Want to go RVing on the Texas Gulf Coast?
- 1 Want to go RVing on the Texas Gulf Coast?
- 2 Explore Galveston Island
- 3 Galveston Island State Park
- 4 While there check out Moody Gardens
- 5 Explore these 3 Galveston Island RV Parks
- 6 Explore Corpus Christi and Mustang Island State Park
- 7 Boondocking on the beach in Port Aransas
- 8 Next up, South Padre Island
- 9 Boondocking near the Beach
- 10 Isla Blanca Park has it all
- 11 Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
- 12 When is the best time to visit Texas?
- 13 ALL the RV parks mentioned in this post are on our RV Lifestyle Map! Check it out!
- 14 Join our Group Travel Map!
- 15 Want to learn how to boondock?
The Gulf Coast of Texas is the perfect destination for RVers who want to experience miles of shoreline, the best of nature combined with outdoor sports, and nearby family fun.
Did you know that the Texas Gulf of Mexico coastline features 600 miles of beaches, stunning vistas, and pristine natural areas?
Outdoor enthusiasts can swim, fish, hike, kayak, birdwatch, and yes—camp on the beach.
RVers will find accommodations ranging from primitive camping to full-service parks with all the modern amenities.
Explore Galveston Island
Galveston Island, an hour’s drive from Houston, is located near the north end of the 234-mile stretch of barrier islands along the Texas gulf coast.
This historic area is a nature lover’s dream, teeming with fish, birds, wildlife, and unique ecological areas. The popular destination also caters to tourists looking for a good time.
Galveston Island State Park
RVers will enjoy Galveston Island State Park, where they can camp inexpensively while exploring their natural surroundings.
The 2,000-acre park offers guided wildlife tours, four miles of hiking trails, fishing from the shore or piers, and paddling trails for kayaks or canoes (rentals not provided). The beach is under renovation and will reopen in 2022.
About 30 camping spaces are located at the state park, ranging from $15-$20 per night, with monthly rates available. All sites include water and picnic tables, with electricity available at some. Restrooms and showers are provided. Reservations recommended.
While there check out Moody Gardens
For family fun, Moody Gardens is a great place to go. The hotel and convention complex features a golf course, beach with a water park, and three kid-friendly pyramid attractions.
The Aquarium Pyramid displays a 1.5-million gallon tropical fish aquarium plus seals, sharks, and penguins.
Inside the Rainforest Pyramid, monkeys, two-toed sloths, and a variety of colorful birds move freely through a reproduction of a rainforest.
At the third pyramid, the Discovery Museum, kids can have fun with interactive science exhibits.
Fans of pirate lore will love exploring the history of Galveston since notorious privateer Jean Lafitte once headquartered on the island.
Tourists can take pirate tours, see costumed re-enactors, and view historical films. Several historical tours of the city (with and without pirates) are also available.
Explore these 3 Galveston Island RV Parks
Many RV parks, with full hook-ups, are also located on the island.
Jamaica Beach RV Resort is only a five-minute walk from the beach.
Galveston Island KOA is also close to the beach and offers a lazy river and a private fishing pond.
Stella Mare RV Park consists of 25 acres of campsites and amenities such as a heated pool and kids’ splash pad, as well as amazing views of the gulf.
Explore Corpus Christi and Mustang Island State Park
Just down the coast from Galveston is the city of Corpus Christi and its famous Mustang Island State Park, where RVers can park right on the beach if conditions are favorable.
In addition to swimming, hiking, fishing, and paddling, the park offers guided nature tours for those interested in the geology and wildlife on the island.
Campsites at Mustang Island fill up fast, so reservations are recommended.
The 50 primitive campsites directly on the beach have no electricity or hookups, but restrooms and showers are close.
The cost is $10 per night plus the daily entrance fee. A short distance from the beach are campsites with 50 amp electricity and water.
Sites have a picnic table, grill, and shade. The cost is $20 per night. There’s a dump station available for a fee.
Boondocking on the beach in Port Aransas
A few miles north is Port Aransas, where boondocking is also allowed on the beach at IB Magee Park.
There are also 75 pull-through campsites with water and electric hookups a few yards away from the water’s edge.
A popular attraction in Corpus Christi is the U.S.S. Lexington Museum, where visitors can tour the vintage aircraft carrier, experience a flight simulator, or test their wits in an escape room. The museum also offers movies and a Pearl Harbor exhibit.
Next up, South Padre Island
At the south end of the barrier islands lies the resort area of South Padre Island, a popular destination for vacationers, honeymooners, and college kids on spring break.
Beach-goers can surf, fish, kiteboard, take lessons in sandcastle building, or ride horses along the shore.
Many nearby restaurants offer ocean views along with fresh seafood and tropical drinks. Museums, shops, and art galleries abound in South Padre.
Sightseers will be interested in the tourist attractions honoring the island’s seafaring history. Cristo de los Pescadores, or Christ of the Fisherman, is a 25-foot statue of Jesus on Isla Blanca Park that honors lost fishermen.
The Port Isabel Lighthouse, built in 1852, once helped ships travel safely through the Brazos Santiago Pass but has been a state park since 1952. Visitors can tour the facility and, from the top, see an amazing view of all of South Padre Island.
From June to August, tourists can catch the dawn release of endangered Kemps sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore. The hatchings are unpredictable but are announced on their Facebook page.
Boondocking near the Beach
For RVers, Andy Bowie County Park allows year-round boondocking (dry camping) near the beach for just $20 a night.
Restrooms and showers are nearby. Paved sites with full hookups are also available; rates vary by season and range from $40-60 a night.
Isla Blanca Park has it all
At the south tip of the island is Isla Blanca Park, where there are 600 full-hookup RV sites plus tent and boondocking areas.
Dry camping sites range seasonally from $20 to $25 per night. A standard site ranges from $40 to $60 per night; partial hookups and premium sites are also available.
Outdoor sports lovers will find fun things to do on Isla Blanca, including parasailing, jet-skiing, snorkeling, fishing, and a water park. Guided fishing tours and dolphin spotting excursions are also available.
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Across the bridge on the mainland is the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, where designated trails allow hikers and bicyclists to catch sight of deer, antelope, tortoises, alligators, and a wide variety of raptors and shore birds along the nature trails.
Fishing and in-season hunting are permitted. Camping is not allowed in the park, but the Adolph Thomae, Jr. County Park, adjacent to the refuge, has sites available with full hookups at $30 per night.
When is the best time to visit Texas?
You might want to avoid hurricane season and the hottest part of the summer, but other than that the perfect place for you might just be in one of these RV parks along the shoreline.
We’ve written quite a few posts about Texas through the years. If you’re looking for more, here you go.
Have you enjoyed these campsites along the Gulf Coast in Texas? Let us know in the comments what you think of them and better yet… put them on our RV Lifestyle Map!
ALL the RV parks mentioned in this post are on our RV Lifestyle Map! Check it out!
Join our Group Travel Map!
Think of this as a group travel journal! We’ve been adding our favorite places all across the country and now you can, too! Every day more and more gets added by RVers just like you!
To add your own locations, you need to get the free app for your smartphone so you can add spots and share them with others as you travel! Click the link in the lower-right corner of the map and start adding YOUR favorite places. Already we’ve found many new places to explore during our RV adventures and you will too!
Together, we can make this a huge resource for the RV community!
Want to learn how to boondock?
We created a PRINT version of our most popular guide to help you with the most common boondocking problems. We get a ton of questions from our subscribers about how to get started boondocking that range from where to go and wild animals to water conservation to what equipment to use and more.
Throw off the shackles of traditional RV Parks and campgrounds, stop paying high fees every night that you spend in your RV, and experience the boundless amounts of nature while boondocking!
You’re done with the noisy RV parks, the 3.5 feet of room you have squished in between two other RVs, and other people’s kids running through your campsite?
You’ve ditched the hookups, the concrete blocks and have replaced them with self-leveling and Navy showers?
August 24, 2021at8:10 am, Bev Parkison said:
We have visited Galveston TX twice and stayed a whole month in early 2020. Camped at the Sandpiper just a short walk to Stewart Beach and the Seawall. Love this area! Kayaked the paddling trail at Galveston Island SP. There is so much to do and also explore Houston and the Johnson Space Center! Also spent a month in Corpus Christi area. Loved the aquarium there and touring the USS Lexington WWII battleship. Don’t miss kite day at Padre Island National Seashore, always held in February! One of our favorite areas for snowbird wintering. A refreshing break from crowded Florida.