The O.C. Fan Girl Road Trip

Growing up I was obsessed with the TV show, The OC – as many teen girls were. I used to daydream about living on the coast of California like the characters in the show and how wonderful it would be. It wasn’t until now, after our road trip to my dream destination, did I realize that dream was just a dream. Taking that road trip to California made me realize that moving to Newport wasn’t going to make my life like theirs. And it wasn’t because Newport isn’t where they filmed the show… 😉

Long ago I found an online guide showing all the filming locations from The OC.

Check it out here (

I picked each place I wanted to see and added it to my bucket list. Of course on the trip, we were pressed for time due to all the different places we planned to see, that many of those places in California I just crossed off the list because they didn’t seem as important. The places we did go however made my inner fan girl scream with joy.

First stop was Newport Beach where I stepped into the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The town was filled with fishing wharfs, dive bars, and hipsters. It seemed like a cute old fisherman town with a lot of stories to tell. We walked the boardwalk with seagulls flying over us and skateboarders whizzing by. We grabbed lunch at a little pizza joint and shopped in a few gift shops. I loved the vibe the town gave and I didn’t want to leave. Newport Beach looked nothing like it had on the show, and that’s because the show was actually filmed in Redondo Beach a little ways North down the California Coast – our next stop.

Redondo Beach was just as adorable as Newport Beach. As we approached the boardwalk, I gazed in awe – the lifeguard houses, the surfers, the boardwalk with it’s shops and restaurants – it was exactly like The OC. I was filled with excitement as we walked down the boardwalk and started following our map. See map below.

Redondo Beach Pier Map. Credit:

We took a stroll past the “Bait Shop” and continued around the lower level of the plaza. We saw the “flags” that you see multiple times on the show when they are walking and biking on the pier. We gazed out over the water and breathed in the ocean air. It was peaceful and fulfilling.

We went into some of the different shops and bought some beach memorabilia before going into the Pier Diner. We made sure to sit in the exact booth where the gang would sit in each episode. Above the booth, hung a photo of The OC gang with their autographs. It felt so surreal.

The restaurant must have changed hands at some point, or maybe they just altered it for the show. The diner had a front desk where you could order your food and most of it was Asian unlike on the show. Our booth, the bathroom, and the restaurant itself didn’t look very clean, but I don’t regret going in there at all. It was an experience I will never forget. My adolescent dreams came true.

“Welcome to the OC, Bitch.”

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