Best time to travel to Texas

Monarch Butterfly Migration in Texas

Watch thousands of butterflies in the parks and gardens of The Lone Star State

Best time: September–October, March

Monarch Butterfly Migration
Rocky Hill, Texas
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About half a million monarch butterflies pass through Texas every year. These tiny creatures cover over 1,500 mi (2,414 km) flying from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northern U.S. to Mexico, where they spend winter. Texas is strategically placed between two destinations.

Monarch butterflies enter Texas in early September, following the route along I35 from Wichita Falls to Eagle Pass. One group of butterflies also flies along the Gulf Coast of Texas on their way to Sierra Madre Range in Central Mexico. The migration is usually over by the end of October. In late March, the butterflies are back in Texas as they return north to breed.

The arrival of these iconic butterflies is celebrated across the Lone Star State with various festivals and activities. There is the annual Butterfly Flutterby in Grapevine, Texas, every October. which features butterfly releases, art and educational exhibits as well as a costume contest. Art displays can be seen at the Tower Gallery on South Main Street. Another place worth visiting is The Native Texas Butterfly Garden in The Heard National Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, located in McKinney. Visitors can encounter many free-flying native butterflies there. Monarch butterflies are abundant In Fredericksburg. Wildseed Farms, the largest wildflower farm in the United States, celebrates the monarch season each October with special events and butterfly releases. San Antonio hosts its own Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival held by The Texas Butterfly Ranch. This event features educational as well as artistic exhibits and is free for the public. In the south, visit the National Butterfly Center in Mission which offers guided walks, a native plant sale, and kids’ crafts and other events during the season.

Practical info

When is the best time to witness the monarch butterfly migration in Texas?

In Texas, from September to October, the monarch butterfly migration occurs when the butterflies are traveling from their spawning location to Mexico's winter havens. Besides, March is another great time for viewing the monarch butterflies during their northward migration in Texas. Depending on specific areas, different timelines may apply, so a visit to these locations is best accompanied by a thorough research beforehand. Show more

Where should I go in Texas to see the monarch butterfly migration?

Texas is an excellent location to watch monarch butterfly migration, and they arrive via separate points like Wichita Falls to Eagle Pass and along the Gulf Coast. Some places where butterfly watching activity takes place are Hill Country of Austin, Fredericksburg, and San Antonio, with events organized during monarch butterfly season. Other suggested places to observe monarch butterflies in Texas include Mission, and McKinney, so there are several monarch butterfly viewing options in Texas. Show more

What are some recommended activities to do during the butterfly migration season?

Although viewing monarch butterflies during their migration season is a great attraction in Texas, there are numerous other things to do. For instance, Grapevine's annual Butterfly Flutterby hosts butterfly releases and related activities such as art showcases and educational exhibits. San Antonio Pollinator and Monarch Festival include entertainment options for families, art exhibitions, and games. In Texas, various activities include touring the National Butterfly Center, the Native Texas Butterfly Garden, and the most extensive wildflower farm in the country; Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg. Show more

Are there any specific festivals or events to celebrate the monarch butterfly migration in Texas?

In Texas, several cities organize monarch butterfly fests that attract several people during the peak season. The Butterfly Flutterby, a Grapevine annual event, features butterfly releases, art exhibitions, and educational presentations about butterflies. Fredericksburg has a yearly release of butterflies, a caterpillar race, and other cultural arts experiences during the monarch season. The San Antonio Butterfly and Pollinator Festival is another common event, while the National Butterfly Festival in Mission boasts of the greatest butterfly concentration in the region during the peak season. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen