Standing 60 ft. high, the Pirate Tower looks like something straight from a fairy tale or a thrilling adventure movie. This mini castle was built for William E. Brown, a state senator who most notably represented California’s 37th district.
The spiraling staircase tower served as a popular extension to his elaborate cliff-side home. The home served as a summer/holiday home for Brown and his family. “The architecture of the house and tower are closely interwoven with the natural precipitous quality of the cliffs,” reads the report. “The style on both is outstanding. The house rightfully serves as one of Laguna’s landmark homes.” Brown is said to have also been a talented artist, largely drawing inspiration from the sea.
In the early 1940s, Brown sold his home to a retired naval captain, Harold Kendrick. Kendrick was quite fond of the home’s charm, being a pirate aficionado himself, and was said to dress in pirate attire and invite the neighborhood children over for games and stories of the sea. There would be scavenger hunts and gold coins hidden amongst the property.
The home has changes ownership many times since then and is said to currently be owned by famous singer and actress Bette Midler! Bette Midler may be best known for her movie Beaches, which has many scenes which were shot a few miles from the tower!
Personal Experience: I have had my eye on this spot for many years now and am so happy to finally have visited it! This is a quick adventure, being a mere 5 minute hike from the shore. The tower is majestic though and wonderfully photogenic. Keep in mind that this spot can only be reached during low tide so check the tide charts before visiting.
Make sure to come here during low tide in order to ensure making it around the bend!