The location: Julie & Charlotte’s marina condo.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A posh apartment/condo with a great view of the marina.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. An establishing shot is shown of beach homes on the real Balboa Penisula in Newport Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. It's first seen In Episode 5 (of season three), "The Perfect Storm", where Julie Cooper-Nichol has been left nearly penniless after the death of her bankrupt husband (Caleb Nicol). After spending some time at a cheap motel, Julie goes to see an affordable condo at the suggestion of her friend, Kirsten. The empty condo is beautiful, with a great view of the bay, but just as Julie is about to take it, the realtor tells her that she is looking at the wrong apartment, and that the one she could really afford is in the basement.

    Just then, Charlotte Morgan (a supposed friend of Kirsten, played by Jeri Ryan) shows up, and she tells Julie that she can live in the condo for free. Julie finds it hard to believe, but isn't in a position to look a gift horse in the mouth. So she moves in. But as she suspected, the gift comes with strings. Charlotte turns out to be a con-man out to rip-off Newport society (and Kirsten) with a fake fundraising event.

    The beach condo is seen again In Episode 7 (of season three), "The Anger Management", where Julie and Charlotte are about to leave for the fundraising party. Julie is having second thoughts, and Charlotte threatens her. (When Julie finally refuses to play along with the criminal scheme, she loses the condo and is forced to move into a lowly trailer park.)

    The home is seen for the last time in Episode 8 (of season three), "The Game Plan", where Julie and Kirsten are sitting out on the patio, discussing why Charlotte suddenly disappeared (when the landlord comes to the door, demanding the rent.) Later, in the same episode, Kirsten catches Julie loading up a U-Haul van with her stuff (outside the condo) and moving out.

    (In an interesting turn of events: it turns out that the same beach house was glimpsed on a computer screen, way back in Season One, in Episode 26, "The Strip". During the time when Sandy & Jimmy were planning to re-open The Lighthouse restaurant, Jimmy showed Sandy a house he planned to buy for he & Marissa. An image of the house appeared on his laptop computer's monitor. It was the same beach home which was later used as Julie's condo.)

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A shoreline home with a great view.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's really in Long Beach, CA.

    Just as Newport Beach has its Balboa Peninsula, lined with expensive homes overlooking the Newport Bay, Balboa Island and the Newport marina, so does nearby Long Beach have a similar peninsula, lined with expensive homes overlooking the Alamitos Bay, Naples Island and the (smaller) Long Beach marina.

    If you head down this Long Beach peninsula, to 67th Place and make a left, you'll reach a dead-end where (if you get out of your car), you'll find the actual beach house used in the show, at the end of the road on your left side, facing the sand. The address is 6624 E. Bay Shore Walk.

    (I shot the photo to the right in late 2006)

    It's a two-story home with large bay windows offering a great view of the bay.

    Warning: This is a private home - do not trespass on their property,
    knock on their doors, or do anything else to disturb the residents.

    That VIEW (seen to much effect on the show), is not of Marina Del Rey (as one might first expect), it is across the Long Beach/Alamitos bay, looking North/NE from the Long Beach peninsula to the pricy houses on the south side of Naples Island. Those homes, seen across the bay, are on Vista Del Gulfo, between Perusia Walk (on the west) and the E. Appian Way turnaround (on the east).

    Here (below) is a photo I took of those same homes in late 2006, while standing on the beach in front of the house:

    The later scene (in episode 8) of Kirsten watching Julie load the U-Haul truck appears to have been shot right on 67th street, looking back (south) towards E. Ocean Blvd.

    Here is a map link with the exact location on the peninsula. And here is an aerial photo from Windows Live Local.

    Interestingly, "Julie's condo" is located just a few blocks away from another O.C. location: Chili's beach house.

    (The city of Long Beach is also the site of a few other O.C. locations from previous seasons: the Mermaid Inn, 'The Valley' beach, Shoreline Village, and Lindsay's home.)

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. When I first saw the great ocean view and (what looked like) condos on the shore across a bay, my first hunch was that it was somewhere in Marina Del Rey.

    But the houses didn't look quite right for that part of the world - yet they did look very familiar. I've spent many a sunny day strolling the charming streets of Naples Island, so I'm familiar with the neighborhood. Yet I usually see those expensive homes up close, as I walk by, not from a distance across the bay.

    But once I suspected where it might be, I was soon able to match up the homes seen on the show with the same homes seen on the aerial photos of Naples Island. Then, it was just a matter of drawing a line, across the bay, between the specific homes on Naples to what must have been the camera location on the peninsula. Clearly, it was somewhere between 66th and 68th Place.

    Then I went back to the DVD of the show, and did a little freeze-framing. For one or two brief frames, as Julie and the realtor walk back into the condo (from the outside patio), you can make out a number on the wall of the house: 6624. I mapped it and found it right where I knew it would be: at the end of 67th Place. A visit there in person (to shoot photos) allowed me to confirm that it was the correct location.

    (A few weeks later, Umberto Villero recognized that the house shown on Jimmy's computer screen, back in a first season episode, was the same beach house, and let me know about it. Thanks, Umberto!)

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