In the wake of the Golden Globes, it seems everyone is talking about season two of the HBO hit, Big Little Lies. A sneak peak of the returning show on social media has sent fans of the show into a frenzy—especially with the debut of Meryl Streep playing Nicole Kidman’s mother. Need we say more?!
With all this excitement around the California-based series, it’s the perfect time to re-watch Season 1 and fall in love with epic Monterey scenery all over again. The stunning Pacific seascapes help establish the moody and dramatic storylines.
Situated along the curving sweep of its namesake bay, the charming coastal city of Monterey is the real star of the show. Find out where to visit on your very own Big Little Lies inspired road trip.
When the sun’s shining there’s no better place for some al fresco dining than at Fisherman’s Wharf where every table comes with an incredible ocean view. Paluca Trattoria is a great Italian restaurant that inspired the Blue Blues café seen in the show. Dine here and pay homage to Big Little Lies’ favorite hangout spot. If it’s a coffee, some tasty fresh pasta, and a good gossip you’re after, you couldn’t pick a better spot. Aside from great restaurants, Fisherman’s Wharf features an array of family-owned gift shops where you can pick up some truly unique and handmade souvenirs. You’ll find everything from jewelry to truffles.
Once you’ve refueled, head to Monterey Bay Aquarium, famed for its fascinating “Open Sea” exhibition that showcases one of the world’s richest marine regions. Just like the show, the aquarium is moody and mysterious and with captivating daily shows and feedings, there’s no end to the wonderful things you can learn and experience here—it’s a must if you’re traveling with children. It’s worth noting that you may leave with an unhealthy obsession with sea otters – don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Get your historical kicks at Colton Hall—the building where the state of California was born. It was here that California’s first Constitution was drafted in October 1849, and like the building’s history, it was here that a major turning point happened in the show with Kidman and Witherspoon taking on the Monterey community in the name of free speech and the arts, regarding the hotly debated production of Avenue Q.
As for a place to rest your head after a long day of sightseeing and exploring, we recommend staying at the plush Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa. A luxury stay here will see your stresses disappear into the waves, unlike those of Renata, Laura Dern’s character. It was here that a fiery confrontation over her daughter’s birthday party took place but, in that particular scene all we could focus on was the cozy looking fire pit they were sitting around. Just a few blocks away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and suspended above the crashing surf, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa offers stunning coastal views, delicious seafood dishes, a state-of-the-art gym with a view of Monterey Bay, a spectacular rooftop spa, and did we mention they have fire pits?
As you continue your journey south towards Big Sur, stretch your legs and run (or walk) in the footsteps of Celeste, Madeline and Jane at Del Monte Beach . This pristine stretch of beach is where we see Jane having flashbacks into her dark past while on a run, however, you’ll get nothing but fresh air and great views!
A short drive from Del Monte Beach you’ll find the “crown jewel” of California’s state parks, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. A stop here will have you fully immersed in beautiful Monterey County, and if you’re lucky you’ll meet some of the local residents—orcas, sea lions and sea otters. Add a little adventure to your itinerary with a kayak, swim or snorkel in the parks crystal clear waters. Full of outstanding wonders Point Lobos is bound to make your road trip that little bit more special.
Keep driving south making sure to keep your eyes peeled for an often missed Monterey highlight, Garrapata State Park Beach. This is a firm favourite with locals due its crowd-free hiking trails and here you can bear witness to the mesmerising waves crashing into those big burly rocks, with true Big Little Lies intensity. Get up close to those quintessential Big Sur waves and breathe in that fresh, salty sea air.
As you make your way along Highway 1 towards Los Angeles, you’ll come across the stunning Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park—a scene known all too well. Watch on in awe as an 80ft waterfall crashes onto the beach below, and with a number of hiking trails in the area, this coastal state park is the perfect road trip pit stop.
While you get started on planning your Big Sur road trip through Monterey we’ll be eagerly awaiting the arrival of Season 2. We’re ready for you Meryl!