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    Big Little Lies: itinerary along the locations of the series (2017-2019)

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    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Along the suggestive and luxuriant Californian coast, the events of the "Monterey 5”, The five seemingly perfect women stars of the award-winning HBO television series.

    Perversions, pomp, secrets, hypocrisy and violence constitute the caustic structure of brilliant script loosely based on the novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. As the title suggests, in the bittersweet plot the serious and ill-concealed lies of adults alternate with the more venial and puerile ones of their children.


    Allusively, the beginning of the story coincides with the first day of school for the children of Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman), Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), Renata Klein (Laura Dern) and Bonnie Carlson (Zoë Kravitz). To the stellar cast, is added, in the sequel of 2019, also the indisputable ability of the divine Meryl Streep, who plays the role of Celeste's mother-in-law.


    The entire fiction is set in Monterey, but, as often happens in Hollywood productions, only part of the cinematic sequences were shot within the confines of the charming coastal town; in fact, for various reasons, some locations of Big Little Lies also embrace other neighboring or more southern California locations, where, in some cases, entire sets have been artificially recreated.

    Index

    • Locations Map
    • Pacific Grove Locations
    • The Monterey Locations
    • The locations along the legendary Highway One
    • The Locations around Los Angeles

    Locations Map

    Pacific Grove Locations

    Jane, who has just moved to Monterey with her cute baby Ziggy, helps the volcanic and talkative Madeline, who accidentally stumbled along the (1) Ocean View Boulevard. The exact location where the two women first meet is about forty meters before Esplanade Street intersects the scenic road. Here we are in Pacific Grove, a town bordering Monterey.



    Given the kindness shown, Madeline immediately tries to establish a friendship relationship with her single mother Jane, immediately involving her in the leisure activities typical of the rich women and mothers of the area, such as, for example, chatting over a cup of coffee at the (2) Blissful Drip Café.

    Unfortunately, the Chiringuito with ocean view, which often appears in the sequences of the second season, was specially created for the set on the turf of the (3) Lovers Point Park & Beach, at 631 Ocean View Boulevard. After filming was over, HBO donated the gazebos, hallmarks of the venue, to the Pacific Grove community.

    The park, about 5 acres in size, has often been used for filming, thanks to its prime location on the bay. The bucolic area is very popular with tourists and citizens thanks to the sandy beach protected by the inlet, the superb view of the rocky coast and many recreational facilities in the park.

    Therefore, thegreen oasis daily attracts numerous fishermen, runners and cyclists, who gravitate here to keep fit or to enjoy a few hours of relaxation. Under the large tree at the northern tip of the park, the two men protagonists of Madeline's present and past lives, Ed Mackenzie (Adam Scott) and Nathan Carlson (James Tupper), meet to exchange their distant and irreconcilable opinions.

    Find a Pacific Grove hotel

    The Monterey Locations

    Jane, in the second season, finds employment at the (4) Monterey Bay Aquarium, at 886 Cannery Row. This splendid museum of the sea, designed and financed among others by David Packard (co-founder of the famous Hewlett-Packard), is among the most visited in the world.


    The main attraction is the huge tub filled with ocean water that can be seen through a giant window. Giant jellyfish, sharks, sea lions and many other aquatic species typical of Monterey Bay can be discovered in this harmonious aquarium built from the foundations of a sardine factory.


    THE(5) Old Fisherman’s Wharf is a recent commercial complex on the sea that brings with it a rich and fascinating tradition. Indeed, the fishermen's wharf: “He saw piles of silk from China, Spanish wine, whalers, navy cutters and fishing ships; on balance, Fisherman's Wharf, in its various incarnations, has been the hub of Monterey's economic life for centuries. ”.

    The stretch of the promenade that starts from the main car park up to the entrance to the center has often been used as a set by the director of the first season, Jean-Marc Vallée; in fact, the three friends Jane, Celeste and Madeline were often at the center of some sequences shot in this area overlooking the harbor and Fisherman's Wharf itself.

    Entering the pier, you can find numerous shops, bars, taverns and sea ports that offer cruises in the open sea for whale watching. Among the many views that can be enjoyed from the commercial pier, (6) La Paluca Trattoria, thanks to its privileged position, it inspired the café-bar which, during the first season, served as an intimate meeting place for the three friends to chat.

    "Sal" German, of Sicilian origins, in 2000 acquired the ownership of the previous restaurant, renaming it with the name deriving from that of his two sons Paolo and Luca. As also reported in the presentation of the website, the owners, refusing “to compromise when it comes to quality”, offer their customers only artisanal and local food and drinks.


    Although the shooting set was actually recreated in the Los Angeles studios for reasons related to greater control of atmospheric conditions, the wooden blackboard for menus at the entrance of the restaurant proudly reports the fact that it is the local source of original inspiration!


    Along the shoreline of Monterey Bay, the stretch of beach within the city limits is named (7) Del Monte Beach. There are numerous shots of Big Little Lies linked to this enchanting sandy beach constantly beaten by long and bubbling waves. Most of the sequences were used to portray the daily life of Jane, a lover of the sea, surfing and jogging, grappling with her new life and considered by some of the most gossipy and slanderous women of the bay as: "(... ) as out of place as a dirty Prius parked outside Barney's. ”.

    In the last stretch north of this splendid and wild beach, before passing into the territory of Sand City, there is the housing complex (8) Ocean Harbor House, at 125 Surf Way. The character of the resolute, cynical and enterprising Mary Louise Wright, Celeste's mother-in-law and sublimated by the interpretation of Meryl Streep, resides in one of these apartments, not very spacious, but certainly enviable by virtue of the incredible view which one can enjoy and of the copious sea breeze that you breathe.

    Last stop of the Monterey locations, the (9) Colton Hall Museum, aka Monterey City Hall in the series. In this museum the external and internal scenes were shot, in which the elegant and combative lawyer Celeste Woods faces the meeting at the mayor's house to avoid the cancellation of the theatrical show curated by her friend Madeline.

    Our tips on where to sleep in Monterey

    The locations along the legendary Highway One

    Il (10) Carmel by the Sea Police Department, is the police station used for external filming, from whose entrance the suspects of the crime told in the story enter and leave. The investigations, which develop and grow in importance over the course of the episodes, are conducted by the determined detective Adrienne Quinlan (Merrin Dungey).

    Still within Carmel's jurisdiction, the was chosen (11) Celeste's home and family. The elite mansion is located in the hills, at 40 Yankee Point Drive, and obviously enjoys an absolutely exclusive view of the coast. The New York Times, examining the villas portrayed in the series, defined them as: "The most beautiful and sexiest properties on television.". For this house, as well as for all the houses that will be mentioned below, it is useful to remember that it is private property, therefore, it is forbidden to disturb the residents.

    Proceeding south along the legendary and spectacular Highway One, meets the uncontaminated bay of (12) Garrapata State Beach, where, at the end of the first season, the five leading women allow themselves a day of absolute relaxation by the sea far from Monterey and from the stress of a complicated year in the company of their sons and daughters.

    The park's waterfront is about seven kilometers long, but the only sandy beach is at the south end. The park offers a varied vegetation with paths that wedged between dense forests of redwoods. The reserve also features exceptional coastal headlands from which splendid specimens of California gray whales, sea lions, seals and sea otters can be observed that frequent the coastal waters.

    Il (13) Bixby Creek BridgeIn addition to appearing in the theme song of each episode of the series, it is one of the most photographed bridges in the entire United States due to its architectural form as well as its location on the picturesque California coast. Numerous sequences of films and commercials have been shot along this long and evocative engineering work overlooking the Pacific at about 85 meters high.

    Our advice on how to find accommodation along the way

    The Locations around Los Angeles

    As anticipated, many places set in the series' fiction in Monterey are actually located in Southern California, mainly between Malibu and Los Angeles.

    La (14) Madeline's house, which she shares with wise husband Ed and her two daughters, teenager Abigal (Kathryn Newton) and little Chloe (Darby Camp), is located in Malibu at 30760 Broad Beach Road. The complex of villas built in the greenery adjacent to the beach, including the one used in Big Little Lies, can be rented. For those who want to identify themselves in the life of Madeline Mackenzie, preparing salads in the immense kitchen or arguing with their husband or wife in front of the sea as the protagonist couple, will only have to invest from three thousand to five thousand dollars a night, depending on the period. The house has a private beach on the northernmost stretch of Zuma Beach. Rentals are managed by Malibu Luxury Vacation Homes.

    The imposing (15) Renata Klein house. This spectacular villa, while standing out on a hill about a kilometer away from the nearby Escondido Beach, enjoys an enchanting view of the ocean. In the sequences shot in the series at this house, in fact, there was no lack of enviable shots overlooking the sea at sunset.

    Of a different mold, but still fascinating and modern, the bucolic (16) home of Bonnie and Nathan Carlson, a little further inland at 636 Crater Camp Drive. This property, smaller than the other villas described so far, is nestled in the greenery of the Monte Nido residential area, in the Santa Monica mountains about three miles north of Malibu.

    Passing the Topanga State Park, and heading east towards Santa Monica, you can take a trip to the (17) Otter Bay Elementary School, in reality, Kenter Canyon Elementary School at 645 N Kenter Avenue.

    Here you can find the entrance, repeated several times in the series and where, at the end of the first day of school, Ziggy is accused of bullying in front of all the mothers, and the driveway for the passage of cars, where Madeline is always scolded by the steward for too long stops.

    Crucial in the unfolding of the story is the (18) Barnsdall Art Park, location used both to represent the theater in which Madeline tries to stage her puppet show, and for the important evening of the Trivia Night Costume Gala, a charity parade in which the parents of elementary school students participate in disguises. The famous and important stairways are located on Lower Road within the park complex and connect the parking lot to the main building that houses the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery museum.

    In the magnificent setting of Descanso Gardens, at 1418 Descanso Drive in La Cañada Flintridge, stands the (19) Coffee Break, where, in the second season, many scenes are shot in which the protagonists meet to chat over a cup of coffee. This small, charming and well-kept café is in no way inferior to the idyllic outdoor venues of the Monterey area. In the park, which costs about nine dollars to enter, there is a rose garden, two ponds, a forest of camellias, an oak forest and Japanese-style gardens.

    The last stop on the Californian journey linked to Big Little Lies is the (20) White Point Park, in San Pedro, where, in the parking lot located right on the seafront (extension of Kay Florentino Drive), Celeste asks for a secret meeting with the other four friends to discuss, away from prying eyes, about their future threatened by strong pressures ...

    Our tips on where to sleep in Los Angeles

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