Every October, thousands of Monarch butterflies stop in Pacific Grove during their migration to warmer weather. Nicknamed "Butterfly Town, U.S.A.," the town created the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary to give the butterflies a safe place to stop along their journey. The monarchs cluster together, hanging from tree branches to conserve heat and in the process create a stunning view that attracts visitors from miles away.
Docents from the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History are in the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary every day from noon to 3pm throughout the months of November through February. Early afternoon is the warmest time of day, and visitors are more likely to see monarchs flying around. Travelers can watch and photograph the monarchs, but touching them is against the law in Pacific Grove and comes with a $1,000 fine.
The sanctuary is open all year from dawn to dusk, but the best time to spot butterflies is in October through February. Admission is free, and dogs are not allowed.