Did you know that South Padre Island is the Sandcastle Capital of the World? You can take a sand castle lesson with a local professional who will help you build the sandcastle of your dreams! Whether you want to build a traditional sand castle, an animal, a cartoon character, or even your very own sand throne…our local sand sculptors will show you how it’s done. You don’t need any artistic ability, you just need to be able to have fun!
Meet the Experts
Our local sandcastle artists offer a variety of lessons from one-on-one to large group lessons. Whether you’re visiting the Island for a week or just one day, this is an activity that you won’t want to miss out on!
Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga has won international fame with her sand sculpting skill — competing at masters’ level contests and working on major sand projects all around the world since 1987. She has taught generations of South Padre Island visitors how to build a better sandcastle — and has reached sandcastle enthusiasts through her best-selling book, “Sand Castles Made Simple.”
(956) 459-2928 | Website
Andy Hancock was born in Melbourne Australia and lived most of his live in the UK. He discovered South Padre island in Texas
after meeting an American sand sculptor carving ice in Finland, came to Texas in 2002, and never really left! He has worked in more than 10 countries producing larger than life artwork in sand, wood, steel, recycled materials and other media.
(956) 433-9948 | Website
Dennis Barrett, aka, Sand Slave, is a master sand sculptor who spends his time passing on the gift of beautiful sand castle building to students both young and old.
(956) 371-3810 | Website
Walter McDonald, aka, Amazin’ Walter, has been dazzling beach visitors for 30+ years at South Padre Island with his soaring towers and impossible arches in his castles made of sand. The Texas artist also carves bone, antler, wood, stone, fabricates metal, and is a serious photographer, musician, and fisherman.
(956) 761-5943 | Website
Island Insider Tip: Planning something on the Island for meetings and/or groups? A group sand castle lesson would be a great team building exercise!
Sand Castle Days
Over 30 years ago, local sand sculptors started Sandcastle Days as a way to demonstrate the magical sculpting qualities of South Padre Island sand, as well as the critical importance of protecting our beautiful coastal shores. Over the last three decades this free family-friendly event has grown from a local celebration to a qualifying event for the World Championships of Sand Sculpting. The first weekend in October, 30,000+ people come to watch twelve Master Sand Sculptors from all over the world bring the sand to life at this annual event. Sand Castle Days also features live music, kids’ activities, various vendors, and free sandcastle building lessons if you want to join in on the competition in the amateur divisions.
South Padre Island is home to a collection of castles called the Sandcastle Trail. Around 30 sand sculptures are located throughout the Island, sculpted by professional sand artists — some local, some from as far away as Singapore! Many of these sculpture are traditional castles, while others are themed for the businesses where they are located. For example, the sculpture in front of Paragraphs Bookstore pays homage to children’s literature through a combination of book references, including a grinning Cheshire Cat.