Turlock, with a population of around 75,000, is known for its homey feel, agricultural prowess, and abundant entertainment. A world-class producer of nuts (mostly almonds), Turlock is a smaller town with access to bigger nearby cities, like Modesto. Some of California’s best attractions such as Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and countless beaches along the coast are also within a few hours’ drive.
Turlock is a surprisingly diverse place. While many descendants of early Swedish and Portuguese settlers (particularly from the Azore Islands) are still found in the area, and in addition to the white and Hispanic populations that are prevalent throughout the Central Valley, Turlock has vibrant Sikh Indian, Muslim, and Christian Assyrian communities. In fact, Assyrians have played a significant role in Turlock since the beginning. Starting in 1910, Turlock became the first permanent settlement for Assyrians outside their ancestral homeland and have played a significant role in the history of Turlock ever since.
This lovely town provides a smorgasbord of fresh produce. From spring to fall, there is a Certified Farmers Market, filled with local fruits, vegetables, meat, honey, nuts, oils, baked goods, handmade treats, and foods from all cultures! Looking for something accessible any day of the week? There are several stands set up all over town with fruits and vegetables straight from the fields. Nothing beats the flavor and locality of Turlock produce!
In fact, Turlock describes itself as the “Silicon Valley of Food Processing”: Foster Farms (one of the country’s largest poultry processors), Hilmar Cheese, Crystal Creamery, Blue Diamond Almond, specialty farms Gemperle Farms, SupHerb Farms and Sensient Natural Ingredients, all call the Turlock area home. Frito Lay and ConAgra Brands have production plants nearby, and Gallo Winery’s headquarters are just up the road in Modesto.
Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) is rated the #2 school district in the county. At the elementary level, Walnut Elementary is a magnet school for the TUSD district and provides a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) focused curriculum and is rated the #3 elementary school in the county (while nearby Gratton Elementary is the #1 elementary school in the county). Turlock High School has an over 100-year tradition and has well established music and arts programs, while newer Pitman High School boasts Colin Kapernick (San Francisco 49ers quarterback and civil rights activist) as an alumnus. The two high schools have an intense sports rivalry, pushing TUSD to become the #2 school district for athletes in the county (and in the top 10% across the entire state!) Meanwhile, private K-12 Turlock Christian School District is the #2 private school district in the county and draws in international students due to having the highest college acceptance rate in the region.
Finally, located in the center of town is the beautiful 228 acre campus for California State University Stanislaus. CSUS offers an extensive and reliable education to the 10,000+ students that attend it. Awarding Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D degrees, it has been on the Princeton Review’s list of top colleges for 13 years in a row and was named the nations’ No. 1 value-added public college by Money magazine in 2017. CSUS is widely recognized as being the top nursing school in California.
All of this leads up to Turlock having the second-highest percentage of degreed residents (AA or higher) than any other city in the entire Central Valley of California.
One of the most common comments about Turlock is that “there’s so much to do!” Many come from 3x larger Modesto or even further to play at Turlock Golf & Country Club or to try their hand at the Turlock Poker Room. Dust Bowl Brewery is an ever-popular restaurant and attraction, and Downtown Turlock offers dozens of authentic restaurants, charming shops, bars, and nightclubs. But downtown is just the beginning. Monte Vista Crossings, is a regional shopping destination with 77 restaurants and clothing and retail stores of its own. Newer food chain restaurants pop up here all the time, like The Habit Burger, Crumbl, and Jimmy Johns, plus a huge variety of authentic cuisines