The Central Valley city has plenty of sun (with a #5 ranking nationally for its weather among midsize cities) making it a unique hub for warm-weather agricultural products, including almonds, tomatoes and grapes. All of that agricultural labor has attracted a large foreign-born population, ranking #9 nationally among, while the city’s close proximity to Silicon Valley gives it a relatively high household income (#23). In the coming years, the commute from Modesto to the world’s largest tech companies will get a lot easier with a new rail service that takes advantage of the city’s historic train station and will serve as a catalyst for downtown development. Modesto’s already high Place ranking (#20), is set to ascend with a new downtown vision prioritizing pedestrian access. Given its focus on restaurants, shops, and nightlife, the city’s #52 ranking in our Programming category will improve as well.