RV Camping on the Gulf Coast of Texas
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 with no camping fees. 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 camping beach that is pet friendly. Be sure to read the signs carefully, because one side of the beach requires a permit. 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.
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. 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 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 up to fourteen days with no camping fees. 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 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 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 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 with no camping fees. 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 across the United States with no camping fees, 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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Magnolia Beach! Beautiful Beach with fishing piers, bird watching, kayaking, and sandy beaches.
Thanks so much for sharing this recommendation!
Are there fresh water fill and dump station maps near all this beach boondock camping? Sounds great. I lived in my RV on Mustang Island for 6 months. Never heard about free anything. Gary
Hey Gary, typically you can find places to fill/dump when boondocking, but it depends on the are. Some gas stations have these services, but if there is nothing available in the area, you can always call a local campground. Many allow campers to stop and fill/dump for a nominal fee (usually $5-10). Hope this helps!
I love going to beach camp sites where you can watch a beautiful sunset, or maybe even sunrise if you do overnight camping there.
Magnolia Beach Texas
Great suggestion, thank you!
Beach camping is great especially when you get to see some beautiful sunsets when you get there early. Very much worth going out to disconnect.
I can’t agree more!
You need to have a 4×4 with high clearance. Wench, shovel, tow rope, and tidal chart.
Thanks for your input here!
Hello, in reference to your info about camping on the beach at Bolivar Peninsula, yes they do have porta potties along the beach for visitors. And also you can stay as long as you like for $10 a year for the beach pass. And it’s 26 miles of drivable beach. You did not mention South Padre, it is a beautiful beach with blue green water but the yearly pass is $100 or a one day pass for $12.
Hi Diane! Thanks for the tips. I didn’t know about the port-a-potties at Bolivar Peninsula.
Use caution when driving on sand with any vehicle, especially a heavy RV or tow vehicle. Some sand conditions are very easy to drive on, but other sand conditions will get you stuck. The consequences of being stuck can be pretty bad, from damage to your rig to a very expensive tow. Make your own decisions based on your knowledge and experience, but for me, I don’t drive on the beach in my RV.
Hey there! Thanks for your comment and tips. Driving on beaches should certainly only be done with caution and experience. I have done it before, as have some of my other RVer friends. I think it just depends on what you are comfortable with and the current conditions. 🙂