A big sandcastle, new mural, and angelic doors!

I’ve recently updated three old blog posts with new photographs!

Today I headed back down to Imperial Beach. I had to check out the gigantic sandcastle that was completed by the pier for the 2021 Sun and Sea Festival. See lots of incredible new photos in an update here!

I also swung by City Heights, to check out the long, amazing mural that’s slowly coming to life in Teralta Park. Click here to see those new photos!

Finally, a few weeks ago I took a walk through Sherman Heights, and directed my feet toward Our Lady of Angels. I wanted better, closer photographs of the church’s fantastic doors. See those here!

I’ve got many more colorful blog posts coming in the near future!

Stay tuned for tons of art in Escondido, interesting activity in Old Town, and more cool sights in North Park, Chula Vista, City Heights and downtown! Not to mention potential surprises!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A gigantic sandcastle in Imperial Beach!

An absolutely gigantic sandcastle is now being built at the foot of the Imperial Beach Pier!

The huge two-stories high sand sculpture, which is being referred to as the Monument Castle, is the centerpiece of this year’s week-long Sun and Sea Festival. Imperial Beach has become Sandcastle City!

The I.B. Posse, a team of local sand artists, began to build the castle a couple days ago. The sand carving will continue through this week.

I intend to swing by again next weekend to check out the finished sandcastle! I’ll post those pics in an update here!

UPDATE!

I swung by the following weekend after the huge sandcastle was completed. I see the I.B. Posse was assisted by the Sand Squirrels, Dan Belcher, Bruce Phillips and Sculpting San Diego.

Wow! Check it out!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A colorful Sunday walk on Imperial Beach Pier.

Today I headed down to Imperial Beach to check out a sandcastle that is under construction at the foot of the IB Pier. This summer’s week-long Imperial Beach Sun and Sea Festival features one gigantic sand sculpture. (I’ll share those photos shortly!)

Because I was at the pier, of course I had to walk out on it.

These colorful photographs were taken during my Sunday stroll over the ocean. I walked out to the pier’s end, gazed at the sky and water for a while, then headed back to the beach.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Hotel del Coronado’s Winter Wonderland!

A fun Winter Wonderland can be enjoyed freely during this holiday season outside the Hotel del Coronado!

A huge Christmas tree, a Santa’s sleigh, a Polar Express, and all sorts of fun decorations invite visitors to take photographs on the world-famous hotel’s beachfront Windsor Lawn.

From what I could see, groups of tourists love the Winter Wonderland just as much as families and kids.

It all must be quite amazing when lit up at night!

Before I entered the Winter Wonderland from the beach, I had to check out a cool sand sculpture created by the Sandcastle Man. I’ve seen many of his sculptures over the years. I asked how long he’s been building castles by the Hotel del Coronado. He said fourteen years!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Photos from past US Sand Sculpting Challenges!

The annual US Sand Sculpting Challenge was cancelled this year due the COVID-19 pandemic. The world-class event takes place each Labor Day weekend and draws huge crowds to San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Having gone to this mind-blowing international competition for the past six years, I’ve accumulated lots of cool photos! The world’s top sand masters can produce absolutely astonishing works of art!

To recall past wonders from this event, I’ve linked to blog posts containing hundreds of photographs. Before you check those out, however, in no particular order, here are some of the sand sculptures I’ve particularly enjoyed!

The following links provide six years of photographs from the US Sand Sculpting Challenge…

2014

Photos of world-class sand sculptors at work!

2015

Photos of amazing, incredible sand sculptures!

2016

The most amazing sand sculptures in the world!

2017

World’s top sand sculptors create fantastic art!

2018

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

2019

Amazing art at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Amazing art at U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

If you’re in San Diego this Labor Day weekend, you need to go to the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge at downtown’s Broadway Pier. The annual event is just as incredible as ever, with amazing, eye-popping sand sculptures by some of the top sand artists in the world!

This morning I got my ticket right as the event opened, and I directed my feet straight into the Broadway Pier’s Port Pavilion, which is where the Sand Masters were working on their masterpieces. It seems every year the sculptures become more elaborate and beautiful.

I took some photos with my little camera to provide a taste of what you will see. In addition to these masterpieces, you’ll enjoy other sand sculptures by local San Diego teams, plus all sorts of three-dimensional artwork outside on the pier. Plus there’s live music, lots of food trucks, and a big sand box where you can make your own sandcastles!

The competition’s theme this year is Wonder. Here’s a glimpse of the amazing sculptures, with each piece’s title and artist.

On the Loose, by Chris Guinto.

If We Don’t Change, the World Will Soon Be Over, by Abram Waterman. (The sculpture depicts Stevie Wonder.)

The Force, by Jihoon Choi.

I Wonder About You, by Hanneke Supply.

Think and Wonder, Wonder and Grow, by Anique Kuizenga.

Wanderlust, by Dan Belcher.

The Other Side, by Brian Turnbough.

Just Wondering, by Martijn Rijerse.

Why, How, When? by Melineige Beauregard.

Full of Wonder, by Thomas Koet.

Wonder Woman, by John Gowdy.

With Love Through Life, by Pavel Mylnikov.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

World-class sand masters smile for fun photos!

Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!
Cool sand artists rest for a bit near the foot of Broadway Pier as they create a welcoming sculpture for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! A couple faces look familiar from past competitions!

Some of the world’s greatest sand artists smiled for my camera late this afternoon! They’re now carving sand sculptures on Broadway Pier that will greet people as they arrive for the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.

During Labor Day weekend, these extraordinary artists will be working hard inside the Port Pavilion, where the public can watch them create spectacular pieces of fine art out of compacted sand!

If you’re in San Diego, it’s the big Labor Day weekend event you shouldn’t miss!

On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th anniversary of the city of San Diego!
On the other side of the welcoming sand sculpture, a design is being carved that celebrates the 250th Anniversary of the City of San Diego!

One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by MTS. It's a work still in progress.
One of the outdoor sand sculptures near the Port Pavilion is sponsored by San Diego’s public transit system, MTS. It’s a work still in progress.

Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during this annual competition. This sculpture he's working on promotes Natural Light Seltzer.
Sand master and TV star Chris Guinto smiles for my camera! I met him briefly five years ago during the annual competition. This sculpture he’s working on for an event sponsor will promote Natural Light Seltzer.

UPDATE!

Here are some photos taken the following day…

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Compacting sand for world-class sculptures!

This morning sand is being compacted in wooden forms on the Broadway Pier. That means Labor Day weekend can’t be very far away, along with the 2019 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

During this annual festival, fine art will be created by some of the world’s top sand sculptors inside the pier’s Port Pavilion. Meanwhile, I was told that the carving of several sponsored sand sculptures outdoors on the pier begins tomorrow!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter

Sand sculpture murals show San Diego history!

Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.
Two bas-relief sand sculpture panels by renowned artist Charles R. Faust in the lobby of 2550 Fifth Avenue in San Diego.

Two amazing works of art can be viewed inside an office building in Bankers Hill. The small murals–sculptures made of sand that appear as bas-relief panels–decorate a wall in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, the building best known as the home of Mister A’s restaurant.

Commissioned by the now defunct Great American First Savings Bank to celebrate their Centennial in 1985, the two panels depict important San Diego landmarks and aspects of local history.

The two sand cast panels were created by Charles R. Faust (1922 – 2000), a prolific artist who for many years worked as the director of architectural design at the San Diego Zoo. His invention of moated animal enclosures in the mid-1950’s revolutionized how the world famous zoo and their Wild Animal Park near Escondido exhibited animals. He also designed the San Diego Zoo’s huge walk-in aviary–the first of its kind in the world.

After retiring from that job, Charles opened Faust Sand Casting in Ocean Beach with his son. Over his creative lifetime the art of Charles Faust would also include fine drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, many of which depicted life in the Old West, a theme he loved.

His sand sculpture murals have added beauty to many locations around San Diego. I photographed a couple of these murals in the past for Cool San Diego Sights, without realizing at the time they were created by Charles Faust. You can spot them here and here!

Yesterday morning I spoke to a security guard in the lobby of 5th & Laurel, and he said these two “sand art” panels were moved from a suite in the building where there used to be a bank. I believe they were in Suite 120, once the home of Pacific Premier Bank, and the future home of an upscale Italian restaurant. But I’m not sure about the exact history of these particular panels. If you know anything more about them, please leave a comment!

(Please note these photographs make the panels seem more yellowish than they are in reality, due to the indoor lighting and my modest camera.)

The panel on the left. It depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.
The panel on the left. It depicts early San Diego history, including Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the ranchos.

A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.
A friar outside the Spanish mission. The man on horseback might be a soldier from the old presidio.

The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.
The bells of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, first Spanish mission in Alta California.

Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.
Scenes from the Old West in San Diego, including an old wagon and a ride on a bucking horse.

A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.
A rancher or vaquero, and a herd of cattle.

The panel on the right. It depicts many later San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.
The panel on the right. It depicts many later San Diego landmarks. Images include Balboa Park, a streetcar, Coronado ferry, naval ship, farm and Victorian houses.

GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL – 100 YEARS – 1885-1985
GREAT AMERICAN CENTENNIAL – 100 YEARS – 1885-1985

A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!
A sailboat and birds share San Diego Bay with a pre-bridge Coronado ferry and an early 20th century Navy warship. In the upper right corner I spy a tiny Old Point Loma Lighthouse!

I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.
I recognize the Cabrillo Bridge and the California Building and Tower of Balboa Park.

I think I recognize the historic Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill. The house to the right of it might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but it appears a bit different.
I think I recognize the historic Long-Waterman House of Bankers Hill. The house to the right of it might be a south view of the Britt-Scripps House, but it appears a bit different.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Masterpieces by World Master sand sculptors!

He Left From Here, an angelic sand sculpture by World Master Dmitry Klimenko from St. Petersburg, Russia.
He Left From Here, an angelic sand sculpture by World Master Dmitry Klimenko from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The following photos feature twelve of the most amazing sand sculptures you’re likely to ever see.

Each work of art was created by an internationally famous World Master sand sculptor. And right now, throughout this Labor Day weekend, the public can experience these fantastic works of sand art up close and in person at the 2018 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego, California is considered to be one of the premier Labor Day events in all the United States. At this unique competition, which is held on downtown’s Broadway Pier, visitors can also view incredible sand sculptures carved by super-talented local teams (this year three award-winning teams from Imperial Beach), and all sorts of additional three dimensional artwork along the pier.

But the most extraordinary sand sculptures are inside the pier’s Port Pavilion. And that is what I photographed today.

Prepare to have your breath taken away!

Fantastic art is created by one of the world's top sand sculptors inside San Diego's Port Pavilion at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.
Fantastic art is created by one of the world’s top sand sculptors inside San Diego’s Port Pavilion at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge.

Dmitry Klimenko puts the finishing touches on another of his breathtaking works of sand art.
Dmitry Klimenko puts the finishing touches on a truly breathtaking work of sand art.

Eulogy, a sand sculpture of a rhinoceros by World Master Brian Turnbough from Chicago, Illinois.
Eulogy, a sand sculpture of a rhinoceros by World Master Brian Turnbough from Chicago, Illinois.

The artistry seen in this sand sculpture is extraordinary.
The artistry seen in this sand sculpture is extraordinary.

Brian Turnbough finishes a tribute to the endangered rhinoceros.
Brian Turnbough finishes a tribute to the endangered rhinoceros.

Who Are You?, a fantastic sand sculpture by World Master Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia.
Who Are You?, a fantastic sand sculpture by World Master Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova from Latvia.

Closer photo of a remarkable sand sculpture.
Closer photo of a remarkable sand sculpture.

Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova puts the final touches on a sand cat.
Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova puts the final touches on a sand cat.

A visitor to the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego admires a small work of art.
A visitor to the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge in San Diego admires a small work of art.

At Last, Atlas' Last Atlas!, a humorous sand sculpture by World Master Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.
At Last, Atlas’ Last Atlas!, a humorous sand sculpture by World Master Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California.

Morgan Rudluff works to finish her sculpture by early afternoon, to meet the competition's deadline.
Morgan Rudluff works to finish her sculpture by early afternoon, to meet the competition’s deadline.

A unique work of art produced by skilled hands and human imagination.
A unique work of art produced by skilled hands and human imagination.

The base of Liberation, a sand sculpture about freedom by World Master Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri.
The base of Liberation, a sand sculpture about freedom by World Master Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri.

An eagle is liberated from a cell-like cage. Dynamic sand art with great emotional impact.
An eagle is liberated from a cell-like cage. Dynamic sand art with great emotional impact.

Existential Paradox, a mysterious sand sculpture by World Master Rusty Croft from Carmel, California.
Existential Paradox, a mysterious sand sculpture by World Master Rusty Croft from Carmel, California.

Peering through an existential paradox at an inner human face.
Peering through the existential paradox at an inner human face.

A part of one face.
A part of one face.

Rusty Croft works on humanity's mysterious inner essence.
Rusty Croft works on humanity’s mysterious inner essence.

Another amazing sand sculpture inside the Port Pavilion!
Another amazing sand sculpture inside the Port Pavilion!

Let's Dance, a fanciful sand sculpture by World Master Meg Murray from Australia.
Let’s Dance, a fanciful sand sculpture by World Master Meg Murray from Australia.

A closer photo of the graceful, organic sand sculpture.
A closer photo of the graceful, organic sand sculpture.

Meg Murray concentrates on her poetic sand art.
Meg Murray concentrates on her poetic sand art.

Rear of the abstract Let's Dance, with some simple sand sculpting tools on a table in the foreground.
Rear of the abstract Let’s Dance, with some simple sand sculpting tools on a table in the foreground.

Victory, a classic sand sculpture by World Master Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.
Victory, a classic sand sculpture by World Master Thomas Koet from Melbourne, Florida.

Another work of art. It seems a miracle that such a fine sculpture can be made out of sand.
Another fine work of art. It seems a miracle that such a detailed sculpture can be made out of sand.

Thomas Koet at work on the back side of his triumphant sand sculpture.
Thomas Koet at work on the back side of his triumphant sand sculpture.

A world-class sand artist at work.
A world-class sand artist at work.

To Have and To Hold, an amazing sand sculpture by World Master Abram Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
To Have and To Hold, an amazing sand sculpture by World Master Abram Waterman from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

An eye-catching photo of an eye-popping sand sculpture!
An eye-catching photograph of an eye-popping sand sculpture!

This photo makes it appear as though huge hands are clasping the artist Abram Waterman.
This photo makes it appear as though huge hands are clasping the artist Abram Waterman.

Tender love depicted on the rear of the sculpture.
Tender love depicted on the rear of the sculpture.

A beautiful woman is held in the sculpted sand hands--in the eye of the beholder.
A beautiful woman is held in the sculpted sand hands–in the eye of the beholder.

Inspire, a beautiful sand sculpture by World Master Marielle Heessels from Netherlands.
Inspire, a beautiful sand sculpture by World Master Marielle Heessels from Netherlands.

Flowing beauty magically rises from a block of sand.
Flowing beauty magically rises from a block of sand.

An inspirational sand sculpture in San Diego.
An inspirational sand sculpture in San Diego.

Small Victories, a happy sand sculpture by World Master Lucinda "Sandy Feet" Wierenga from South Padre Island, Texas.
Small Victories, a happy sand sculpture by World Master Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga from South Padre Island, Texas.

Lucinda Wierenga creates amazing detail with very simple tools.
Lucinda Wierenga creates amazing detail with very simple tools.

A butterfly emerges from a flowery bottle of small victories.
A butterfly emerges from a flowery bottle full of small victories.

Celebration, or Cerebration, a brainy sand sculpture by World Master Leonardo Ugolini from Italy.
Celebration, or Cerebration, a cool sand sculpture by World Master Leonardo Ugolini from Italy. Small figures gaze up at a gigantic brain!

Astonishing art awaits visitors on Labor Day weekend in San Diego at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!
Astonishing art awaits visitors on Labor Day weekend in San Diego at the 2018 U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!