The Roundup

See Your Wildest Sand Castle Dreams Come True This Summer

by Daniel Schwartz

One of 2014's best. Created by Pavel Mylnikov. Photo courtesy of NoBo Magazine.

THE BEACH – Sand castles. We're thinking sand castles. The kind you stare at in awe. The kind you wish you could build. The kind that draw crowds from all over the world.

Now you're thinking sand castles, too.

UPDATE: There was a strong showing this year at Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival and Blue Water SandFest. Their top picks defy physics, demand attention, and destroy any notion of what a sand castle should be. You have to see them. 

We compiled a slideshow of trippy and impressive creations, including some of this year's best, to tide you over until you can see some for yourself. Check the schedule below of to find a sand sculpting festival around the United States near you. Live music, food vendors, and jaw-dropping sand creations. Actually, forget what's near you. This is a summer experience worth road tripping for.

MAY 2014

May 31
Galveston, Texas
AIA Sand Castle Competition

JUNE 2014

June 6 - 8
Omaha, Nebraska
Nebraska Children's Home Society's Sand in the City
Nebraska? Yes, Nebraska. Sand in the City partners with not-for-profit organizations to raise money for community causes. A day in the sand for a good cause. No beach necessary!

June 7
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Contest

June 21
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest

June 21
Grand Haven City Beach, Michigan
Grand Haven Sand Sculpture Contest

June 19 - 21 
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Sand sculptures are illuminated for night viewing through July 6.
Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition

June 27 - 29 
Ocean Shores, Washington
The Five Star Dealerships Sand & Sawdust Festival

June 28 - 29
Arvada, Colorado
Arvada Chamber of Commerce's Sand in the City 

JULY 2014

July 4 - 6 
Port Huron, Michigan
Blue Water SandFest

July 16-20 
Long Beach, Washington
Sandsations Sand Castle Competition

July 18 - 20 
Portland, Oregon
Yoshida's Sand in the City

Juy 18-20 
Revere, Massachusetts
Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival

July 26 
Mentor, Ohio
Headlands Beachfest


August 23 - 24 
Olympia, Washington
Hands On Children's Museum's Sand in the City

August 29 - September 1
San Diego, California
U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge 


September 26 - October 5
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach Neptune Festival

November 14 - 18
Sarasota, Florida
Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition

November 21 - 30
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
American Sand Sculpting Championship


Sand Sculpting Events
Get your sand sculpture fix year-round. 


Sand Castle Central
Okay, you're inspired too. Ready to build? This is a great website with tips and tricks for building your own sand castle and contact information for sand sculptor instructors across the United States. (Seriously, "sand castle instructors." Where did we go wrong in college?)


InstaTrip: A Glimpse of Summer
InstaTrip: Summer Nostalgia

Inset photos, from top: Jooheng Tan sculpture courtesy of Neptune's International Sandsculpting Championship; Abe Waterman and Morgan Rudluff sculpture courtesy of American Sand Sculpting Championships.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.