Our Modesto, CA campus is nestled in the heart of California’s Central Valley, home to some of the state’s most celebrated producers and creators. As California’s agricultural heartland, the Central Valley hosts some of the finest orchards and vineyards in the world, as well as farm-to-table restaurants that leave nothing to be desired. You’ll also find plenty of culture in Central Valley cities like Modesto, Stockton, and Fresno. Ready to start exploring? We can help!
California’s Central Valley is full of farms that let you pick your own produce, but since Riverdance Farms in Livingston, CA is just thirty minutes outside of downtown Modesto, it’s an ideal destination for students at our Central Valley campus. The farm has exclusively grown organic produce since it opened in the 1990s, and that makes it one of the best local places to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts—and have fun at the same time.
Whether your family is visiting from out of town or you’re celebrating a special occasion, it’s almost impossible to beat the Old Vine Zinfandels that are grown in Lodi Wine Country. This trip will take you north of Stockton, about 45 minutes away from downtown Modesto, but this isn’t the kind of adventure you’ll want to rush.
One of the highlights in the region is The Farmer’s Breakfast Ride. Book the trip, and you’ll bike to four local wineries and a popular local cafe. Sip Shuttle, a resource that helps visitors explore the region, has even offered wine country tours by kayak in the past!
California’s mountains, forests, and beaches are known far and wide, but here in our part of the state, it’s the valley floor that takes center stage. The Great Valley Grasslands State Park preserves one of the region’s last few intact native grasslands, and although it’s home to a wide variety of endangered plants and animals, certain parts of the park are set aside for boating, hiking, fishing, and other kinds of outdoor fun.
The Central Valley stretches all the way from Clovis in the north to Bakersfield in the south, and that means it’s an incredibly diverse area with new adventures around every corner. Whether you’re interested in Stockton, Sacramento, Fresno, or one of the many smaller towns nearby, you’ll find plenty of museums and local festivals to explore.
One of our favorite Central Valley events is the Hot Air Balloon Fun Fly that takes place in Clovis every October—and if you’re trying to see the area, you should know that the Big Fresno Fair happens around the same time. Graffiti Summer is one of the highlights of Modesto’s hotter months, especially if you’re a fan of vintage cars. For either Spring or Fall, trek up to Stockton for April’s Asparagus Festival or August’s Beer Week.
Can’t decide what to do first? Amtrak’s California Rail Pass is perfect for Central Valley students who want a little bit over everything!