We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Monarch Grove Sanctuary

Certificate of Excellence
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Ridge Road, one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone Number: 831-648-5716
Website
Saturday
Closed
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Thu 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Description: The Monarch Sanctuary is open from sunrise to sunset, but volunteer...
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.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 184 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 86
    Excellent
  • 70
    Very good
  • 25
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Came too late to see any butterflies!

Although the sanctuary was very small, it had a very nice scenic setting with the tall trees, plant vegetation and trail inside the sanctuary. Just wished I got there a month... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 17, 2015
Art P
Add Photo Write a Review

184 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015 NEW

Although the sanctuary was very small, it had a very nice scenic setting with the tall trees, plant vegetation and trail inside the sanctuary. Just wished I got there a month sooner to see the Monarch butterflies before they left the area. Maybe next year...

Was this review helpful? Yes
Auburn,CA
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
33 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

I read some of the reviews about finding the sanctuary on a map before going, which probably helped us a great deal to find it. There is a smallish sign on Lighthouse near the Monarch Lodge(or something very similar) and as you drive down this small street, going past the pink/peach colored lodge there will be a second sign at... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
57 attraction reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

Our visit was in March and we stopped in on the off chance butterflies were still "hanging" around. Information about the months to visit varied by sites and publications. Some gave the months as October through March and some November through February. I think the best time would be December or January. This is a short, easy walking path and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Pacific Grove, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

Firstly let me say that I'm used to the Monarch Sanctuary in Goleta, CA where one can go right up to the Monarchs without restrictions other than not touching them or destroying their habitat. The PG habitat is small and roped off making observation of the Monarchs difficult without binoculars, so I would recommend you bring a pair. There is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
La Crescenta, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

This is a nice little walk through some tall trees. When we went there weren't many butterflies but I'm sure it is very interesting when they are all in. It's a nice place to stop for a short walk to kill some time.

Was this review helpful? Yes
California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

Its a short safe walk through residential area. Butterflies were everywhere. I would suggest taking a GPS if your not good with direction, the roads are curvy and there is alot to disctract you.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Red Bluff, California, United States
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
16 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2015

You definitely need to come here during the winter months! We visited in mid-February and the numbers were already way down. We still loved it though! the butterflies are up HIGH in the trees, so photos were tough without great equipment. It was warming up when we arrived, so they were starting to fly around some. We used to attract,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Richmond, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015

We were hoping to see more butterflies and don't know if we missed the season or if it's the population decline. I was disappointed that a woman who was leading a tourist bus group was not really informed and did not educate on how to protect the native populations.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
114 attraction reviews
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

This is a great stop if you hit Pacific Grove during the winter months when the butterflies are there in numbers. We got there toward the end of the season, but it was still very worthwhile. You just walk in from a side street (park across the street from the entry) and look up at the trees. The butterflies are... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Burlington, Canada
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
42 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

bring a Tripod for your camera, if you want close ups. You need a good telescopic lens. The butterflies cluster together in the Pine and Eucalyptus trees above you.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Monarch Grove Sanctuary also viewed

Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula
Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula
 
Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula
 

Been to Monarch Grove Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Monarch Grove Sanctuary staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?