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.

“A Fabulous Place to Bike”

Goleta Butterfly Grove
Ranked #3 of 31 things to do in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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.
San Diego, California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A Fabulous Place to Bike”
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 very beautiful place to run, hike, horseback ride or bike ride.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Alison F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Bummer Summer”
Reviewed July 29, 2014 via mobile

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.

2 Thank dimi5132
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 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.

Visited November 2013
Thank ElisePortlandOR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Very nice, try to go earlier than end of February”
Reviewed April 7, 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 was free!

Visited February 2014
Thank Lola2104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this review, November 19, 2014
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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
So Cal
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Some nice butterfly clumps in a scenic preserve”
Reviewed January 6, 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.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank Tecolate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Goleta Butterfly Grove also viewed


Been to Goleta Butterfly Grove? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing