My family and I spend time on the central coast regularly. During a trip to Pismo Beach we visited the Monarch Butterfly Grove. This is one of countless attractions on the central coast. This old growth Eucalyptus grove is part of the migration path for Monarch butterflies on their way from Mexico to Canada. There are an extraordinary number of butterflies in late October through early December. This is something everyone should experience.
This park is easy to find. It is on the Pacific Coast Highway not more than a mile south of Pismo Beach. During the peak times such as holiday weekends there is an overwhelming number of people that flock to the coast from the central valley of California. During those times parking will be more difficult and traffic will be more congested. This weekend had a lot of visitors as well. We were there for 5 days so we waited till Monday when the crowds all went home.
The Monarch Grove is next to the beach. If you walk through the park you will find sand dunes that lead to the water. The scene is iconic California. There are park rangers and nature scientists inside the grove that will give information and host discussions about the area. Stationed all over the grounds there are spotting scopes fixed on branches heavily populated with Monarchs. This is definitely a place you would want to bring a quality camera.
If you’re an artist this would be a great place to take a traveling set of watercolors or pastels. There would be plenty of stuff to capture. If you are a cartoonist like me you can people watch and draw caricatures. There is no shortage of odd-looking people in California.
This is a great place to spend an hour. It does not take long to walk through it. People with mobility problems would still be able to visit without any issues. It is wheel chair accessible and there are plenty of benches. I have visited the grove 20 or 30 times. Each time it is very cool. Please watch the 360 video shot. It does not capture the entire experience but you will enjoy it.
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