Visit this easygoing city during your Arkansas explorations to discover a city that offers striking architecture, museums and shopping malls.
Explore a picturesque downtown district and lively university campus in Monticello, a gateway to the Arkansas Delta Byways. Established in 1849, Monticello was built to serve as the seat of Drew County, went on to witness a number of small battles during the Civil War and later grew to become one of the Arkansas Delta’s most significant agricultural, commercial and educational centers.
At the heart of Monticello’s city center is the Historic North Main Street, featuring a collection of more than 20 Victorian-era houses. One example is Allen House, which is open for guided tours and ghost experiences. Just a minute’s walk north is the First Presbyterian Church, founded in 1860. Step inside to admire its series of stained-glass windows.
Head south along Main Street to pass the picturesque Monticello Square and the art deco Drew County Courthouse. Nearby is the Drew County Historical Museum, home to displays of 19th-century antiques and artifacts. Go to Oakland Cemetery to see the Monticello Confederate Monument, dedicated to Drew County’s Confederate soldiers.
Spend some time browsing the antique stores, boutiques, independent fashion outlets and thrift shops of Monticello’s center. The Marketplace is an Aladdin’s cave of cowhides, furniture and pottery, among other heritage items. Satisfy your taste buds at the city’s many restaurants, which range from classic America dishes to Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisine.
A 10-minute drive south from the city center is the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Here, the Turner Neal Museum of Natural History has displays of amphibians, fossils, reptiles and mammals. Gaze at galaxies, planets and stars in the Pomeroy Planetarium and watch concerts and theater productions at the Fine Arts Center.
On a pleasant day, visit the enormous Lake Monticello to boat, fish for bass and relax with a picnic. About a 1-hour drive away is Moro Bay State Park. This riverside recreational area has a boating lake, campsites, picnic areas, playgrounds and walking trails.
Monticello is 190 miles (306 kilometers) southwest of Memphis International Airport. Rent a car and explore the Arkansas Delta Byways, which showcase the cultural and geographical diversity of Arkansas. Nearby is the Arkansas Great River Road National Scenic Byway and the Arkansas Delta African-American Heritage Trail.