The Top 5 Sandcastle Competitions in America

We all used to make sandcastles as kids when we would have a family day at the beach. But never did we even get close to these masterpieces. Creative seaside architects from around the world took sandcastle-building to the next level.

Here are 5 competitions that will make your jaw drop when you realize all of these were made of sand!

Master Sand Sculpting Classic

Location: Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

It’s been 19 years now, and the Master Sand Sculpting Classic competition is still going strong. Select sand artists demonstrate what they can do with 200 pounds of imported sand.

Source: Fodors

There’s both a Masters Group Carve and solo competition. After the judges decide on a winner, they end the ceremony fireworks display on the beach at night. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me!

Neptune’s International Sandsculpting Championship

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

This is one of the most anticipated features of the Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach every year. 12 solo sculptors and 10 teams of two go up against each other in a competition to create the most incredible sand structures.

Source: Neptune Festival

There’s also an Amateur Division for local students and aspiring builders. Visitors can enjoy live music, speed-sculpting competitions, and meet-and-greets with the artists.

American Sandsculpting Championship Festival

Location: Fort Myers Beach, Florida

This is the 33rd year of the American Sandsculpting Championship Festival, which is a 10-day event for the whole family to enjoy.

Source: The Sand Lovers

There are World Class Master, Advanced Amateur, and Amateur divisions as well as speed-sculpting competitions and live music. Since it’s pretty much summer all year round in Southwest Florida, the competitions are usually held in November.

Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest

Location: Cannon Beach, Oregon

The Cannon Beach Sandcastle Contest is perfect for everyone from bonafide professionals to ambitious and thrill-seeking families.

Source: Cannon Beach Chamber

It all starts with a parade and then the castle construction begins. After that, the judging and prize ceremony. Of course, there’s live music on the sand and a bonfire to close out the evening.


Location: San Diego, California

The festival is four days on Broadway Pier and draws in international competitors from as far as Russia and Tasmania! They build epic structures (some weighing 10 tons) alongside U.S. artists

Source: Sean Curry

Visitors can also enjoy gourmet food from a dozen food trucks, looking through tons of dimensional art, jewelry, and crafts, and there’s plenty of rock renditions from great cover bands.