The Television Show: Big Little Lies
The Location: California
As the second season of everyone’s favourite California drama, Big Little Lies, returns to our screens this week, we’ve highlighted some of the incredible Californian destinations that feature within the hit series. From Bonnie’s little Yoga studio to California’s big jaw-dropping coastlines, here is how you can have your very own Big Little Lies inspired road trip. The book on which Big Little Lies is based was set in a ‘fictional’ Australian town remarkably like Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches, but the show was shifted to Monterey by showrunner David E Kelley.
Home to the majority of Big Little Lies film locations, Monterey County can make the perfect beginning to any road trip.
Old Fisherman’s Wharf
Start by visiting the Old Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown Monterey, known for its lively shops and local seafood markets. Located on the wharf is Paluca Trattoria, a family-owned Italian restaurant run by Sicilian-born chef and owner Sal Tedesco. The restaurant provided the inspiration for the set design of Blue Blues, the fictional café where the show’s stars gather for a coffee and a gossip.
If a character’s jogging (especially Jane) it’s probably on Del Monte Beach, a long flat shoreline that curves round the bottom end of Monterey Bay. Another notable venue, used for scenes of Jane’s running, is the nearby Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Discover the remarkable marine life in Monterey's bay without getting wet. Known to be one of the leading aquariums in the world, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is spotlighted in the upcoming season of Big Little Lies. Dedicated to innovative exhibits, cutting edge marine research and ocean conservation leadership, the aquarium sets the standard for excellence around the world because of its immersive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale. Look out for any sea otters making an appearance! Garrapta State Park
Carry on down Highway One and stumble across Garrapata State Park and Beach, a windswept Big Sur beach where Big Little Lies scenes feature steep cliffs, crashing waves and misty shores. Production designers even installed a new set of stairs right from the cliffs to the beach for easier access. Other classic California coastline scenes that are important for the more dramatic Big Little Lies backdrops include Lovers Point Park, Pacific Grove and Del Monte Park in Monterey. Big Sur
You may think the epic bridge, Bixby Bridge, in the opening credits is right in Monterey but actually, it's on the Big Sur coastline. Unsurprisingly it's one of the most photographed bridges in the state.
Whilst the series isn’t set outside of Monterey, much of the set can be found in other parts of California. Head further south and stumble across some more Big Little Lies hot-spots where you can get a sneak peek of Madeline and Ed Mackenzie’s (played by Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott) home. The actual house featured in the show is based in Malibu, and here you can find some amazing properties on Broad Beach Road, close to Point Dume which is a prime location for surfing, diving and fishing. A lot of celebrities decide to retreat here away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, and not only is it a top location for celeb spotting, the beaches are also prime locations for seeing grey whales during their migration from December to mid-April.
Continue inland to Pasadena and take a peek at Jane Chapman’s (Shailene Woodley) house and the fictional ‘Monterey based’ cafes. While wondering the tree-lined streets dotted with grand houses explore the area known as the ‘Old Hollywood’ - set at the base of the towering San Gabriel Mountains it is rich with history and also renowned for its architecture and art as well as its boutiques and restaurants.
Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood is home to the infamous ‘under repair’ stairs that make several appearances as Madeline’s work place. The stairs can be found in the southeast portion of the park, just north of the Art Centre. It is also where the ‘Trivia Night’ event was held in the final episode of season one, ‘You Get What You Need’. End your road trip with a relaxing yoga at Bonnie’s (played by Zoë Kravitz) yoga studio. Actually named Liberations Yoga, the studio is really based in Los Angeles and makes two appearances in season one of Big Little Lies. Away from fictional characters, here visitors can practice yoga in all styles of Hatha Yoga.
Hilary Doling 11/06/19