7 Fresh Reasons to Visit Hillsboro This Fall
One of the best things about Hillsboro, the county seat of Montgomery County in south-central Illinois, is that the downtown area is very compact. It’s easy to find out about anything happening in town – simply stroll down Main Street to discover what’s new. Brian Lee, who moved here with his family almost seven years ago from Nashville, has played a big role in transforming this city of about 6,000 residents into a more welcoming tourist destination.
A carpenter by trade, Lee is among a group of people who’ve been quietly transforming Hillsboro into a third-wave business community that attracts younger generations to move here. From trendy loft apartments to a record store, a brewery, a coffee roaster, local boutiques and even a nostalgic movie theater that’s been completely revamped, this is a place you have to see to believe. “The whole town feels like a cool neighborhood,” Lee says. “Everyone knows everyone – a little like ‘Cheers.’” Here’s what to check out on a visit this fall.
A derelict building only a few years ago, Lee and his crew helped transform Blackboard Mercantile into an elegant, exposed-brick retail boutique reminiscent of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Home brand. “It’s a spot for when you want a cool gift but can’t think of what to give,” Lee says. It’s connected to Evie Salon next door, too, so anyone getting their hair done can easily pop in to shop.