There’s a thinly veiled secret spot at the south end of Southern Cailfornia’s Laguna Beach. An almost hidden staircase in a small residential neighborhood will take you to Victoria Beach, a small beach with fairy-tale flair. The spot is not easy to get to, especially for my old legs and bad joints, but it is so worth a visit if you are in the area. Victoria Beach is famous for the Rapunzel tower that reminds you of old castles. The tower, is actually a staircase leading to the bluff above the beach. There are other access staircases along the beach, but none capture the imagination in the way that this one does.
I’ve been to Victoria beach a few times now, always in search of the epic photo I know is there just waiting to be captured. I am not alone, this spot is a popular spot with landscape and portrait photographers alike. I almost always have to shoot around someone’s engagement or couples photo shoot. This day though, I almost had the tower to myself. A benefit of showing up mid afternoon on a Wednesday, I’m sure.
The tower is the main attraction at Victoria Beach, but this beach also boasts a sea side pool. During the highest tides, the pool fills up and you’ll find visitors wading in to check it out and maybe take a selfie. Today, the pool is almost dry.
I headed to Victoria Beach looking for a new angle on the tower, but became mesmerized by the surf against the rocks behind the tower. The waves were unusually high considering that I was there during low tide. The waves would crash against a large “table” rock and create the most amazing waterfalls. I finished with the tower and headed over for a closer look, getting several shots before being run off by the crashing waves.
On my way back towards the main beach and the staircase leading up to the street, I made a feeble attempt at getting a photo of the staircase within the tower. There is maybe 3 feet between the bluff and the gate to the stairway and it’s completely in shadow, so a shot of the locked doorway was the best I could do this time.
If you want to check out this cool place be prepared for a hike. There is no parking along the street in the small neighborhood where you’ll find the access stairs. Park on PCH near Nyes Place, you can walk directly down a couple of the smaller streets there, but it’s easier to cross to the north side of Nyes Place and cross under PCH on Victoria Drive. The walk down Victoria Drive is steep and leads to a steep staircase that is almost hidden between the houses. Once on the beach, you’ll need to climb the rocks to your right just as you exit the stairs. Wear good shoes! Also you’ll want to check the tides before making your trip as the beach is small and the tower becomes inaccessible at high tide. If you get trapped at high tide the waves will come all the way up the beach hit the bluff and come back on top of you, so beware! 🙂 A trip to Victoria Beach is quite an adventure, but there is much to explore in this special place.