Who else is watching Big Little Lies on HBO? I loved the book and so far the series is just as enjoyable. It is so exciting to see it take place in my hometown. The few weeks they were here filming it was a big deal around town.
A ton of people are asking me if Monterey is really like that or if those spots/restaurants really exist so I thought I would put together a little travel guide for all things Monterey (the BLL version!). Monterey is not really like it is portrayed in the show.
I will add to this Big Little Lie Monterey Tour as new episodes are released.
BIG LITTLE LIES MONTEREY TOUR
Opening Credits: Bixby Bridge, HWY 1 Big Sur, Point Lobos, Lover’s Point, Wharf Bike Path, Coast Guard Pier
Bixby Bridge and HWY 1 is just south of Monterey and is actually no longer drivable. Due to the recent storms HWY 1 is washed out in spots and is shut down for the time. People actually have to be helicoptered in and out! They even did an airdrop of water and supplies for residents that can’t afford to helicopter.
Point Lobos is an amazing hike, with stunning views and secret coves… see more on a post I did on it.
Lover’s Point is in my cover pic and it a beautiful cove + walking path. (Another post here)
School: The outside shots are not really in Monterey but another town in Southern California!
Drive to School (the texting/driving event): Ocean View Boulevard just South of Lover’s Point. This is an easy and beautiful walk from LP. If you are connected with me on Instagram it is the same walk Louis and I do every night.
Celeste’s House is in Carmel- The Carmel Highlands to be exact. So is Renata’s… I think.
Coffee Shop on the Wharf… Paluca Trattoria on the wharf.
Bar with the firepits… that isn’t a real place here in town but if you like hanging by the fire with a glass of wine try Spanish Bay or the Lodge at Pebble Beach. Or for a more laid-back vibe try Wave Street Studios or Cannery Row Brewing Co.
Beach where Ed & Nathan have their argument? Lover’s Point.
The playhouse… This looks like Carmel High but I am not 100% sure.
I have to say they did get the geography correct in the area. Planned Parenthood really is in Seaside. It hardly needs a driver to get from Monterey to there. It’s like 5 miles from the wharf and we do have Uber. ? And, Frozen on Ice really is playing in San Jose right now!
Renata’s husband’s office must be in San Jose or somewhere else. We do not have ANY high rise buildings. The Marriott is the highest building and I don’t think it even reaches 15 floors.
The beach and hotel where Jane was attacked and running away from are in Seaside. It is called the Monterey Tides hotel. They had a nice restaurant back in the day… not sure if it is still there.
The restaurant that the teacher and Jane meet at is Forge in the Forest. It is a nice restaurant and it is super dog-friendly. They even have a menu for pups. It is one of Louis’s favorite places. Get the cookie pie!
It looks like Jane’s house is in PG or New Monterey.. but not sure. The street looks a little too nice and wide to be around here. ?
Madeline’s house is for sure not here in Monterey. We don’t allow homes to be built on the actual beach…it is some kind of zoning/coastal commission thing.
Bixby Bridge Lookout- This recently reopened but you can’t drive much farther south than that.
Jane running on cliffs – Big Sur.
Beach running with all three ladies Del Monte Beach and Wharf trail.
Car Accident- This looks like the Coast Guard Pier parking lot.
Monterey Airport- Where Celeste picks up her husband and kids.
*Something looks weird with the Wharf restaurant. Like it’s on a soundstage and the Monterey views are kind of photoshopped in and blurred out a bit….
Celeste’s new apartment is in the Del Monte Beach neighborhood. Those are actually condos. The building she was looking at towards the end of the episode is the hotel Jane was attacked at. (I think there is some foreshadowing there. Actually, I know there is since I read the book! Wait for it because it is about to take a crazy turn.) That stretch of beach between the condo and the hotel is where Jane is seen running after the attack in the flashbacks.
The final scene- That is Garapata State Beach about 45 minutes south of Monterey. It is a BEAUTIFUL beach but always freezing so pack a nice jacket and don’t get in the water. There is a nasty undertow there. The drive out is incredible and you will see several BLL opening credit scenes along the way.
Hope you guys enjoyed this Big Little Lies Monterey Tour! Let me know if you have any questions about any of the locations featured above!