Monticello Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit in Monticello, Mississippi, including top attractions, hiking routes, food and drink scenes, and tips for travelers.

Introduction to Monticello

Nestled in the Mississippi Capital-River region of southern Mississippi, Monticello is a charming small town with plenty to offer visitors. From its rich history to its breathtaking natural landscapes, Monticello is a hidden gem for travel enthusiasts looking for something different.

List of Places to Visit in Monticello

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Lawrence County Historical Museum: Housed in the former Lawrence County Courthouse, this museum showcases the history of Monticello and its surrounding area.
  • Monticello Main Street Museum: A local history museum located in the heart of downtown Monticello that offers exhibits and guided tours.
  • Fall/Winter Festivals: Every October, Monticello hosts its annual Fall Festival which includes a parade and street fair. In December, the town hosts its annual Christmas parade that rivals some of the largest parades in Mississippi.

Natural Attractions of Monticello: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Zuzuloha Farm: A local lavender farm that offers daily tours, an on-site gift store filled with local handmade products.
  • Monticello State Nature Preserve: Spanning over 10,000 acres, this preserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife and plant species. Visitors can hike, fish, and camp in the area.
  • Okhissa Lake: Offering plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water activities, Okhissa Lake is a peaceful and serene oasis in the heart of Monticello.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Monticello

Monticello and its surrounding area are home to some of the best hiking and biking trails in Mississippi. Some top picks include:

  • Bouie Creek Trail: A 1.5 mile hiking trail that loops through the woods and along the creek. Perfect for beginner hikers and nature lovers.
  • Outback Trail: A 6-mile, moderate-difficulty trail that winds through the forest and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Pine Ridge Trail: A 12-mile trail that is popular with experienced hikers and offers challenging terrain.

Best Things to Do in Monticello: Activities and Tours

  • Kayaking and Canoeing: Visitors can rent kayaks and canoes and spend the day exploring the scenic waterways of Monticello.
  • Horseback Riding: Explore the rolling countryside on horseback with a guided trail ride.
  • Zip-Line Tours: Thrill-seekers can explore the treetops with a zip-line tour of the forest.

Week-Long Itinerary for Monticello

Day 1: Explore the history of Monticello with a visit to the Lawrence County Historical Museum and the Monticello Main Street Museum.

Day 2: Spend the day hiking the Outback Trail or Pine Ridge Trail, followed by a relaxing evening at a local restaurant.

Day 3: Tour the local lavender farm, Zuzuloha Farm, followed by a visit to Okhissa Lake for boating and fishing.

Day 4: Take a guided horseback ride through the countryside, followed by an evening of zip-lining through the forest.

Day 5: Visit the nearby town of Brookhaven for some shopping and sightseeing.

Day 6: Kayak or canoe down the scenic Bouie Creek, followed by a night of live music and dancing at a local bar.

Day 7: Relax and unwind with a luxurious spa day at a local wellness center.

Food and Drink Scene of Monticello

Must-Try Dishes

  • Fried Catfish: A regional favorite, fried catfish is a staple of Monticello’s food scene. Be sure to try it at a local restaurant or fish fry!
  • Shrimp and Grits: A Southern classic, shrimp and grits are a must-try dish when visiting Monticello.
  • Barbecue: Mississippi is known for its delicious barbecue, and Monticello is no exception. Head to a local joint and try some ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.

Local Beverages

  • Sweet Tea: A Southern staple, sweet tea is a perfect beverage to pair with any meal in Monticello.
  • Craft Beer: Monticello has a growing craft beer scene. Try a local brew at a local brewery or bar.
  • Local Wines: Mississippi is home to many wineries that produce some of the best wines in the South. Be sure to try some when visiting Monticello.

Where to Stay in Monticello: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Monticello Inn: A cozy, family-owned hotel that offers comfortable rooms and easy access to many of Monticello’s top attractions.
  • Super 8 by Wyndham Brookhaven: Located in nearby Brookhaven, this hotel offers budget-friendly accommodations and is still close to all the action in Monticello.
  • Camping: For a more rustic experience, visitors can camp in Monticello State Nature Preserve.

What to Buy in Monticello: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Lavender Products: Zuzuloha Farm offers a variety of lavender-infused products, including body lotion, soaps, and candles.
  • Local Artisanal Products: Discover locally made crafts and unique artworks at the Monticello Main Street Museum or at one of the town’s boutiques or art galleries.
  • Goods From Local Farmers Markets: Monticello has several farmers markets that offer a wide variety of fresh produce, homemade jams, jellies, and baked goods.

Local Culture and Customs of Monticello

Monticello is a town that prides itself on its Southern hospitality. Expect a warm welcome from locals and a slower pace of life when visiting.

Best Time to Visit Monticello

Fall and Spring are the best times to visit Monticello. The weather is mild and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including hiking, kayaking, and fishing. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be chilly.

Do’s and Don’ts of Monticello


  • Embrace Southern hospitality and say hello to strangers.
  • Respect the town’s natural environments and wildlife.
  • Support local businesses and farmers markets.


  • Underestimate the heat and humidity in the summer months.
  • Ignore local dress codes and customs.
  • Litter or leave trash in public spaces.

Safety and Health

Safety in Monticello

Monticello is generally a safe and welcoming town, but visitors should always take precautions, such as locking their cars and avoiding unlit areas at night. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.

Health in Monticello

Monticello has plenty of resources for visitors in need of medical care, including a local hospital and several clinics.

Getting to Monticello: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Monticello

The nearest airports to Monticello are the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Bus Stations Near Monticello

Greyhound offers bus service to nearby Brookhaven, Mississippi.

Other Options

Visitors can also rent a car or use ride-hailing services to get around Monticello and its surrounding area.

How to Get Around in Monticello

The best way to get around Monticello is by car. However, there are also bike rentals available for visitors who prefer to explore the town on two wheels.

Where to Go Next from Monticello: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Prentiss: A charming small town with a historic downtown district and unique local shopping scene.
  • McComb: A larger city with plenty of cultural attractions and things to do.
  • Natchez: A historic town on the Mississippi River known for its beautiful architecture and antebellum mansions.


From its stunning natural landscapes to its rich history and culture, Monticello has something for everyone. Don’t miss this hidden gem on your next trip to Mississippi!