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“Loved it”

Monarch Grove Sanctuary
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$65.25*
and up
1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed October 18, 2011

Very nice had a great time walking around the grounds here,

Thank Sally G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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371 - 375 of 385 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2010

(My visit November 17)…I was in town for a conference and chose to use my lunch hour for a quick peek at the Monarchs there at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary. It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the mid 60s (the Monarchs don’t fly around in temperatures much below 55F). I arrived to find parking along the wall of the building directly across from the Grove entrance. The entrance to the Sanctuary is a narrow pathway that runs between an Inn and neighboring homes. The alley opens up onto several acres of eucalyptus and pine trees where the butterflies cluster. Ropes keep you a fair distance from the trees; so bring binoculars if you have them. I could see many butterflies flying around. It was very hard to see them clustering without knowing what you were looking for, but another visitor located one and then I was able to zero in on it. When they cluster, they fold their wings up, blend in with the tree bark and leaves, camouflaging themselves. I have no doubt my experience would have been better had I been lucky to have a docent there the day I visited (a Wednesday at noon), but there wasn’t one. Overall, I think if you are looking for something a little unique, check it out; it takes less than an hour to enjoy; but this is not something I would go far out of my way to see.

Pamphlets are available on site that includes information on the Monarch life cycle, migration and habitat. The Sanctuary is Free to visitors. Best viewing is between November and February.

Thank spontaneoustrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

Visited on a November Saturday. There was always a few parking spaces opposite the Grove available since it is quite a cozy, small area. The day we visited it was a bit overcast and cool, but there were a few butterflies fluttering, with almost all in clusters. Telescopes and binoculars were made available with the friendly volunteer docent encouraging all to use them.

We brought our own binoculars and it was necessary to identify properly these camouflaged clusters of monarchs. It was a nice and fun side-trip from spending time in the Monterey Bay Area. Plus, it's free--can't beat that.

Thank radfahrenfaireduvelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2009

Hi we absolutely loved this place & it's a MUST see IF the season is right & the butterflies are "in town" when you visit. That is in the winter months- mainly Nov - March but just call.

The other reviewer was completely correct when they said the temp had to be above 55 to see them flying. We were there is early December & it was during record lows - it was around 50 at noon the day we visited. Also this year there was only around 1000 when a normal year has around 10,000.

tip - call ahread of time & make sure the docent is there as his explanation, binoculars, telescope, pictures & knowledge were invaluable. We had been looking in the trees but couldn't find any butterflies. As soon as he came, he pointed them out to us. If they are "resting" it's hard to see them unless someone point them out to you as they blend in with the trees & just look like the tree.

Unfortunately, due to the cold they weren't flying around much but we were delighted to get to see them anyway. It was just amazing!

The attraction is free & I would highly recommend it.

3  Thank DianeER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2004

The butterfly sanctuary is an outdoor grove of trees behind an older motel right in the city of Pacific Grove. We had been tipped off that the butterflies are ONLY active when the sun is shining and the air temperature is at least 55 degrees. Although it was raining when we started to walk through the grove, within minutes the sun peeked through and that is all it took for butterflies to emerge and begin flying around -- truly amazing.

It is free to walk through here--plan to do it on a sunny day!

We were there in mid November (the season to see them is October thru March)

By the way - a good restaurant recommendation is Peppers (Mexican) right downtown in Pacific Grove. A bad recommendation (in our opinion) is Fishwives which had good reviews but felt like a diner to us--very rushed service and mediocre food.

13  Thank dbrown46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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