Stockton is the county seat of San Joaquin County located in the central valley portion of the U.S. State of California and the. Stockton was founded by Captain Charles Maria Weber in 1849 after he acquired Rancho Campo de los Franceses. The city is named after Robert F. Stockton, and it was the first community in California to not have a name of Spanish or Native American origin. The city is located on the San Joaquin River in the northern San Joaquin Valley and had an estimated population of 315,592 as of 2016. Stockton is the 13th largest city in California and the 63rd largest city in the United States. It was named an All-America City in 1999, 2004 and again in 2015.Built during the California Gold Rush, Stockton’s seaport serves as a gateway to the Central Valley and beyond. It provided easy access for trade and transportation to the southern gold mines. Stockton has been the location of the oldest university in California, University of the Pacific since 1923. As a result of the 2008 financial crisis, Stockton was the second largest city in the United States to file for bankruptcy protection. Stockton successfully exited bankruptcy in February 2015.
Modesto / m ə ˈ d ɛ s t oʊ / (Spanish for “modest”), officially the City of Modesto, is the county seat and largest city of Stanislaus County, California, United States. With a population of approximately 201,165 at the 2010 census, it is the 18th largest city in the state of California and forms part of the Modesto- Merced combined Statistical Area. The Modesto Census County Division, which includes the cities of Ceres and Riverbank, had a population of 312,842 as of 2010 . Modesto is located in the Central Valley, 90 miles (140 km) north of Fresno, 40 miles (64 km) north of Merced, California, 92 miles (148 km) east of San Francisco, 68 miles (109 km) south of the state capital of Sacramento, 66 miles (106 km) west of Yosemite National Park, and 24 miles (39 km) south of Stockton. Modesto has been honored as a Tree City USA numerous times. It is surrounded by rich farmland; Stanislaus County ranks sixth among California counties in farm production. Led by milk, almonds, chickens, walnuts, and corn silage, the county grossed nearly $3.1 billion in agricultural production in 2011. The farm-to-table movement plays a central role in Modesto living as in the Central Valley.Filmmaker George Lucas, who was born in Modesto, graduated from Thomas Downey High School in 1962 and attended Modesto Junior College, immortalized the city in his award-winning 1973 film American Graffiti. Although it was not actually shot in Modesto, the film portrayed the spirit of cruising and friendship on Modesto’s 10th and 11th Streets in 1962, and inspired a revival of interest in 1950s pop culture, including the TV show Happy Days and its spin-offs.The city’s annual Architectural Festival honors Modesto’s history as a testing ground for mid-century modern architecture during the 1940s and’50s. Modesto’s mid-century buildings have been featured four times in Museum of Modern Art publications.The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for 2011, which interviews 1,000 participants about their jobs, finances, physical health, emotional state of mind and communities, ranked Modesto 126 out of the 190 cities surveyed. In December 2009, Forbes ranked Modesto 48th out of 100 among “Best Bang-for-the-Buck Cities”. In this ranking, Modesto ranked 8th in housing affordability and travel time but also ranked 86th in job forecast growth and 99th in foreclosures. Modesto is the home of Gallo Family Winery, the largest privately owned winery in the world.
Merced / m ər ˈ s ɛ d / (Spanish for “Mercy”) is a city in, and the county seat of, Merced County in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California. As of 2014, the city had a population of 81,743. Incorporated on April 1, 1889, Merced is a charter city that operates under a council-manager government. It is named after the Merced River, which flows nearby.Merced, known as the “Gateway to Yosemite “, is less than two hours by automobile from Yosemite National Park to the east and Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and several beaches to the west. The community is served by the rail passenger service Amtrak, a major airline through Merced Regional Airport, and three bus lines. It is approximately 110 miles (180 km) from Sacramento, 130 miles (210 km) from San Francisco, 45 miles (72 km) from Fresno, and 270 miles (430 km) from Los Angeles.In 2005, the city became home to the tenth University of California campus, University of California, Merced (UC Merced), the first research university built in the U.S. in the 21st century.