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Monarch Grove Sanctuary

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Ridge Road, one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and 17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone Number:
+1 831-648-5716
08:00 - 12:00
13:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Mon - Thu 08:00 - 12:00
13:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

The Monarch Sanctuary is open from sunrise to sunset, but volunteer monarch...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 328 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 165
  • 103
    Very good
  • 42
  • 4
  • 5
Very cool monarch habitat

A little challenging to find, but very nice hidden treasure in the center of a neighborhood. Lovely self guided tour! Hanging butterflies a bit difficult to spot, so you may... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Lori P
Martinez, California

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328 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 319: English reviews
Woodstock, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Tucked away in a tiny urban park surrounded by homes are some trees and bushes. Here about 4000 monarchs were fluttering about on an early January day. These are west coast monarchs as the east coast ones go to Mexico. There are several places in California with these creatures. A short path winds across the park and there was a... More 

Thank curries465159
Martinez, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A little challenging to find, but very nice hidden treasure in the center of a neighborhood. Lovely self guided tour! Hanging butterflies a bit difficult to spot, so you may need to ask someone to point them out.

Thank Lori P
Sonoma County, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Nice tiny park for walking. Our visit over Christmas was ruined by grumpy guide. He was hectoring visitors, telling them they were walking too fast. Kind of odd.

Thank Mary B
New York
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This sanctuary was a surprise for us to see - although we are aware of the decrease in numbers of the sacred monarchs it was shocking to see how small the it actually is. One would think it would be larger - at least twice the size it is. Luckily there a sanctuary at all, and all thanks to the... More 

1 Thank Donna D
Spring Lake, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I was expecting to see butterflies all over the place. That didn't happen, but the well-informed docent had spotting scopes so that you could see the clusters of butterflies in the trees. Once you knew what to look for, it became easier to spot other clusters of butterflies.

Thank sunmich2
Level Contributor
65 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Everytime we are in Pacific Grove we stop by the sanctuary. This year there were a few flying around. A docent had a telescope aim up at a tree with approximately 4,000 monarchs. One year we visited and there were thousands of Monarchs in the trees and even had a couple land on our arms. We have been chasing that... More 

Thank Junglejim-Cal
Fayetteville, AR
Level Contributor
198 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We visited the Grove in the morning on a beautiful day. As the morning was warming the butterflies started stirring. Until the butterflies started to move they looked like dead leaves in the trees. As the butterflies stirred we saw thousands of them. In addition, there is access from the grove to a wonderful beach. Simply it was a great... More 

Thank TOG11
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2016

There were a few Monarchs fluttering around, but the news is that populations have declined. The sanctuary is free and a quiet walk on a weekday, signage is sparse in the park.

Thank 1272skidoo
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2016

This is a really neat place to visit. We first walked through about 9 am and the butterflies were inactive. We didn't see any flying around. We noticed that docents would be available between noon and three so we came back when it was just a bit warmer....and it made all the difference. They were fluttering all around the upper... More 

Thank wearestringers
Manteca, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2016

There were park docents(?) there that had monoculars to look through and give you a close up of the butterfly clusters. Hard to find using our GPS look for the sign on the west side of the road, park at the adult school and follow the path.

Thank jcwood2015

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