Did you know that Galveston is host to a huge sandcastle competition? These sandcastles aren’t made from plastic forms that you buy in route to the beach. These sandcastles are designed and created by actual architects. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has held this event at East Beach in Galveston for more than 30 years and it’s not to be missed. Formerly held in June, this year the 32nd Annual AIA Sandcastle Competition is Saturday, August 25, 2018 at East Beach.
Here are some tips on attending one of the most popular events in Galveston:
• Arrive early and plan to stay late to see the completed projects.
• Sixty teams will build their sandcastles between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
• The public is invited to vote between 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on their favorite.
• Judging is held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and the awards are at 4:30 p.m.
• There are two entrances into East Beach, Apffel Park Road and Boddeker Drive. Parking is $15/vehicle and there is a one-time entry per vehicle.
• Bring a cooler with bottled water and snacks. Note: East Beach offers a pavilion with restrooms, showers food trucks and concessions. Alcohol is allowed at this beach park. Glass bottles are prohibited.
• Traffic can be backed up, especially at the end of the day so consider riding a bike to East Beach.
o Note: There are several bike rentals available on the island. If you are a guest at Hotel Galvez & Spa ask about the courtesy bikes to hotel guests. If you are a guest at The Tremont House, Zipp E-Bikes (electric bike rentals) is directly across the street. You can take these bikes on the beach but avoid the water.
• Plan ahead and bring your towels, sunblock, snacks and beach chairs. Note: Chair and umbrella rentals are also available and some beach supplies are available for sale at the pavilion.
• If you bring children and dogs, keep them hydrated and remember, expect big crowds.
• Some locals skip the crowds on Saturday and come on Sunday to see the completed sandcastles.
• Bring your smart phones and post your pictures.
Book Your Hotel:
• For a beach view with history, stay at Hotel Galvez & Spa. The hotel provides a courtesy shuttle to transport hotel guests downtown.
• For a stay in The Historic Strand District, book your stay at The Tremont House.
• Or if you want to enjoy of view of the harbor, consider Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.