The monarch butterfly migration is one of the most amazing natural occurrences in North America. Luckily, for those of us in Santa Cruz county, we don’t have to travel far to see these beautiful butterflies, thanks to being part of their migration route. Their route takes them from west of the Rocky Mountains, down to Michoácan and parts of Florida, and back to avoid freezing during the winter months, then back towards the Rockies.
Best places to view the monarchs
One of the best places to view the monarchs during their migration is the eucalyptus grove at Natural Bridges State beach. The eucalyptus trees offer shelter for the monarchs, along with being an excellent source of food thanks to their mid-fall flowers. The best time of year to view the monarchs here is from mid-October through November. Natural Bridges is open every day from 8:00 am – sunset.
Located just down the street from Natural Bridges on West Cliff is Lighthouse Field State Park, another great place to view the monarchs. While you’re there, be sure to check out the surf museum inside of the Mark Abbott memorial lighthouse.
New Brighton State Beach in Capitola is home to a small gathering of eucalyptus trees that also sees visits from monarchs during the fall. New Brighton is open year-round and features 100 campsites.
How to help monarchs
Natural Bridges State Beach, Lighthouse Field State Park, and New Brighton are great places to see monarchs migrate through Santa Cruz. If you are interested in helping the monarchs along their migration route? You can do so by creating a monarch waystation in your yard. This includes planting native flowers, native milkweed (showy milkweed is native to CA), and nectar plants. Waystations should also have some type of shelter. The easiest way to do this is by planting milkweed and nectar close together to protect the butterflies from the elements and predators.
The Madani team and ROOM Real Estate have been helping home buyers and sellers in Santa Cruz County for almost two decades. Equipped with a large team of dedicated agents and staff, ROOM Real Estate works tirelessly to help its clients accomplish their real estate goals. We are here for you; and all of your real estate-related needs.