Lindsay's Bus Stop.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A bus stop.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
in Newport Beach.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode
4 (of season 2), "The New Era", where Lindsay's accepts a ride
from Ryan, after explaining to him that she accepted the date with Seth,
but had really hoped it was Ryan who wanted to go out with her.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A parking
lot in an upscale shopping center, a long way from Newport.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. It's not a real bus stop. They shot the scene on a parking island in the parking lot in front of the Malaga Cove Plaza, a picturesque Italianate piazza located in the 200 block of Palos Verdes Drive West in Palos Verdes Estates (just west of the curving junction of Palos Verdes Drive North and Palos Verdes Drive West, at Via Chico.)
The producers simply plunked down a bus bench (with the name "Newport Beach" written on it) on the brick parking island, near an ornate statue/fountain of King Neptune (which was kept just out of sight in the scene).
They probably chose The Plaza (as it is known to locals) because of its Mediterranean style, its archways, and its proximity to ocean views. Although you can't see much of it during this night scene, you can make out the Plaza's arches in the background, as well as the stairway inside one archway. The area seen in the background is around 29 Malaga Cove Plaza...
During the day, the Plaza looks rather spectacular (the Neptune fountain alone must have inspired many tourists to pull over for a photo op). But although it is in a very posh neighborhood, the center actually houses a somewhat disappointing mix of utilitarian shops and offices, including the local Post Office and library.
(One observation: the bus bench itself resembles the blue & white benches seen at Shoreline Village in Long Beach, and I suspect that they borrowed one and just slapped the "Newport Beach" name on it.)
The Plaza is located on the southwest side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and isn't far from the beach apartments of Alex, Trey and Carter Buckley. From the beach, just take Palos Verdes Blvd up the hill (south) and follow it as it curves around to the west. At that point, look to your left and you'll see the Plaza on the south side of Palos Verdes Drive South.)
Here's a photo map link.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. The Plaza is something of a landmark in Palos Verdes, so when I saw the archways behind Lindsay, they naturally looked familiar - but I couldn't quite put a finger on it.
A few days later, I happened to drive past the Plaza on my way to Wayfarer's Chapel, I immediately recognized it as the location of the bus bench. I pulled in to see exactly where they had set up the bench, compared it with printouts of the scene, and determined they were on the brick island in the parking lot out front (the camera was facing south, towards the shops).
O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements
are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.