Discover the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach California. Come see Eucalyptus tree–filled groves with thousands of monarch butteries. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach.
Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. The grove is easily accessible. It is located on State Highway 1 at the south boundary of the city limits of Pismo Beach. Spectators come from all over the Central Coast and throughout the state to view the Monarchs. Visitors are greeted by knowledgeable and well-informed volunteer docents offering daily talks and information.
The butterflies form dense clusters with each one hanging with its wing down over the one below it to form a shingle effect. This provides shelter from the rain and warmth for the group. The weight of the cluster help keeps it from whipping in the wind and dislodging the butterflies. The Monarch Butterfly Grove colony is one of the largest in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies over the last five years.
The Monarchs that visit Pismo Beach are a special variety. They have a life span of six months as opposed to that of common Monarchs who live only six weeks. This can be attributed to a unique fat storing system. However, even with an extended life span, those butterflies that leave in March will never return.
Scientists do not know why the Monarchs consistently return to some wintering sites. In North America, those sites range from the Central and Southern California Coast to Mexico. Some scientists speculate that the insects are equipped with genetic homing systems that lead them from their summer sites in the Sierras, Florida, Canada and the Great Lakes Region in North America back to their winter locations.
During the season the Monarch Butterfly Grove Docent Trailer opens at 10:00 am and closes at 4:00 pm daily. Daily talks happen at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, weather permitting.
- Attraction Images
- More Attraction DetailsHours: Open 24 hours
- Local Points of InterestLocal Restaurants:
Splash Cafe Pismo Beach, Brad's Restaurant, Oyster Loft, Hoagies Sandwiches & Grill, Mo's SmokeHouse BBQ, Rosa's Italian Restaurant, Giuseppe's Express, Pismo Fish and Chips, Flagship, Cool Cat Cafe, Chop Street, Papi's Grill, Blonde Restaurant and Bar, Central Coast Meat Market, Thai Talay Restaurant, Del's Pizzeria, Pismo Cafe, Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant, Cracked Crab, SeaVenture RestaurantLocal Shopping:
Pismo Food Store, Pismo Market, De Bu of Pismo Beach, Price Street Market, Dynasty Gems, Toasko Salt Water Taffy, Heart's Desire Soaps & Exotics, Sheila's Sweet Treats, Pismo Coast Shopping Plaza, Pier Gifts, Point Break LLC, Ashtie's Beach Shack