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Visit This Hidden Fairytale Attraction BEFORE It Gets Too Popular

Inspired by France. 

Designed by a senator.

Thrusted into history by a pirate enthusiast. 

Exposed by social media.

And how can YOU visit it, before it gets overrun? 

Let’s uncover the secrets of this fairytale attraction in SoCal.

(Directions at the end of the post)

pirate tower laguna beach victoria beach

Discover the Pirate Tower: Laguna Beach’s Hidden Gem

Hidden away in Victoria Beach, Laguna Beach, stands a mysterious and enchanting structure that has captured the imaginations of locals and visitors for nearly a century. 

You’ll think it was taken straight out of a fairytale.

Some people say they could imagine Rapunzel living in this tower!

It’s known as the ‘Pirate Tower’ and don’t worry we’ll explain why it got it’s name in a bit.

The 60-foot stone turret is not just a landmark but a portal to a bygone era, filled with tales of swashbuckling adventures and hidden treasures.

A Tower Steeped in History

Constructed in 1926, the Pirate Tower was originally built as an enclosed staircase for Senator William E. Brown.

He was a Los Angeles senator who had a penchant for painting and an eye for Laguna’s stunning landscapes. 

But it was the tower’s second owner, retired naval captain Harold Kendrick, who truly brought the spirit of piracy to life. 

A lifelong enthusiast of pirate lore, Kendrick dressed up in pirate regalia and entertained local children with tales of the high seas, turning the tower into a symbol of adventure and mystery​​.

He even hid coins in the tower for local children to find as ‘treasure’.

Hence people like to call it the Pirate Tower now.

A Legacy of Mystery and Adventure

Today, while access to the tower itself is restricted, its presence continues to inspire those who visit. 

Its rugged stone façade and European architecture have made it a favorite subject for photographers and a popular backdrop for social media. 

Visitors are drawn to its storybook appearance, and some have likened it to the types of towers you’d see alongside European castles.

Related Reading: Unbelievable places in California that look like Europe

A Must-Visit for Adventure Seekers

Whether you’re a history buff, a lover of folklore, or simply in search of a unique photo opportunity, the Pirate Tower is a must-visit. 

No wonder people are coming here looking for a pic straight out of a fairytale to post to their Instagram feeds.

Even though it wasn’t actually built by pirates, it’s a place that still captures the imagination of anyone who visits.

Plan Your Visit

A lot of people struggle to find this location so we’re going to help you do that. 

pirate tower directions google maps
Google Maps

Here’s what you need to do:

If you’re coming from downtown Laguna Beach head south on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1).

If you’re coming from Dana Point head north on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1).

Find a place to park near one of these three roads:

  • Victoria Drive
  • McAuley Place
  • Sunset Terrace

Walk down to the end of Sunset Terrace where it meets Victoria Drive.

Opposite the street sign for Sunset Terrace and Victoria Drive there should be stairs heading down to the beach.

Head down these stairs right to the end till you get to Victoria Beach.

Once you get to Victoria Beach you want to follow the shore round to the right and around the corner until you see the pirate tower ahead of you. 

Depending on the tide levels there may be more or less beach for you to walk on.

Once there, take in the scenery and watch the waves.

Bring a towel, take some pics, and chill on the beach.


Parking is limited so avoid weekends if possible or go early in the day.

For the easiest access, you’ll want to visit during low tide so you’ll want to check the tide charts before you go. 

This video below will help you find the place too.

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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