Largely based on farming industry, the jobs in recent years have not been abundant, and while much of the city's grace still shines, you can see some rough edges as you enter town and find absorb a mixture of feelings both upbeat and regal among most residents, and transient and down-trodden among a minority visible along some streets.
Modesto is home to a California Welcome Center where experts in the Central Valley can direct you to a destination, place to eat, things to see, and give you free maps. The service is world class.
Be sure to take a drive around Modesto and view its beautiful public parks and buildings. There are plenty of hotels and lots of great attractions, including great outdoor sports activities.