The Laguna Beach Pirate Tower is on my list of 12 Free Things to Do in Laguna Beach, and for good reason…it is one of the most popular sights in all of Laguna!
Laguna Beach was the first beach I fell in love with when I moved to California. The vibe, the art scene, the people, the scenery…it’s amazing. It somewhat reminded me of where I used to live in Mexico with the houses built up the hills. It is just gorgeous.
Naturally, I wanted to explore more of Laguna. I wanted to know all of the cool things to see and do, all the local hotspots and of course the best beaches.
One of those super cool things I came across during my research was the Victoria Beach Pirate Tower. This pirate tower, or castle, whatever you want to call it, sounded so mysterious.
People were referring to this place as a “secret beach”.
I kept coming across information on how to find the Victoria Beach pirate tower, so I thought to myself “Wow, this place must be awesome if you have to FIND IT!” Like a magical treasure hunt!
I made it my mission to find it. I had to see what this place was all about.
Turns out you don’t need a treasure map, a magical key, or anything of that sort.
All you need to know is a few simple steps. Follow along!
How to find the Laguna Beach Pirate Tower in 3 Simple Steps
Step 1: Find the best parking spot
The most difficult thing about this journey to the Victoria Beach castle is finding a parking spot. Laguna is notorious for its lack of parking, so if you are visiting for the first time you have to be patient and understand that you may have to do a little walking!
I will give you a few tips on where to find the best parking spot:
*I personally do not like parking in the residential areas, but I haven’t seen anything during my trips there that say you cannot. If you are going for a quick visit it shouldn’t be an issue, but if you are planning to stay on Victoria Beach for the day it might be best to use the public parking meters.
The closest (and probably hardest): The residential area on the ocean side of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)
- As you get closer to the Pirate Tower while on the PCH, look for any one of these streets: Victoria Drive, Sunset Terrace, or McAulay. These streets are going to take you directly on the pathway to the Pirate Tower.
- Loop around these streets to see if you get lucky with a spot.
- Pay attention to no parking signs, and do not block the residence’s garages.
The next closest: Directly on the Pacific Coast Highway
- If you get there early in the morning you have the best chances at snagging one of these metered parking spots.
- Try to park as close to Victoria Dr, Sunset Terrace, or McAulay Pl as you can.
- Meter rates are in between $1.50-$4.50 per hour, but in this area, you should find one that is $1.50.
Your best chance: In the residential area across from the Pacific Coast Highway
- From the PCH, look for the stoplight at the intersection of Nyes Place. You want to head away from the ocean on Nyes.
- Turn left on Highland Way and look for a spot here.
- If you don’t have any luck on Highland, make a left and another left onto Solana Way and check there.
- You can continue through this residential area until you get lucky, and if not, try the next tip!
The long (but fun) route: Park closer to downtown and take the trolley
- I always have luck finding a spot downtown, but the parking meters are a little higher (up to $4.50/hour).
- Try anything near Ocean Ave, Forest Ave, or Park Ave. Anything along the PCH will be fine.
- You can also try looping around the streets near Heisler Park.
- Make sure you add enough time to the meter, depending on how long you want to stay on Victoria Beach. I would give at least 3 hours.
- Head to the ocean side of the Pacific Coast Highway and find the trolley/shuttle stop. Hop on the next trolley (short or long coastal route) and let them know you want to get off at Victoria Beach.
- It’s free!
- From June 30th to September 3rd it runs daily from 930am to 1130pm.
- After September 3rd it only runs on Friday 4pm-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, and Sunday 11am-8pm.
Step 2: Find the stairway to the beach
- Once you have parked, you need to make your way to Victoria Drive. You could also use Sunset Terrace or McAulay Place, which will lead to Victoria Drive.
- At the intersection of Victoria Drive and Sunset Terrace, you will find stairs in between two houses. This is the public beach access.
Step 3: Find the Pirate Tower
- Once you reach the bottom of the stairs, you will be on Victoria Beach and on your way to finding Laguna Beach’s Pirate Tower!
- Stay on the right side of the beach along the cliff.
- It will eventually look like you cannot continue anymore, but turn right!
- You will need to walk across some rocky areas. Wear some shoes and be careful as the waves are crashing in.
- Continue right until you reach the man-made ocean pool.
- Look ahead towards the right and you will see the Pirate Tower!
That was easy right? Just 3 simple steps to get to this magical castle on Victoria Beach.
Once you are there hang out, take all the Instagram photos you want, or make it a whole beach day!
Laguna Beach Pirate Tower FAQ
What beach is it on, Laguna Beach or Victoria Beach?
- Laguna Beach is a city with many different beaches. Victoria Beach is just one out of several beaches within the Laguna Beach city limits.
What is the Pirate Tower anyway?
- It is actually an enclosed staircase to get from the house above down to the beach.
Can I enter the tower?
- Unfortunately, no. This is part of a public residence and is not accessible.
When was the tower built?
- It was built in 1926 for a senator from Los Angeles.
When is the best time to go?
- Beaches are open year-round from 5am to 1am.
- Go during low tide. If you go during high tide it may not be accessible and/or safe.
What should I wear?
- You will definitely need some shoes since you will be walking across some rocky sections. Depending on the time of year, you may also want to bring a sweater. Otherwise, if you are there on a typical warm SoCal day bring your swimsuit and get in the ocean!
Can I bring my dog?
- Leashed dogs are allowed before 9am and after 6pm between June 15th and September 10th. They are allowed anytime during normal beach hours between September 11th and June 14th.
Are there bathrooms?
- There are no public restrooms.
Are there lifeguards?
- There are typically no lifeguards on duty.
Is it safe for children?
- Yes, as long as you are there during low tide it’s perfectly safe!
Have you been to the Pirate Tower on Victoria Beach? Let me know any questions you might have about visiting!