Traveling Texas

6 incredible Texas campgrounds worth the drive

6 incredible Texas campgrounds worth the drive

Fort Griffin Historic Site
Visit these campgrounds to discover unforgettable attractions. Fort Griffin Historic Site/Facebook

Traveling in Texas by RV? Don’t make the mistake of thinking campgrounds in the Lone Star State are all alike. From underground caverns to wandering reptiles, RV campgrounds in Texas have plenty to entice jaded travelers. Here’s a half-dozen campgrounds you won’t want to miss. Visit these six choice to discover unusual, luxurious, and unforgettable attractions.

On the beach
The Texas Coastal Bend is a region all beach-loving RVers should visit. On the Beach RV Park on Mustang Island offers easy access to the pleasures of beachside living. Each of the campground’s full-service RV sites are within a stone’s throw of the water. You’ll also find it easy to enjoy Port Aransas attractions, with a trolley stop adjacent to the park.

Outdoor recreation opportunities abound here. Kayakers will find rewarding water trails nearby, including three loops that make up Mustang Island Paddling Trail, and a scenic quartet of waterways at nearby Lighthouse Lakes Park. From this beachside park, you’re also minutes from numerous deep-sea fishing charters (and local fishing piers) for redfish and speckled trout. Beach combing, sunbathing, and surfing will keep the whole crew happy as you camp within earshot of Gulf Coast waves.

Among the gators
Brazos Bend State Park, southwest of Houston on a bend in the Brazos River, will thrill Texas RV travelers who want to get back to the wild. Alligators rule the roost at this park, so be prepared to share the trails and waterways with those irascible reptiles.

Nearly 40 miles of trails within the park are also home to coastal prairie and wetlands creatures such as river otters, foxes, and dozens of bird species, so don’t leave the camera behind. Standard water and electric campsites makes it easy and affordable to spend some time getting back to nature just a short drive from Houston.

Near underground caverns
Do you enjoy going below the surface while camping? Kickapoo Cavern State Park campground in South Texas is the place for you. The guided, quarter-mile cave tour near the campground holds plenty of visual interest.

You’ll also have the chance to watch clouds of Mexican freetail bats emerge from Stuart Bat Cave each evening from April to October. The marked trails throughout the park protect fragile species while allowing visitors to enjoy wildlife. Full hook-up and water-only campsites welcome visitors to stay and get to know this park’s natural wonders.

Under dark skies
Several remote Texas campgrounds are known for their "dark skies," or minimal light pollution, which allows for maximum stargazing. One of our favorites is at Fort Griffin State Historic Site near Abilene. A range of campsites, from full hook-ups to primitive, lets you match your style of camping with night-sky viewing.

Amateur astronomers will enjoy monthly ranger-led night-sky events. No matter what else you have planned, save time to search the heavens for sights you may have missed at brighter locations. You’ll also want to explore the park itself, home to the official Texas state Longhorn herd and once the location of an 1860s fort.

In luxury
RV camping in a forest is one way to spend your vacation, but what if you’d like a little luxury near the campground? Lajitas Golf Resort in Big Bend Country hosts campers at onsite Maverick Ranch RV Park and offers plenty of ways to relax in style.

From the 18-hole, Lanny Wadkins-designed course voted Best Resort Course in Texas, to the services of Agave Spa, RV park guests have access to all the resort has to offer. There’s also skeet and trap shooting, ziplining, hiking and mountain biking at Big Bend State Park, and trail rides that originate at the resort. If your RV camping dreams include luxurious surroundings, you’ll want to book a campsite at Lajitas.

For family fun
Having kid-friendly fun built in at the campground can make the difference between fond vacation memories and a family vacation disaster. The Texas State Railroad Campground in the East Texas Piney Woods is ready to help.

Not only will families find comfortable RV campsites waiting right next to vintage Rusk depot, they’ll also find plenty of ways for youngsters to burn off energy. A splash pad playground, fishing lake, tennis courts, and shuffleboard are just a few ways for the kids to play as you camp. You can also book seats on themed train rides powered by antique steam or diesel engines.