From the huge bridge overlooking the Pacific Coast that features in the opening credits, to the luxurious home of Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) and the sandy beach where the Monterey Five take their children to play, part of the joy in watching HBO’s award-winning Big Little Lies is down to its picture-perfect scenery.
Set in Monterey, California, most of the show’s outdoors scenes were filmed in the surrounding area, but there are a couple of locations where the cast and crew travelled further afield. Read on for our complete location guide to Big Little Lies season two.
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*Warning: spoilers ahead for Big Little Lies season one*
Where is the beach in Big Little Lies filmed?
Big Little Lies season one ended with a beautifully shot scene of the ‘Monterey Five’ and their children frolicking on a beach, intercut with shots of waves from the Pacific Ocean crashing, and of the moments leading up to Perry Wright’s death at the Trivia Night.
The beach in question (where we also see Jane, Celeste and Madeline go running) is Garrapata State Park Beach, near the Monterey coast, and reappears in season two. Many of the high hiking trails in Garrapata State Park lead down to the beach.
The equally dreamy Del Monte Beach in Monterey County is also used for various beach scenes.
Where is the bridge in Big Little Lies filmed?
The new series’ opening credits sees the five women (and Meryl Streep, who plays the mother-in-law to Nicole Kidman’s character Celeste) drive across the 260-ft-high Bixby Creek Bridge, which boasts panoramic views and is situated roughly twenty miles south of Monterey, close to the area’s rugged coastline known locally as the Big Sur.
The bridge also featured during the first season’s opening credits, and was a location during the first episode as Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) drove her younger daughter Chloe to Otter Bay school.
Where is Celeste and Perry’s house in Big Little Lies filmed?
Nicole Kidman’s character, Celeste, lives in a luxurious, sprawling home with a seafront view, which her mother-in-law Mary Louise (Meryl Streep) visits in season two — and where Celeste’s husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård) also lived before the Audrey and Elvis Trivia Night at the end of season one.
The real-life house is in the exclusive Carmel Highlands, with the exterior shots filmed on location and interior scenes shot in a studio space.
Of the women’s homes regularly featured, Celeste’s is the only one filmed in the Monterey area — both Madeline (Witherspoon) and Renata’s (Laura Dern) were filmed in Malibu in real-life, while Bonnie’s (Zoe Kravitz) is in Calabass, Los Angeles.
Where is the school Otter Bay in Big Little Lies filmed?
The focal point of much of the previous season, Otter Bay is where all of the Monterey Five’s young children attend second grade — and where the long-suffering teachers must contend with the most pushy and over-protective parents imaginable (we see you, Renata).
However, the real-life school behind Otter Bay isn’t based in Monterey — it is in fact Kenter Canyon Elementary School in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
Where is the aquarium in Big Little Lies filmed?
The non-profit Monterey Bay Aquarium and its educational centre forms a key backdrop for one central character’s storyline in Big Little Lies season two.
Fun fact: the aquarium was the inspiration for the Marine Life Institute in the Disney/Pixar film Finding Dory.
Tickets to the aquarium can be booked in advance through tripadvisor.
The first episode of Big Little Lies season 2 will be simulcast live on Sky Atlantic at 2am on Monday 10th June (as it airs in the US on HBO at 9pm on Sunday 9th) with a more sociable repeat at 9pm.
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