Explore beyond the incredible sand sculptures of Texas Sandfest by venturing into Padre Island and Mustang Island. Discover pristine beaches, exciting activities, and delicious dining options nearby to enhance your coastal getaway. Read on for some suggestions to ensure an unforgettable experience beyond the sands of Texas Sandfest. 


Texas Sandfest 

Admire the art of world-class sculptors right along the Port Aransas beach at Texas Sandfest, the largest beach sand sculpture competition in the USA, where artists from around the world gather to create mesmerizing sand sculptures.


Friday, April 19, 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

Saturday, April 20, 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

Sunday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. 


Where to Eat 

Satisfy that burger craving at Padre Island Burger Co. with unique burger combinations or build your own with your choice of patty, bread, toppings, and sides, or enjoy a good pizza moment with dough made from scratch and hand tossed to perfection at Padre Pizzeria. They use locally sourced ingredients to serve pizzas, calzones, pepperoni rolls, and other delicious items. Swing by Celsita’s for a taste of homemade Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites, made from scratch, and created from Celsa’s upbringing in a relaxing family environment.  

If you’re looking for traditional seafood favorites, gorgeous waterfront views that are perfect for watching the sunset, and live music, then head to Doc’s Seafood & Steaks Restaurant. Went fishing? Bring your catch and the chefs will cook it up for you. Snoopy’s Pier offers the same picturesque waterfront views and traditional seafood, but when you’re finished eating, head next door to Scoopy’s Veranda for some Blue Bell ice cream delights. If you’re wrapping up your day at Texas Sandfest, head to Hard Knocks and enjoy wings, chicken strips, burgers, and more with your favorite drink, while watching a game on one of their 83 HD televisions. 


Things to do on Nearby Beaches 

Whitecap Beach, named after its white sands, is an excellent location for smaller groups, solo travelers, or those looking to escape a busier beach scene. Relax on the sand and soak up the sun or book a horseback ride with Horses on the Beach and get matched with a horse that’s just your speed, including a guide and safety gear. Spend an hour riding during the daytime, or plan for a longer sunset ride while enjoying the sights of the city.  Apart from the sands of Malaquite Beach, Padre Island’s Visitor Center offers an observation deck with a breathtaking view of the beach and wildlife. Visitors can also comb for small shells deposited by north currents at Little Shell Beach and comb through the sands of Big Shell Beach for larger shell discoveries. Beyond relaxing on the sandy shores, if you’re into water sports, our beaches are also a great spot for bay and deep-sea fishing, surfing, and kiteboarding.