You cannot camp anywhere in Texas. Camping on public land is illegal in Texas. You can only camp on designated camping areas in Texas.
Where can you camp for free in Texas?
The most popular FREE campgrounds in Texas are Brazos Island, Camp Creek Recreation Area, and Lake Limestone Public Use Area. No reservations are required but you need to register on arrival.
Where can I go primitive camping in Texas?
The most popular places for primitive camping in Texas are Colorado Bend, McKinney Falls or Pedernales Falls state parks.
How much is camping in Texas?
Primitive campgrounds start at $10 USD per night and RV campgrounds can vary from $20 USD – $80 USD depending on amenities and location.
Here we go: 19 Best Places to Camp in Texas
1. Gulf Waters Beach Front RV Resort
Nestled in Port Aransas right next to Mustang Island beach, this luxury RV resort is a great choice for campers who would like to stay by the seaside and get indulged with numerous hotel-like amenities.
There are 158 uniquely designed RV sites. They all have concrete RV pads, a tow parking spot, and a picnic area. Many of them are surrounded by lush vegetation, whereas some of them feature a paver patio, a pond-view patio, a fire pit, palapa, pergola, or a grill.
Stroll the beach, sunbathe, swim in the on-site swimming pool, or relax in the jacuzzi. Gulf Waters Beach Front RV Resort is a true paradise of the East Coast.
2. La Hacienda RV Resort
If you’re looking to go camping but still would like to stay near the city, La Hacienda RV Resort is a fantastic option.
The resort features full hook-up sites with 30/50 amp service, gravel pads, and a concrete patio area with a picnic table. For a bit more comfort, you can stay at one of their vacation rentals, all of which are pet-friendly.
Leave your RV at the campground, situated on the outskirts of Austin, and set off exploring all it has to offer. Enjoy some live music and other local attractions, such as shopping, dining, golfing, sporting events, and much more. Nature lovers will appreciate the nearby Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refugee. Then, enjoy the on-site swimming pool, fitness center, or the 4-hole chip and putt.
3. Brazoria County Beach (Near Surfside) 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.
This 178-site campground offers 147 paved pull-through sites. Each site comes with electricity and a private picnic area.
Cool off with a dip in the heated outdoor pool from Memorial Day to Labor Day or relax in the adult-only spa.
This RV resort, located only one mile from the iconic Cadillac Ranch, offers complimentary limousine service to The Texan Steakhouse.
Your dog is likely to love the large dog run while your children let out pent-up energy on the well-maintained playground. An exercise room, horseshoe pit, and game room provide plenty of places to relax.
Watch your favorite shows with the complimentary cable television service or brag to your friends and followers about the great time you are having using the high-speed internet.
5. Stella Mare RV Resort in Galveston – Best Beach Camping in Texas
Choose between 70-or-90-foot concrete pads at Stella Mare Resort in Galveston. Full hookups come with each site, and there is room at each site to park two vehicles.
Sit back and relax on the in-pool lounge chairs in the swimming pool or play at the large splash pad. Your children will love the multi-level playground located on its own sand island.
Two spacious dog parks help you give your dogs enough exercise and entertainment after a long ride. The guest center offers a complimentary indoor kitchen and a television lounge.
You get free parking just across from Galveston Beach. This campground provides unobstructed views of Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Camping season is around the corner and it’s just about time to book a spot at the Mustang Island State Park.
The park has more than a 5-mile of coastline which makes it perfect for taking long hikes, go fishing or birdwatching, enjoying its lovely beaches, and if you are not feeling like cooking, dining out at one of the restaurants at Padre Island and Port Aransas is also an option you can’t miss.
Another perk! – Pretty affordable. Only $5 per person per day and children under 13 can go for free. Spending the night only costs you $10. Texas Parklands passport holders aged 65+ get a 50% off, and depending on certain conditions, you can even enjoy the park for free!
Pro-tip: the park charges you $20 per night for RV campground. Do not forget to make reservations in advance to get a good spot and ask if you should or should not get an odd or an even number so your door looks onto the shelter and picnic table. It depends on your RV.
Other cool things you can do or have:
Very committed staff
Good Verizon and T-Mobile cell and internet connectivity
Located within Austin’s city limits, McKinney Falls State Park on the shores of Onion Creek will leave you feeling like you have left big-city life far behind. The 81 campsites each have water and electricity.
Escape from the heat with a dip in Onion Creek or sit along its banks and listen to the water gush off the rocks.
A 2.8-mile paved hiking trail offers many scenic views and adventurous hikers can explore the more primitive hiking trails. Park rangers lead exciting programs almost every weekend, including Dutch oven cooking, historic crafts, night hikes, and fishing events.
You can also go bouldering at this state park located just 13 miles from the state capitol building.
Palo Duro Canyon is one of the largest canyon habitats in the continental United States. You can find interesting wildlife to study all through this canyon system, and the bird-watching is excellent.
The upper rim of the canyon is part of the local shortgrass prairie, but below the lip of the canyon you’ll find a wide variety of plants thanks to the easy access to water.
The canyon is a floodplain, so if you plan a hike down the 800 feet to the bottom, make sure to check the weather.
Depending on your sleeping preferences, there are multiple campsite options. There are several RV friendly spots with electricity and water. Additionally, those with big rigs can find room on the Hackberry campsite.
If you just need water or are looking for primitive sites, Palo Duro offers the chance to rough it.
There are multiple hike-in sights. Make sure to bring water to these sites and be ready to pack out all your trash.
9. Padre Island – Loved by Surfers – Free Camping Texas
If you’re in the mood to rough it, Padre Island camping is ideal. Please note that there are no reservations taken for these campgrounds; first come, first served is the rule.
Additionally, there are no water or electrical hookups at these sites, though RVs are welcome and there is a water filling station and a dump station.
Make sure to prepare for your camping trip to Padre Island. It’s about 12 miles from the entrance to the nearest amenities, so make sure to stop, shop and stock up before getting to your campsite.
Once you get to Padre Island, be ready to relax and enjoy the best camping in Texas.
Make sure you check out Bird Island Basin for beautiful views and a quiet night.
No generators are allowed from 10 pm to 6 am. It’s just you, the wind and the waves.
Located on the shores of Lake Texoma, near Dennison, Texas, there are many ways to enjoy a visit to this state park.
You can shore fish without a license, and rangers will be glad to loan you all the needed equipment to fish at this lake that is one of the best bass fishing lakes in the United States.
Bring along your all-terrain vehicle or your dirt bikes to enjoy the backcountry wilderness. You will also want to bring along your camera to capture amazing landscape images along the dedicated hiking trails.
Each site has a picnic table making it easy to enjoy meals prepared in the fire rings or on the waist-high grills that you find at many sites.
14. Garner State Park Near Concan
The 1,774 acres Garner State Park has over 50 campsites. You can join the fun of summer dances under the stars at this campground, just like people have been doing since 1940.
Paddle boats, kayaks, and inner tubes are all available to rent so that you can play on the Frio River. This campground even offers a seasonal miniature golf course.
There are many miles of hiking trails, so be sure to bring along your boots. Join park rangers for many exciting programs, including learning how to geocache.
You may also want to bring along lunch and a blanket and escape the Texas sun under the tall shade trees while enjoying a picnic.
15. NW Austin KOA Near Leander
Located just 26 miles northwest of the state capital, NW Austin KOA in Leander, Texas, is a great place to stay.
From March to November, you can cool off in the saltwater swimming pool that features a waterfall or relax in the hot tub and spa.
If you go camping with your four-legged friend, they will love the large dog park while your children will love the spacious playground.
This campground offers many outstanding places to cuddle up with a good book, so bring some old ones along to participate in their book exchange program.
The staff at this campground works hard to maintain its five-star KOA rating.
16. South Llano River State Park Near Junction
This small campground offers eight sites with electricity and six backcountry tent camping sites.
The main reason that people come to South Llano River State Park is the tubing, and this park offers tubes for rent along with many put-in and get-out spots.
You can also enjoy hiking along over 21 miles of trails where people have spotted more than 250 species of birds.
Traditionally, from October 1 through March 31, this park is home to one of the largest turkey roosts in Central Texas.
When you stay at this park, check out the many astronomy events as this park is part of the International Dark Sky program.
17. Lost Maples State Park Near Vanderpool
Thirty back-in campsites with electricity are available at Lost Maples State Park along with 50 hike-in primitive sites.
Hike the 10-mile path under the Uvalde lost maple trees, which are especially colorful in the fall. Go fishing in the Sabinal River or Can Creek without leaving the boundaries of this campground.
Climb to the top of the 2,200-foot cliff to take part in stargazing events held on many nights.
While enjoying communing with nature at this park that is located only 30 miles from San Antonio, Texas, watch for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.
18. Rio Grande Village RV Park near Big Bend
Situated on the edge of the Rio Grande River within Big Bend National Park, this concession-operated campground offers 100 camping sites.
Consider going on the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive for amazing views of the Chihuahuan Desert landscape or get an up-close look by hiking the Window Trail or Lost Mine Trail.
Learn about the first settlers in this region by joining an informative talk led by one of the park rangers.
River Road, Glenn Springs Road, Old Ore Road, and Old Maverick Road offer great back-country driving experiences for those with high-rise vehicles.
Hike through the mountain forest located along the South Rim.
19. Caprock Canyons
Everyone from RVers to primitive tent campers will love a stay at Caprock Canyons. Please be aware that Caprock Canyons State Park is home to several large animals, including horses and bison.
While the horses are corralled and there for your enjoyment, the buffalo are actually the residents of the area.
Do NOT feed, crowd, follow or approach a bison. If your neighbor is doing so, contact a ranger.
In addition to many campsites with a variety of amenities, there are several spots to fish, hike and climb.
There is some shopping at the park headquarters building, but it’s a good idea to stock up before you head into the park.
Hikers and cyclists are strongly encouraged to travel with a gallon of water wherever they go.
Take care to pack out any trash you generate, whether on the trails or on your campsite.
There are so many great choices of campgrounds with amazing amenities and natural surroundings for best camping in Texas experience.
We are proud to introduce you to these 15 favorites. With such a wide variety of outstanding options, it is easy to reconnect with nature in the Lone Star State on a camping trip.
You just have to choose which type of camper you want to be for the weekend. You can choose to live in luxurious RV campsites with all kinds of built-in luxuries or in a travel trailer that is just big enough for one. At many of these campgrounds, you can also choose to go primitive camping by staying in a tent.
While the 24 hours that it takes to drive across the state may seem long to many, you can find so many beautiful campgrounds to explore that you will never be in a hurry.
You can spend time exploring the Piney Woods of East Texas, the coastline of South Texas, the high plains of northwest Texas, the Hill Country, or the desert of West Texas. Start planning your adventure now by getting reservations at these campgrounds as many fill up very quickly.
If you get tired of exploring the campground, then reconnect with civilization, most places are located near small or large cities with many activities, just begging you to come to them. Get your rig ready for your next Texas camping adventure.