I know it may sound crazy to some – but I LOVE Modesto. I moved here over 9 years ago, and I love this town. I don’t necessarily love everything, but having lived in 5 different cities and 3 different states, I can say that I love Modesto! I came up with a list of 10 reasons why I love Modesto, and here are the first 5 (not in any order):
- Amazing Day Trips. Modesto is a great launching point! You can get to Yosemite and Pinecrest in 2 hours, the beach or Tahoe in 3, the Bay Area in 2, Sacramento in 90 minutes, Knights Ferry in 45 minutes, and much more. Personally I love the Sierra Nevada mountains, and I love that I can go hiking and be home the same day, or go backpacking so close. Tragically, many people in Modesto never take these trips, and miss out on one of the best things about living in this area.
- Farmland + Target. Yes, my wife and I love Target, and we probably wouldn’t want to live in a town too small for a Target. But we also love living near farmland. We love getting honey, fruit, and vegetables from farmers. We love getting our pumpkins and taking hay rides on the farm – and then driving to Target 5 minutes away to pick up our Halloween costumes we waited too long to buy.
- Connected Community. Modesto is big enough to do a lot of bigger things (Tour of Modesto, Broadway musicals at the Gallo), but small enough that people are connected and know each other. From City Hall to the Police to the School District to the newspaper to the churches, people know each other. Of course, this can be bad and petty, but generally I love living in a city where people are connected and working together to make Modesto better.
- Lots To Do in Town. You don’t need to leave town to have an amazing time. There are great restaurants in town, and it always seems there are new ones to try. The Gallo Center for the Arts has brought a lot of great performances to town, in addition to many other great arts being shown at MJC, the State, and other performances. There are Art Walks downtown, a new ice skating rink, Funworks and Boomers and John’s Incredible Pizza. I used to live 10 minutes from Disneyland, and I miss it a bit, but when I think about all I can do in Modesto (for much less cost than Disneyland), I am thankful I live here.
- Covenant Grove Church. Ok, honestly, this is one of the BEST things I love about Modesto. There are a LOT of great churches in town, and I love that I get to be the pastor of Covenant Grove. I get to be in a church plant that is growing and willing to take risks to follow Jesus. I am having a blast! I get to try new things, make mistakes, and be encouraged to keep running after Jesus. I love Covenant Grove Church. I love our people. I love how God is moving. And I love that we have a heart for non-churched people in Modesto, Riverbank, Oakdale, Ripon, Empire, Hughson, Ceres, and beyond. (And yes, there are people coming to our church from all of those cities! And I hope the people living in those cities have lots of reasons for loving where they live, too.)
So there are 5 of my 10 reasons. I will share 5 more next week.
What about you? What do YOU love about Modesto (or the place where you live)?