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New church highlights Hilmars slow growth
Hilmar is seeing a little bit of growth. - photo by ALYSSON AREDAS

Although a majority of individuals only drive through Hilmar as a means to get to Interstate 5, the small community in Merced County has proven to be much more than a pit stop along the way. 

With a population of 5,197, the town is only just starting to grow. Visitors need only to look at Hilmar’s Holy Rosary Church to see this growth in action. In the midst of constructing a new church, Holy Rosary will be set to accommodate 780 people in the additional building — 500 more people than the amount that current churches hold on average. 

The town also has a bevy of other businesses, including a number of delectable food and drink restaurants. Those interested in battling the winter chill with a warm coffee drink — or any coffee drink for that matter — need not look further than Hilmar Coffee. Since 2012, the coffeehouse provides a mom and pop feel that is accompanied by a satisfying menu of coffee drinks. 

Although Hilmar Coffee also offers a unique menu of lunch items, those looking for something extra are invited to check out Hot Rod Diner. The perfect breakfast destination for customers with an extreme appetite, the diner offers more than a plate full of ham, eggs, and homemade biscuits and gravy. 

Despite these tasty businesses, Hilmar is not just an ample destination for great food and drinks. Antiquing fanatics can browse through time enduring treasures at Irwin City Antiques. The store’s inventory seems to have something for everyone, including decorative wagon wheels, trinkets, and radios. 

Trend-conscious shoppers can also make a stop at MK Boutique and peruse through a selection of fashionable clothing. During a visit, it is hard to resist trying on one of the boutique’s stylish necklaces or an intricately designed pair of Miss Me jeans.

All of these great attractions aside, Hilmar can attribute much of its popularity to the Hilmar Cheese Factory. Manufacturing whey and cheese, this company is the perfect destination for dairy lovers all over. Visitors can take a tour of the center, check out exhibits, and participate in a number of activities, including watching Hilmar Cheese employees package their famous cheese.  

Guests are invited to stay for lunch at Hilmar Cheese, with options such as mouthwatering cheese chowder soup and appetizing cheese pie. After eating, visitors can also finish off their meal with full satisfaction at the company’s espresso and ice cream counter, as well as purchase wine, cheese, and other gifts. 

These businesses are only a mere sampling of what Hilmar has to offer. While driving between Turlock and I-5, those intrigued in finding out what else the small town has in store should definitely consider stopping and taking a look themselves.