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19 Unique Things to Do in Monroe, Georgia, According to a Local

Welcome to Monroe, Georgia

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In this post we are going to explore some of the best things to do in Monroe, GA.

Beautiful Monroe, Georgia, in Walton County is located an hour east of Atlanta.

The city was incorporated in 1821 and grew into a cotton and textile mill town in the early 20th century. These days, you’ll find the downtown filled with a vibrant culture and thriving independent shops and restaurants. 

Monroe is one of my favorite cities to visit as a day trip, but it could easily accommodate a much longer stay.

It’s a family-friendly and dog-friendly town with a little something for everyone. Here are some of my favorite things to do in the city of Monroe. 

Wall in Monroe saying: Downtown Monroe since 1821, it's all yours
Downtown Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

19 Unique and Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Monroe, Georgia

1. Stop in for Coffee at Coffee Camper Co.

It’s very possible that all my travel itineraries begin with coffee, and I’m sure other coffee lovers can relate.

Drop into Coffee Camper Co. and enjoy tea, coffee, smoothies, and a selection of bakery items. In my experience, this establishment often carries gluten-free and vegan items and offers several milk alternatives for your beverage.

Filled with plants and handmade local items, you’ll enjoy the cozy atmosphere of Coffee Camper Co.

Coffee Camper Co. — Photo by Crystal Jackson

2. Visit Bistro South for Breakfast

Once you’re fueled up, you’ll want to head over to Bistro South for a hearty breakfast. Choose a breakfast biscuit or burrito, grits, a potato skillet, or a more traditional breakfast plate.

You can also opt to stop by The Roe for fresh baked goods to start your day. You’ll also find a butcher and market there. 

3. Visit the Monroe Farmer’s Market

On Saturdays from May to October, you’ll find that a visit to the Monroe Farmer’s Market makes for a pleasant outing.

Sample local honey, purchase fresh produce, and check out handmade one-of-a-kind goods. Plus, vendors often coordinate with the town to participate in kid-friendly scavenger hunts to add an element of interest for younger visitors. 

4. Create Art

While you’re in the historic downtown area, stop in at the Monroe Walton Center for Arts to shop the work of local artists.

Check out their events calendar for writing, reading, and art classes for adults and children. What better souvenir is there than a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you crafted yourself? 

Monroe Walton Center for Arts — Photo by Crystal Jackson

5. Shop Local

You’ll certainly want to add shopping to your Monroe itinerary. There are just too many wonderful shops to name, but I’ll let you know about a few of my favorites.

Visit Rinse for handcrafted bath and body products made locally. They sell everything from aromatherapy to crystals to soaps and candles. You’re sure to find something for all ages at Rinse. 

Dowtown Monroe
Downtown Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

Another personal favorite is Rekindle Candle Co. You can shop their candles and reed diffusers and even take a candle-making class.

You can even sign up for a subscription service to receive one to two candles each month. While I can recommend many of their scents, my personal favorite is Northwestern Pine. Plant fans will also enjoy that half this shop is filled with a neighboring plant business. 

Another downtown favorite is Monroe Mercantile Co. Inside, you’ll find antiques, home decor, books by local authors, and much more. I rarely leave this store empty-handed. 

It’s impossible to list all of the wonderful shops downtown. There’s a fantastic stationary shop, beautiful shops featuring home decor, and plenty of clothing boutiques for all ages. But the next shop is so special that it deserves its own category.

6. Visit Narnia

The Story Shop, Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

Okay, you won’t actually be visiting the real live Narnia, but The Story Shop may be the next best thing. This children’s bookshop is whimsical and wonderful. Open a large wardrobe, push aside the coats, and you’ll enter the magical world of story time.

It’s an experience for adults and children alike. You’ll also find an actual hobbit hole — no hobbits, sadly — in the walls of the shop. Children can climb in and play on the tiny furniture inside. 

The Story Shop, Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

The magic doesn’t stop there! You’ll want to peek inside the party room to see the incredible experience that is a birthday party at The Story Shop. You can choose from the following party themes:

  • Dinosaurs
  • Woodland Fairy
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Unicorn 
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Peter Pan
  • Harry Potter
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Christmas
The Story Shop, Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

The Story Shop is a must-see destination whether or not you have children. It’s a book lovers dream, and it’s more magical than I can describe here.

You’ll also find children’s costumes down the hall and much to delight the senses. Bring your quarters, and you can purchase “bookworms” (gummy worms) from the gumball machine. 

Photo by Crystal Jackson

7. Search for Treasure

Did you know that Monroe is considered the Antiques Capital of Georgia? It has over 300,000 square feet of antique and vintage items.

Two of the largest antique stores are former cotton mills. Search for hidden treasures among the many vendors at the antique shops around town.

Wear your most comfortable shoes because there’s plenty of walking involved. These locations are also accessible and wheelchair friendly. 

8. Lunch Local: Stop in to the Blue Rooster Bakery and Eatery

It would be a shame to come to downtown Monroe and not have lunch at a local restaurant. An important part of travel is supporting the local economy over chain restaurants.

For a picnic lunch, stop in to the Blue Rooster Bakery and Eatery for a boxed lunch to go. It’s perfect to take outdoors on a beautiful day. If the weather is not optimal, stay and eat inside the bakery. 

During festivals, you’ll often find local food trucks. Otherwise, be sure to check out the full list of all the restaurants in the area.

There’s even a casual lunch counter tucked into the back of the Monroe Mercantile for someone looking for a quick bite to eat.

9. Grab Dessert

While you’re downtown, be sure to stop and grab a cupcake for dessert.

The Posh Cakery will delight your senses. Just be sure to order in advance for pickup, as the shop is appointment-only.

The Blue Rooster Bakery and Eatery is a great stop for dessert too. You’ll want to peruse their large collection of desserts to make your selection. You’ll find cupcakes, mini pies, cookies, and so much more. 

You can also stop for ice cream at Scoops Monroe. Located directly in the historic area, you’ll have plenty of flavors to choose from. It’s the perfect treat on a hot summer’s day. 

10. Enjoy a Historic Walking Tour

For those interested in history and a full tour of the historic downtown, enjoy a self-guided walking tour.

There are 27 different stops along the tour. You’ll start on Broad Street and finish up at the oldest home in Monroe. 

Downtown Monroe, GA
Photo by Crystal Jackson

11. Throw Some Axes

Adventurers will enjoy The Southern Ox Axe Throwing. Located in downtown Monroe, you can share a lane with others, book a private group, or even join a league if you’re local.

Have fun throwing hatchets at targets in a safe environment. Just don’t forget to wear close-toed shoes. 

Photo by Crystal Jackson

12. Go to the Hammock Park

Another charming feature of downtown Monroe is Hammock Park, which is exactly what it sounds like.

This small park includes multiple hammocks, swings, and picnic tables to enjoy. Put your feet up after a full day of shopping and lie around in a hammock. 

13. Attend a Local Event

Flower Festival, Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

Be sure to check out the local events calendar when planning your trip to Monroe, Georgia. From First Friday concerts to themed days, you’re sure to find a fun event for individuals, couples, and families alike.

I’ve attended dinosaur days, fairy days, plant sales, and more in the downtown area. Most of the businesses participate and go out of their way to make the events fun. 

14. Go Skydiving

Thrill-seekers will be happy to know that there is a place to go skydiving right in Monroe. Skydive Monroe offers tandem skydives, jump courses, and accelerated free falls.

I’ve personally completed two tandem skydives with Skydive Monroe and can vouch for their commitment to safety and professionalism. 

Photo courtesy of Skydive Monroe picturing tandem jump with author Crystal Jackson

Scared of heights? Your depth perception isn’t the same at that height, and you just might find that facing your fears is easier than you think.

But if you feel safer on the ground rather than jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, feel free to stop by the field and watch divers parachute down to the ground. 

15. Grab Dinner Al Fresco

On a beautiful day in Monroe, grab dinner outside. Dine al fresco at The Roe’s rooftop bar and restaurant or enjoy the outdoor seating offered at Amici Monroe.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’ll have plenty of other options for indoor dining. 

16. Visit a Local Park

There are plenty of local parks for you to enjoy in Monroe. Childers Park offers walking trails, natural play areas, and a dog park.

The Downtown Green is still in the process of being developed but will have a splash pad and terraced landscape seating for events.

Mathews Park contains a playground, swings, pavilions, and benches around the lake. Pocket Park is a tiny place to rest in downtown Monroe and is not to be missed on your travels! 

Pocket Park, Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

My personal favorite of the downtown parks is Pilot Park. It’s got a big playground with a section for both older and younger children.

Additionally, it has picnic tables and a small walking track. It’s completely fenced in, and there’s also a Little Free Library available for your perusal. It’s the perfect place to let children run out their energy on a visit to Monroe. 

Photo from Dinosaur Day, Monroe — Photo by Crystal Jackson

17. Check Out the Community Theatre

You don’t want to miss checking out the community theatre at On Stage Playhouse.

The 2022/2023 season has included Blithe Spirit, Smoke on the Mountain, Driving Miss Daisy, 9 to 5 The Musical, and Home for Christmas. The theatre also offers workshops, film screenings, and drama clubs. Check out their schedule for current events. 

18. Enjoy a Scavenger Hunt

If you’re looking for something fun to do, consider participating in a scavenger hunt for turtles.

Stop by the Monroe Visitors Center once you’ve found all 10 to collect your Monroe Turtles sticker reward.

They aren’t actual turtles, of course. You’ll want to start at City Hall. Look for Myrtle, the first turtle by the fountain. 

Here are the other turtles you’ll be looking for

Check out the full clues for each on the Monroe Downtown website.

  1. Myrtle the Turtle
  2. Moina the Turtle 
  3. Mary the Turtle
  4. Marvin the Turtle
  5. Morris the Turtle
  6. Mollie the Turtle
  7. Michael the Turtle 
  8. McDaniel the Turtle 
  9. Major the Turtle
  10. Martha the Turtle 
A nice street in Monroe, GA
Monroe, GA – Photo by Crystal Jackson

19. Visit the Monroe Museum

One last place you’ll want to check out is the Monroe Museum. Located at the visitors center, the Monroe Museum provides more of the history of the area.

The exhibit begins with a timeline of indigenous people of the area and continues through the modern day. 

What Is Monroe Known For? 

Monroe’s claim to fame is truly the extensive antique shopping and charming downtown area.

Monroe Downtown routinely holds events that often have the full participation of each of the independently-owned shops downtown.

A day trip to Monroe on one of those event days is filled with fun, food, and activity. You can easily fill the day without ever leaving the historic downtown area. 

It’s also known as the Antiques Capital of Georgia. If you want to explore all the antique stores around time, you’ll need a pair of comfortable shoes and an entire day to explore.

Because the two largest are located in former cotton mills, you’ll be exploring warehouses of space with different vendors. I’ve been shopping in Monroe many, many times, and there’s always something new to see.

The antique stores range from high end vintage pieces to items with purely sentimental or decorative value. There are plenty of options available for the budget shopper.

Notable people from Monroe

As mentioned on Kiddle, Monroe is also known to be home of the following notable people:

Javianne Oliver — 2020 Olympic Silver Medalist

Alfred H. Colquitt — Governor of Georgia and senator who served as Confederate officer

Frances Conroy — Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning actress

Besse Cooper — suffragette, teacher, and World’s Oldest Living Person 2011–2012

Henry Fambrough — baritone singer, The Spinners

Marquis Floyd — NFL player

Michael Gallup — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver

Lonnie Hillyer — jazz trumpeter

Tyler Hubbard — country music singer/songwriter, member of band Florida Georgia Line

Henry Dickerson McDaniel — Governor of Georgia from 1883 to 1886

Prince Hulon Preston, Jr. — member of US House of Representatives

Patricia Roberts — Olympic silver medalist and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee

Stephon Tuitt — NFL player for Pittsburgh Steelers

Clifford Walker — Governor of Georgia from 1923 to 1927

Bruce Williamson (born 1954) — Politician. Member of Georgia House of Representatives.


Monroe’s claim to fame also extends to politics.

According to the city’s website, “Monroe also proudly claims the honor of being the “City of Governors,” having furnished seven men to act as Governor of Georgia. Monroe also claims a native son who left Monroe for the West and later became Governor of Texas.”

Visiting Monroe, Georgia

A visit to Monroe has a little something for everyone. It’s particularly family-friendly, and you’ll find that it’s dog-friendly, too.

Perfect for a day trip, weekend getaway, or family vacation, Monroe is a charming spot to enjoy art, antiquing, and the beauty of nature. 

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