Since including pictures of the infamous Pirate Tower on the beach in Laguna Beach in my Southern California Beach Guide blog post, I’ve gotten so many inquiries about exactly how to get there and some of the challenges of this particular spot. So, here you go everyone!
Here’s a little background about Victoria Beach. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re hearing it here first! You’re welcome. It’s one of those pretty white sand beaches in Orange County, but this beach is not exactly like the others. Victoria Beach is most well known for its Victorian lighthouse, or “Pirate Tower”, nestled into a cliff and perched right next to the water. If Rapunzel came to mind when you read this then you’ll love this place. There is also a great man made pool that fills with water during high tide.
The tower and the man made pool are right next to each other. To get to there, head down the stairs (directions to get to them are just below!) and make a right as soon as you get to the bottom. After heading around the rocks, you should see the tower within a minute!
As mentioned, there are a few challenges you should know about Victoria Beach before you venture over there, so read on!
It can be a little difficult to find. I read a bunch of Yelp reviews (actually probably all of them, guys I’m a planner!) before about how to find the entrance which was extremely helpful. The entrance has a public beach access sign at the top of some stairs, but can be easily missed in between the homes. Type in the address 2713 Victoria Dr and you will find the entrance stairs just to the right of this house!
The parking here can be a bit of a problem. Ok, it’s on the verge of almost impossible. Since the entrance is in a residential neighborhood, there’s not many spaces available as there are a lot and I mean a lot of no parking signs. Unless you come at sunrise, I wouldn’t count on parking close to the stairs. We found parking immediately in the early morning. And by the way, I think sunrise or sunset are the best times to visit, but that might just be because I love that magic hour light. If not, just park up on PCH and walk down. Again, put in the address and you won’t get lost!
The tide can make it tricky to get to the pirate tower! I wanted to go to Victoria Beach specifically to try to see the man made pool full of water. My friend and I had planned on using her drone to get some awesome shots of us swimming and floating from above.
The man made pool only fills at high tide. It’s hard to predict when high tide will be, however. We saw it was supposed to be highest tide at 6am, so that’s when we went, but no water. We realized that if the pool had been filled because of high tide, it would have been harder to get to the pool and the tower. You have to walk along some rocks to get there. If the tide was high, that could be covered in water. So fair warning! It could make a pretty picture, but also be pretty dangerous. Or that water could cause you to get drenched by a wave as evidenced above!
There may or may not be a new law in Laguna Beach that states that all photography, commercial and non-commercial requires a permit. Yes, you heard the correctly. Any photo shoots in public require a $100+ permit that you have to obtain before through the city. If you get caught taking photos without a permit, you could get slapped with a hefty fine. According to this post, the city of Laguna Beach may have now revised their strict ruling, but it’s just a great thing to keep in mind especially if you’re going to this tower to shoot engagement photos etc or using a drone. A link to an epic drone shot we got from a friend we made there is linked in the Instagram post above!
Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this gorgeous tower and beach! And remember, the early bird always get the worm, or in this case a parking spot and an empty beach!
Yours Truly // Shannon