A visitor’s guide to visiting Pacific Grove’s Butterfly Sanctuary. Plan your visit to make the most of this enchanting natural wonder.
Where is the best place to see them?
The Monarch Sanctuary in Pacific Grove is one of the largest overwintering sites in the country.
*Overwintering is when monarch butterflies migrate to one place to spend the winter before moving on the spring.
Address: 250 Ridge Road
Parking on Ridge Road is free.
The sanctuary is about one block from the parking area and is ADA accessible.
NOTE: The monarchs might look like dead leaves on the trees and might be easy to miss. So please do not stray off of the paths or touch the trees or shrubbery.
How much is admission?
Admission to the sanctuary is free, but donations to support education programs and docent programs are greatly appreciated.
There are currently no guided tours, but feel free to use this audio self-tour to take you through the park.
When is the best time to visit?
The monarchs start to cluster in November and are at their peak towards the end of November and early December.
Mating season is around Valentine’s Day and then they head off towards the end of February, early March.
Because monarchs can’t fly in temperatures below 55 F, it’s recommended that you visit during the warmest hours of the day, between 12 and 3 PM– this way you can see both clusters (boughs of monarchs in the trees) and some flying around.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! And don’t forget, the Olympia Lodge is your home away from home while you’re in town.