Santa Maria Valley’s Cool Coastal Climate Welcomes Thousands of Monarchs Every Winter
From late October through February, thousands of monarch butterflies spread their wings and flock to the California Central Coast to seek solace from harsh northern winters. One of the best places to see this epic migration is at Pismo State Beach, located just under 30 minutes from Santa Maria Valley. The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove generally has one of the largest western monarch populations, with over 24,000 butterflies counted last year. Taking a stroll through the monarch butterfly grove makes for an undoubtedly memorable—and free—experience this holiday season, with the number of butterflies typically peaking sometime between November and January just in time for the end-of-year festivities.
The Santa Maria Elks Lodge’s Christmas in the Country Lights Up the Holidays
The Santa Maria Elks Lodge is bringing back a beloved Central Coast tradition with this year’s Christmas in the Country. This drive-through holiday light extravaganza is a true community effort, with the City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, local businesses, schools and families coming together to light the Elks Event Centre with thousands of eye-catching displays. Christmas in the Country takes place every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas. As a special bonus, children can bring their letters to Santa to drop off at the Elks Lodge’s special mailbox; every letter with a return address gets a response from St. Nick himself!
See the Next Big Hollywood Star Perform Elf: The Musical
With alumni like Zac Efron, Robin Williams and Kathy Bates, it’s no wonder the PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theatre has remained a theatrical arts stronghold for more than 50 years. The PCPA is the only training program for aspiring actors and theatre technicians of its kind, and produces a rich mix of performances every year. This holiday season, the PCPA is performing a musical rendition of Elf, the much-beloved comedy about a strange elf who ventures to New York City and learns the true meaning of Christmas. From Nov. 9 to Dec. 23, visitors will be able to watch the show at Santa Maria’s Marian Theatre, and may even spot a future Oscar-winner early in their career.
Image of Butterfly Grove