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Goleta Butterfly Grove

#3 of 31 things to do in Goleta Features Animals
7701 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117-2423
+1 805-961-7510
Review Highlights
Magical Place

A beautiful, natural butterfly grove near the ocean. At the right time of year (look it up online... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Grass Valley, California
Amazing migration place for the Monarch butterfly

Amidst the tall and aged Eucalyptus trees, the swarms for Monarchs is a sight to be hold when they... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Santa Barbara, California
Read all 61 reviews
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The Goleta Butterfly Grove is an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area where your can view the overwintering Monarch butterflies between mid-November and mid-February. It is adjacent to the Sperling Preserve on the Ellwood Mesa. The Ellwood Mesa is 137 acres of natural terrain with designated trails and beach access. Free parking is available at the Ellwood Mesa Parking Lot at 7701 Hollister Avenue. The walk from the parking lot to the grove is a little over a half mile and is marked with trail markers. It's a beautiful walk on a dirt path.To ensure the safety of the monarchs and enjoyment of the public, we ask that visitors please observe the following rules: -Always stay on designated trails and roads. -Stay out of the roped-off areas. -Watch your step when entering and exiting the grove, and avoid monarchs which may be “puddling” in the surrounding areas. -Do not touch or harass the butterflies. -Avoid making loud noises. -Keep dogs on a leash. No bicycles, horses or motorized vehicles in the grove. -Please take your trash out of the grove.
  • Excellent67%
  • Very good19%
  • Average6%
  • Poor4%
  • Terrible4%
Travellers talk about
7701 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117-2423
+1 805-961-7510
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Reviews (61)
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1 - 10 of 61 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

A beautiful, natural butterfly grove near the ocean. At the right time of year (look it up online to see if they are currently there) you can see hundreds of butterflies fluttering. It's peaceful and magical.

Thank janahn875
Reviewed yesterday

Amidst the tall and aged Eucalyptus trees, the swarms for Monarchs is a sight to be hold when they make there was through.

Thank BlakievanHemert
Reviewed 3 May 2017 via mobile

After all the rain and flooding the paths have half washed away. The butterflies are in their summer home so none can be seen here. It is not accessible with a baby stroller now. I would not go out of my way to visit this...More

Thank Nancy H
CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2017

We're sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your walk. This is a natural area with dirt paths. You're correct that the butterflies migration have moved on to other parts. The best time to see the butterflies is between November and February.

Reviewed 21 February 2017

February was a great time to visit but the butterflys were not where we thought they would be. We had been there several times. It was great to see the revitalization of the trees from the rains. We did not see many butterflys initally so...More

1  Thank treike
Reviewed 15 February 2017

Very pleasant walk to the grove. Pick a semi-warm winter day (before the butterflies leave) to visit. They're are usually fanning their wings on a warm day. "Magnificent" is not adequate enough to describe it.

Thank Paul E
Reviewed 15 February 2017

I lie nearby and am a frequent visitor to this lovely grove. Problem is, very few Monarchs showed up this year, almost none at all at the Main Grove. Also, they are only here from early November through mid February, so keep this in mind...More

1  Thank Gregg H
Reviewed 1 February 2017

Even out of season the Monarch Grove is a beautiful nature walk. We always bring our grandchildren here when they visit.

1  Thank EMACRAB
Reviewed 29 January 2017 via mobile

no butterflies. storms made them go away. go to Pismo Beach. there are 15,000 butterflies there today.

Thank smlisle
CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2017

Unfortunately we've had very few butterflies this year -- 123 at last count at the beginning of January. Hope you were able to enjoy the beautiful mesa and ocean views while on your visit.

Reviewed 10 January 2017 via mobile

It is a very nice walk how ever you cannot approach it from the treed side the hillside is very steep with roots in the way. It is not marked from the ocean side but if you see at the edge of the trees a...More

Thank Nancy H
Reviewed 4 January 2017 via mobile

We have seen a couple of small clusters, but they are located away from the grove... We haven't found any in the Grove. Where are they? Park you car on the official parking. Follow the indicated trail till you exit the first "forrest". Don t...More

4  Thank Carlvanloey
CityofGoleta, Owner at Goleta Butterfly Grove, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2017

Thanks for your review. You are correct, there have not been very many butterflies at the main aggregation site (which is where the signs point you to). The butterflies seem to be at the secondary sites this year and we may put out additional signage...More

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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
meika g
I used to live on Elwood Beach Drive and loved this magical time of year. We will be visiting SB at the end of Feb 2017. Can you direct me to a website that has up to date information about the migration for this year. I would like to see the monarchs with my children but don't want to spend all day searching them out if they have already left for the year...any help appreciated, thanks!
15 January 2017|
Response from Valerie K | Reviewed this property |
The best way to find up to date information on the grove is to go to our website -- Goleta Butterfly Grove. There are very few butterflies at the main site this year. There are more at the Sandpiper site but this is not a... More
Michelle W
We plan on being there December 24th.2016. Is there usually docents there on a holiday weekend? Also is that date still a bit early to see a lot of butterflies?
19 December 2016|
Response from CityofGoleta | Property representative |
The docents are scheduled to be in the grove between 11am-2pm on Christmas Eve. No docents scheduled for Christmas Day. Hope you'll be able to visit. Even though we haven't seen a huge number of butterflies in the grove... More
Is now a good time to go (early November), or is the beginning of the year a better time? Also, is there a near by hotel? Thank you.
9 November 2016|
Response from Valerie K | Reviewed this property |
Cassandra - Thanks for your message. At this time we don't have a lot of butterflies in the grove so it would be better for you to wait 4-6 weeks to visit. Not knowing which hotel you are staying at, I cannot provide... More