All the Best Camping in Texas
Let’s get it out of the way early; Texas is enormous! From the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico to Llano Estacado of West Texas rolling off into neighboring New Mexico, exploring all the ins and outs of Texas would take a lifetime. Before you hit the border, you need a plan. With that in mind, let’s talk about Texas camping options.
You’ll find a Lone-Star-State-sized helping of campgrounds throughout Texas. There is everything from free county park camping and boondocking on the beach to full-service RV parks that offer close access to the major cities.
So, shine your boots, cue “That’s Right You’re Not From Texas,” pull your hat down, and get ready to experience all that Texas has to offer.
Best Tent and RV Camping Near Outdoor Recreation in Texas
Go beyond the cities and start exploring the natural side of Texas. Spread throughout the state are miles of hiking trails, fantastic mountain biking, and waterways to explore. Plus, don’t forget about Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande.
If you’re out for an adventure, it only makes sense to set up camp close to the recreation. Chisos Basin Campground in Big Bend National Park offers incredible views and an off-the-grid oasis for tent camping and small trailers. Be aware that Campendium users have had a tough time getting their campers level in the small sites. With Chisos Basin as a basecamp, you’re in prime position to explore the whole area. Note: Big Bend National Park is partially open as of November 2020. For an authentic western experience, hook up with one of the outfitters right outside Big Bend for a day of horseback riding.
If you need a quick one-night stopover on the way to Big Bend, check out the Marfa Lights Viewing Center. While you’re out that way, you should also stop by Davis Mountains State Park. They have a mix of hiking and biking trails, including the CCC built trail leading to restored Fort Davis.
For the best mountain biking in the state, head north to Amarillo, for a stay at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
Martin Dies Jr. State Park makes an excellent home base for a few days of paddling the miles of creeks, rivers, and bayous that thread through eastern Texas. Be sure to set aside a day to explore one of the three designated paddling trails in Big Thicket National Preserve.
Best Tent and RV Camping Near Cities in Texas
Dynamic, large cities are spread all over Texas, each with a defining character. From the intentionally weird attractions in Austin to the Houston Space Center, there are countless reasons to stay near Texas cities.
If you’re seeking the vibrancy of Austin’s live music scene, check out the Campendium user favorite Pecan Grove RV Park. Located only a 15-minute walk from downtown, you’ll be able to experience everything Austin has to offer while still camping in a quiet spot. For Class A owners and bigger fifth-wheel trailers, quarters are a bit tight. Enquire with the staff before making your reservation.
For visitors to Houston, Spring Creek Park offers free full hookup camping in a lovely county park surrounded by natural areas but is still within 35 miles of the city center.
Best Tent and RV Camping in the Texas Hill Country
West of Austin and San Antonio lies the fabled Texas Hill Country. Between granite and limestone hills hide quintessential Texas towns, up and coming vineyards, and spring-fed rivers perfect for an afternoon of relaxation. When not sampling the BBQ and sipping on a glass of wine, you’ll love the rolling two-lane roads with an amazing view from the top of every rise.
Stay in the heart of the region at Crane’s Mill Park, an Army Corps site located on the southern shore of Canyon Lake. Here your evenings will be highlighted by spectacular sunsets over the Guadalupe River.
Best Tent and RV Camping on the Beach in Texas
With all the cattle range, wide-open deserts, and glittering city lights, it could be easy to forget about the Texas coast. Stretching 367 miles from Louisiana to the Mexico border, the beaches fit the adage that everything is bigger in Texas.
Located at the northern end of the Padre Island National Seashore, North Beach puts you right on the sand. You’ll have the ocean out the front door of your rig at this free camping spot (there is a fee to enter the park). Just watch the tides and stay on the firm sand.
Further north, check out Bolivar Flats Free Beach outside Galveston. For a full hookup experience where you don’t have to keep an eye on the tide, make a reservation at Galveston Island RV Resort, which is just across the street from the beach and a short drive into town.
Best Tent and RV Camping in the Texas Panhandle
If you’re up for more exploring, West Texas and the Panhandle provide a whole other Texas experience. This area is what the Texas of classic country music is all about with rolling plains, straight roads, and views for miles.
Are you looking to have a herd of bison for camping neighbors? Try camping at Caprock Canyon State Park. In addition to the wildlife viewing, you’ll be right on the 64-mile long Caprock Canyons Trailway, a multi-use path for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
You could spend a lifetime exploring the state of Texas and still not see it all. The good thing is, no matter what direction you head in the Lone Star State, you’re sure to find something amazing. Happy explorin’ y’all!