 0.1% Hmong, 0.1% Pakistani), 1,924 (1.0 per cent) Pacific Islanders, 31.244 (15.5%) of other races and 12,717 (6.3%) of two or more races.
ModestoView magazine and the Peer Recovery Art Center launched Classic Community Murals to create a series of large-scale murals celebrating the heritage of Modesto Classic Graffiti. A waterfront is being designed to create a special entertainment area along the corridor between Modesto Centre Plaza and the Gallo Center for the Arts and the adjacent main streets of 10th, 11th and J. Modesto means “modest” in Spanish and, in many ways, has remained an appropriate name for this humble city and unpretentious. Ralston's modesty prompted him to ask for another name, and the town was named Modesto in recognition of his modesty.
The Modesto Certified Farmer's Market has an illustrious 30-year history in the area and many visitors may not know that Modesto is known for being one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table philosophy in the United States.