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“BE ADVISED: MOVED TO DEL MAR!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of San Diego Sand Castles

San Diego Sand Castles
4306 Ocean Boulevard, San Diego, CA
+1 619-200-0565
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Ranked #1 of 235 Attractions in San Diego
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Owner description: San Diego Sand Castles isn't a gallery, competition, or "thing to see" for public viewing. In fact, we're a far more interactive reservations-required beachside "thing to do" where your group gets to be the artists! San Diego Sand Castles in Pacific Beach specializes in sand castle lessons for people of all ages all year-round! Run by JT Estrela, San Diego's resident sand sculptor, our sand castle lessons are a lot of fun, are educational, and a great way to spend time on the beach in San Diego. Each lesson is personalized and special with a focus on having fun with the process in a unique change of pace from theme parks or even just typical beach sunbathing. BOOK EARLY! RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED AND GO VERY FAST! When JT and his partners aren't happily teaching sand castle lessons, they are often working on professional masterpiece commissioned sculptures or you can often find them creating their own unique ideas right there on the Pacific Beach boardwalk!
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
182 helpful votes 182 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

We have Reservations For Sept.

We have read that people are disappointed about:
No shows, miss communication, miss understanding about where to meet. When I email JT about SD.
JT said we're having difficulty with San Diego beaches, you shouldn't wait for customers with reservations to read bad reviews to contact YOU! JT you should notify people who have made reservations with your sand castle company! Not courteous !
San Diego has for business to build Sandcastle's on their beaches . I asked JT , should we council our reservation ? All JT said in his Email was;" you have plenty of time don't worry about it " well after reading the reviews about last minute cancellations are no notice of counseling , I'm a bit leery !!
Del Mar is the NEW LOCATION! I have tried to E-mail JT and text him regarding our reservation for Sept. ( Anniversary )
JT has been vague and shortcoming with information!! We are not from SD so we want our Anniversary day special ! We want everything planed out before our 4 day Anniversary get away. & we have reservations @ Donavan's.
Just sad many people Are frustrated with this company and I am getting there! I have asked JT how far is Del Mar from Where we're staying in SD he will NOT respond.

San Diego will NOT allow JT & his company to build Sand Castles without permits! Understandable!!!!!!!
Just be sure ALL your ducks are in a row , re grading this activity!
I too have read Amazing reviews than started reading reviews where people were not notified of cancellations or change of city location!
JT I wish you the best, please take into consideration of customers and children! A well planed Day makes for a much smoother , enjoyable Day!!!
You should change your name. SD moved to Del Mar Sand Castles.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Madrid, España
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful way to sped 3 hours on the beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

I was quiet exceptic when my husband told me that he had booked a sand castle building lesson, thought I was too old for that, but to my surprise, we had one of the best days on the beach ever! Pacific beach, with its pier it is beautiful, JT was an excellent teacher and we ended having a lot of fund building an incredible castle (taking into account that we have not played with sand in decades ;.) ). After the lesson we had dinner overlooking our master work from Joe Crab's Shack.

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014 via mobile

We had a great time with JT on Del Mar Beach - booked the sunset time slot with a full lesson which is about 2-3 hours. The 3 of us (husband, daughter aged 7 and I) had never taken lessons before, but we learnt a lot! Our lesson started a little later than scheduled (JT was finishing up with another family) but made up for it by staying later. He was very attentive to our daughter making sure she had help when she needed, engaged her in the lessons and taught us all the basics - how to make the foundation using the right mix of sand & water to the next level of techniques of carving out windows, stairs, creating bridges, trees and even "sand balls" (instead if snow). Throughout the lesson JT was helpful, informative and a lot of fun. We definitely garnered a lot of attention on the beach. Definitely book a lesson if you can. Del Mar beach is very family oriented, and clean. We did not get a chance to visit, but there were a lot of little stores around to browse if you wanted. It was a fantastic afternoon and evening! Thanks again JT!

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudson, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Even I made a sand castle...well sort of...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

I reserved a one hour lesson for my wife as a gift for our 32nd wedding anniversary (all the longer 3-hour slots were filled for the time we were to be in San Diego). We met Kristine at 8:45 on a beautiful morning at Coronado beach. The morning is a great time as it's not too hot and there is plenty of parking. Much to my surprise, my daughter and I joined in the Quick lesson at no additional charge. For the shorter lesson, we each were able to build a smaller sand castle that was made from a single form. This let each one of us express our individuality (or artistic ineptness in my case)! Kristine did a great job of teaching us the different techniques and my wife and daughter quickly put them in practice and made beautiful castles to house Rapunzel and to ward off invading marauders and their flying cannon balls. I was a bit of a hopeless cause when it came to following directions, but had a great time just the same building my own more industrial looking creation.

Much to our good fortune, the folks for Kristine's next lesson had just cancelled so she spent considerable extra time with us at no extra charge (we tried to make it up to her with a nice tip). If you pick things up quickly, are content with a smaller sand castle, and don't want to learn many of the different techniques, the one hour Quick lesson may be sufficient. If you want the whole enchilada, I would recommend the 3 hour lesson. Overall, we had a great time and came away with the skills to build wonderful sand sculptures. It was very fun...even for me!

Visited August 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geelong Bellarine, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

We came across a sand castle on San Deiago beach, it was of the Disneyland castle, it was just amazing it even had Mickey and Minnie there, the children thought it was super.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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