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“Winter landing for monarchs”

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.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Winter landing for monarchs”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

This is always amazing! The butterflies arrive around November and stay until about March. If you are lucky, one of the docents will be there. Make sure to let her tell you all about it!

Visited June 2013
Thank msorangeblossom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Winter months only! November thru February!”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

My fault that I trusted another reviewer's headline that read 'great any time of year' and not the one that read 'timing is everything'... I didn't truly get that (according to their website):
"The monarch overwintering season is from November through February with the monarch population peaking around late November or early December."

The sanctuary is very peaceful, but we did not see any butterflies. Not one. At all.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
105 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Very small, use GPS”
Reviewed May 3, 2013

The sanctuary is tucked in a residential neighborhood. If it weren't for Google Maps we would have completely missed it. We were there early in the overwintering season, so there wasn't much activity. But with the help of a docent, my family was able to view thousands of butterflies clustered together in the trees. There were a few fluttering around as well.
In all, this is a 30min - 1 hour experience so don't plan your day around it. You can easily add it to another excursion, like 17 mile drive or the acquarium.

Visited January 2013
Thank SC4RC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Monarch overwintering ground”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

It is an easy place to see the butterflies overwinter, right in the city of Pacific Grove. Nice walkways and park like setting.

Visited February 2013
Thank Monica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allendale, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great any time of the year!”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Even though there weren't thousands of butterflies flying around, there was still a great many fluttering about! Very peaceful and beautiful!

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Molly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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