Are you searching for a family-friendly attraction that will get the kids out of the house? How about a place to bring your special someone? No matter the occasion, the Coronado Butterfly Preserve is a must-see. This 9.3-acre preserve was established by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara in 1998 and is adjacent to the largest Monarch butterfly groves in California. Here, visitors can enjoy walking trails, an outdoor gathering space, a classroom, and much more. And since it’s located just north of Santa Barbara, a trip to the Preserve is a perfect morning or afternoon activity! Here are some of the things you’ll see there.
Learn more about the Coronado Butterfly Preserve and other local attractions when you download our free Vacation Guide! It’s full of recommendations for things to do and see during your stay at the Cheshire Cat Inn.
How to Explore the Coronado Butterfly Preserve
Learn About Western Monarch Butterflies
Unlike other insects, Monarch butterflies can’t survive a long, cold winter. That’s why they migrate south and spend the winter in roosting spots. Here in California, Monarchs fly in masses to small groves along the coast, traveling up to 3,000 miles every year. They roost in eucalyptus trees, Monterey pines, and Monterey cypress where they’re protected from the wind. As winter ends and days grow longer, the butterflies become more active and head back north to lay their eggs.
The Coronado Butterfly Preserve is an ideal roosting site for Monarch butterflies. Peak visiting times are November through February when thousands of Monarchs can be seen hanging from the trees and fluttering around in the sun. Feel free to explore the Preserve’s woodlands and meadows where you’ll find various species of birds and wildlife that thrive in this coastal sage scrub habitat.
Hours & Admission
One of the best things about visiting the Coronado Butterfly Preserve is that there is no admission fee. This facility survives on donations from its visitors, so you can pay as much or as little as you like. Plus, it’s open every day from dawn to sunset so you can have a memorable (and affordable!) experience whenever your heart desires. Just don’t forget to bring your camera!
Looking for even more great places to explore? You’re in luck. The Preserve acts as a gateway to other interesting locations including the Goleta Monarch Grove, Ellwood Shores coastal bluffs, Santa Barbara Shores County Park, the Devereux Slough, and the beach. We recommend packing a picnic lunch and making a day trip out of it!
Come Home to the Cheshire Cat Inn
After a wonderful day at the Butterfly Preserve, take a short 15-minute drive back to our bed and breakfast and unwind. Our property is close to the best Santa Barbara attractions and features gorgeous guest rooms, cottages, and amenities. We even offer a delicious gourmet breakfast each morning and a lovely wine hour in the garden each night. Simply check our availability online or give us a call at (805) 569-1610 to make your reservations! We look forward to having you.
For more fun things to do,
read our blog about visiting the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate.