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Make the short drive to the quaint town of Monticello and you will feel like you’re stepping back to a bygone era, where main street and the town square are the hub of community activity. Located 28 miles from the center of Tallahassee, Monticello (with a population of just over 2500 residents) has made the preservation of local culture and heritage a priority. In the center of town is the Jefferson County Courthouse, which was designed in the style of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (the county and town’s namesakes). The surrounding neighborhoods are filled with a variety of locally-owned restaurants and shops, as well as live oak-lined streets. Wandering through the downtown historic district, with over 40 buildings dating to the 19th century, is a perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon. Afterwards, enjoy an evening at the Monticello Opera House, which is known throughout the area for its respected all-volunteer community theater productions.

Monticell homesOne of the biggest events of the year is the Monticello Watermelon Festival, which celebrates the crop that is a rich part of the area’s history. Encompassing three weekends in June, the festival features a parade, arts and crafts booths, car show, games, a children’s theater performance, and of course, lots of watermelon!

If you crave fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, visit the Jefferson Farmers’ Market or head a few miles outside of town to one of several U-pick farms, where an abundance of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, sweet corn, cucumbers, and squash are available in season.

By far the quirkiest feature of Monticello’s interesting history is its reputation of being one of the most haunted cities in America, with one out of three buildings in the historic district rumored to be haunted. Are the rumors true? Find out for yourself on one of the ghost tours offered throughout the year!

Monticello offers a variety of one-of-a-kind homes, including gorgeous estates on multi-acre lots, main street homes within walking distance of downtown, historic log homes, and low-maintenance townhouses. Several homes include views of lakes, ponds, or orchards, and many are zoned for horses.

If you desire the nostalgic feel of small town life with proximity to modern conveniences, visit Monticello. It could be the site of your future home.

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IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate.
Tallahassee data last updated at December 18, 2017 12:33 PM ET