One of the most unique finds in Southern California is the mysterious Laguna Beach Castle. This hidden gem is tucked away along a seaside cliff on Victoria Beach. If planning a visit, here’s everything you need to know.
History of Laguna Beach Castle
Many locals actually refer to the castle as “pirate tower”. However, the tower is actually not as old as it appears. Built in 1926, it’s not exactly new, but definitely not old enough for pirates to use it. Shame, I would have loved a good pirate legend myself.
Instead, it was built for state senator William E. Brown and his family. Apparently, Brown’s wife, Eleanor, was inspired by the chateaus and castle of France during a visit. They decided to build the tower and create their own little castles in sunny California. Inside the tower is metal staircase allowing private access down to the beach.
The property has exchanged hands many times over the years, but most recently was owned by Hollywood star, Bette Midler.
You can find the Laguna Beach Castle by searching “pirate tower” on Google Maps. It’s located in Laguna Beach in Southern California’s Orange County.
How to Get to Laguna Beach Castle
Laguna Beach Castle is located on Victoria Beach. Even though Victoria Beach is a public beach, it is still quite private. This is mostly due to its hidden location and extremely limited parking.
- From the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1), you will make a turn onto Victoria Street. Careful though, it is easy to miss.
- Parking is very difficult. I arrived early in the morning (for sunrise) and managed to snag a spot along Sunset Terrace.
- From the intersection of Victoria Street and Sunset Terrace you’ll find a public stairway access to Victoria Beach.
- Once on the beach, walk towards the right and you will find the tower.
- Arrive early or late – Recommend arrive early in the morning or later in the evening for best parking and photos.
- Be aware of marine layers – If arriving for sunrise, be wary of the marine layer (coastal fog) that could ruin the colors.
- Check the tide before you go – At high tide the base of the tower is flooded.
- Parking is tough – I cannot stress this enough. Pay attention to signs stating where you are allowed to park. The area is monitored and you will get ticketed.
- This is a residential area – It’s good to be aware that this is a private residential area. It’s kind to be respectful of the residents.
- The tower is privately owned – You can walk up to it, but don’t try to enter or climb.
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