Among the most striking "welcome to downtown" signs you'll see, the Modesto Arch, at 9th and I streets, bears the city's motto: "Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health." A gateway to Yosemite National Park, Modesto, population 205,000, was founded in 1870 to serve the Central Pacific Railroad. The tree-lined town was originally to be named after a railroad baron, but as the story goes, he modestly declined—thus the name Modesto. The city is the birthplace of producer-director George Lucas, creator of American Graffiti and the Star Wars film series.
FODOR'S GO LIST 2016
The top 25 places we think should be on every traveler's radar this year.More