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4.1
11 votes

Victoria Beach Tower

Victoria Beach, 2713 Victoria Dr, Laguna Beach, California 92651 USA

Free
Free to Visit
  • Not Wheelchair
    Accessible
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“The pirate tower”

California's Laguna Beach usually brings to mind images of modern mansions and sunny, sandy shores...which is why this crumbling Victoria Beach Tower  seems so out-of-place. Known to some locals as "the pirate tower", this mysterious, enchanting structure looks more like something from a storybook than anything you'd find in the OC.  So what exactly is the origin story behind the Victorian turret? Was it a lookout for Spanish pirates? Is there treasure buried nearby? Should I bring a metal detector? What secrets lie within the 60-foot building? As it turns out, there's not a ton inside-- just a rusted metal staircase. That's because the so-called "pirate tower" was simply a really cool-looking staircase for the person living in the home above the cliff, state senator William E. Brown and family, to get down to the secluded beach. It was built in 1926, which was a while ago, but not exactly a "pirate while ago". There is a touch of truth to the pirate legend, though. According to OC Weekly, in the 1940's, Brown sold the house to retired Navy officer Harold Kendrick, who was known for dressing up as a swashbuckling pirate and hiding coins in the tower for local kids to find. The property was most recently owned by Bette Midler. I'm not sure how effective the tower staircase itself ended up being, though, since it's only usable at low tide...otherwise the base of theVictoria Beach Tower is flooded and the door is blocked by water, which is why I assume it was essentially abandoned. The beach itself is super secluded and peaceful, and It's still awesome to visit the tower and poke around inside (albeit at low tide)-- and who knows? Just because it wasn't built by pirates doesn't necessarily mean there isn't treasure! -Roadtrippers Victoria Beach is located south of main beach and is known for its white sandy beach, beautiful blue-green waters and unique residences (old and new). But the main attraction is the tower that stands tall at the north end of the beach. The 16th century looking Victorian turret or lighthouse type structure, built as a spiral staircase access to the beach from the towering residence above, was built in 1926. The castle like tower is a most see for tourists and photographers. Victoria Beach is one of Laguna's most private public beaches mainly because it is not easy to find and provides VERY limited parking. Even many residents are not familiar with nor have ever been to Victoria Beach. Volleyball courts grace the north and south ends of the beach. Other popular activities are skimboarding (south end), body surfing, diving, and fishing. The majority of the people who use this beach are locals who live in the area and should be respected during your visit. Beware, there are no amenities at this beach, no water or restrooms. There are however, lifeguards.  There can be a number of hazards and rip conditions. Waves tend to break on shore at this beach. Rips can set up in various places along the whole length of the beach and should be avoided by children. The rock area to the north is popular with fishermen and sightseers, but can become unsafe during surf or high tide conditions. Remember to always keep an eye on the ocean due to large waves that can take you by surprise. To get to Victoria from the North, take PCH traveling South from Main Beach, you want to make a right turn on Victoria Drive just after Rockledge Rd and Terrace. Continue on Victoria to where it intersects with Sunset Terrace. There you will find a staircase leading to the beach. From the South, traveling North on PCH, make a Right at the light at Nyes Place and go about 50 feet and turn LEFT on Victoria Drive and go under PCH to the intersection of Sunset Terrace. Again, there you will find a staircase leading to the beach.  If you are serious about visiting Victoria Beach, I suggest that you do it in early in the morning or later in the day. Parking is a premium and finding it can be a task. Once you are in the vicinity, start to look for parking on PCH, then along Victoria Drlve or one of the side streets. Please remember you are in a private residential area and be careful not to park in or block someone's driveway or in no parking areas. You WILL get a ticket or TOWED. Don't even think about looking for a place on or just off Dumond Drive. Not going to happen. Enjoy!  This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

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Reviewed by
Bayside16

  • 1 Review
  • 5 Helpful
June 13, 2014

finally got to see the tower. went at night since we had to drive back to AZ early. totally worth it.

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ExposingGypsy

  • 1 Review
  • 4 Helpful
June 25, 2013

The best time to see the tower and surrounding area is at low tide !

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Einatyuval

  • 14 Reviews
  • 46 Helpful
October 10, 2014
Rated 3.0

seriously, be aware of parking tickets. we paid for a parking in the street and got a ticket for parking - facing the "wrong" side, like it matters where your front faces. anyway, we couldn't find the place and we asked several locals, so we were a bit disapointed. the beach is nice though.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Arielkay

  • 34 Reviews
  • 29 Helpful
August 21, 2014
Rated 5.0

Great find and the beach around here is so nice. Wish I had a whole day here! Loved taking photos here.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 314 Reviews
  • 344 Helpful
September 19, 2014
Rated 4.0

Very cool to see in person, and you'd never even know it was there if you weren't looking for it. It looks a little dangerous, but seems pretty solid. If you want to check it out (and go inside), you should visit at low tide, the only time when the door is actually open and not covered by the tide.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Plvogel

  • 98 Reviews
  • 34 Helpful
May 20, 2015
Rated 3.0

The tower is off the beaten path. First of all parking is really hard to find. If you end up parking on PCH, I would recommend parking next to Mcnauley instead of Victoria and accessing the beach that way. It is a much shorter walk. On the way down to the beach you will pass a couple blocks full of stunning multi million dollar houses overlooking the water.

When coming down the stairs from the main entrance on Victoria, make a right away from the beach. The tower isn't visible until you walk around the edge of the cliff. Victoria Beach tower is a cool photo op, but not much more. The best part is the beautiful beach and shoreline around it. Make sure to go at low tide or you will have trouble getting close.

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Victoria Beach Tower

Victoria Beach
2713 Victoria Dr
Laguna Beach, California
92651 USA

Hours not available

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  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • Street Parking
  • Yes Parking
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