Have you been wanting to visit Victoria Beach’s Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach? Maybe you’ve seen photos of the Pirate Tower on Instagram or Pinterest and was curious if it was photoshop magic or if it was really real.
Spoiler alert: The Pirate Tower at Victoria Beach Laguna Beach is…really real. 🙂
I would say Victoria Beach’s Pirate Tower is one of Southern California’s most unique finds. But how did it get there? Who built it? And more importantly, how can YOU visit it, too?
Don’t worry, I’m going to tell you all of this and much, much more. Let’s dive in!
Victoria Beach’s Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach: The 3 Things You NEED to Know
History of the Victoria Beach Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach
Even though Pirate Tower may strike you as being extremely mysterious and historical, it is actually not as old as it appears. It was only built in 1926. While that’s not exactly new, it’s definitely not old enough for pirates to have used it. I know what you’re thinking though, what a shame. I personally love a good pirate legend so I did find that to be a bit disappointing.
Instead of being used for pirates, Pirate Tower was actually built for state senator William E. Brown and his family. Apparently, Brown’s wife, Eleanor, was inspired by the chateaus and castles of France during a visit to Europe. Once they returned they decided to build the tower and create their own little castle here in sunny California. Despite the fact that it does look strikingly like a castle, the locals commonly refer to it as “Pirate Tower” and the name stuck.
Inside Pirate Tower you’ll find a metal staircase allowing private access down to the beach. If you do try to go inside of it you’ll find it’s locked so locals and tourists can’t access it. Pity.
After the Brown’s build and created Pirate Tower, the property ended up exchanging hands many times over the years. Funny enough, it was most recently owned by Hollywood star, Bette Midler.
Victoria Beach Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach Location – Google Maps
We already established that Pirate Tower is located at Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach. But why do I keep mentioning TWO beaches? I know, I know. It’s confusing, so let me explain.
Victoria Beach is located about an hour and a half south of Los Angeles (at least when there’s no traffic). ? If you want a nice scenic drive to the tower, take Route 1 down the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s gorgeous!
If you’re coming from San Diego the drive is about the same (1.5 hours without traffic) but this stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway is even more scenic in my opinion. 🙂
How to Get to Pirate Tower
Pirate Tower is tucked away along a seaside cliff on Victoria Beach Laguna Beach. Honestly, you’d really have to know where to go in order to find it. But that’s why I’m here. 🙂
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.
These are the directions to get to Pirate Tower: (check out the Google Maps location of Pirate Tower too)
- 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.
Other Tips for Visiting Pirate 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 are definitely allowed to walk up to the tower, but don’t try to enter or climb.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Victoria Beach’s Pirate Tower at Laguna Beach. It was definitely something I had been wanting to see for years, and I was really happy I made the effort to go.
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