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Goleta Butterfly Grove

Address: 7701 Hollister Avenue, Goleta, CA
Phone Number: 805 961-7510
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Ranked #5 of 10 Attractions in Goleta
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Owner description: The Goleta Butterfly Grove is an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area where your can view the...
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Attraction details
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Owner description: The Goleta Butterfly Grove is an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area where your can view the overwintering Monarch butterflies between mid-November and mid-February. It is adjacent to the Sperling Preserve on the Ellwood Mesa. The Ellwood Mesa is 137 acres of natural terrain with designated trails and beach access. Free parking is available at the Ellwood Mesa Parking Lot at 7701 Hollister Avenue. The walk from the parking lot to the grove is a little over a half mile and is marked with trail markers. It's a beautiful walk on a dirt path.To ensure the safety of the monarchs and enjoyment of the public, we ask that visitors please observe the following rules: -Always stay on designated trails and roads. -Stay out of the roped-off areas. -Watch your step when entering and exiting the grove, and avoid monarchs which may be “puddling” in the surrounding areas. -Do not touch or harass the butterflies. -Avoid making loud noises. -Keep dogs on a leash. No bicycles, horses or motorized vehicles in the grove. -Please take your trash out of the grove.

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18 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Buffalo, NY
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

We visited the Goleta Butterfly Grove before the actual Monarch Butterfly season has begun. It wasn't the lack of butterflies which caused me to write a bad review but the accessibility of the grove. We had previously visited the butterfly grove in Pacific Grove, CA near Monterey and also another grove at Pismo Beach, CA within days of each other.... More 

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CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this review

The butterfly sites up and down the coast are exactly where nature placed them and not a built environment that is chosen for its accessibility. We hear from most that they enjoy the beautiful hike to see these majestic creatures overwinter and we're sorry you didn't have the same experience. More 

San Diego, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

We stayed at the nearby Bacara Resort, a ten minute bike ride away. There are wide trails throughout the butterfly grove that lead to more trails along the coast. It was one of our favorite bike rides. The Monarch butterflies are there in the winter, but we say many small butterflies when we visited in the summer. This is a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Miami, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Very disappointing trip. I expected to see plenty of butterflies, but we only saw 3 after an hour of walking a nature trail. It is a huge waste of time. Do not go.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
32 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Have read and heard so much about Monarch migrations over the years and had no idea I would ever be near a preserve to witness this experience. It was such a magical day for us. If you are near the Santa Barbara area any time November - February I would so recommend that you see this.

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
31 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014 via mobile

We enjoyed the short walk to the grove and saw quite a few butterflies. We wish we had been there a few weeks earlier to see more. There were only a couple other people there so we pretty much had the experience to ourselves. The grove is enchanting. Definitely do this if you are nearby in the winter months. Parking... More 

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CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this review

We're sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the beautiful landscape and beach view that can be seen during the times when the butterflies are in the grove. Nature controls the migration schedule which tends to be between mid-November and mid-February. Perhaps you will have the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful sight during one of those months. More 

So Cal
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
35 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

In January 2014 there are just a few clumps of butterflies in the preserve, but it is worth the visit. The preserve stretches along the Pacific on one side, so a nice hike around the preserve adds to the experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Santa Barbara, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

This is one of most unusual places. Butterflies hang from the eucalyptus trees in bunches, looking like leaves by the hundreds. For best time to visit check Monarch butterfly migration, as these butterflies come from Mexico. This is one of the most interesting and unusual things you will see.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Goleta, California
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
38 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Space, personal tranquility, solid walking, freedom to think, freedom to share, butterflies by the hundreds late fall, pelicans that fly in formation overhead, owls at night that greet, and of course the ocean views. Heaven! (Ignore the construction along with the yuppie homes, and you shall enjoy...)

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Park in the parking lot across from Ellwood elementary school and follow the well worn path through the eucalyptus grove then follow the signs to the main butterfly grove. The best time to visit is December through March. Thousands of Monarchs rest in huge clusters hanging from the trees. When the sun breaks through and it's warm enough the start... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Santa Barbara, California
Top Contributor
599 reviews 599 reviews
203 attraction reviews
406 helpful votes 406 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

A really nice thing to see if you are there in the right time of year. The butterflies are amazing and so are the views (the beach, ocean, and Channel Islands).

Was this review helpful? Yes 7

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