This post first appeared on the Hipmunk Tailwind blog on Oct. 28, 2015
Every year, there are numerous sand castle festivals across the United States that you won’t want to miss. The festivals generally feature live music, food booths and awe-inspiring sand creations that are sure to amaze you.
1. Headlands BeachFest
In July, the Headlands BeachFest is held at Ohio’s Headland Beach. The event brings master sand sculptors from around the world who compete to win the coveted title of “Ohio’s Master Sand Sculptor.” There is live entertainment, art booths and numerous food vendors. Best of all, admission to the event is free.
2. Blue Water SandFest
The Blue Water SandFest is three days of fun. The event takes place at the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, alongside Lake Huron. Three sand sculpting competitions are held: the Master Sand Sculpting Contest, Advanced Amateur Contest and the Amateur Contest. You can also enjoy one of the event’s hands-on sand sculpting lessons. At the Kid Zone area, children can try their hand at sculpting sand. Tickets to the event are sold at the front gate.
If you are attending the festival, you might want to make advance lodging reservations because hotels in the area sell out quickly. The Quality Inn & Suites Port Huron is located close to the Fort Gratiot Lighhouse.
3. Long Beach Sand Sculpting Competition Extravaganza (Sandsations)
The Long Beach Sand Sculpting Competition Extravaganza, also known as Sandsations, is a festival that has taken place for over 30 years in Long Beach, Washington. The competition itself is held next to the Long Beach Boardwalk. Sand sculpting classes are held for all skill levels throughout the event. Even children are encouraged to try their hand at sand castle construction.
Hotels in the area tend to book up for the annual event, so you should consider reservations. The Cedars Ocean View Inn, for instance, is located within walking distance to the Long Beach Boardwalk.
4. Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest
For over 50 years, the Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest has taken place on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. The contest is a race against time to see which sculptor can create the most awe-inspiring masterpiece before the ocean’s rising tide washes it away. There are competitions for all skill levels held throughout the day. The event is especially fun for the whole family with its mix of food, music and craft booths.
The Courtyard Hotel is located within walking distance to Cannon Beach. The concierge at the hotel will be happy to assist you with any local tours, tickets or transportation.
5. U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge
The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego takes place every year over Labor Day on the city’s B Street Cruise Terminal Pier, where 300 tons of sand is dumped so it can be crafted and molded into elaborate sculptures. The event features non-stop live music, vendors and a variety of carnival rides.
There are plenty of hotels in San Diego that are located close to the event. However, since many of them book up rapidly, reservations are recommended.
Building sand castles is fun for all ages. If you want to spend a weekend enjoying sand, music, food and fun look no further than one of these five top sand sculpting festivals.