Los Angeles is full of some incredible hidden gems. Some of my favorites that I've explored so far are the Mosaic Tile House, Hollywood Reservoir, DTLA's Central Library, and the Fine Arts Building. Since living in Los Angeles for over a year now and exploring the ins and outs of this city, I'm learning that I sometimes need to step outside of the city lines to continue discovering exciting and special hidden gems to share with my beloved readers. This brings me to an adventure I recently went on in Laguna Beach, a beautiful coastal city just south of Los Angeles and in Orange County. Specifically, I visited Victoria Beach, a white sandy beach home to a whimsical, beautiful, straight-out-of-a-story-book, 60-foot cement tower, commonly known to locals as the “Pirate Tower" or "La Tour," which is french for tour.
According to a mini history lesson on CaliforniaBeaches.com, this tower was built during the same time as the house at the top of the cliff, all the way back in the 1920's. It was originally built as a way to get from the house down to the beach, and there is a spiral staircase built within the tower to enable people to do so. The staircase is not open to the public, and the public is not permitted to go inside of the tower. The house at the top of the tower is known as the "Norman House" and was built for CA State Senator William Edward Brown and his family as a vacation home.
While Victoria Beach is lined with the Norman House and many other beautiful cliffside mansions, the beach itself is open to the public and there is a cement stairway leading directly to the beach from the neighborhood streets (direct address of home to the left of the staircase listed below). The staircase is fairly short (sandals will be just fine), and as you make your way onto the beach from the staircase, you will begin to walk down the beach to the right hand side. The tower is only about a 3-5 minute walk down the beach to the right, but this walk will be easy or more complicated due to the tide level at the time of your visit. I'd recommend looking up low-tide times before you go, since high-tide will make the trek over to the tower basically impossible (because there will be little to no beach and the waves will be crashing into the rocks). I looked up the low-tide levels before I made the trek down here, but the day I visited happened to be somewhat stormy (because, life) and the tide level seemed much higher than it should have been at the time. I was able to walk over to the tower but got slightly wet while doing so (not typically a big deal, but it was pretty chilly out) and could only stay for a few minutes before the incoming, crashing waves started to freak me out a little. If the tide is low and the weather nice, you should be able to easily walk around the large rock/cliffs. After you walk for a few minutes, you will soon approach a circular concrete pool full of sand and water. Continue to walk just past the pool and you will see the lovely tower on your right-hand side. Snap some pics, hang out and have a picnic with friends, go for a swim in the wavy waters, relax and read a good book - or whatever type of adventure your heart desires!
Here are the need-to-know details:
Address: Put this address into your GPS: 2713 Victoria Dr , Laguna Beach, CA 92651. The staircase is directly to the right of this address.
Park: Visitors are not permitted to park in the neighborhood. Park on PCH and walk down to the address listed above (it shouldn't take you more than 5-10 minutes tops). People drive FAST on PCH so please be careful, folks.
More Info: Click here to read plenty more reviews, tips, and insights on Yelp.
Happy exploring, my friends!
P.S.: I included some additional pictures of the tower and beach below, but taken from others. I found them online and thought they were b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! The day I visited it was obviously pretty crowded and not as picturesque as it would have been minus the high tide and cloudy skies. Enjoy!
Beautiful pictures from others...
EXPLORE YOUR HEART OUT
L.A. is an amazing and diverse city full of culture, history, art, nature, museums, and attractions - which results in countless things to do & see - no matter your budget. Time after time I find that when you seek new adventure, you will find it!
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