1. People In Modesto Are Nuts About… Well, Nuts
Source: Flickr User Keeton Gale
In fact, the local baseball team, an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, is named “Modesto Nuts,” paying homage to the number of nuts grown in the area.
2. DOMO Isn’t Just Something You Say To Mr. Roboto
Source: Flickr User jaypen_g
Domo doesn’t just mean “much” in Japanese. And Domo isn’t just a cute mascot. If you hear a local say it or see it on a sign, it’s most likely referring to DOwntown MOdesto. Now, say domo arigato for us sharing this interesting fun fact with you.
3. The Donuts In Modesto Run Rings Around The Competition
Source: Flickr User Rob Boudon
Any day is off to a great start with something from Mr. T’s Delicate Donut Shop. Locals claim it’s even better than the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts that reigns superior further up the West Coast. And guess what, they’re right! Stop by and give their glazed cronut a try.
4. That Bottle Of Wine On Your Counter, Yeah That Came From Modesto
Source: Flickr Source Vox Efx
Modesto is home to the E.&J. Gallo Winery, the largest winery in the entire world. In addition to making the wine, they also make their own wine bottles, claiming the title for the town with the largest wine bottle manufacturing company in the world as well.
5. You Can Thank Modesto For Jar Jar Binks
Source: Flickr User State Farm
Wait, wait! Before you rage-quit this article there would also be no “long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.” There would be no C-3PO. In short there wouldn’t be what many consider to be the greatest film series of all time. That’s because it’s creator, one Mr. George Lucas, hails from Modesto. Making it both the geekiest and coolest place on the planet.
6. And George Loved His Hometown So Much He Even Made A Movie About It
Source: Flickr User Neon Tommy
Or at least that’s what his 1973 film “American Graffiti” would have you believe. Starring Richard Dreyrfuss, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford, this coming of age tale based on Lucas’ life growing up in Modesto. Nominated for the Academy Award, “Best Picture,” the film was a huge success, costing around $700,000 but pulling in $140 million. Ironically, the film wasn’t made in Modesto due to friction with the city council. Oops
7. The Surprisingly Modest And Silly History Of Modesto
Source: Flickr user rocor
Originally Modesto was financed by a man named William C. Ralston. In an attempt to honor him, town folks insisted on giving their home his name. However he was too modest, politely asking them to choose something else. They settled on Modesto, the Spanish word for “modest.”
But things to a for the funny when in 1911, a contest was held to determine the town’s slogan. “Nobody’s got Modesto’s goat” took first place. The town eventually decided that the four words “Water Wealth Contentment Health” would better represent their home.
8. Hawk Eye Hails From Modesto
Nominated for “Best Actor” for his role in the 2008 film Hurt Locker, Renner has since played major parts in “The Town,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “American Hustle,” and of course the most epic superhero film of them all, “The Avengers.”
9. When Modestans Say You “Bought The Farm” It’s A Good Thing
Source: Flickr User Orange County Archives
Modesto lies in Stanislaus County, which ranks sixth when it comes to California farm production areas. Considering how big California is, that’s pretty impressive. Main crops include almonds and walnuts. Combined with livestock, agriculture in Stanislaus County can gross around $3 billion a year. That’s a lotta nuts and cows.
10. Modesto Has A Hard-Earned Party Town Rep
Source: Flickr User seaners4real
Not only does Modesto have the world’s largest winery, they’re also known for their partying ways. Events like X-fest typically involve huge amounts of consumption and alcohol related incidents. As a result, “Men’s Health” magazine listed Modesto as the 12th drunkest city in America in 2010, and the party doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
11. And Being Hot Headed Doesn’t Mean They’ve Got A Temper
Source: Flickr User Todd Dwyer
With an all-time high of 113 degrees, the average temperature throughout the winter months rarely drops below 50. Average temperatures in the summer months fall in the mid-90s. So yeah, folks here pretty darn steamy.
12. You Don’t Have To Go Far To Get Wild
Source: Flickr User Joe Shlabotnik
Need to get away from the hustle and bustle, then take your booty to The Stanislaus National Forest. With several local waterways, kayaking, river rafting, and jet skiing are always feasible options. Even if you prefer to stay shoreside it’s a great way to take advantage of Modesto’s warm summer nights and spend some quality time with friends and family.
13. Omnivores Delight In The Grub At Bauer’s 66 ½
Source: Flickr User veganbaking.net
Bauer’s 66 ½ started in 2009 and specializes in catering to any appetite, from the vegan to the meat lover. Fan favorites are the vegan pizza and the burgers. To really seal the deal, Buaer’s will let you bring (some local) wine into their restaurant to have at dinner for an $8 corking fee.
14. There Are Hot Cars, And Then There Are Hot Rods
Source: Flickr User daveparker
Thanks to the popularity of “American Graffiti” every June, thousands of car enthusiasts come from all around the nation to show off their antique automobiles at what has been dubbed the “Graffiti Summer” festival.
15. Canvassing The Neighborhood Is A Good Thing Here
Source: Flickr User Great Valley Center
In fact, the town hosts a monthly art show in which local artists can set up booths to sell their work. Known as the Downtown Modesto Third Thursday Art Walk, the event hosts music, restaurants, and local galleries.
16. Pooh’s Pal Piglet Makes His Home In Modesto
Source: Flickr User samlavi
After the death of John Fielder, the original voice of Piglet, Travis Oates took up the role ensuring that Pooh will continue to have his tiny best friend, and guess where Oates is from? Modesto, of course!
17. When You’re Going Out For A Spin Get Ready For Roundabouts
Source: Flickr User FredericRivollier
In attempt to eliminate traffic problems, the town has been adding a lot of roundabouts. While roundabouts typically lower intersection accident rates by 40 percent and injury rates by 80 percent, the success of this relatively new project in Modesto is yet to be determined.
18. Life Is Better In The Valley—Central Valley, That Is
Source: Flickr User Monica’s Dad
Though roughly 50 miles wide, California’s Central Valley stretches 450 miles and Modesto is smack dab in the middle. The Great Valley Museum of Natural History is a awesome place to learn about the local landscape.
19. Modesto Takes Museums To New Heights
Source: Flickr User KlausNahr
Just outside of Modesto lies one of the nation’s largest air museums. With Nearly 60 restored aircraft, Castle Air Museum is a great stop for visitors and new residents to make. Tours are only $5 on Fridays.
20. Locals Go Loco For Locomotives
Source: Flickr User The HOLY Hand Grenade!
One of the most unique dates in Modesto involves taking a ride on the Sierra Dinner Train in Oakdale. Cutting through the countryside on the third oldest railway in North America, passengers are able to share a romantic dinner while being entertained by a murder mystery or partaking in a bottle of wine.
21. Dust Off Your Monocles, It’s Time To Go To The Modesto Opera
Source: Flickr User Steve Snodgrass
With the Modesto Symphony, the Central West Ballet, the Townsend Opera Players, the Yes Company musical group, and the State Theatre, Modesto has a great appreciation for the fine arts.
22. Most Of All, Modesto Residents Know How To Have Fun
Source: Flickr user Seaners4real
After all, with flowing wine, huge festivals, awesome doughnuts, and warm weather year round, it’s hard not
to have a great time her.
Feature Image Source: Flickr user Seaners4real