By: Dawn V. Perez
We have found on our last few visits to downtown Monticello, that it is one of the best small-town shopping destinations in the North Florida region. My husband and I enjoy this picturesque town which is laced with a rich and colorful history. Clusters of antique shops surround the center of town with a wide variety of furnishings, art, treasures, clothing, and collectibles. What makes our day trips so enjoyable are the people we encounter as we stroll through downtown.
Each time we step foot into one of the establishments, the shop keepers are always so friendly, many times remembering us on site. We thoroughly enjoy Vintage Treasures and never seem to leave this place empty handed. A beautiful historic building, two stories filled with a large selection of vintage items. The store always has something new to see each time we have visited. The last shop we stopped in was Huckleberry’s Creations. This was a first for us and we have been anxious to shop here. Owners Maurice and Donna were present along with some friends of theirs. The minute you walk in, it is as if you have walked into their home. We felt like we were visiting, not shopping. The place is like none other we have ever seen. Being the antique enthusiasts we are, this was not shopping, it was an experience. You almost forget you are in an antique store and not at your grandma’s house. Each room is decorated as if it were their very own home, with so much thought going into every detail. They were very friendly, welcoming and as expected, we did not leave there empty handed.
Most successful shopping days are not complete without a good meal. Of the many choices of dining establishments in the Monticello area, on this day we opted to try the pizza we had heard about. Mafia Pizza, located downtown, was an excellent choice. Immediately upon entering, you could tell this was going to be an authentic pizza experience. We started off by ordering the Drunken Mussels, which were steamed perfectly in a sauce of white wine, garlic, and butter. They were amazing and a perfect start to what was turning out to be a delicious meal. The pizza was a perfectly cooked New York Style pizza. Due to my Italian heritage, I tend to be a pizza snob, so I was not at all disappointed. The entire meal along with the service was superb. Of the countless day trips my husband and I have taken on our quest for unexplored adventures, we found that Monticello is at the top of the list of places we have visited. Warm, friendly, beautiful historic buildings, an enticing variety of delectable restaurants and plenty of stores for shopping.
Be sure to visit this amazing town if you have not already. For more information on dining and shopping, go to this website, www.monticellojeffersonfl.com