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Goleta Butterfly Grove

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 7701 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117-2423
Phone Number:
+1 805-961-7510

The Goleta Butterfly Grove is an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 58 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 37
  • 11
    Very good
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
Take your time and look around.

February was a great time to visit but the butterflys were not where we thought they would be. We had been there several times. It was great to see the revitalization of the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
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58 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 57: English reviews
Level Contributor
44 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

February was a great time to visit but the butterflys were not where we thought they would be. We had been there several times. It was great to see the revitalization of the trees from the rains. We did not see many butterflys initally so walked out to the beach. This is a great walk and well worth it. On... More 

1 Thank treike
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very pleasant walk to the grove. Pick a semi-warm winter day (before the butterflies leave) to visit. They're are usually fanning their wings on a warm day. "Magnificent" is not adequate enough to describe it.

Thank Paul E
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I lie nearby and am a frequent visitor to this lovely grove. Problem is, very few Monarchs showed up this year, almost none at all at the Main Grove. Also, they are only here from early November through mid February, so keep this in mind as well. Ellwood is lovely natural area even without the Monarchs so it may be... More 

Thank Gregg H
Goleta, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Even out of season the Monarch Grove is a beautiful nature walk. We always bring our grandchildren here when they visit.

Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

no butterflies. storms made them go away. go to Pismo Beach. there are 15,000 butterflies there today.

Thank smlisle
CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this review

Unfortunately we've had very few butterflies this year -- 123 at last count at the beginning of January. Hope you were able to enjoy the beautiful mesa and ocean views while on your visit. More 

Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017 via mobile

It is a very nice walk how ever you cannot approach it from the treed side the hillside is very steep with roots in the way. It is not marked from the ocean side but if you see at the edge of the trees a low rope follow it in. There are very few butterflies when I went just after... More 

Thank Nancy H
Edegem, Belgium
Level Contributor
162 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2017 via mobile

We have seen a couple of small clusters, but they are located away from the grove... We haven't found any in the Grove. Where are they? Park you car on the official parking. Follow the indicated trail till you exit the first "forrest". Don t follow the indications (guiding you to the left), but turn right. Follow the trail, keep... More 

4 Thank Carlvanloey
CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this review

Thanks for your review. You are correct, there have not been very many butterflies at the main aggregation site (which is where the signs point you to). The butterflies seem to be at the secondary sites this year and we may put out additional signage to help visitors find them. More 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
99 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2016

great spot for the family to stroll among the eucalyptus trees watching the thousands of monarchs fly around

Thank NGTB_1
Goleta, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016

How can you beat a scenic walk through beautiful coastal woodlands out to the ocean? Find a Monarch butterfly annual campout on their way south.

Thank markes805
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
76 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016

They overwinter here, hatch toward the end of winter and fly away, stopping along the way to lay eggs and die. Their great, great grandchildren stay on this side of the Rockies but get as far as Canada and Mexico before another generation starts back. They hang along the trailing eucalyptus branches like chains of paper cranes. With world climate... More 

Thank IdeasAndOpinions

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