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What to do in Modesto, California?
What to do in Modesto, California?

Modesto is located in Central California and is known for its agriculture. Central California produces almost all non-tropical agriculture for the Untied States.

For some Californians, Modesto is just another town you pass-through on your way to Los Angeles or San Francisco. To Modestans, it’s a place of opportunity, growth and good produce.

KPG Healthcare wants to dispel the rumor that Modesto, and the rest of Central California, is more than just a pass-through town. There is more to offer than meets the eye and KPG Healthcare is here to guide you through a handful of wonderful things Modesto has to offer.

First, just a quick history lesson about Modesto.


Modesto was originally founded as a railroad town in the San Joaquin Valley, but the track didn’t reach the town until October 11, 1870. Once the track reached Modesto, the town became the commercial and transportation center during California’s wheat boom. By 1891, electric lights illuminated the streets of Modesto.

By 1910, the population of Modesto nearly doubled after the boom in irrigation farming, which kickstarted the growth in agriculture within Central California. Between World War I to World War II, Modesto went through drastic changes due to the wars, the abolishment of Prohibition, The Great Depression, development of schools, social organizations, and more.

After WWII, Modesto’s population recovered from the losses during the wars and by 1970, Modesto was home to nearly 62,000 people. This was a period for investments in new facilities; however, the developments being made were spreading further away from downtown. This presented challenges for the community and with the Vintage Mall being built, local businesses began to relocate.

In 1978, Mayor Peggy Mensinger began to refocus on the development of downtown. Since then, Downtown Modesto recovered and has become a destination for nightlife. All the while, the Arts community was thriving and with the new Gallo Center for the Arts being completed in 2007 brought forth a new opportunity for the performing arts community.

What to do

Modesto Farmer’s Market celebrates over 30 years of supplying Modestans with the freshest produce California has to offer.

Farmer’s Market

Modesto, like many of the surrounding Central California towns, supplies majority of the country’s produce ranging from apricots to almonds, citrus fruits to melons. It only makes sense to head down to the Modesto Farmer’s Market to get some of the freshest produce California has to offer.

The Farmer’s Market in Modesto has been around for more than 30 years providing Modestans with the freshest produce. Depending on the season, you can also find a selection of jams/jellies, dried fruits, olive oils, and delicious food from local eateries using seasonal ingredients.

Come check out their Instagram to see what to expect! You won’t regret it.

Yosemite Valley is just one of California’s beautiful national parks and is only 2.5 hours away from Modesto.


If you haven’t been to Modesto, you’ll find Central California to be very dry with not much to look at. However, the wonderful thing about Modesto is that you are two hours from Yosemite, Monterey Bay, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Talk about being centrally located!

Yosemite is just one of California’s natural parks and it’s one of the most well-known. Yosemite attracts millions of visitors each year, whether you’re just passing through or camping for the weekend, Yosemite is a must-do. It is best to plan and prepare for Yosemite with some research because it can get a little crowded there.

If Yosemite is not an option, Modesto offers 75 city parks for you to choose from. If that isn’t enough, the city recently built the Virginia Corridor Trailway that stretches for 4.2 miles and provides the Modestans with picnic areas, barbecues, workout stations and more.

An ode to George Lucas’s movie, “American Graffiti,” Modestans participate in the Graffiti Route with their 50’s era muscle cars. Photo courtesy of @calamityjanemustang Instagram


I know we just covered Modesto history very briefly, but did you know George Lucas and Jeremy Renner are both from Modesto? George Lucas created a movie called “American Graffiti,” which he drew inspiration from his own experiences in Modesto. This movie left such a huge impact on the Modesto community there is the official “Graffiti Cruise Route” and a week-long celebration called “Graffiti Week.” It’s a great time if you’re into cars and 50’s themed nights.

For those who aren’t familiar with Jeremy Renner, you might know him Hawkeye from the superhero phenomenon, The Avengers. Renner has been nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Hurt Locker and has brought pride to the city of Modesto.

If 50’s music and muscle cars aren’t your taste, you can stop by the McHenry Mansion or the McHenry Museum to learn more about Modesto. The McHenry Mansion is a historical building in Modesto and is one of the last remaining Victorian-era homes within the city limits. Whereas, the McHenry Museum is in an old library building where you can see Modesto transform through the years.

Just three of many outdoor murals displayed throughout Modesto.


If outdoor murals, art galleries or the performing arts sound more like your cup of tea, Modesto has a handful of options to choose from. Every third Thursday of the month, the city hosts a self-guided Art Walk tour taking you to multiple venues of your choosing. Check out this list of galleries in Modesto!

If you’re looking for the performing arts, the Gallo Center of the Arts and the Modesto Performing Arts have a variety of shows to choose from. Gallo is more upscale and typically hosts more well-known artists, companies or shows. The Modesto Performing Arts company has a more intimate feeling with the stage being only steps away. The catalog of performances is limited compared to Gallo, but here you will find more amateur stars looking for the break out roles.

Meanwhile, the outdoor murals in Modesto are absolutely incredible. Like many other great cities in California, Modesto is embracing their local artists and allowing them to design beautiful murals alongside buildings, parking structures, and businesses. The murals tell the story of Modesto and what it really means to be a Modestan.

Modesto is a hidden gem in California with an abundance of fresh produce, an up and coming art community and plenty of opportunity for growth. It’s not San Francisco or Los Angeles, but there is an opportunity to experience living another lifestyle, culture, and region of California.

Make sure to check out the Infographic we created for Modesto! We have plenty of Travel Nursing opportunities in Central California!

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Recruiter Spotlight: Omar!
Omar is the first in the reboot for KPG Healthcare's Recruiter Spotlights.

Omar is part of the Nursing Division at KPG Healthcare and is the first in the reboot of our Recruiter Spotlight series.

KPG Healthcare is bringing back the Recruiter Spotlights! The first in our reboot, we have Omar from the Nursing Department!

Here’s Omar!

Omar has been with KPG Healthcare for a year and a half working as a Travel Nurse Recruiter. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) with a degree in Biology, recruiting was never a career he planned for “but sometimes life takes you on different paths,” said Omar.

Omar interviewed at KPG Healthcare because one of his best friends, Tiko, referred him and told him to give it a chance. “It’s been one of my best decisions to date,” Omar mentioned. Nothing in life is ever planned out. Always expect the unexpected – and that’s what Omar did.

During his time at KPG Healthcare as a travel nurse recruiter, he found the most rewarding aspect of his job is being “able to help travel nurses reach their career and life goals.” Discovering their dreams at the beginning of the recruiting process and then helping them achieve it provides a feeling of accomplishment and bliss for Omar. 

However, like all successful careers, some difficulties arise in the role. For Omar, the biggest challenge is providing the most accurate information to all nurses. “There’s so much bad information out there,” Omar explained, “[…]You have to take the time to talk to your nurses and make sure they are informed in the best way possible.” 

With so much information on the internet, it’s difficult to navigate between facts and fake news. It takes time, perseverance and determination to follow through and deliver successfully. A skillset Omar has manifested toward his past and current travel nurses looking for new assignments. 

In his current role, Omar wishes to help as many travel nurses get the assignment they desire. Additionally, he hopes to grow intellectually and professionally to amplify his reach to other active travel nurses. Ultimately, he wants to assist more travel nurses to achieve their goals as he has for the past year and a half. 

When Omar is not in the office, he finds traveling is the best way to unwind or take a break from work. His dream destination would be to travel to Bali or Greece! He is also a big sports fan (Go Dodgers and Clippers!), a self-titled beach bum, and enjoys hanging out with friends and family. 

Omar, keep up all the great work that you continue to do for our travel nurses. We look forward to seeing where your growth will take you. 

“For all my nurses, I wish for them to have happiness and health. Success, money and job opportunities are all important too, but if you’re not happy then none of that matters! So, I wish all of my nurses happiness and good health!” ~ Omar

Omar’s Top 3 LA Recommendations:

  1. Catch a sports game – Go Dodgers and Clippers!
  2. Check out the beach cities
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Considering a move to California?
Looking to move to California as a Travel nurse? KPG Healthcare has got some inside tips on some of the regions of California!

Let KPG Healthcare help you decide which region of California you should move to!

Aka the Golden State?

Are you considering a move to one of the many great cities in California? Let KPG Healthcare be the first to say, “Welcome!”

We are so glad you are thinking about moving to California, or if you’re already in the state and just relocating, that’s also great! Regardless of where you end up, we know you’re going to love the Golden State.

The real question is, where are you thinking of? San Francisco? Los Angeles? Ventura? Oakland? Sacramento? San Diego?

Don’t worry, KPG Healthcare is here to provide you with some insight into some of the great regions that make up California.


Aka, “The Golden State,” is the third-largest state in the United States with about 40 million people. The state is so large that one in eight people in the U.S. lives in California. Wild right?

There are about five major cities – San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento. San Diego and Los Angeles fall in the south, also known as “SoCal.” San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento are located more north in “NorCal.”

California is so large that it stretches over 900 miles along the Pacific Coast. There was a bill to split the state into four individual states, it’s THAT large.

With that being said, we are going to provide some insight for each region – Northern California (NorCal), Southern California (SoCal), and Central California.

View of the San Francisco skyline, right, with the Bay Bridge, left, from Alcatraz Island.

Northern California

Northern California, otherwise known as “NorCal,” is largely associated with The San Francisco Bay Area, also known as “The Bay Area.” Cities like San Jose, Oakland, and Berkeley fall within the region. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s biggest technology companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Tesla.

The weather in NorCal will vary, depending on where you go. For example, San Francisco experiences fog almost year-round due to their geographic location. Whereas San Jose, which is about 40 miles south of San Francisco, can reach temperatures up to 100F in the summer due to their geographic location/features.

Regardless, the weather in NorCal is great for people who like to experience the cold (50-60F in SF) with the option of warming up driving a little south.

California offers some of the best and diverse food in the world. It is a gateway to Asia with a heavy influence of Latin American cultures, more specifically Mexican culture.

San Francisco’s food scene is some of the best in the world, but you can always find your faithful local taqueria. There’s nostalgic like The House of Prime Rib to the new like Hop on Bart to Oakland and the food scene changes; always groundbreaking and forever delicious. From nostalgic San Francisco foods to up and coming in Oakland, vegan ice cream to Michelin star restaurants, you’ll find something to love.

Natural beauty fills the state from the towering redwoods in The Redwood National Forest to El Capitan in Yosemite, the glorious Pacific Coast Highway to not-so-glorious I-5 Golden State Highway.

In NorCal, you can find the John Muir Woods, Marin Headlands, Lake Tahoe, Mount Diablo, Mission Peaks, and so many other great outdoor activities. You can also kayak in the bay to catch some home runs at Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park). All within a reasonable distance!

In conclusion,

South Bay of Los Angeles County

Southern California

Otherwise known as “SoCal,” is typically what people might imagine what California to be – sunshine, fame, Hollywood, glam, and surfing. You’re not wrong, but that mainly pertains to SoCal and not NorCal. SoCal contains the Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, Inland Empire, and then you’ve got Palms Springs and the desert.

The weather in SoCal is typically warm, however, you will experience a drop in temperatures during the winter months and during the evenings, especially more inland. But there’s a reason why people decide to move to LA, the weather. The love of being outdoors and in the sun is almost a must while living in SoCal. Just make sure to wear sunscreen!

California is rooted in Mexican history and culture. However, there are so many cultures that make up the California population and it has transformed the way food is perceived, accepted and intertwined with society.

Los Angeles is a huge port for trade and tourism, mix that with the proximity to the US-Mexico border, you get a melting pot of magnificent cultures, beautiful traditions and an abundance of diverse delicious food. The Mexican food scene in LA and SD is insane. Secretly, it’s something Californians like to compare when they travel to other states.

The difference between NorCal and SoCal, in terms of natural beauty, is that if you live in Los Angeles, you are “one hour from the beach and two hours from the snow.” You have access to Big Bear Lake, which is about two-three hours from Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park, Angeles National Forest, as well as a handful of state parks.

Additionally, there is an abundance of great beaches stretching from Ventura County down to the US-Mexico border.

Yosemite Valley

Central California

For most people, they know it as the place you drive through when you’re on the I-5, but there are hidden gems within Central California. While it’s not compared to Nor/SoCal, you can’t knock it until you’ve been!

Central California is where a handful of agriculture is grown for the entire US, from almonds to nectarines, peaches to grains. When you’re on the I-5 passing through Central California you will an abundance of fruit stands fresh from the fields and it’s worth a try! If that’s not your vibe, pull off to one of many pit stops like the famous Pea Soup Anderson’s Inn.

The weather in Central California is typically dry and hot, but temperatures can drop during the evening times due it being in a valley. Expect the weather to be constant throughout the year. Notably, Yosemite Valley is a Central California staple known worldwide for its spectacular waterfalls, hiking, and natural beauty. The weather here will reflect the changes in the seasons.

The known counties within Central California are Fresno, Merced and Monterey. Merced is an upcoming town with the University of California, Merced being a huge addition to the town. Fresno during the spring when the almond tree blossoms are in bloom is an Instagrammers dream. There are hidden gems in Central California, but you have to be willing to explore and find them!

The food scene in Central California is not what you would expect from the surrounding regions of California. The one thing that you can count on is the amount of fresh produce there is to offer in certain parts of the region. Don’t hold your breath for fresh fish.


Overall, California is a great place to be. There is a place for everyone in California due to the wide variety of things to see, eat and do! Even if you want to explore the rest of California you have the option of cheap flights (when booking appropriately and during sales)!

California might take some adjusting to because neither NorCal, SoCal or Central California are the same. The vibes are the same in some aspects but also very different…but I will let you uncover it for yourself! Happy exploring!

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