15 Best Places for Camping on Beach in Texas

Last Updated on July 25, 2022

Looking for some best places for camping on the Beach in Texas?

When most people think of camping, they envision pitching a tent in the woods far away from any civilization.

However, there are a number of great places to camp that are closer to home and offer amenities that will make your camping experience more enjoyable.

Whether you love roughing in the wilderness or dream of some luxury camping, Texas has it all for you!

Camping near water
Camping near water, Photo Source: Canva

15 Best Places for Camping on Beach in Texas

The Texas Gulf Coast is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

From Rockport to Galveston, from Matagorda Bay to Padre Island, the coastal camping grounds of Texas offer you to stay at the water’s edge in style.

Whether it’s beach-front resort camping, boondocking, glamping, RV-ing, or classic tent camping, the following 15 places for camping on the beach in Texas will give you an unforgettable camping experience!

Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park with over 2,000 acres of land and 30 miles of breathtaking beaches welcomes both RVs and tent campers to enjoy its 30 amazing campsites.

You have to bear a camping fee but it is worth paying for availing numerous facilities like:

  • Electricity and water hookups
  • Picnic tables
  • A fire ring with a grill
  • Restrooms with showers 

This exquisite park features both bay and beachside, thus, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and also bird-watching.

Note: No fishing license is needed for fishing. But make sure to bring your own kayak or canoe, as there are no rentals available.

If you’re looking for a more comfortable stay, there are also several cabins available for rent.

Mustang Island State Park

With its beautiful scenery and ample amenities, the park is sure to provide a fun and memorable experience for campers searching for coastal camping.

The park has over five miles of beachfront, making it a great place to enjoy the sun and sand. The camping sites are within feet of the coastlines and offer RVs with hookup and bathroom facilities at the beach.

Is someone talking about activities? Yes, the park features a bundle of outdoor activities i.e. hiking, birdwatching, fishing, sunbathing, swimming, or simply unwinding at the beach.

Mustang Island beach camping is preferred because of the opportunity for romantic dining at restaurants in Port Aransas or Padre Island.

Besides RVs and luxury camping, the park also offers space for primitive camping and dry camping for more rough and tough campers. But, it is good to know that all of these primitive camp spots have hot water access.

Looking for more fun? Then make sure to check out the 20 miles of exciting paddling trail that passes through the Mustang Island waters.

Bonus Tip: Make your reservations in advance, as this is the most popular aqua hotspot in Texas for beach camping.

Matagorda Nature Preserve

Whether it’s about primitive camping or RV-ing, Matagorda Nature Preserve is one of the best places for all sorts of camping on the beach in Texas.

The preserve is located on Matagorda Island, which is a barrier island off the coast of Texas. The island is accessible by ferry from Port Lavaca.

Over five miles of beachfront to explore, this preserve also has several hiking trails and a birdwatching tower.

For nature lovers, there are countless primitive camping sites with natural and quiet surroundings. On the other hand, the park features numerous RV hookup sites to feel the misty Matagorda beach.

Activities include relaxing on the beach, romantic stroll along the coastline, beachcombing, and building sandcastles.

For more adventurous couples, don’t miss kayaking and horseback riding at this untouched beach.

Boca Chica State Park

Boca Chica State Park offers over 200 campsites, many of which are right on the beach.

The campsites at Boca Chica State Park come with picnic tables, grills, water hookups, and electrical hookups. The park also has a laundry facility, a playground, and a swimming pool.

Boca Chica State Park is located on South Padre Island, which is about 30 miles from Brownsville. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and abundance of wildlife.

The campsites are well-maintained and the staff is friendly and helpful.

North Beach, Padre Island National Seashore

North Beach on the Padre Island National Seashore is a beautiful, natural, secluded, and private beach. There are no buildings or roads on the island so you can feel the natural divinity here.

The North beach is wide and sandy, and the water is clean and crystal-clear. There are plenty of shells to collect, and the fishing is good. There are also a few hiking trails on the island.

It is one of the few places for camping free on the beach in Texas. Just pay a minimal entrance fee to the beach and park your RV right at the beach without any camping charges.

Camping on North Beach is primitive, which means there are no hookups for RVs or tents. However, there are pit toilets and a water spigot near the campground.

You can also go for a short walk to Malaquite Visitor Center for using the bathroom or a shower. In summers, you can also watch turtle hatching here at the center.

Campers must bring their own food and supplies. Because the nearest grocery store and gas pump are 30 minutes away. Moreover, make sure to take away your dump with you while leaving.

Overall, North Beach is a great place to camp if you want to experience the beauty of nature without any distractions.

On the Beach RV Park, Port Aransas

On the Beach RV Park has direct access to picturesque Mustang Island beaches, so you can enjoy the sand, sun, and sea all day long.

There are also several restaurants and shops nearby, so you can find everything you need.

The RV Park has full hookups for your RV, so you can easily connect to water and electricity. There are also laundry facilities and a dump station on-site.

The RV Park also offers Wi-Fi, so you can stay connected even while you’re away from home. All these facilities and amenities make it one of the most comfortable and family-friendly places for camping on the beach in Texas.

Camp here with your family and enjoy fishing, swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating, and birdwatching, while availing all the home-like comforts and facilities.

The top-up is that you can also explore the nearby beautiful town of Port Aransas. Make reservations in advance!

Andy Bowie Park, South Padre Island

Want to camp at South Padre Island? With over 80 campsites, Andy Bowie Park is a great place to offer 20 miles of beachfront access to its lovely guests in South Padre Island, Texas.

All RV sites are well-equipped with water hooks, electric hookups, and also sewer hookups. There is also a dump station, restrooms, and showers available for campers and RVs.

In addition to swimming and other water activities, you can also enjoy the picnic and BBQ pavilions, beach rental concessions, food concessions, and a fishing pier to try your luck at catching some fish.

The campsites at Andy Bowie Park are located right on the beach. Simply pay an entrance fee to the park and dig your tent at any place on the beach to enjoy stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Tip: It’s best to visit in the fall season to feel peace and solitude because of fewer visitors.

Pioneer RV Beach Resort, Port Aransas

Scrolling for an exclusive luxury beach camping experience in Port Aransas?

Then, look no further. The Pioneer RV Beach Resort in Port Aransas will give you a perfect glamping experience with a majestic view of surrounding sand dunes.

It offers a well-maintained beach-front RV parking area on a secluded beach on the Gulf of Mexico that is perfect for swimming, beachcombing, sunbathing, and fishing.

With more than 363 full RV hookup sites and 10 cabins, the Pioneer RV Resort, Port Aransas features a bundle of amenities:

  • Concrete pads
  • Fish cleaning houses
  • Bathhouses
  • On-site grocery store and gas station
  • WiFi
  • Swimming pools
  • Hot tubs
  • Restrooms and Showers

The resort also has a restaurant and bar, so you can enjoy a meal or a drink while enjoying the scenic views.

To keep your little ones entertained, there are many facilities i.e. a playground, arcade, game room, and mini golf. That’s why it is known as one of the most family-friendly places for camping on the beach in Texas.

South Beach, Padre Island National Seashore

If someone is asking about a secluded beach camping experience, then South Beach, Padre Island National Seashore welcomes you with its more than 60 miles of pristine coastline where the campers can freely drive to explore a perfect place to dig up their tents.

The divine sunrises and sunsets on this remote beach make it one of the most romantic places for camping on the beach in Texas.

Remember that this beach is best for primitive camping, as it doesn’t provide any hookups or other amenities. Thus, make sure to bring all the essentials accordingly.

Bring all the necessary camping gear, food, and other supplies. However, you can find a dumpster and a chemical toilet at the entrance to this beach for an unexpected nature call.

Magnolia Beach

Magnolia beach gives you an amazing boondocking experience with its 2 miles of vast shoreline pampered with dense soft sand.

If you want to enjoy free and undesignated camping, Magnolia beach is definitely for you. Simply camp wherever you love, just make sure to maintain a safe distance from your neighbor’s tent or RV.

Magnolia Beach doesn’t oblige you with any amenities, however, you can avail its various bathrooms and picnic areas.

Swimming, fishing, strolling, sunbathing, and collecting extraordinary seashells are some of the activities that you can do with your loved ones.

Bryan Beach

Bryan Beach at Freeport is a romantic coastline to feel the wild ocean breeze and see the panoramic views of the serene ocean.

I personally love its laid-back vibe and sleeping under the sparkling stars with no one to disturb your imagination. You can enjoy free camping here.

One might have fewer options for camping here, as the beach has only about three miles of shoreline. But, if you’re looking for a quiet, less-crowded, and relaxing place to camp, Bryan Beach should be at the top.

Sea Rim State Park

Sea Rim State Park comes with a perfect mix of marsh and beach ecosystems that make it an ideal space for explorers to learn something new.

It is undoubtedly a great place to see some unique species of birds and wildlife.

The park features 15 beach-front campsites that have easy access to the beach boardwalk. The sites are not only equipped with electricity but also have picnic tables, an outdoor grill, a tent pad, water hookups, a lantern post, and an electrical hookup.

For primitive camping, there are also around 75 boondocking sites that exchange utilities to be surrounded by unspoiled nature. These primitive sites don’t need any reservation.

In fact, don’t miss the one special boat-accessible site that is located in the park’s marsh, it is a hidden gem!

One of the unique camping experiences at Sea Rim State Park is that it offers you an incredible opportunity to camp on top of a floating dock and be surrounded by water all-around. You can only access it with a kayak or a canoe.

Camping on top of the water is an amazing adventure and it can only be experienced at Sea Rim State Park.

Crystal Beach

The beach here is clean and well-maintained, and there are plenty of amenities nearby.

Crystal Beach can be accessed by hopping on a ferry from Galveston over to Bolivar. The ferry tour is also magical to experience as it offers you an incredible chance to see extraordinary wildlife. Dolphins welcome you with their amazing hopping dances during the ferry tour.

The campsites at Crystal Beach are spacious and surrounded by divine nature. There are several hiking trails in the area. You can also go kayaking and paddleboarding to explore the crystal-clean coastline.

Crystal Beach has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. But, make sure to have the necessary supplies and a beach camping permit, beforehand.

Surfside Beach 

Another magnificent place for coastal camping in Texas is Surfside Beach, which is situated just a few miles away from the beautiful city of Freeport. 

While the surfside coastal town itself is not a camping ground, but, tent camping and RV-ing are allowed on Brazoria County Beach which is just outside the town.

The shoreline is covered with velvety hard-packed sand that’s quite smooth and soft for beachcombing and evening walks.

For adventure-seekers, horse riding, kayaking, fishing, and crabbing are some other activities that this camping ground offers.  

Right on the water’s edge, you can camp for up to two weeks at once, and it’s completely free.

The beach doesn’t give any camping amenities. A nearby Stahlman Park can give you the showers and toilets facility.

Treehouse on a Creek

Yes, I know that it’s not exactly the beach, however, it is a picture-perfect campsite near Houston and known as an Instagrammable beach camping place.

This beautiful hidden gem is located near Stephen F. Austin State Park and Lake Somerville State Park. You will surely enjoy its camping amenities like a hot tub, pizza oven, fire ring, BBQ rack, toilet, etc.

Finally, exploring the magical creek is itself an unforgettable magical experience!

Top 5 Reasons for Texas Beach Camping

Come and explore some good reasons to go beach camping in Texas:

  • The weather in Texas is usually pretty good around the year.
  • The state has a long 367 miles of beautiful coastline to explore numerous beaches, unforgettable ocean excursions, mouthwatering seafood, seashells galore, and warm waters. 
  • One of the best things about beach camping in Texas is that you can find a spot that suits your needs. Whether it’s about primitive camping, luxury camping, RVs, Tee Pees, or Tree camping, Texas has it all!
  • Texas beach camping comes with a lot of surprises. If you’re a fan of fishing, swimming, kayaking, or exploring the wildlife, you’ll find a number of opportunities to do those activities. And if you just want to relax on the beach and soak up some sun, that’s perfectly fine too.
  • And, of course, there’s the whole “Texas hospitality” thing. People in Texas are so welcoming. That surely makes your trip more fun and comfortable.

So if you’re looking for a great place to go beach camping, Texas should definitely be at the top of your list.

Can You Camp for Free in Texas?

Yes, you can camp for free in Texas. There are several places where you can camp on the beach for free.

Some of these places include Surfside Beach, Bryan Beach, Magnolia Beach, and Padre Island National Seashore.

Final Words

When camping on the beach in Texas, it is important to be aware of the tides.

Tides can change quickly and unexpectedly. Make sure to check the tide chart before setting up camp. It is also a good idea to bring some supplies with you, just in case you get stranded.

Texas is a great place to go for coastal camping. With a little bit of planning, you can have a great time camping on the beach.

Check Also: 15 Best Places for Camping on Beach in South Carolina