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“Monarchs abound”

Monarch Grove Sanctuary
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1-Hour Monterey and Cannery Row Sea Car Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Monarchs abound”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

We went around lunchtime and saw tons of butterflies in the grove. It was beautiful! We were lucky enough to see some butterflies mating!! there were docents around for discussion. It's a free activity and very nice.

Visited February 2013
Thank MimiFan926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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341 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
outside Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
167 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Perfect Timing! and that made all the difference.....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

Reading these reviews its easy to see that timing is key when visiting the sanctuary. Who knew that the best time to see butterflies in Monterey was in the wintery months? But today was the warmest day yet in Monterey - it almost got to 65 degrees this afternoon - and we were rewarded with amazing photos and a butterfly experience that we won't soon forget.

We decided to go after lunch, when it was warmer; and there was a docent there when we went. He had scopes set up to see the butterflies in the trees and branches, then was able to answer questions about the butterflies, their lifespan and their habits.

Our daughter (6) loved it, and honestly so did we. It was the strangest thing to see so many monarch butterflies warming in the sun, then taking flight above us.

I can totally see that if it's not the right time of year that this park would be underwhelming - but for us, it was unbelievable.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank wrensaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
1,004 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 400 helpful votes
“Between December and Feb.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

Monarch butterflies clump up together to weather the cold. You can see them w/ Docents from the museum setting up telescopes on ground level to observe this unusual feat of nature.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank JPSaleebyMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Butterfly dream”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

Beautiful area. Unfortunately when we arrived it was still to cold (around 11am) and the grove was still mostly in the shade so the butterflies stayed huddled in the trees. There were of course a few maverick Monarchs flying around, a small taste of what was to come. There was a count of 20,000 Monarchs that day. Hint: if it's a cold day the butterflies will stay huddled until it warms up, so it doesn't pay to arrive at the Grove too early in the morning unless you plan to walk the beach or around the small Grove.

3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

The directions to the Grove are well done- it's easy to find. It was pretty chilly so the Monarchs weren't very active, but the clusters of them were very visible. The docent was very knowledgeable and friendly. They have loaner binoculars, but I brought my own. I took a pamphlet and left a generous donation.

Visited December 2012
Thank Roxanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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