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.
AIA Sand Castle Competition
June 6 - 8
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!
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Contest
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach Sand Castle Contest
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 Chamber of Commerce's Sand in the City
July 4 - 6
Port Huron, Michigan
Blue Water SandFest
Long Beach, Washington
Sandsations Sand Castle Competition
July 18 - 20
Yoshida's Sand in the City
Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival
August 23 - 24
Hands On Children's Museum's Sand in the City
August 29 - September 1
San Diego, California
U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge
POST-LABOR DAY 2014
September 26 - October 5
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach Neptune Festival
November 14 - 18
Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sand Sculpting Competition
November 21 - 30
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
American Sand Sculpting Championship
EVEN MORE FESTIVALS
Sand Sculpting Events
Get your sand sculpture fix year-round.
BUILD YOUR OWN
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?)
MORE ON FATHOM
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.