Where / How
The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition is on the expansive open section of the ‘B’ Street Cruise Ship Terminal Pier in downtown SAND iego. Address is 1140 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
How to get here by Transit . . . and get a discount on tickets
Take the trolley, Coaster® 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 . . . Pier). Bonus: Show your MTS ticket or pass at our ticket booth and take $2 off adult admission. (Not valid for seniors or kids who already get in cheap, or for active duty military, who get in free.) 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. When you disembark, turn left and walk about a block. It’s that easy!
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 an underground lot at the south side of the County Administration Center (W. Ash St. between Pacific Coast Highway and Harbor Drive). There is also a 10-level parking structure 2 blocks north at the corner of Cedar St. and Kettner Blvd. (The lot is available to the public all day on weekends and holidays, even though it’s restricted to County employees during workdays.)
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.
Saturday rules: Parking meters must be fed. Do not park at curbs painted yellow (commercial plates only are okay) or green.
Sunday and Labor Day Monday rules: On City streets, City (grey) meters are free. You need not feed the City meters. You may park at curbs painted yellow or green for as long as you like. But please note – “Port of San Diego” (yellow) meters are NOT free. If you’re looking for free parking, find City meters (grey), and not Port meters (yellow).
Another choice: Park & Ride the Port Shuttle around the Bay
Park near the Harbor Drive Bridge just south of the Convention Center or near the Sheraton Harbor Island on the North and hop on the Port’s Waterfront Summer Shuttle. It does a loop along the Embarcadero about every 20 minutes, stopping at the Maritime Museum and County Waterfront Park, Broadway Pier (next to us), Seaport Village, Manchester Grand Hyatt and Marriott Marquis and Marina. Cost is just $3 per person to ride all day and hop on or off at will. To complete your bayfront tour, you could take the Coronado Ferry right after you and your family enjoy our Sand Sculpting, Art Expo and Kid Zone. It comes and goes just South of our Pier.
Share a ride
Take Uber or Lyft or Bounce or Circuit (free everywhere downtown — you’ll need an app to be picked up anywhere downtown), so you won’t have to park a car on the Embarcadero. There’s a drop-off point just a few yards away from the event entrance (technically, 1140 N. Harbor Dr.). Please have your driver pull over in the designated area. Please don’t stand in this area. It is for loading and unloading only. You may also park at the Old Town Transit Center and take the MTS Green Line trolley just 4 stops to Santa Fe Station (we’re 2 blocks west on the Bay).
Access for handicapped
The Port of San Diego’s ‘B’ Street Pier is handicap accessible. From southbound Harbor Drive, vehicles may pull up in the designated area to discharge handicapped passengers. While there is no parking at the site, there is parking nearby. (See ‘Parking” 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 Wonderspaces exhibition inside our ‘B’ Street Pier terminal building, to the fabulous new Waterfront Park and Maritime Museum to our North, and to events at the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier museum and world-famous Seaport Village and 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 about 3 blocks North of our event. The Gaslamp Quarter is a dozen short blocks East and just 3 blocks South.
Then there’s the ballpark! Come see world-class sand sculptures in the afternoon, let the kids do the rides, buy some unique art for your home or some one-of-a-kind jewelry for your bride, and catch the Padres v. Giants at Petco on Saturday night (game time is 5:40). Or stay downtown on Sat. night and see the Giants game on Sun. afternoon (1:10). There’s a game on Mon. too (Padres v. Diamondbacks at 12:40).
Where to Stay
Official Hotel of the event is the Wyndham San Diego Bayside, just across Harbor Drive from our pier and about a block north. It’s a downtown hotel with a premier location, making it a top destination for all travelers. It features spacious accommodations, special offers, event venues, nearby attractions and more. Click on the logo to go to the hotel site, fill in your stay dates (between 9/1 – 9/9), and check the rates. If you don’t see one for ‘U.S. Sand’, click on ‘See more rates’ and it will come up.
Enjoy the Big Bay on Labor Day weekend. Get down downtown! This is, after all, the last great holiday weekend of Summer!