Mendota is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. The population was 11,014 at the 2010 census. The State Routes 180 and 33 run through the agricultural city. Mendota is located 8.5 miles (14 km) south-southeast of Firebaugh, at an elevation of 174 feet (53 m).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²), over 99% of it land. At the 2000 census, according to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.8 km²), all of it land. It is located next to the San Joaquin River, near where the Delta-Mendota Canal intercepts it to bring extra water to the dry riverbed.
Beginning in 1891, Mendota thrived as a Southern Pacific Railroad storage and switching facility site. Southern Pacific management borrowed the name from Mendota, Illinois. The first post office opened in 1892. The city incorporated in 1942, and is mostly recognized for its immense production of cantaloupes. Appropriately, the city of Mendota is identified as The Cantaloupe Center of the World. State water projects brought irrigation to the region, setting the stage for the tremendous growth of agriculture.