Modesto has a large agricultural industry that is based on the fertile farmland that surrounds the city. The Gallo Glass Company, a Gallo Winery company, is the largest wine bottle manufacturing company in the world. Downtown Modesto is a good place to visit and get a taste of the city, especially at weekly events such as the Modesto Certified Farmers Market. Other cultural attractions in the bustling downtown district include the Gallo Center for the Arts and State Theatre, as well as the historic Arch of Modesto that welcomes visitors to downtown.
Modesto is the birthplace of world-renowned director George Lucas, and was the inspiration behind his successful 1973 film American Graffiti. The city celebrates these legacies with the month-long Graffiti Summer cultural celebration, featuring vintage cars, live music and events throughout the month of June. The cultural spirit of this festival, however, is palpable throughout the year. Former South Pacific Railroad Depot in Downtown Modesto Modern downtown attractions include the Gallo Center for the Arts and the pedestrian-only Tenth Street Plaza, which features shops, restaurants and an 18-screen movie theater.
More local dining and shopping opportunities spread throughout the area, as well as several art galleries showcasing local and regional works. Art is also on the streets, as tasteful murals adorn the sides of many buildings in the center. To learn more about Modesto's history, head to downtown locations such as McHenry Mansion and The State Theatre. And bustling with activity after sunset, downtown Modesto is also the central place to do things at night in Modesto.
The center is home to two performance venues, including the Mary Stuart Rogers Theater, which can accommodate 1,248 people. Performances at this cutting-edge theater range from Broadway blockbusters to nationally touring speaker series, and include comedy acts, musical performances and holiday events. In addition to a rotating production program, the Gallo Center for the Arts also offers educational opportunities, including a series of K-12 performances. Graffiti Summer is a month-long event that celebrates the classic car culture of the Central Valley.
June is celebrated in Modesto with vintage cars, live performances and festival events. The event also honors local director George Lucas, whose groundbreaking film American Graffiti was based on his teenage years in Modesto in the early 1960s. During Graffiti Summer, The State Theatre in downtown Modesto will screen this classic film based on Modesto. With a marquee that lights up the street, the State Theater of Modesto has been a great place to see a show for more than 80 years.
After entering its luxurious lobby, the auditorium with more than 550 seats provides an excellent setting for watching a movie or a live performance. For any show, part of the fun is the historic atmosphere that radiates throughout the theater. Film screenings at The State Theatre range from the latest independent releases to cult classic movies, many of which can't be seen in traditional movie theaters. The stage also hosts series of speakers, comedians and musicians on tour.
Down the street and less than a block from the McHenry Mansion, the McHenry Museum offers a similar free admission and a look into the city's past. The museum contains numerous photographs, artifacts and exhibits detailing the last 100 years of Modesto's history. Permanent exhibits include a recreated blacksmith shop, an agricultural exhibit, and a collection of gold mining equipment. Graceada Park is the oldest urban park in Modesto.
It was established in 1907 and developed by the same designer behind Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. And this historic public space still attracts the community with playgrounds, tennis courts, a splash pad, and lawn areas. The Mancini Bowl inside the park is a rental space and home to special musical performances and movie nights. The park is just outside the city center, close to the McHenry Mansion and Museum, and adds a nice visit after touring the mansion.
This tranquil regional park encompasses 500 acres and five different park areas, spread over seven miles on the south side of the Tuolumne River. It's a popular area to get out and about the city, with hiking trails and plenty of open space to explore. From the center, it is less than 10 minutes by car to get into this nature. The arch is located on a busy intersection near the Gallo Center for the Arts.
If you spend a lot of time in the center, the signal will most likely attract attention. In addition to passing by or photographing it from the corners of the street, the arch is prized mainly for its historical attractiveness. This small square sits at a five-way intersection known as Five Points and pays homage to hometown director George Lucas and his 1973 film American Graffiti. The bronze statue of a teenager and a girl placed on the back of a 1957 Chevy symbolizes the relationship between George Lucas, Modesto and the beginning of a successful film career.
The George Lucas Plaza is fun for a quick visit and photo opportunity. The real American Graffiti celebration in Modesto comes every summer with the month-long Graffiti Summer celebration. Fans of George Lucas, or movie buffs in general, will want to take some time to visit this cinematic commemoration of Hollywood history. Jacob Meyer is a large park on the banks of the Stanislaus River, north of Bakersfield, in the neighboring town of Riverbank.
It's worth driving 10 miles to this outdoor space, where the park's abundant facilities offer a full day of entertainment. The Dry Creek Trail offers a good path to follow through a quiet oak grove. Along with other pedestrians on the route, this is also where disco players gather to play on the long, flat 18-hole course. At the end of the bike trail, Thousand Oaks Park has a few picnic tables but few other amenities.
To enjoy more of the classic car culture of Modesto, consider going to one of the burger shops left in the drive-in movie theater of that time. Downtown Modesto is known for being the heart and soul of the city and it is here that you will find a variety of exciting attractions. Today, the museum is one of the most popular attractions in the city, and you'll find galleries that include images, photographs and period memorabilia related to the rise of Modesto. In recent years, Modesto has installed a series of traffic roundabouts aimed at forcing traffic to slow down and maintain a constant and constant flow to eliminate car idling.
For more places to go in the Bay Area, the vibrant city of Oakland offers fun activities, such as Jack London Square and the Oakland California Museum. The arch dates back to 1921, when it was first erected, and has since welcomed visitors to Modesto. The State Theater of Modesto is a kind of cultural and historical gem, as the building dates back to the 1920s, and the theater has entertained residents here ever since. Currently, the mansion functions as a historic house museum that people can visit to see what Modesto was like during the Victorian era.
If there is an iconic landmark in the city of Modesto, it's probably the Arch of Modesto, and it's worth coming here at night to see this architectural feat in all its glory. Known as the jewel in the crown of Modesto, the McHenry Mansion is the only remaining Victorian house in the city and was carefully restored a few years ago to preserve its history. For those who want to get out and enjoy the beauty of this part of California, the Virginia Corridor Railway is the ideal place to do so. The residents of Modesto then had a firm foundation to design their roads and develop their communities.
The legend of this film is still alive in the city and there is even an event dedicated in honor of the film, called Graffiti Summer, but this is not the only reason to visit Modesto. Although the food industry is very large, Modesto is also home to manufacturing plants that produce glass and paper products. The two parks are also home to Modesto's most popular Frisbee golf course, among other park amenities. 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 farm-to-table philosophy in the United States.