One of the things that first captured my attention about the Central Coast was the Monarch butterfly clusters in the Eucalyptus grove just by the north Pismo Beach campground, where I had been spending some time in my Westy camper van.
When you go into the grove either by the main road or through the campground, just look up in the trees and you’ll see literally thousands of clusters of these black and orange incredible little creature. When you look up and see them, it appears as if the leaves in these eucalyptus tress are golden.
Monarchs are in the milkweed family of butterflies and are the best known of all the North American butterflies. However, they are now found in Australia, New Zealand, Canary Islands, sometimes in Western Europe and rarely in the UK. The little guys have a wingspan of 3 ½ – 4 inches and the females have darker veins on their wings, with the males having a spot in center of each hind wing from which the pheromones are released. The males are also a big bigger.
What is also amazing is that these little creatures migrate southward and northward from Canada to Mexico and Baja California, which can span the life of 3 or 4 generations.
What’s nice about these Grove talks is that staff of knowledgeable docents who give talks daily from 10am – 4 pm. Parking is free as is admission. You can contact the visitor information center at 800. 443. 7778
There is great cycling in this area of the country with many bike paths. You can rent a bike or bring your own and after looking at the butterflies, or flutterbies, as I prefer to call them, you can head over to the Splash Cafe and have some of the best clam chowder ever. The are at
197 Pomeroy Ave Pismo Beach, CA . Be prepared for typically long lines, but it’s worth it.