Ryan/Sandy Beach Parking Lot.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A beach parking lot.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In Newport
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 11 (of season four), "The Dream Lover".
When Ryan feels threatened by Taylor's French ex-husband, Summer suggests that he buy her a romantic gift. But that kind of thing isn't Ryan's forté, and he ends up buying her a cheap teddy bear in a cup from a mini-mart.
In this scene,
set in a beach parking lot, he tells Sandy about it. Sandy lets him know
it wasn't a great gift, and strongly urges him to let Taylor know how he
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A beach parking lot - but not in Newport.
A. As far as I know, this marks the only time The OC filmed on a beach in the Santa Monica area.
This parking lot is located between Santa Monica & Malibu, in Pacific Palisades. The approximate address is 16500 Pacific Coast Highway.
You'll find it on the ocean side of Pacific Coast Highway, right on the beach, between Sunset Blvd (on the northwest) and Temescal Canyon Road (on the southeast).
It's less than
one mile down the coast (southeast) from the popular. Gladstone's 4-FISH
restaurant, and is 3.3 miles northwest of the west end of the Santa Monica
Here is a Bird's Eye view aerial photo of the parking lot.
And here is
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. This kind of Sandy-in-the-parking-lot scene would usually have been shot at Redondo/Torrance beach. But I could tell right away, from the grassy hillsides behind them, that this wasn't Redondo.
Given the fact that the parking lot was right on the beach, and there was visible grass, I at first assumed they had shot it at one of their usual spots in Malibu (either Point Dume or Leo Carrillo).
But if you look
closely at the background of that scene, you can see a church-like steeple
and several large, multi-story buildings. When I checked those Malibu lots,
those details were nowhere to be found. Heading down the coast (via aerial
photos), I finally found the exact spot near Santa Monica, and was able
to verify it - not only by the steeple and the buildings, but also by a
distinctive lifeguard tower berm on the beach, and the positions of telephone
poles & wood posts along the highway.
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