Get excited as Monterey County takes center stage in season two of the hit HBO show, "Big Little Lies." The jaw-dropping backdrops of Big Sur, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea and other picture perfect, awe-inspiring Monterey scenery return with the star-studded cast of "Big Little Lies" next month. Ahead of the season two premiere on Sunday, June 9, explore the undiscovered world of Monterey County through these shoot locations and must stops for a "Big Little Lies" inspired road trip.
Begin the adventure at Old Fisherman’s Wharf in downtown Monterey known for its lively shops and local seafood markets. Located on the wharf, Paluca Trattoria is a family-owned and operated Italian restaurant 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 gathered for coffee and gossip.
Considered to be one of the preeminent aquariums in the world, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is spotlighted in the upcoming season of "Big Little Lies." Dedicated to marine wildlife, research and conservation, the former sardine cannery is home to more than 35,000 creatures and over 500 different species. Special exhibits include Open Sea and ¡VIVA Baja! Life on the Edge, a land and sea adventure starring rainbow-colored fish, round-bellied iguanas and other animals from Baja’s desert, mangrove forests and coral reefs.
Pacific Grove, a historic town located on the tip of the Monterey peninsula, features beautiful coastline and breathtaking surroundings used for some of the show’s most dramatic moments. Several eateries turned out to be favorite retreats for the cast of "Big Little Lies." Passionfish, a seafood restaurant committed to creative compositions of flavor, artistic presentation and sustainable harvesting, was reportedly one of Nicole Kidman’s favorite spots for dinner. Standout menu items include Smoked Trout Ceviche Tostaditas and Black Bean-Goat Cheese Fritters. Happy Girl Kitchen Co.’s locally sourced fare, commitment to sustainability and array of house-made preserves, pickled and fermented products attract locals and visitors alike, including "Big Little Lies" star and Executive Producer Reese Witherspoon, who was spotted there numerous times throughout the filming of season two.
Lovers Point Park and Beach in Pacific Grove is an ideal place to enjoy a picnic and observe native marine life, including whales and dolphins. The seaside park serves as a glittering backdrop for Blissful Drip Café, a picturesque and fictitious coffee shop built specifically for "Big Little Lies." Off camera, Nicole Kidman enjoyed the ocean views at Lovers Point, snapping a picture while mingling with Monterey seagulls.
On the southern tip of Monterey Bay Peninsula, the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links is celebrating its centennial anniversary in June 2019, thrilling golfers and spectators alike with its Pacific Ocean vistas, cliffside fairways and coastline hugging greens. Widely regarded as home to some of the most beautiful courses in the world, Pebble Beach welcomed Reese Witherspoon to enjoy a legendary 18 holes on a break from shooting season two. Visitors will want to check out The Bench at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, a lavish outdoor restaurant overlooking the 18th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where guests can enjoy a cocktail and a bite to eat while gazing out on the surf of Carmel Bay.
South on Highway 1 just after leaving Carmel-by-the-Sea, visitors will discover Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, referred to as the “greatest meeting of land and sea in the world,” and known for its wildlife, birding, hiking, kayaking and the Whalers Cabin Museum. Farther down Highway 1 is Garrapata State Park and Beach, a windswept Big Sur beach where "Big Little Lies" scenes featuring steep cliffs, crashing waves and misty shores were filmed. Production designers even installed a new set of stairs right from the cliffs to the beach for easier access.
Visit BigLittleMonterey.com to begin planning your enchanting, picture-perfect Monterey County road trip inspired by "Big Little Lies" and its stars this summer.