This past weekend my mother and I drove down to Port Aransas, Texas to check out the annual Texas Sandfest on Padre Island. I’m not really into sandcastles, but I am all for the beach and road trips. And I’ve never been to Port Aransas. Our four hour drive was worth it as we had a blast on the Texas beach. Here’s my recap from the Sandfest.

Crowd of people

Why do thousands of people flock to Port Aransas at the end of April? To see sand castles of course! But these works of art are not your ordinary sandbox variety sand castles. Sand artists spend hours toiling away with sand and water to create beautiful pieces of art. All competing for awards in different categories. As a guest to the event, you pay a $10 entry fee to walk in and watch the artists work on the sculptures, shop hundreds of vendors, and partake in some of the best-fried food Texas has to offer. There’s also a sandcastle building station for kids and adults to play around, as well as amateur contests, live music, rides and other attractions. Scroll down to see more images from the event!fish sculpture

man building sand castle

sand sculpture

sand sculpture

man building castle

man spraying sand castle with water

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After watching the sand artists for a bit, we headed to the vendor and food portion of the festival to see what we could find. I’m not a big fan of festival food. It’s mostly a collection of fried confections. There were food trucks selling everything from agua fresca, funnel cakes, to fried Oreos. I settled for a sno-cone snack because as the day wore on, the sun became hotter and hotter.

crowd of people

corndog and sno cone

sno cone

With so much food staring you in the face, it’s almost impossible to eat healthy while on vacation. As much as I try, I always cave and land somewhere in the middle. But I guess that’s what vacation is for right?

crowd of people

My final thoughts about Texas Sandfest? I think for the price of $10 you get more than your share of entertainment. Besides looking at sand sculptures, there’s live music and an interactive sand pit area for people to test out their sand castle skills. There’s also ample vendors to shop and sample food products. It’s a family and dog-friendly event. There are dog water stations set up throughout the mile-long strip. And there are wheel chairs designed for the sand that you can rent for anyone who has mobility issues.


Tips For Booking Your Trip

  • If you’d like to book a trip to Port Aransas for your family for next year’s event, I suggest booking your hotel early.
  • There are rental/vacation homes that you can rent that are within walking distance of the event but they fill up fast.
  • We opted to for a 20-minute drive from our hotel in Port Aransas. The hotels in Port Aransas sell out fast as well. So be sure to book your room at least a month in advance.
  • Plan to arrive at the event early in the morning around 9 or 10 AM to avoid traffic. Traffic picks up around 12 PM.
  • There’s free parking and free shuttles to and from the event.

What to Bring

  • You can bring in water bottles and I highly suggest it as the food inside is more expensive.
  • Bring a bag or backpack to carry your belongings. And to hold anything you might buy.
  • Bring extra cash for shopping and eating.
  • Sunscreen
  • A sun hat or visor
  • Bathing Suit – The event is on the beach, so it’s a great opportunity to go swimming with the family.
  • Camera

Click here to learn more about this annual event. I’ll be posting more highlights from our trip to Port Aransas soon!