Big Little Lies fuels British boom in tourism interest for Monterey, California

The first episode of season two saw a sharp rise in UK viewers searching for accommodation in the American seaside area

Big Little Lies season two

From Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon to Laura Dern and Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies’ cast list may read like a who’s who of Hollywood royalty, but there remains one uncredited co-star: Monterey County, the series’ picturesque California setting.

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Part of the joy in watching the show is down to the sweeping beachside scenery, but it seems British tourists aren’t content to just experience Monterey from the comfort of their living rooms…

On the UK opening night of Big Little Lies season two last week, there was a boom in interest in Monterey with a 20 per cent rise in Britons searching for accommodation in Monterey compared to previous year, while Google searches for Monterey trebled at 9pm on Monday when the show aired on Sky Atlantic.

Big Little Lies season one (screenshot)
Big Little Lies season one (screenshot)

It seems that American tourists have also recognised Monterey’s potential as a holiday destination. On the US opening night, there was a 50 per cent increase in Americans searching for hotel choices in the Monterey area, according to information exclusively provided to RadioTimes.com by Expedia.

“Popular culture, including TV and film, often inspires travellers to head to new destinations,” a spokesperson for Expedia exclusively told RadioTimes.com. “With a range of hotels, lodges or rental properties, as well as beautiful landscapes and amazing activities such as whale watching or a world famous aquarium, Monterey is a popular option for those wanting to experience the relaxed Californian way of life.”

Asked whether there had been an increase in British tourism in Monterey since the show first premiered in March 2017, Rob O’Keefe, Vice President in Marketing Communications of Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that “in the time frame of the first and second seasons of Big Little Lies, UK tourism to CA is indeed growing”.

“UK visitation to CA has been increasing,” he continued. “In fact, 680,000 visitors came to CA from the UK in 2017 and this year that number is expected to top 761,000 – and grow to over 812,000 by 2022 [all numbers are estimates from Visit California].

Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies season two
Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies season two

“We like to think Big Little Lies has been a major contributing factor. Just judging by social media interest alone, interest in visiting Monterey County, California has grown significantly.”

Fancy a trip to Monterey yourself? Check out our ultimate guide to the Big Little Lies season two filming locations… 


The first episode of Big Little Lies season 2 aired on Sky Atlantic at 2am on Monday 10th June (with a more sociable repeat at 9pm) and continues at the same time weekly.

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