Jul 9, 2011

Monarch Butterflies\ Natural Bridges Beach

View Directions to Natural Bridges State Beach, West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA in a larger map

  They are one of the world's most beautiful, lightest delicate creatures on earth.

Here are some fun facts found on a website that are interesting.

1. The larvae (caterpillars) of monarch butterflies eat ONLY milkweed, this is why the monarch butterfly is dubbed the ‘milkweed butterfly’. The larvae stage is the only stage of the monarch butterfly that feeds on milkweed; there is something in milkweed that allows the caterpillar to grow and keep all of the vitamins needed to transform into a beautiful butterfly.

2. Did you know that all butterflies are cold-blooded creatures? They simply can not handle the colder weather so have to travel somewhere warmer. They also need to stay where their food source is – if it’s winter and there are no flowers, they can not stay there. The monarch butterflies will spend their winter hibernation in Mexico and some parts of Southern California where it is warm all year long. If the monarch lives in the Eastern states, usually east of the Rocky Mountains, it will migrate to Mexico and hibernate in oyamel fir trees. If the monarch butterfly lives west of the Rocky Mountains, then it will hibernate in and around Pacific Grove, California in eucalyptus trees.

If you are interested in viewing these lovely butterflies, you don't have to go far. There are a couple of places near San Francisco that have special parks that give great importance to the monarchs. Santa Cruz, Ca is one of them. A 45 minute drive from Santa Clara, Ca will lead you on CA 17 to Santa Cruz the fishing town known for its surfing, kayaking, sea food that is awesome on the pier, the Natural Bridges beach and the Monarch butterfly grove situated next to it.

  • Best time to visit: October - late February
  • Wear layered clothing as it can get pretty cold here
  • Wheel chair and stroller accessible

Monarch Butterfly-Watching Spots in California Winter Sites (from North to South):
In addition to visiting the butterflies, you could also spend the evening at the Natural Bridges Beach which has a small sandy beach and a few picnic tables too.


  1. Beautiful pictures! And a very informative post.

  2. Hey Michelle, I went to Natural Bridges State Beach yesterday with the family and saw plenty of Monarch Butterflies. Had an awesome day trip. I didnt know this place exist until I saw ur post. Very informative and helpful. Thanks Again !

    1. Hi Suganya,

      Yay!!! so excited that you were able to see the Monarchs! Aren't they a beauty!! Do share this with your friends and spread the travel love !!! Thanks for keeping me informed of your wonderful day out and for following our blog!!! Appreciate it !!