Here in Florida, we are #blessed with some of the most pristine beaches in the country. And while we're all about sunshine and waves sand is also a really important factor in keeping our beaches at the top of the list. Luckily for folks on the lookout for the best beach near Tampa Bay, there is a stretch on the Gulf Coast that’s famous for its pure white sand that's made almost entirely of crystal quartz.

The best news of all is that this year, you can appreciate its beauty up-close at a massive, half-month long sand sculpting festival. 

The Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival at Clearwater Beach is going to launch its 17-day sand extravaganza on Friday, April 10.

Eleven artists from all over the world will compete to transform 1,000 tons of sand into the most intricate and elaborate structures imaginable. This essentially means that the festival is mandatory.

The combination of the gorgeous crystal sands and the sheer enormousness of the festival means there will straight-up be no better of a place in the entire state to go check out over-the-top beach creations. 

If the combined weight of the sand sculptures didn’t make your jaw drop, the size of the venue definitely will.

You will be able to explore a 21,000-square-foot structure loaded with unique and interesting artwork. That’s a space about the size of two-dozen apartments, and you can wander through it for hours!

For folks who are down to get their hands dirty, the festival is offering free sculpting classes daily at 2 p.m. — and you don’t need to worry about bringing your own supplies.

Carving tools will be provided, along with instructions on how to use them, courtesy of one of the festival’s master sculptors. 

If all of this sand madness is just too much for you, don’t worry. The festival will be hosting a handful of other activities, including outdoor movies, live music, and our personal favorite: fireworks on Saturdays at 9 p.m. 

You can walk up and down the beach for hours, jamming out to fun tunes and soaking up the Florida sunshine.

The best part is that a day pass at the festival is only $10, which is an amazing price for a day of mindblowing artwork.

Whether you are a sand newbie or a total veteran, this festival will be the most exciting way for you to appreciate the art on a gorgeous local beach. 

Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Price: $10 

When: Friday, April 10 - Sunday, April 26

Where: 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL

Why You Need To Go: You'll see the most beautiful sands made into art in the most extravagant ways. This cannot be missed.

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