Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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Butterfly Farm

UPDATE: The Butterfly Farm has permanently closed but we will be keeping this page up in its memory


About the Butterfly Farm:

Legendary environmentalist John Muir observed that anytime you examine a living thing in isolation you find it is attached to the rest of the universe. This has been demonstrated time and again as the demise of a single species has triggered a chain reaction of damaging consequences for other living things. It is this principle that informs the important work being done at the Butterfly Farms in Encinitas.

The experts at Butterfly Farms identify the plight of the Monarch Butterfly as symptomatic of the damage we are doing to our ecosystem as a result of mindless unfettered growth.

They established the farms as a California nonprofit organization in 2013 out of concern over the general decline of pollinators. They point out that the shrinking habitat of the Monarch Butterfly is also home to numerous other species whose decline has consequences down the road for all of us.

There are numerous threats to the Monarch Butterfly that go beyond paving and building in its habitat. Its eggs can be devoured by ants, mice and wasps among others. No more than 10% make it from egg to butterfly.

Of those that survive to adulthood, many fall victims to cars as they fly in proximity to highways and roads. It is therefore important that they have advocates like the experts at Butterfly Farms.

The centerpiece of the property is a 2,000 square foot “vivarium,” an enclosed structure which resembles a greenhouse. It is home to numerous butterfly species including Monarchs, Cloudless Sulfurs, Cabage Whites, Painted Ladies, Gulf Fritilaries, Anise Swallowtails and many others.

While you’re in the area, make sure to visit Dave’s Rock Garden nearby!

They also grow and study dozens of plants that are important to the ecosystems of butterflies. Beyond the immediate grounds of Butterfly Farms, the staff engages in field work monitoring, tagging and tracking Monarchs.

For a small charge that helps support the mission of the farms, the organization offers guided workshops that provide an overview of the farms, as well as critical information on the plight of the pollinators. The workshop was developed in concert with local educators and complies with Next Generation Science Standards.

Rest in peace to co-founder Thomas Merriman. I met with him multiple times and he was always such a wonderful host.

TIP: If you are interested in visiting more unique gardens in San Diego, we have compiled a list of our top favorite gardens in San Diego.  Check it out!

I took CBS to the butterfly farm for a small adventure!

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4 Reviews

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4 Reviews


  • Anonymous
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    This Butterfly Farm closed last June. There is a different Butterfly Farm in Vista.

    August 17, 2014

  • Denise
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    I can’t wait to visit your beautiful butterflies . I am a preschool teacher and I always enjoyed teaching hands on gardening. Monarch Butterflies is always included !! We have some at our school now.

    March 23, 2016

  • Mansour
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    Are you open tommorow? What are your hours and is there an entrance fee?

    March 31, 2016

  • Anonymous
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    I’m coming in tomorrow. This sight didn’t mention any cover fee. But we love butterflies.

    October 9, 2018

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