Where To Go Butterfly Watching in the Bay Area

We live among the highest density of endangered butterflies in the country.

From tiny gardens to large sanctuaries, the potential for butterfly watching in the Bay is ample and varied! Here’s where you’re sure to spot plenty of the many species that thrive in our area:

Nectar Garden in Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont
Like a secret garden in a storybook, this enclosed sanctuary includes steps, pathways, and little benches on which to sit and watch delicate, winged creatures fluttering among the flowers. For the little ones, the Nectar Gardens a nice break from the longer trails along Coyote Hills’ marsh and grasslands, and several of the naturalist-led programs take place in here. The garden is free to enter.

Monarch Grove Sanctuary, Pacific Grove

If your little ones are in a butterfly-watching groove, then a visit to “Butterfly Town” is an absolute must. That’s the nickname for Pacific Grove, the overwintering destination of over 25,000 monarch butterflies. Their favorite spot is in the eucalyptus trees of Monarch Grove Sanctuary. Though the best time to see the butterflies is between October and February, Monarch Grove Sanctuary is open year round and free to enter. (Closer to home, there are various, smaller monarch butterfly overwintering sites, such as Ardenwood Historic Farm and Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline.)


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