Modesto residents are privy to a world of art

Located about an hour and a half south of Sacramento, Modesto is perhaps best known as the city in which the award-winning film American Graffiti takes place. The city dedicates each June to celebrating the movie and its director, Modesto native George Lucas.

There are parades, classic car shows, dances and many other forms of celebration, but American Graffiti isn't all that Modesto has to offer to the prospective citizen. The city also prides itself on a great art scene and is home to such institutions as The Modesto Symphony Orchestra and the Gallo Center for the Arts. The city also boasts a highly regarded opera, ballet, a monthly "art walk" celebrating local artists in various galleries and demos and the Xclamation Festival, an annual music event that features 50 bands and spans across 15 downtown Modesto blocks.

Locals and prospective residents can check out websites such as for the latest schedule of arts and culture events happening in the area.