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Monarch Grove Sanctuary

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Address: Ridge Road, one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone Number: 18316485716
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8:00 am - 12:00 pm
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Open now
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Mon - Thu 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Monarch Sanctuary is open from sunrise to sunset, but volunteer monarch...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 259 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 134
  • 87
    Very good
  • 34
  • 2
  • 2
Out of Body Experience

What can I say, other than I am a big time Butterfly Lover so why wouldn't I stop here? We are staying in Carmel for 3 months and have stopped here each time we are in Pacific... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
Carolin P
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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259 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

What can I say, other than I am a big time Butterfly Lover so why wouldn't I stop here? We are staying in Carmel for 3 months and have stopped here each time we are in Pacific Grove. Monarchs cluster together in the eucalyptus trees to stay warm, they can only fly if it 55 degrees or warmer. There are... More 

Thank Carolin P
Marshall, Texas
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

We learned if this place by word of mouth. Such an interesting place. We went early mid morning so there wasn't much butterfly movement since it was still a bit cool. The young gentleman working there was extremely knowledgeable and answered our many questions. They had telescopes set up for you to look through and the monarch clumps hanging from... More 

Thank Leslie W
Vantaa, Finland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Small establishment, which seems to be working on a voluntary basis. The docent who was there was helpful and really nice and the butterflies were beautiful! Well worth a visit and donation!

Thank travellingkiiku
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Level Contributor
69 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Monarch butterflies come to a number of places in California in large numbers. In Pacific Grove there is a sanctuary where you can see them up close and take great pictures with a telephoto lens. We didn't go into the preserve itself because the largest number of Monarchs were right by the entrance, so I can't say how extensive the... More 

Thank Elise Ann W
Alameda, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is a sweet little spot that monarch butterflies return to year after year, generation after generation. It's free, nicely managed by butterfly devotees, and it feels like you are in a sacred chapel. In winter the butterflies are clustered on some of the eucalyptus trees and start flying around if it is warm enough. This is a great place... More 

Thank Jill T
Level Contributor
94 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This can be the most incredible experience. The butterflies are definitely more active in the warmer weather and during sunnier parts of the day. When they are flying about, you will be astounded by the number of butterflies and the beauty of their colors. During early morning and late afternoon the butterflies tend to cluster on tips of the tree... More 

Thank LifesaSnap
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This small sanctuary staff by knowlagable docents provides a winter home and mating area for Monarch Butterfly's. Go when sunny and temps above 60 if you want to see them more active. Also, mating rituals take place late January as females prepare to migrate to Salinas to lay eggs on milkweed. Simply a surprisingly beautiful place and experience.

Thank Iceman14
Torrance, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a must-see destination whenever we visit our family in Pacific Grove. The volunteer (?) docents are very friendly and can help a new visitor spot the monarch butterflies and well as offer some interesting info.

Thank Z2thFairy
Glenview, Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A visit to this tiny sanctuary provides the unique experience of seeing hundreds of monarchs gathering for the winter. They are most active when the sun is out in the early afternoon. Bring the best camera you have and be ready to learn from the docents.

Thank Loki611
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Walk through a lush natural setting of trees and clover and look up in the trees and on the grass to see the Monarch butterflies.

Thank dayla2016

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Questions & Answers

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Pittsburgh, PA
7 months ago

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