Monarchs are overwintering at sites in great numbers along California's central coast this year. Plan a trip to one of the public viewing areas to enjoy their magic, learn about the phenomenon from docents and find out about exciting protection efforts!

Ardenwood Historic Farm is an East Bay regional park that offers guided tours on weekends in Jan/Feb to the monarch colony in a eucalyptus grove. Special children programs, butterfly craft workshop, butterfly gardening are also offered. Farewell to Butterflies Day is February 15 ...crafts, a parade, milkweed planting will honor the monarch's spring mating and dispersal. 510-796-0663 ( or

Monarch butterfly naturalist, Jan Southworth, will also be at the "Flyways Festival" on Mare Island, Vallejo Jan 24-25.

San Leandro has a colony in the Monarch Bay Golf Course. Docent-led tours are provided on Saturdays through early February. 510-577-6085 (

Natural Bridges State Reserve in Santa Cruz has a boardwalk down to a viewing deck to see the overwintering monarchs. Displays in Visitor Center, milkweed garden and frequent docent tours.

Pacific Grove Sanctuary docents are often on hand to share the magic of a banner year in Monterey County for monarch butterflies. New this year, compliments of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History (check out their display) is a viewing scope!

Pismo State Beach's monarch colony is along the southern edge of the North Beach campground. Docent-led tours are regularly scheduled through February.

Ellwood Grove, Goleta is supporting a large number of monarchs this year! Check out the new, protective trails volunteers have built, learn about significant efforts to buy and protect this area.

Ventura is putting out the welcome mat to monarchs at their "Monarch Festival" on Jan 17 at Camino Real Park. The mayor is proclaiming it "Monarch Day" and there will be tours of the nearby site.