Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve, Santa Cruz County. The park's monarch grove is about a five-minute walk along a wooden boardwalk from the entrance. Right now, there are 3,000 to 4,000 monarchs in the grove; sunny days are best for viewing because the monarchs flutter in the heat of day rather than cluster on trees. The park hosts monarch tours through February and a Migration Festival when they leave. To get to the preserve, take Swift Avenue west from Highway 1, or follow West Cliff Drive north along the bluffs until it ends at Natural Bridges. Contact: Natural Bridges State Beach, (831) 423-4609, www.parks.ca.gov
. Photo: A monarch butterfly resting near the ground in Big Sur is held by a photographer for a closer look..