Tour the Santa Cruz Monarch Butterfly Groves
One of the magical sights to see here in Santa Cruz during the winter is the Monarch Grove. Located at the Natural Bridges State Beach, the park's Monarch Grove provides a temporary home for up to 100,000 Monarchs each winter. From roughly mid-October through mid-February, the Monarchs form a "city in the trees." The area's mild ocean air and eucalyptus grove provide a safe roost until spring. In the spring and summer, the butterflies live in the valley regions west of the Rocky Mountains where milkweed, the only plant a Monarch caterpillar eats, is plentiful. Monarch migration is variable, and numbers vary each year.
Monarchs begin arriving in October and most are gone by the first week of March. The grove contains eucalyptus trees which are located in a canyon, providing the Monarch needed shelter from the wind. These winter flowering trees are also a convenient food source for the butterfly. On chilly days when the temperature drops below 60 degrees, the butterflies cluster together in the eucalyptus trees for warmth.
The Monarch Grove has been declared a Natural Preserve, thus protecting the Monarchs and their winter habitat from human encroachment or harm. This is the only State Monarch Preserve in California.
Docent-led butterfly, tidepool and nature trail tours are available. Visit the park website for more information.
Santa Cruz Wharf Tours
Take a short, guided tour of the wharf. Learn about marine research, sea lions, red tides, sustainable energy, and view wildlife from a 1/2 mile out to sea-without leaving shore! Guides are from UCSC's Seymour Marine Discovery Center.
Time: 1pm & 3pm
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Go Santa Cruz Warriors!
Cheer on our Santa Cruz Warriors, the most advanced players in the world outside of the NBA as they compete in a 3,200 seat facility near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Parking is available on the Santa Cruz Wharf.
Warriors vs Tulsa
Date: January 13, 2013
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front Street,
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