Monticello's New River City Extreme is a daylong excursion all by itself! It is a bowling alley and much more. It features 36 lanes of bowling (8 of which are in their own private banquet room!), an arcade, indoor black light mini golf, a bowling pro shop, a restaurant, a sports bar and more. Be sure to look into their late night bowling specials!
The Monticello Community Center has an indoor pool with whirlpool tub, a fitness center, a rock-climbing wall, a snack bar, a gymnasium with games of pickup basketball, a teen hangout and private meeting rooms in addition to a free-to-the-public walking track. There are also craft fairs, health fairs, etc. held there several times per year. The Monticello Senior Center meets daily in one of the large banquet rooms as well. They serve a lunch for fellow seniors then follow lunch up with card games and more. They also host annual blood drives, pie and ice cream socials and holiday parties. The Monticello City Hall is also attached to the same building.
The Monticello Public Library is across the street from the Community Center and has some of the most well appointed space of any of the surrounding community libraries! They have community computers and comfortable areas for reading for those who prefer a dose of interaction rather than taking their books home.
There are 2 golf courses in town: Silver Springs and the Monticello Country Club. Both are 18 round golf courses with carts and are easy to get tee times for (unless they are playing leagues).
The Muller Family Theater built a new Cineplex in 2006 that has 15 screens including the Muller Monster Screen, which is 80 feet wide by 35 feet long and is the largest movie screen in the state. It's theater seats nearly 600 people in high-back rocker chairs!
Monticello has a brand new Indoor Shooting Range and Firearms Retail Store as well. There are 4 shooting lanes, 2 lanes with state-of-the-art computer-generated simulators with real-life scenarios and games that would be perfect for up to 4 people, and classes for "conceal and carry, firearm safety" and more.
If you are looking for a new (or used) vehicle, Monticello has turned into the new Mecca for car, truck, van and SUV buyers. You will find just about any brand you are looking for short of some of the high-end vehicles, and you can spend all day looking and test-driving. There are lots of restaurants (with more coming every day) where you can critique the vehicles and help narrow down your choices while you have a bite to eat.
We have the Historic Rand House in town - it is now a bed and breakfast and offers a unique look back at life. The estate was known as Random and included a 30 plus room home on 3 acres of gardens, lawns, fountains and a pond. The owners, Duffy and Merrill Busch have done a great job of restoring this once opulent home - it is gorgeous! And, it's for sale! Call me if you are interested in talking about it!
Monticello has at least 3 area parks that get very little attention (and we kind of like it that way.) Camp Manitou is a YMCA day camp near Bertram Lake, Lake Maria State Park has some of the best hiking and cross-country skiing in the state and there is great bird watching and recreational opportunities at Montissippi Park along the river west of the power plant.
Speaking of bird watching, no visit to Monticello would be complete without a trip to see "The Swan Lady." Sheila Lawrence feeds geese, birds and trumpeter swans from a park near her home on the Mississippi River, and has been since 1987. As of December 14, 2007, she was feeding approximately 1250 birds per day and that number is expected to rise to more than 1500 a day. She goes through 1200 pounds of cracked corn every day, and says the birds will not allow anyone but her to feed them. The best time to see the feeding is between 10 am and 3 pm daily at the Mississippi Drive Park on the northeast side of town.
Parker McDonald is a fabulous local sculptor, and as a matter of fact, has sculpted some of those same soaring trumpeters that Sheila feeds! One of his sculptures is on the front of the Community Center and it's well worth a trip over to see it.
That does it for my short list of things to see. Watch for more posts!