Exploring the Lone Star State: 11 of the Best Places for Camping in Texas

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North Texas Jellystone Park Water Park
The Pirates’ Cove water park at the Jellystone Park. Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

Planning a camping trip in Texas? Here’s your complete guide to camping in the Lone Star State from El Paso to Houston and everything in between. You’ll find information on campsites, hiking trails, backpacking, RV camping and all the activities you can find for your family.

When you’re planning a camping trip in Texas, there are lots of options: beaches, mountains, canyons, desert, hill country and piney woods. It’s a big state, and you could spend a full year or more exploring and still have more to see. There are miles of trails to hike, geocaching to pursue and rock climbing to conquer.

When it’s time to lay down your head at night, Texas has plenty of camping areas to please any family.

Bookmark this page, because you’ll want to refer back often to our list of the best camping in Texas as you plan your next Texas getaway. Here is a list of our 11 favorites to get you started.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Camping out doesn’t have to mean primitive camping sites, either: many locations offer cabins, yurts, RV campsites, covered wagons and other interesting options. You can even rent RVs without the hassle or driving one — there are RV owners who will deliver their RVs to campgrounds in Texas. To find one near your preferred vacation spot, search RVs near where you’d like to go in Texas and filter the search by “delivery.”

kids climbing a wall at the jellystone park
So many fun activities for kids at North Texas Jellystone Park! Photo Credit: Breeze Leonard

1. North Texas Jellystone Park

Just a hop and a skip from Dallas, North Texas Jellystone Park is one of 75 family-friendly locations across the U.S and Canada. This campground is the whole package, with campsites ranging from tent sites to RV sites to cabins, and includes activities that will appeal to kids of all ages.

Try your hand at laser tag or archery tag, engage in catch and release fishing, jump into a hay ride, sit by the campfire and roast s’mores, and visit the Pirates’ Cove waterpark. There’s even a petting zoo for furry snuggles.

Our own Breeze Leonard says, “Located only 20 minutes south of Fort Worth, this is so much more than just a campground. It’s really a full-fledged resort experience, complete with a water park and rentable golf carts. Never skip the golf cart!” You can read her full (and glowing!) review of North Texas Jellystone Park.

  • RV sites with hookups. Jellystone Park offers RVs on site, or rent one from RVShare and the owner will deliver and set it up for you.
  • One and two bedroom family cabins and tent sites for tent camping
  • Glamping cabins that include Jacuzzis and flat-screen TVs
Double slide at water park at Camp Fimfo New Braunfels.
The water park is one of the biggest, most family-friendly perks. Photo credit: Camp Fimfo

2. Camp Fimfo New Braunfels

Another SheBuysTravel fave, Camp Fimfo is an easy drive from Austin or San Antonio. It’s right on the Guadalupe River, so there are lots of ways to cool off at this beautiful site. With full hook-ups and camping spots that come with an improved pad plus electricity and water hook-ups, Camp Fimfo has thought of everything.

Nestled in Texas hill country, this location has a swim-up bar, a giant pool with basketball hoops and a volleyball net, water slides, gem mining and more. It’s a pet-friendly resort, so bring the furry family members, too.

SheBuysTravel contributor Jill Robbins says, “One of the biggest selling points for Camp Fimfo is direct access to the Guadalupe River. If you’re into tubing or kayaking, you can launch from inside the campground. You can also fish, swim or just take in the incredible views.” Read our full review of Camp Fimfo.

  • 250+ RV sites with concrete pads and full hook-ups. Jill recommends this 30-foot trailer that sleeps six, including bunk beds)
  • Three cabin styles
  • Tent camping offered with hook-ups, pad, and fire ring

Read More: The Best Camping Gear Essentials

Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

3. Black Canyon Wimberley

Also in Texas hill country, Black Canyon Luxury RV Park and Farmhouse Cottages is in Wimberly, not far from Austin. This is a boutique RV park with only seven exclusive spots, and each site has a picnic table, fire pit and wifi.

The natural setting, complete with birdwatching, includes easy access to the Blanco River for kayaking, swimming holes, mountain biking and miles of hiking.

Wineries and wildflowers are plentiful at Black Canyon Luxury RV Park, and it’s a great match for you if you’re looking for upscale camping options.

  • Back-in, pull-through and premium RV sites (Don’t make these embarrassing mistakes!)
  • Cabins comfortably sleep four guests
  • Pets are allowed with prior permission before arrival
Stewart beach Galveston Texas
Stewart Beach in Galveston. Photo Credit: Galveston CVB

4. Galveston Island KOA

Easy access to the beach is a highlight at this seaside resort southeast of Houston. More than 300 spaces in this RV park await your vacation, all of them within walking distance to the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, the Galveston Island KOA is only 30 minutes from downtown Galveston and all of its restaurants and historic buildings.

Families will appreciate the variety of activities and games like horseshoes, basketball and pickle ball right there in the park. A year-round pool and hot tub beckon on warm and cold days, and a fishing pond sits just outside of the campsites.

  • Pull-through and back-in RV sites with 50/30 amp service, wifi, a concrete pad, patio with picnic table and WiFi
  • Only 30 minutes from downtown Galveston
  • Pet friendly (except in common buildings, pool and lazy river, of course)
Things to do on South Padre Island Texas - watch the sunset.
Amazing sunset on South Padre Island Texas. Photo credit: Cindy Richards / Empty Nest SheBuysTravel

5. Isla Blanca Park South Padre Island

At the southern tip of South Padre Island is what Cameron County calls the “crown jewel” of the Texas state parks system. A full mile of sandy Texas beach sits within the Isla Blanca Park South Padre Island, including pavilions where you can find food and beach rentals to customize your stay.

Snorkeling, diving, fishing, jet skis and parasailing are steps away from your campsite at this state park, and a water park is nearby. If you and your kids are water babies, this camping site will be the perfect match. It’s the ultimate sun-and-fun camping getaway.

  • RV sites with full hook-ups and partial hook-ups
  • Tent sites and cabanas
  • Waterpark, fishing, and a plethora of water sports on site

SheBuysTravel Tip: Check out these fun things to do in South Padre Island.

6. Dinosaur Valley State Park

Do you have a dinosaur-obsessed kid in the family? Dinosaur Valley State Park is a must-see. Follow the riverbed to see where these giant reptiles roamed and walk in dinosaur footprints, which will be a thrill for everyone in your party.

When your feet are tired, reserve a tour through Eagle Eye Ranch Carriage Company or bring your own horse to ride through the wooded area of the park.

This state park has thought of everything, it seems, as it relates to education for this natural area. If you forgot your fishing gear, you can borrow a rod and tackle through the loaner program and see what you can catch in the Paluxy River. Birding kits include a set of binoculars, pocket guide and checklist for spotting feathered friends. You can’t help but stop and marvel at how time has passed through this ancient Texas region.

Nasreen Stump, one of our SheBuysTravel experts, says, “Dinosaur Valley State Park is a dino-loving kid’s dream. With more than 20 miles of hiking trails and an informative visitors center, you can easily fill a day. Bring a swimsuit to play in the river.”

  • 44 RV campsites with full hook-ups
  • 8 primitive walk-in campsites and 7 hike-in campsites
  • Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, paddling and swimming are popular activities
Garner State Park
Photo credit: Visit Uvalde County

7. Garner State Park

Floating down the Frio River is refreshing and lovely during the spring, summer and fall in Garner State Park. Situated in the Texas Hill Country region west of San Antonio, this state park is chock-full of campsites and activities such as paddling, geocaching, kayaking, hiking and horseback riding.

This camping location has something unique and sweet: since the 1940s, people have been meeting up at the concession building for a jukebox dance party. If you’re planning to go, get there early, because it fills up quickly.

And before you pack up to head home, take a short drive to the Lost Maples State Natural Area, especially in the fall when you can catch the subtle jewel tones of Texas autumn colors.

SheBuysTravel expert Catherine Parker says, “Don’t forget to hike up Old Baldy; it’s a half-mile hike to the top. Reward yourself with views for miles across the Texas Hill Country. It’s a bit steep, so leave it for the bigger kids.”

  • RV campsites with full hook-ups
  • Tent campsites and screened shelters, some with hook-ups
  • Tube and kayak rentals are plentiful
Glamping in Palo Duro Canyon
Wherever you stay near Palo Duro Canyon, make sure you fully enjoy the canyon. Photo: Jill Robbins

8. Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Palo Duro Canyon, located in the Texas panhandle, is the second-largest canyon in the United States. The vistas are breathtaking and the camping options are plentiful, including everything from backcountry primitive campsites to luxury cabin glamping.

Miles of hiking trails and horseback riding trails unfurl throughout the area and rivers and creeks wind in ribbons across the terrain.

You and the kids will appreciate the ranger program to learn more about the wildlife and nature features, and you can even take a tour with a park ranger. In the summer, a musical about Texas plays in the amphitheater in the park under the stars.

  • Campsites with full hook-ups cost only $26 per night
  • Hike-in primitive sites are about 1/4 mile from restrooms and showers
  • Palo Duro glamping provides options for upscale tents and meal kits

9. Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island, which is right next to Port Aransas and Corpus Christi, is a beautiful five-mile stretch of Texas shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. The sound of the ocean gently rumbles as background music wherever you go, and fresh seafood is on just about every menu you encounter.

Choose your adventure on Mustang Island: primitive camping is available on the beach with portable toilets nearby, or RV campsites with full hook-ups are 1/3 mile from the beach. Paddling is a major pastime here and a selection of trails wind their way along the bay. On land, park rangers are available for birding, beach combing, nature walks and stargazing.

  • 48 water and electric campsites
  • 50 drive-up primitive sites
  • Drive on the beach and camp right on the sand
Big Bend National Park. Photo credit: Melody Pittman.

10. Big Bend National Park

Out in west Texas, the stars seem to shine brighter and clearer than anywhere else in the Lone Star State. And in Big Bend National Park, you can really get off the grid and find the backcountry parts of Texas where you can lay out a sleeping bag and stare at the night sky.

This is for those looking for a more traditional camping experience. Smaller RVs are encouraged due to narrow, winding roads to the campsites, and hiking trails are just steps away from tent sites. Big Bend National Park is a wonderful place to get away from it all, and you’ll have an excuse: internet access and cell phone coverage are not readily available. Instead, fix your gaze on the mountains.

11. Silver Spur Resort

Situated on 35 acres of land halfway between Dallas and the piney woods of Tyler, the Silver Spur Resort is an east Texas destination location for weddings, group events, couples and families. Plus, a stay at this resort includes Canton KOA, a 90-space campground nearby.

This resort is a unique place where you can rent a cabin, bring an RV (or have one delivered from RVShare) or sleep in a Conestoga wagon, tiny house or treehouse. There’s even a bathroom and a shower inside the treehouse, making that a convenient and quiet getaway home away from home. The Conestoga wagons don’t have restrooms inside, but they are climate controlled with heat and air conditioning.

  • Cabins, RV sites with full hook-ups, tent sites and other unique lodging options
  • Swimming pools, fishing holes, and paddle boat rentals available
  • Pet friendly in the cabins, and the Canton KOA has a fenced area for pets to play off leash

Have a family-favorite camping site in Texas to add to this list? Share with us in the comments!

Looking for more family camping fun in the Lone Star state? Check out these other SheBuysTravel experiences to help you plan your next family vacation:

Kristin Shaw is a freelance writer, adventurer, and motorsports competitor with bylines at Popular Science, Edmunds, The Drive, Motor1, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Forbes Wheels, U.S. News and World Report, GearJunkie, and more. Her work on parenting and relationships has been featured often at The Washington Post and the TODAY show site. Follow Kristin on these channels: Instagram Facebook LinkedIn TikTok
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