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Natural Bridges State Beach

2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA
+1 831-423-4609
Review Highlights
Monarch Butterfly overwintering extravaganza

This beach includes a grove of Eucalyptus trees that host overwintering Monarch Butterflies. There... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
it is time for Monarch Butterflies

the Monarchs arrive late October. They will stay until late January or very early February. From... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Watsonville, California
Read all 668 reviews
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A refuge for wintering Monarch Butterflies, this park boasts a sandy cove, tidepools, a nature trail through the Butterfly Preserve, and several hiking trails. There is also a bicycle path around the perimeter of the park.
  • Excellent54%
  • Very good33%
  • Average11%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“tide pools” (112 reviews)
“visitor center” (26 reviews)
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Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
2531 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA
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Reviews (668)
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1 - 10 of 632 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This beach includes a grove of Eucalyptus trees that host overwintering Monarch Butterflies. There were 10,000 on site. It's quite spectacular to watch thousands of Monarchs flitting around from tree to tree on a warm, sunny day. Also, there are hiking trails and the beach....More

1  Thank looking4birds
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

the Monarchs arrive late October. They will stay until late January or very early February. From the gate, you will drive about 400 yard until you reach the parking lot. You have to walk down a boardwalk to the grove. Look up as the Monarch...More

1  Thank 427BeatleBob
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My husband and I came to this beach with our 3 young children and friends. We parked about a 3 blocks away and brought our stroller, which we definitely should not have (all sand), luckily the parking attendant said we could leave our stroller there...More

Thank strolson
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Very Family Friendly beach. Dogs not allowed! End of November great time to see monarch butterflies. Great picnic spot. Lots of sea life. Watched whales migrating and sea lions playing.

Thank TravelLynn2015
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We basically came for the monarch butterflies. This has been on my "list" for many years. It was absolutely amazing. Clusters of thousands and fluttering everywhere. It alone was worth my entire trip to California! Don't miss this experience. The small beach is also beautiful...More

Thank birdlover36
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This was my first time viewing monarch butterflies that migrate to California (among other places) to escape colder climates. There were an estimated 10,000-15,000 monarchs in the eucalyptus grove in this park. Seeing so many butterflies flit around was beautiful! This is a great time...More

Thank Ritu_Pisces
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We headed here during early November, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mass migration of the monarch butterflies. We did see some, but certainly not the numbers we had been led to believe. That said, it was overcast and about to rain, so I...More

Thank Livesbythec
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Natural bridges have fallen as the cliffs eroded, but the beach is a nice spot and many come to the parking lot at sundown (and then drive away the minute the sun is down!). In park area above the beach are often many Monarch butterflies...More

Thank Clover88Live
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I love this beach for great photo shots & for windy days where you can duck behind the high cliff walls on the sand. I visit this beach at least 3-5 times every year with my family. We spent the last evening of summer there...More

Thank nicolegall
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

A quick stop could end up taking longer as you start to really enjoy everything this park has to offer. The rock formations (the natural bridges) are an iconic sight, and the tide pools are full of sea life. Just off shore, otters and dolphins...More

1  Thank Tom G
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Questions & Answers
29 March 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Monica Micah R | Reviewed this property |
Temperatures change in Santa Cruz at the drop of a hat. Mornings are usually chilly and foggy but warm and clear by noon. Check out last year's almanac for rain patterns but July had some very warm/hot days after 1p.m. I... More
23 November 2015|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from bil1026 | Reviewed this property |
I think so & if not, just park on Delaware Ave. & walk in the back entrance for free! No locked gate to the Monarch walkway or beach.
7 October 2015|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from bil1026 | Reviewed this property |
Tides: just go...ogle tides [d o t] info Santa Cruz Butterflies: A few, but not many until after Thanksgiving and the first cold snap. You might still see some humpbacks from the cliffs at the UCSC Marine Discovery Center... More