The location: The Trailer Park.

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

    A. A run-down trailer park.

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

    A. The location isn't mentioned, but somewhere in or near Newport Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. We first see the trailer park in Episode 8 (of season three), "The Game Plan", where Julie Cooper-Nichol, virtually penniless after the death of her bankrupt husband (Caleb), has lost her mansion, and is forced to move out of her posh marina condo when she foils Charlotte's scheme to swindle Kirsten. Packing her stuff up in a U-Haul truck, she is moves into a mobile home in a run-down trailer park, where she is bothered by her redneck neighbor ('Gus'), and even develops a taste for pork rinds.

    The trailer park is seen many more times in the series during the third season, including Episodes 10, 12, 13,14, 16 18, and 19, as Julie tries to keep her new digs a secret from daughter Marissa (who is temporarily living at Summer's house).

    Her other daughter, Kaitlin, finds her and moves into the trailer with her. Eventually, Marissa learns the truth too, and moves into the trailer with her mother & sister. (It's in Julie's trailer that Marissa first has sex with Volchok - in episode 17).

    Julie is finally rescued from her exile in trailer park land by the wealthy Dr. Roberts (Summer's father), who falls for her.

    Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An actual trailer park.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. It's the Wayside Trailer Park, located on a surprisingly woodsy, dead-end street in North Long Beach. The TV show went out of their way to make the place look more dilapidated than it really is (they even put a blown-down TV antenna in the middle of the street).

    The real address is 234 E. 47th Street, in Long Beach.

    Warning: Remember that these are private homes, so do not trespass on their property,
    knock on their doors, or do anything else that might disturb the residents' privacy.

    This is the first time (to my knowledge) that The O.C. filmed in north Long Beach - although they've filmed a lot on the south side of town, by the beach. There, you'll find such O.C. locales as the Mermaid Inn, Lindsay's house, Shoreline Village, the "Valley" beach, Chili's Beach House and Julie's marina condo.

    (I shot this photo of the trailer park's sign in late 2006.)    

    Ironically, the Wayside trailer park is only a few blocks northeast of the posh Country Club neighborhood where Hollywood has filmed hit movies such as American Pie, Red Dragon and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  (But on the other hand, go a few more blocks northwest, and you'll be in Compton.)

    Here is a map link with the exact location in Long Beach. And here is an aerial photo from Live Local.

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

    A. I was tipped early to this location (before I had even watched the third season shows) by none other than Tim Grobaty, columnist (and resident dry wit) for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, during a phone interview when he was writing a column about my website. Thanks, Tim.

    He didn't have the exact address handy, but he told me it was in north Long Beach, and with the use of the aerial maps (and screencaps from the show), I easily tracked it down.  (Of course, it didn't hurt that Episode 13 featured a close-up of a sign reading "Wayside Trailer Park" - the actual name of the place... ;)

    Tim also tipped me to the location of Chili's beach shack (which also happens to be in his town of Long Beach).

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