Monach butterflies are just lovely to see in person. They’re bright and colorful, with an easily recognizable orange, black and white pattern across their wings. Every year, from October through early March, these butterflies migrate to central & southern California, mostly coming in from areas west of the Rocky Mountains, and south from Oregon & Idaho. They flock to San Diego, Orange County, Monterey and Santa Cruz, forming huge clusters in groves along the coast. They’ll only be here for a couple more months, so there’s no better time than now to grab your camera and check them out while they’re still here. Especially at these locations!
Goleta Butterfly Grove
Goleta’s Butterfly Grove is set among beautiful coastal forest on an ocean bluff. Walk through on any winter day and you may be able to spot clusters of these bright butterflies hanging around the Eucalyptus trees.
If you continue all the way through it also leads down to Ellwood Beach. Here you can follow several trails, or just lay back and marvel over the ocean views.
The North Beach Grove at Pismo State Beach is an excellent place to see these vibrant butterflies by the thousands. It’s easy to access off Highway 1, near the North Beach Campground. Brightly colored signs will point you in the right direction of the exit and a free public parking area.
Pismo State Beach – North Beach
After seeing the beautiful monarchs, you can take a relaxing walk north on Pismo North Beach towards the Pismo Beach Pier, or south on a boardwalk through dunes, beside Pismo Beach’s 9-hole golf course.
Natural Bridges State Beach
To see them, you can take a path known as the Monarch Butterfly Trail that winds through the grove of trees. Also make sure to swing by the Visitor Center here, as they have a lot of great information on these butterflies and their annual migration.
via Wikipedia Agunther
Though small, this grove of trees serves as home to thousands of migrating butterflies in the winter months. It’s set just behind the appropriately-named Butterfly Grove Inn, only a few minutes from Asilomar State Beach.
Asilomar State Beach
Vibrant monarch butterflies cluster here on pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees. Pacific Grove sees so many monarchs every year they’ve even gained the nickname “Butterfly Town USA”.
The Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove goes by several names including Ellwood Main Monarch Butterfly Grove as it is signed when you get there. It is located next to Ellwood Beach […]
The Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is a sight to behold. If you’ve never seen a butterfly grove and you happen to be on the San Luis Obispo Coast […]
This small grove of trees is home to thousands of monarch butterflies during their migration in the winter months. The peak time is mid-November to mid-December, but they can be […]
The Santa Cruz Monarch Butterfly Grove is located on the western edge of town in the park at Natural Bridges State Beach. The visitor center at the park has information […]