One of the biggest appeals of the RV lifestyle is the ability to pack up your home on wheels and drive it to whatever destination you wish to visit. Your destination of choice could be any landscape or any region of the US. These include the mountains of Colorado, the forests of Washington, the deserts of Arizona, or the beaches of Virginia. One such popular destination is the southern Gulf Coast of Texas.
Along the coast of Texas, you will find hundreds of miles of stunning beaches. Here, the warm waters of the Gulf attract thousands of people for vacations each year. In a single day, visitors can swim, kayak, fish, sail, sunbathe, and more, all along some of the most beautiful beaches in America. The best part about all of this is that this area of coastline had a multitude of places where RVers can camp completely free of charge. Free coastal camping is pretty much as good as it gets, so let’s head on down to Texas and explore all the places you can take your RV for some fun in the sun.
1. Bolivar Peninsula
Our first stop brings us to a tiny stretch of land called the Bolivar Peninsula. While very beautiful, that doesn’t mean camping here needs to be expensive. Crystal Beach, sometimes called Bolivar Flats, provides access to a free camping beach that is pet friendly. Be sure to read the signs carefully, because one side of the beach requires a permit, and the other is free. Also be sure to check the weather and tide information and plan accordingly.
While staying here, it’s dry camping only. There also aren’t any toilets or showers, but, hey, you’re in an RV, right? In addition to the gorgeous waters, be sure to check out the Bolivar Lighthouse and scope out some wildlife. This area is well-known for birdwatching opportunities. There are also lots of local shops where you’re able to find excellent souvenirs. Crystal Beach also often times has live music events that are also free.
2. Brazoria Beach
Heading down the coast brings us to Brazoria Beach, which is located near Surfside Beach. About five miles north of Surfside Beach is the free camping. This family-friendly area is conveniently located near stores and typically has security on-site during the busy season.
If you enjoy fishing, then this area is for you. A short drive away brings you to Surfside Beach which is famous for deep-sea fishing, and the coastal reefs make it ideal for fishing close to shore as well. There are several nearby restaurants so you don’t need to stray far from your little slice of heaven to find almost anything you need.
3. Haak Winery
Perhaps the tides are high and you’re looking to camp somewhere a little more inland. Or maybe you just enjoy a nice glass of wine. Either way, break out that Harvest Host membership and take a look at this hidden gem. Haak Winery is located less than an hour south of Houston and about thirty minutes away from Galveston.
They have four reservable spots for RVs of any size along with free WiFi. They offer wine tastings and tours of the facility, and have a very nice selection of wines. Throughout the summer, you can check their calendar for a list of their upcoming events.
4. North Beach
While there may be a park entrance fee (fee waived if you have the America the Beautiful National Parks pass) , this National Seashore is worth the visit. And better yet, when you pay to enter the park, you’re allowed to camp for free for up to fourteen days. Camping at North Beach is ideal because you get to come back to your rig after a long day of camping.
Before heading into the park, be sure to stock up on supplies such as ice, firewood, and gas (also get your fishing license ahead of time if you plan on fishing) because this park does not have any stores. There are many activities to do here, such as beach picnicking, beach combing, ranger-led programs, windsurfing, canoeing, and kayaking. Throughout mid-June to August, there are also opportunities to view sea turtle hatchling releases.
5. The Wilderness Golf Club
Ranked #7 in top U.S. courses by Golf Advisor, this manicured course has 18 championship holes just waiting for you. The Wilderness Golf Club is located in Lake Jackson, Texas and is free to stay the night at with your upgraded Harvest Host membership. Your stay is pet-friendly at any of their four reservable spots for RVs of any size.
Named after a lake on an old plantation, the City of Lake Jackson If you’re interested in learning more about the town, then we recommend visiting the Lake Jackson Historical Museum. This free museum offers guided tours and appreciates any donations.
6. Mustang Island
Way down the shores, just outside of Corpus Christi, you’ll find Mustang Island State Park. Despite the name, there are no longer wild horses roaming here. What is a popular fishing spot is surprisingly not a busy camping area. Mustang Island free camping sites are dispersed and typically don’t’ fill up outside of summer.
There is only one town on Mustang Island which is Port Aransas, which is where you’ll find all of your shopping and dining needs. In addition to the beach, there’s also parasailing, boating, fishing, and the Mustang Island Paddling Trail. Composed of three different trails, this will take you on an up-close-and-personal tour of the best shallow water areas around Corpus Christi Bay.
One of the many benefits of RVing is saving on expenses of a hotel room, or saving money by cooking in your portable kitchen. Another overlooked benefit is camping for free. It’s so convenient being able to redirect vacation money that would typically be used on campgrounds or hotels, and use that for something more fun. While there are many places to camp for free across the United States, camping on the beaches in Texas is the definition of relaxation.
Do you have a favorite Texas beach to camp on for free? Or even a free camping site elsewhere? Tell us about it in the comments.
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