Where / How
The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition is on the Broadway Pier and Pavilion on the Big Bay in downtown San Diego.
Address is 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
How to get here by Transit
Take the Coaster®, trolley or the bus . . . loads of fun without the fuss. Families living or staying anywhere in the County can take MTS buses or Orange and Green Line trolleys or COASTER® trains, which all stop at Santa Fe Depot, just a couple of blocks away from the Cruise Ship Terminal Beach (ummm . . . Broadway Pier). Bonus: Show your MTS ticket or pass at our ticket booth and take $2 off adult admission. (Not valid for seniors, kids or active military, who already get in cheap.) If you’re coming from Orange County or L.A., take Amtrak and you too will end up at Santa Fe Depot. If you’re coming from Coronado, take the ferry. You’re here.
From North County, take the 5 freeway south to exit 17 (Front St./Civic Center). Stay right onto Front St. Take Front St. to Broadway, then turn right. Take Broadway West until you’re near the Bay. Find a place to park. See below.
From South Bay, take the 5 freeway north to exit 15B (‘B’ Street/Pershing Drive). Turn left onto ‘B’ Street. Go straight under the City College overpass, then go to 10th Ave. and turn left (or make a left on 8th or 6th or 4th). Go 2 blocks to Broadway and turn right. Take Broadway West until you’re near the Bay. Find a place to park. See below.
From East County, take the 8 freeway to the 163 South. Freeway ends and becomes 10th Ave. Turn right at Broadway and head toward the Bay.
Closest Parking lots are located at the U.S.S. Midway Museum (910 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101) and the ‘B’ Street Pier (1140 N. Harbor Dr.) There is an underground lot at the south side of the County Administration Center (W. Ash St. between Pacific Coast Highway and Harbor Drive). Come early. These lots fill up quickly.
Downtown has many additional lots, as well as much available parking on the street grid system. You should be able to park within a few blocks of our location. Do not park at curbs that are painted red or white at any time. Blue curbs are designated for handicapped parking only.
Friday and Saturday rules: Parking meters must be filled. Do not park at curbs painted yellow (commercial plates only are okay) or green.
Sunday and Labor Day Monday rules: Street parking is free. You need not feed the meters. You may park at curbs painted yellow or green for as long as you like.
Access for handicapped
The Port of San Diego’s Broadway Landing, Pier and Pavilion are all handicap accessible. From southbound Harbor Drive, vehicles may pull up at the curb in front of the Broadway Pier to discharge handicapped passengers. While there is no parking at the site, there is parking nearby. (See above.) All MTS transit is of course handicap friendly. But transit riders must navigate about 2 blocks to the event site.
There’s enough to do downtown for the whole weekend. C’mon down and play!
Harbor Drive is home, not only to our international sand sculpture and art expo extravaganza, but also to the Maritime Museum’s Festival of Sail to our North, and to events at the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier museum and world-famous Seaport Village and brand new Headquarters complex to our South. (The latter is a wonderful recreation of San Diego’s old police headquarters, with great shops, restaurants and, of course, a jail for you to enjoy, if only briefly.)
Little Italy is 3 blocks East and 5 or 6 blocks North of our event. The Gaslamp Quarter is a dozen short blocks East and 2 blocks South. Walk a little. It’s good for you. Then replace the calories with all the great food in all these great places. (Or eat first, then walk. Or walk and eat and walk. Or . . . .)
Where to Stay
The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition has two Official Hotels: the wonderful boutique Sofia Hotel on Broadway between Front St. and First Ave. (a pretty 6-block walk from the event site) and the beautifully renovated Wyndham San Diego Bayside Hotel, 2 blocks north across Harbor Drive from the event. Our staff and world master sand sculptors stay at these hotels. Both have a limited number of rooms set aside for event-goers at significantly reduced rates: the Sofia starting at $149 and the Wyndham at $169 per night.
Enjoy the Big Bay on Labor Day weekend. Get down downtown! This is, after all, the last great holiday weekend of Summer!