Beautiful Texas Beach Camping Spots On The Gulf Coast
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Looking for the best spots to camp on the beach in Texas?
Camping on the sandy beaches is one of our favorite things to do on the Gulf Coast of Texas with kids.
The Lone Star State has over 360 miles of coastline and many excellent beaches.
From primitive camping to RV hookups, there are plenty of options on the Texas Coast for beach campers.
The national and state parks on the coast are perfect for those who like camping in solitude.
Beach towns including Rockport and Surfside are great for those who need to be at the center of activity.
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The many Texas Beach RV Parks and Texas Beach campgrounds are perfect for Winter Texans!
Fun fact: There are many places on the coast where you can even camp for free!
Best part? Beach camping in Texas is popular year round.
In the winter, snowbirds and winter Texans flock to the coast to experience the warm weather and sunshine.
In fact, the Gulf beaches are the favorite Texas winter vacation destinations for several people.
During summer, swimming in the Gulf waters and camping under the stars are our favorite ways to beat Texas heat right there at the top along with waterfall hikes and floating the Guadalupe!
Discover the best beach camping in Texas, from Sea Rim State Park to South Padre Island in this ultimate guide!
Brazos Bend State Park
Set along the Brazos River in Needville, the 4,897-acre Brazos Bend State Park is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including American Alligators. Located within a stone’s throw from the thriving metropolis of Houston, the park offers several hiking trails, including the 40-Acre Lake and Elm Lake trails, which provide excellent opportunities for alligator spotting. The park features a variety of camping, fishing, and day-use facilities, as well as about 25 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, a Nature Center with nature exhibits, and an observatory.
40-acre Lake Trailhead, Brazos Bend SP, Needville, Texas
Grand Texas Rv Resort New Caney
Houston is close to one of the best RV parks in the nation, never mind the state!
Grand Texas RV Resort is situated in New Caney.
If youre looking for a wonderful family vacation resort where everyones guaranteed to have a good time, look no further than the Grand Texas RV Resort in vibrant, hospitable New Caney.
The resort is located right on the highway and is handy for you to get into Houston too. The park has excellent facilities, and theres so much to see and do, your only problem will be deciding where to start!
This is a Good Sam Club-affiliated campground and is complete with a jacuzzi hot tub and brand-new swimming pool. Theres super-fast Wi-Fi, and you can chill out in front of cable TV, too, if you want. Theres a fully-fenced kids playground and a clubhouse where you can grab a coffee, play ping-pong, have a game of billiards, or watch a movie with your family.
Even the family dog is catered for with the fenced dog run where Fido can romp and frolic to his hearts content with his newfound furry friends. Shady picnic sites are scattered around the resort, all of which have grills that are free to use.
Every site is super-spacious and has full, modern hookups, including water, sewer, and enough power for the biggest rigs. Also, theres free garbage pickup, modern showers, and immaculate restrooms.
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Great Texas Beach Camping & Glamping Options On Hipcamp
1. Coastal SEAclusion: Enjoy the comforts of glamping with this waterfront RV near Galveston Island State Park. Take in the peacefulness of the bay or explore the beach before fixing yourself a meal in the fully stocked kitchen.
2. Crystal Beach Cabanas: Glamp along a gorgeous private saltwater lake in an aqua trailer near Galveston Island State Park. You can spend time outdoors on the nearby beach, or take in the lake views from your hammock. The site also features a comfy Tempur-Pedic bed, fully equipped kitchen, and bathroom.
3. Goats Gone Wild: Just 15 minutes off the coast of the southern tip of Texas near Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, youll find a unique experience, the camp at Thompson Dairy Farms, a small goat dairy complete with about 70 goats, cows, chickens, ducks, and pigs. You will have to bring your own tent or RV, but bathrooms, showers, and breakfast are readily available.
4. Treehouse on a Creek: OK, so its not exactly the beach, however we thought you might like to know about this secluded Texas treehouse on a creek thats located near Stephen F. Austin State Park and Lake Somerville State Park, not far from Houston. There is a toilet available, and you also get to enjoy the campgrounds amenities including a hot tub, pizza oven, and fire ring, BBQ rack and, of course, a beautiful creek to explore.
Best Campgrounds At Big Bend National Park
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Camping in Big Bend is one of the highlights of a trip to this outstanding park. Dark skies, birds and wildlife, nature and tranquility are what you’ll find.
The park has a campground in each of its three distinct regions: Rio Grande Village, Chisos Basin, and Santa Elena/Castalon. The latter is where you’ll find the Cottonwood Campground. Each of these areas offers something a little different, but all the campgrounds are very good.
Choosing where to stay comes down to personal taste or even time of the year. Chisos Basin has a little different climate, with warmer nights and cooler daytime temperatures than Rio Grande Village or Cottonwood.
Many of the hiking trails in Big Bend are centered around Chisos Basin, but one of the best hikes, Santa Elena Canyon, is near Cottonwood. The hot springs, one of the top attractions in the park, are near Rio Grande Village.
You can reserve some sites at Chisos Basin and Rio Grande Village, but each of these also has first-come, first-served sites. Cottonwood campground has only non-reservable sites.
You can reserve sites up to 180 days in advance at the Big Bend National Park website. All sites are first-come, first served at all three campgrounds from April 16 to November 14.
Generators are allowed in Chisos and Rio Grande Village, with operating-hour and site-specific restrictions. Generators are prohibited in Cottonwood campground.
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Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway
The perfect Panhandle getaway.
Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway is located in Briscoe County in the Texas Panhandle. Measuring over 15,300 acres, it is the third largest state Park in Texas.
Caprock Canyons is one of the most ruggedly beautiful state parks in the west, featuring mile upon mile of stunning desert landscape peppered with canyons, arroyos, red rock buttes, and grassland plains.
One of the parks main attractions are the bison that roam the plains a sight to behold! In Clarity Tunnel, you can also take the chance to observe a huge colony of Mexican free-tailed bats who now call the tunnel home.
There are over 90 miles of trails to be explored in this park on foot, bike, or horseback. Water sports fans can also enjoy no-wake boating, fishing, and swimming on Lake Theo.
The campsites here range from drive-in sites with electric hookups to walk-in primitive sites. Equestrian campsites with corrals are also available.
Brazoria County Beach Free Camping
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and try free beach camping in Brazoria County. Miles of sandy beaches, bays and bayous, forests, and diverse landscapes, this part of Texas is a perfect spot for fishing, paddling, surfing, and birding.
Simply park along the dunes and enjoy the pristine setting and views of the ocean straight from your tent or RV.
Note that you have to come self-contained to this campground as there are no amenities. However, you can find cold showers and restrooms at the nearby community center. If you want to stock up on supplies, Lake Jackson is less than 15 miles.
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Davis Mountains State Park
Davis Mountains State Park
Located in the mountains of West Texas, Davis Mountains State Park offers gorgeous views and a perfect spot for stargazing. Spend the day bird watching, hiking on the 4.5- mile Skyline Drive Trail or horseback riding. Spend the night finding constellations in a star-lit sky unobstructed by city lights.
Best Places To Go Camping In Texas
Camping is one of the best ways for families to unplug from the stresses of the world and plug into quality time with each other. Texas, with its short winters and a variety of landscapes, offers a plethora of camping experiences that any adult or child will love. Thats why this list of best places to go camping in Texas is sure to please anyone ready to embrace the great outdoors.
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Padre Island National Seashore Camping
Padre Island National Seashore Camping is one of our favorite summer activities.
The national park has 4 campgrounds and you can camp on the beach at 2 of them.
You can choose a campsite tucked besides the sand dunes and have fun sleeping under the stars at night.
Camping at Padre Island is really an amazing experience: the water is pristine and if you time it right, you can attend a Turtle hatchlings release.
Visitors need to pay the national park entry fees but the campsites are free.
You can pick really secluded campsites, making Padre Island one of our favorite camping destination in Texas.
Beach camping on Padre Island is the perfect relaxing getaway as there is no cell service near many of the camping areas and you can enjoy a digital and social media detox.
Heres your complete guide to beach camping at Padre Island National Seashore.
North Beach is our recommended camping area if you dont have a 4WD vehicle.
The beach area is just 5 miles long but less popular so it is easy to find a spot on here.
While having a 4WD vehicle to drive on the beach is highly recommended, if you are going to try with a 2WD then North Beach is your best bet.
We have seen many sedans driving and camping in this part of Padre Island National Seashore.
The access road to the campsites is by the entrance / near the only cell tower in this area.
Then you can just drive along the beach road and select a campsite.
South Beach is our personal favorite camping area.
Goose Island State Park
Woodland and beach camping in one on the Gulf of Mexico coast near the oldest tree in the world.
Goose Island State Park is located just north of the city of Rockport on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
There are several highlights to the park, but the undoubted main attraction is the Big Tree an enormous live oak measuring 35 feet in circumference and 44 feet tall. The tree is thought to be between 1,000 and 2,000 years old, making it in all likelihood the oldest existing live oak tree in the world.
Botanical marvels aside, the island is well worth a visit. Its home to shaded forests, sandy beaches, and each year over 60,000 campers flock there to enjoy boating, swimming, birding, fishing, kayaking, and wildlife watching.
The park has a handful of campsites with drinking water, electricity and sewage hookups, picnic tables, and grills. Theres also a lighted fishing pier, boat ramp, and a kayak/canoe launch.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Similar to Yosemite National Park weather in November, conditions in Colorados Rocky Mountain National Park can range from chilly to arctic.
But you can avoid deep snows by keeping to the lower elevations on the eastern side.
For high country camping and backpacking, youll need winter weather gear.
Cold weather and snow aside, the breathtaking mountain scenery is worth making the trip, especially as there are no crowds.
Even short hikes will make you feel as if youre the only tiny human existing in these majestic ranges.
Every square inch of this massive park will make a photograph worthy of a magazine even if you take it from the car.
Rocky Mountain National Park weather in November rarely has the big snowfalls like in the deep winter months.
Big, blue skies, solitude and an abundance of wildlife make RMNP a delight to visit with a tour like this one.
Complete your visit with a stay in Estes Park, a charming mountain community with great lodging and restaurants.
South Padre Island Beach Camping
South Padre Island camping on the beach is as good as it gets!
From here you can experience stunning sunrises and sunsets and have a relaxing time on the beach.
Tent camping on South Padre Island is our favorite activity but there are also many RV parks which are perfect for all types of equipment.
Some of the top South padre Island RV parks on the beach include Isla Blanca Park and Andy Bowie Park.
From Beach Access #5 to any place north of the island, camping is free.
You will need to pay for a permit to drive on the beach.
The first couple of miles is good for 2WD vehicles while only 4WD vehicles are safe the further north you go.
You can have bonfires here too.
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State Parks In East Texas Where You Can Unplug And Enjoy Nature
Find fall bliss at these East Texas state parks
Mission Tejas State Park commemorates Spains 17th-century attempt to maintain its territory in East Texas
Despite my job as a Texas photographer and writer, I hadnt visited many of East Texas state parks in years. In 2016, when University of Texas Press asked me to revise my 2008 guidebook, Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites, I seized my opportunity and hit the road. The experience was a bit like renewing old friendships I not only saw things I remembered from previous visits, but I also found new surprises. Here are some highlights from my East Texas favorites.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort And Spa Cedar Creek
A stunning 19th-century Texan farmhouse-style property, the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa is an aesthetic sight to behold.
This summer resort in Texas is set in the gorgeous countryside near the Colorado River.
If you are vacationing with family, there will be no need to step out of the property.
The site alone has plenty of things that you can explore with your family, including 18 miles of trails, fireside singalongs, biking trips, treks, etc.
There is also a waterpark with an amazing 1,000-foot lazy river that you can explore as a family.
I am positive that this will be an experience your family will never forget!
At the end of a long and exciting day, you can retire in one of the 491 comfortable rooms.
There are also some pet-friendly options available for you to choose from.
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Great Camping Spots To Scope Out In The Texas Hill Country
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Camping is the best way to experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country. The air is cooler, water clearer, and you can spend all night gazing at the endless starry sky. Weve compiled a list of our favorite spots to pitch a tent in the Hill Country. These primo campgrounds offer opportunities to go fishing, swimming, hiking, kayaking, bike riding, rock climbing and just about anything else you can do outdoors. Is there anything better than friends firing up their propane smokers and enjoying a tasty meal while camping?
Of course, you should do a little research before you pack your tent and go. Be sure to check weather and water conditions, research the best tent for heavy rain, and dont forget to inquire about campground pet policies. Also be aware of the difference between primitive and improved campgrounds, so you can be prepared. Here are our 10 best camping spots in the Hill Country. Additionally, one resource for learning more about RVs and motorhomes is outingxpert.
1. Garner State Park Concan, TX
Best Winter Camping Spots In Texas
Your excitement for camping doesnt have to lay dormant during the winter months in Texas. While the chillier air may send you to the comfort of a cabin or RV, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of the season. No matter what style you prefer, here are the 10 best spots for winter camping in the Lone Star State.
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Grand Texas Rv Resort
This Houston-based campground offers large back-in and pull-through sites with all pads and roads made of level concrete. An automated entrance gate ensures you will always feel safe.
Amenities include full hook-ups, a year-round pool and Jacuzzi, a fenced dog park, a fenced playground, and a grassy field for a game of touch football. Located next to the playground, a clubhouse offers a place to hang out and play pool, ping pong, or foosball, or watch a movie.
The park is conveniently located near The Woodlands, Conroe, Cleveland, Humble, Bush Intercontinental Airport, and downtown Houston. Located across the street is Big Rivers Waterpark & Adventures with plenty of water fun for the whole family.