Every winter, thousands of Monarch butterflies roost in eucalyptus, Monterey pine, and Monterey cypress trees along the California coast before making their journey north and east in search of milkweed in the spring. The season to see Monarchs in Santa Barbara is winding down, with January the peak month to catch a glimpse of them, and most long gone by mid-March. With only a few more days in February, I thought it would be nice to share a local (if not secret) Monarch viewing spot in case there are a few lingering butterflies to spot. And if you haven’t witnessed thousands of colorful butterflies blanketing a Eucalyptus before, it’s worth a trip to Goleta to try your luck.
Directions to Coronado Butterfly Preserve:
From highway 101, exit Storke Rd./Glen Annie and head south toward Hollister Avenue. Turn right on Hollister Avenue and drive approximately 1.2 miles. Take a left on Coronado Drive. The entrance to the preserve is at the end of Coronado Drive. Since the preserve is funded by visitor donations, there is a donation box by the entrance. The 9.3-acre protected space includes Devereux Creek, woodlands, meadows, trails, and enables visitors to see one of the largest Monarch butterfly over-wintering groves in California. For more information about Monarch butterflies, click here.