Pismo State Beach

Pismo State Beach

Monarch Butterfly Grove

The world famous Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove attracts 100,000 annual visitors to watch thousands of Monarch Butterflies overwinter among the grove from November to February. Butterflies cluster together and fill the air on sunny winter days. It is truly a place of wonder and renewal.

The butterflies that migrate to the Pismo State Beach Monarch Grove are part of an ongoing study. Research at the grove is helping scientists discover more about life patterns of the monarchs. The migrating Western Monarch is in crisis. According to the Xerces Society, the 2018-2019 overwintering population of the Western Monarch is at its “lowest level ever recorded—less than 1% of historic populations, and a dizzying 86% drop from the year prior.” To be inspired and read more about monarch conservation, check out the Xerces Society website.

From October through March, State Park Staff and docents are on hand on weekdays from 11:00AM to 2:00PM and weekends and holidays from 10:00AM – 4:00PM, weather permitting. There are also docent talks about monarchs every day at 12:00PM. Weekends and holidays will have an additional talk at 2:00PM. There is no charge to visit the grove. The Butterfly Trailer offers books and information on the butterflies, butterfly clothing, and many other items. It is a great place for teachers and those seeking unique gifts.


Camping is available at Pismo State Beach North Beach Campground and Oceano Campground. Reservations can be made by clicking here.

Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center

The Oceano Dunes District Visitor Center opened August of 2017. This facility provides our community and park visitors with an array of educational opportunities. The exhibits highlight our District’s natural and cultural resources as well as our diverse recreational activities.

Visitors learn about Chumash culture, the famous Pismo clams, dune habitat, shorebirds, the history of off-highway vehicles and the Dunites. This facility serves as a hub for the District’s educational programming. The Visitor Center is located at 555 Pier Avenue, Oceano. Open daily from noon-4pm. Click here to access the State Parks webpage.