The Big Little Lies storyline of murder, motherhood and abuse is super addictive but the show’s backdrop is perhaps, the most alluring character of all.
The quaint seaside village juxtaposed with the savage Pacific coastline represents the complex personalities and tumultuous scenes that earned the HBO ratings runaway its multiple Emmys - and you can visit these places.
We’re so obsessed with the show and its setting, we headed to California to explore Monterey Bay in the flesh. The sleepy seaside village serves an equal amount of charm, enigma, delicious food and luxury.
Here’s your guide to the Monterey hot spots shown in Big Little Lies …
OK, so you’ll have to drive 30 minutes out of Monterey down Highway One to see this classic cement structure but it’s worth it. Big Sur’s answer to the Golden Gate features in BLL’s opening credits and is guaranteed to make your Instagram pop.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Where Shailene Woodley’s Jane took her son Ziggy to see the penguins. Staring at the drifting sea tank is strangely relaxing and it’s good to know the non-profit attraction is all about conservation. There’s not a performing orca in sight but the jellyfish are just gorgeous.
Old Fisherman’s Wharf
The coffee spot where Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon’s characters would meet to gossip. There’s plenty of photo opps and attractions along the old pier but if you’re feeling adventurous, hire a glass-bottom kayak and explore what lurks beneath the bay.
Historic Cannery Row
Stroll down the picturesque passage of concept stores, local artists' galleries, cafes, and seafood restaurants. Head down to the beach to meet local sunbaking seals – hot tip: you’ll smell them before you see them.
Make like the local tech big-wigs and treat yourself to a co-ed relaxation spa, featuring dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room, zero-gravity space and outdoor thermal pools. You will have the best night’s sleep after completing sessions of the hot and cold plunges.
Del Monte Beach
This is the strip of sand Jane runs along during her dreaded flashback scenes. Tucked away behind Del Monte Avenue, this gem is a local favourite. Follow Casa Verde Way west and up the hill for beach access and free parking.
There is no shortage of good eats in Monterey but this unassuming European restaurant is one of our faves. The gnocchi in Parmesan cream sauce is a yummy choice as is the baked pasta filled with beef tenderloin, ricotta, truffle and pink vodka sauce.
Boardwalk Sub Shop
The best sandwiches you’ll ever have. This gourmet East Coast-style deli is run by three brothers who pay homage to the comfort food of their youth with their California take on quality cheesesteaks, hoagies, calzones and soft pretzels.
Cannery Row Brewing Company
With 70 beers on tap and hearty pub grub, we hear this spot was popular amongst BLL’s cast and crew while they filmed in Monterey in January through to May in 2016.
Portola Hotel and Spa
One of the first eco-friendly hotels in Cali, this stay is looking luxe after its $6 million renovation and is a stroll away from the BLL coastal filming locations. Breakfast in The Club Room is rather special with its made-to-order omelettes and house-made pastries. We can totally see Nicole and Reese sipping Bloody Mary’s in the chic leather booths.