Searching for Pirate Tower

If you know me, I like finding little nooks and corners close to my city to explore! From restaurants to hidden spots, you name it and I’m your girl. A few weeks ago, I found myself on Pinterest searching for “day trips in Southern California” and “free things to do in SoCal”. After a few scrolls, I came across Pirate Tower.

Pirate Tower is tucked away in Victoria Beach, one of Laguna Beach’s more secluded places. It was originally built in 1926 to serve as a staircase to the beach by Senator William Brown. Eventually, the property was bought by a retired Naval officer who often enjoyed dressing up as a pirate and left coins for the neighborhood children to find; hence the nickname.

We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway for a bit until we found an unmetered parking spot right before McAuley Place. We trekked down McAuley and when we hit Victoria Drive, the staircase was on our left, next to a little blue house. No parking fee and no entrance fee? Count us in!

There were a handful of people but nothing like the crowds at well-known California beaches nearby. The tower is easily accessible during low tide; but even at noon, the waves were still crazy.

I’m bummed this came out blurry – but that’s what you get for having someone take your photo.

By default, Chris and I consider ourselves mountain lovers than we are beach lovers. We had a conversation in the car and agreed that if beaches were shaded, then we’d probably be beach lovers ourselves! I’m Filipino/Chinese so when I’m under the sun, I tan whereas with Chris, he burns – so we avoid the sun for his case.

However, we went on a rather gloomy day. The entire drive to the beach was sunny but the clouds eventually rolled in making our visit more exciting than we had hoped for.

Before I forget, I used my new 24mm lens for these photos. I know I recently got the 50mm as well but I dunno… starting to like the 24mm more since I take more landscape shots than I do portraits!

We spent an hour at Victoria Beach before heading back; then we had lunch at Flame Broiler then headed home to catch up on TURN: Washington’s Spies (two more episodes, nooooo). Until our next adventureย โ˜ผ

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  • We’ve been to Laguna Beach a couple of times, but when we first explored it two years ago, we didn’t hear about this place! Seems an interesting spot to check out. Thanks for sharing, Eena!

  • Speaking of asking strangers to take your photo, I once asked this random guy to take a picture of me with a famous college basketball player and he just didn’t take it! We went through the whole process of taking a picture but there was no picture on my phone! Anyways, I love how you can make cloudy beach day pictures look good!!

  • I also love exploring around my neighbourhood / town to find cool new places to hang out and see! I really get your sense of adventurous-ness from your blog Eena! It really motivates me to explore more which I definitely will do often.

    Pirate Tower looks so beautiful! The area actually reminds me of a beach I explored in Portugal! I love the photo of you and Chris!! You both look super happy, you make such an adorable couple! ^_^ I have the same situation with Matt; he burns so easily so we tend to avoid the sun as much as possible. It was hard to do this in New York which explains why he was red in some photos haha!

    I’m exactly like that with photos myself omg – I recall walking down Brooklyn Bridge; we had like 5 different people taking photos of us because NO ONE COULD GET IT RIGHT LOL.

  • Glad that you found something on Pinterest! I find it quite hard to use as I get the same handful of results (or maybe I am using it wrong haha).

    What an interesting history and that tower is very cool and also very random. If I am in the area (one point in the future..) would love to go!

    nat // dignifiable

  • I really like these pictures. This looks like a place you’d find a fantastic ice cream. Exploring for new, hidden places is one of the best things. I love the history of that tower! There’s some really eccentric people in this world and it’s amazing!

  • Wow these photos are breathtaking! I love laguna beach– I actually grew up living so close to it but never heard of this place! Thanks for sharing!!

    – Jess

  • Pirate Tower is so cool! It’s like an actual tower, so they definitely weren’t kidding. The beach looks awesome too! I’m a bit sad because it’s August (can you believe it?! where did the summer go?) and I haven’t been to the beach once. I love the photos with this lens too, I think your photos just look good no matter what you use ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hi Eena! It always amazes me how you and Chris get to spend time together with a life full of adventures. I sincerely loved this post from you and kind of funny when you choose from the beach to mountains and vice Versa. I am a beach person but I also love the view from mountains. This was a good get-away considering almost everything is free. I hope you enjoyed your day ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I love finding little places that aren’t too popular yet – it helps especially to take in the view when there’s not too many people around haha! Love the pictures, I’ve learned my lesson and now take my tripod everywhere I go to avoid blurry ones ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • I learn a lot about the hidden gems in the greater LA area THANKS TO YOU!!!!

    I’ve never heard of Pirate Tower or Victoria Beach until you brought it up XD. I can see why it’s secluded! The story behind the tower sounds interesting. I definitely need to visit here! No parking fee, count me in XD.

    You’ve been taking a lot of neat pictures with your new lens!!! Makes me want to splurge on a new one as well for proper landscape pictures!

    You and Chris look super adorable together! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I bet there are loads of beautiful hidden gems in Southern California! Can’t wait to see more of what you uncover on your blog. As for landscape photos, the wider the lens, the better! And aah I hate when other people take my photo too, because they usually turn out terrible. You and Chris look so cute together though! I hardly noticed it was blurry.

    Simply Lovebirds

  • You tan and he burns. Hmm, I have heard this familiar story in my own life! ๐Ÿ˜›
    The pirate tower looks so cool! Is it possible to climb up to the top?
    The 24mm is pretty sweet for landscape. I think it’s a great lens to toss in your pack for landscape and portraiture on the go!