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Monarch Grove Sanctuary

#6 of 29 things to do in Pacific Grove Features Animals
Ridge Road, one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
+1 831-648-5716
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The Monarch Sanctuary is open from sunrise to sunset, but volunteer monarch docents, who assist with the viewing of monarchs and can answer questions about the butterflies and their migration, are only there from 12pm-3pm as available. It is highly recommended that you go to the Sanctuary when a docent is present. There is no charge to visit the Sanctuary, but donations are accepted.The Monarchs arrive in the Sanctuary towards the end of October, and leave around the beginning of March. The monarch population peaks the week after Thanksgiving. The monarch migration to Pacific Grove is so inspiring that Pacific Grove is nicknamed "Butterfly Town, U.S.A." The community has always welcomed the butterflies and sought their protection. Citizens of Pacific Grove voted to create an additional tax to create the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, led by dedicated volunteers.The volunteers at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary are from the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. The Museum, which is just about mile away from the Sanctuary, has a large exhibition on monarch butterflies containing videos and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. As both the Museum and Sanctuary are free, it's great to pair them together to get the most out of your experience to the monarch Sanctuary.
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Hours Today: 08:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
Ridge Road, one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
+1 831-648-5716

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Reviews (343)
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1 - 10 of 334 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We drove by Pacific Grove and stayed in the hotel right next to the sanctuary so we went there. Seemed like it was off season, because there were NO butterflies at all!!! The park itself if very small and don't have anything special. So be...More

Thank Veronika K
Reviewed 23 May 2017

If you are in Pacific Grove between November and February, this is really a must see. Thousands (if you're lucky) of Monarch Butterflies can be seen in the Eucalyptus Grove.

Thank Allan152
Reviewed 6 April 2017

Plenty of opportunities to see Monarchs flying if it is warm enough and sheltering in huge swathes in the boughs of the pine trees if it isn't. There are spotting scopes, guides and plenty of information about the Monarch too.

Thank PJH8RN
Reviewed 22 March 2017

Beautiful trail to walk, unfortunately for us the monarchs had already left and we didn't get to see any

Thank Heidi G
Reviewed 21 March 2017 via mobile

We traveled with my son, daughter-in-law and our grandchildren during Feb/March one of the places we went to see was the Monarch Grove Sanctuary. It was well worth the stop. Every year these butterfly's migrate from the north and stop in this sanctuary during the...More

Thank lupin146
Reviewed 17 March 2017

Although we missed its high season by a month, there were still a few monarchs around, and the beautiful grounds are wroth a visit for the flowers, smell of eucalyptus, and informative signs.

Thank Mike L
Reviewed 13 March 2017

I've visited over the years, and the decline in the monarch population has been sad to witness. Millions in the 1990s and maybe 200,000 in recent years, according to the Natural History Museum. The problem is loss of habitat (milkweed plants) along the migration routes...More

1  Thank GeorgePortland_OR
Reviewed 15 February 2017

Very short walk from parking lot or street. Binocular on a pedestal gives a great up close look at the butterflies. Neat experience!

Thank David D
Reviewed 5 February 2017

We went to see the Monarch butterflies who wintering in this are and particularly at this location. This was the most accessible of all the sights and had the most Monarchs. Please take time to talk with the docents and park volunteers.they are very knowledgeable....More

2  Thank goCaspian
Reviewed 2 February 2017 via mobile

Spent a very pleasant hour wandering around the sanctuary. It would be perfect area to sit on a bench and eating lunch. The docents were friendly and knowledgeable. The butterflies were a delight to watch.

Thank 1228dw
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Carrie D
Is there a fee to get into the sanctuary?
23 July 2016|
Answer Show all 13 answers
Response from Z2thFairy | Reviewed this property |
Hope I'm not replying too late. No fee to enter. There are two entries and I don't recall there being any gates that can be closed and no one monitors the entrances. You can just walk straight in.
Nickie E
What time of the year are the butterflies usually there?
1 April 2016|
Answer Show all 7 answers
Response from LindaTraveler95843 | Reviewed this property |
We went the end of Oct. last year. We saw quite a few butterflies but not as many as expected. Still the clusters are quite an awesome site, and seeing the butterflies fluttering back and forth throughout the trees was fun... More
Nickie E
What time of year are the Monarch Butterflies at the Sanctuary? I will be in the area April 16, 2015 Also planning next Spring break Feb. 12, 2016. Any chance my timing works? Nickie
1 April 2016|
Answer Show all 11 answers
Response from forteMI | Reviewed this property |
The best time to see the Monarchs in Pacific Grove is during their overwintering season from October through February.