Monticello is located approximately 95 miles southeast of Little Rock and 50 miles southeast of Pine Bluff. Incorporated as a city in 1852, Monticello serves as the county seat for Drew County. After the establishment of Drew County in 1846, residents felt a new town should be created to serve as the county seat. With more than 80 acres donated by a local family, the creation of Monticello began. In 1851, the first courthouse was built in the city square and Monticello continued to grow over the next decade – adding several churches, schools for male and female students, a variety of new businesses and a library. Progress temporarily halted during the four years of Civil War but development continued during Reconstruction and the remainder of the 19th Century. Monticello has continued to grow and prosper through the 21st Century.
It is one of the largest towns in southeast Arkansas. Monticello is home to the University of Arkansas at Monticello, originally the Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College. The Drew County Historical Museum offers visitors an insight into the history of Monticello and Drew County. The Turner Neal Museum of Natural History, located on the picturesque campus of UAM, is home to the Pomeroy Planetarium and offers a wide variety of exhibits, including three collections of big game. For visitors looking for recreational activities, Monticello offers nearby Lake Monticello, a 1500-acre plus lake with some of the best bass fishing in Arkansas. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has two wildlife management areas located just a short drive from Monticello – Seven Devils Swamp WMA and Cut-Off Creek WMA offer a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.