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Architectural Digest names Monterey top spot for design lovers in 2018

More than just an aquarium

Point Pinos, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the west coast, located in Monterey Bay.
Photo by Stephen B. Goodwin

The Bay Area hogs all of the glory. For example, San Francisco was recently named the coolest city in the country by Forbes, as well as being awarded the U.S. city with the best quality of life—the former being accurate, the latter highly dubious. And that housing-barren wasteland hosting the world’s biggest tech companies has an acclaimed TV series named after it.

But what about the Central Coast? Where’s the love for California’s middle child? Well, Monterey County recently made a name for itself as the locale in the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies. And now the area has racked up another nifty endorsement as one of Architectural Digest’s top spots to visit in 2018 with design in mind.

Says AD:

HBO’s hit show Big Little Lies put Monterey on the must-visit list of viewers around the country. After massive landslides cut Big Sur off from the rest of the Central Coast, the area is bouncing back and better than ever. With Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge reopened, travelers will once again be able to access the Pacific Coast Highway, and Big Sur’s luxurious Ventana Inn reopens this fall as Alila’s first North American property after a massive renovation.

We would be remiss not to point out that many of the luxe scenes and sweeping vistas featured in the Emmy Award-winning show were actually shot in nearby Carmel and Big Sur, two tony towns inside Monterey County, not inside the titular city itself. But the city of Monterey is also a must-see space.

Amgen Tour of California - Stage 4 - Morro Bay
Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

More than just a town with a noted aquarium and cannery, Monterey recently formed an elite new community inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, whose backers describe it as a “forward thinking enclave of residential properties, rooted in a shared commitment to creating a community that integrates a low impact built environment on its spectacular natural surrounding.”

Admission to build a home inside the community costs roughly $5 million.

Other spots making the publication’s 2018 list were Detroit, Mexico City, Toronto, Rwanda, and the Faroe Islands.