Best Tent and RV Campgrounds in Houston
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States. It’s known for its diversity, especially in cuisines and culture. Houston has that southern charm that no other city can exude. From the city’s many hidden gems to its vast array of activities, anyone who visits will fail to resist its allure. And what’s the best way to get to know Houston? Camping!
Camping in Houston can be an excellent experience for those who enjoy the outdoors. If you’re in Texas and want to escape the hustle and bustle, head to its largest city and find yourself one with nature. There are many excellent sites for camping near Houston. Narrow down your choices with this list:
Brazos Bend State Park
Cost: $7 entrance fee for 13 years and older; $12 nightly for Primitive Campsites; $25 nightly for Campsites with Electricity and Group Camp (16-person); $40 nightly for Group Camp (32-person)
Location: 21901 Farm to Market Rd 762, Needville, TX 77461, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 48 miles, 50 minutes
Phone: +1 979-553-5101
One of the many camping sites near Houston is Brazos Bend State Park. It’s no surprise that it’s so popular because it’s not too far from downtown Houston. A short drive and you can experience all the nature the city has to offer.
The park is vast, spanning over 5,000 acres of land. You and your family can also go hiking or biking and horse riding! Fishing in the park’s four piers is also an excellent idea. And when you’re in the mood for stargazing, the George Observatory is open to the public on Saturday nights. Camping in Brazos Bend State Park doesn’t take you too far from the city but you’ll feel like you’re in an entirely different world!
Galveston Island State Park
Cost: $5 entrance fee for adults; $15 nightly for Dry Camping, Campsites with Water (Bay Side), and Tent Campsites (Beachside); $20 nightly for Tent Platforms (Beachside) and Campsites with Electricity (Bay Side); $30 nightly for Water & Electric Sites (Beachside); $35 for Premium Water & Electric Sites (Beachside)
Location: 14901 FM3005, Galveston, TX 77554, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 57.7 miles, 1 hour
Phone: +1 409-737-1222
Another campground that’s not too far from downtown Houston is Galveston Island State Park. Camping here means enjoying the Gulf of Mexico’s sun, sand, and waves! Go kayaking or canoeing in the bay or fishing in the Gulf.
The park is also great for birdwatching because it’s a stopover for migrating birds. You can also go hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking. Campsites are available on the bay side and beach side of the park. Galveston Island State Park shows you different sides of nature, so you can have a truly immersive experience.
Huntsville State Park
Cost: $7 entrance fee for 13 years and older; $15 daily for Campsites with Water; $20 nightly for Campsites with Electricity; $25 nightly for Full Hookup Campsites
Location: 565 Park Road 40 west, Huntsville, TX 77340, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 65 miles, 1 hour and 10 minutes
Phone: +1 936-295-5644
Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, Huntsville State Park is one of the many beautiful places for camping near Houston. The 2,000-acre park is surrounded by state and national forests, guaranteeing a serene and peaceful camping experience.
The park has various activities you can enjoy, such as canoeing and swimming. You can try to catch crappie, catfish, and bass when fishing in Lake Raven. Explore Pineywoods on foot or bike! Huntsville State Park is absolutely an excellent place to go for wildlife watching.
Stephen F. Austin State Park
Cost: $5 entrance fee for adults; $12 nightly for Primitive Campsites; $18 nightly for Campsites with Water; $28 nightly for Full Hookup Campsites; $100 for Group Camp
Location: Park Rd 38, San Felipe, TX 77473, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 50 miles, 55 minutes
Phone: +1 979-885-3613
Stephen F. Austin State Park was named after the “Father of Texas.” When you camp here, you’re near San Felipe de Austin State Historical Site, which will satisfy the history buff in you. You can also expect to see friendly deer and other wildlife in the park, giving you a feeling of being in paradise.
For nature lovers, Stephen F. Austin State Park is a must-visit. There’s also an interpretive nature center where you can learn more about the plants and animals in the area. Camping here not only brings you close to nature but also lets you have a taste of Texas history! Learning new things while camping is always a good thing.
Lake Livingston State Park
Cost: $6 entrance fee for adults; $14 nightly for Campsites with Water; $18 nightly for Campsites with Electricity (Pin Oak); $20 nightly for Campsites with Electricity (Hercules); $22 nightly for Full Hookup Campsites (Pin Oak); $25 nightly for Full Hookup Campsites (Yaupon) and Full Hookup Campsites (Red Oak); $30 nightly for Full Hookup Campsites (Piney Shores)
Location: 300 State Park Rd 65, Livingston, TX 77351, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 72.3 miles, 1 hour and 15 minutes
Phone: +1 936-365-2201
Camp at Lake Livingston State Park if you’re up for some easy water play. Lake Livingston is one of the largest lakes in the state, and camping near it will allow you to relax and enjoy the scenery. Who doesn’t want to wake up to a breathtaking lake view?
You can do plenty of camping activities at Lake Livingston State Park. You can go boating, fishing, and swimming, or you can explore nature trails. Camping here is also a good opportunity to stargaze at night. You’ll be camping under a blanket of stars, which is truly a magical experience.
Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Cost: $3 entrance fee for 13 years and older; $7 for Individual Campsites and Primitive Campsites
Location: 25840 FM 1485, New Caney, TX 77357, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 33 miles, 45 minutes
Phone: +1 832-395-7690
Among all the places under the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Lake Houston Wilderness Park is the only area where you can camp overnight. It’s about 5,000 acres of lush forest, making it a perfect getaway from all the fuss on a night in the city!
Camping at Lake Houston Wilderness Park allows you and your family to experience nature like never before. The serenity, fresh air, and beautiful scenery will make you wonder how you’re just 45 minutes away from downtown Houston. And in this paradise, you can bring your own bikes, fishing equipment, watercraft, and horses (if you have any!). You’ll find many trails in the area that you can explore before spending the night.
Sea Rim State Park
Cost: $3 entrance fee for adults; $10 nightly for Primitive Campsites (Drive-up); $15 nightly for Floating Primitive Campsite (Boat-in); $20 nightly for Campsites with Electricity
Location: 19335 TX-87, Sabine Pass, TX 77655, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 108.7 miles, 1 hour and 46 minutes
Phone: +1 409-971-2559
Beaches and wetlands? You’re in for an adventure at Sea Rim State Park! Camping here lets you enjoy the best of both worlds. You can spend your days swimming, fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching and your nights relaxing by the campfire. The park is where the gulf meets the marsh, so you can expect to see various wildlife.
Paddling is one of the activities you’ll want to do at Sea Rim State Park. The marshlands make for a great place to explore by kayak or canoe. Sea Rim promises you a unique coastal camping experience that’s definitely worth the drive. Look out for the alligators and do your part by staying safe at the park!
Lake Somerville State Park
Cost: $5 entrance fee for adults; $12 nightly for Campsites with Water (Equestrian | Birch Creek) and Campsites with Water (Equestrian | Nails Creek); $20 nightly for Campsites with Electricity (Equestrian | Nails Creek), Primitive Group Camping Area at Wolf Pond (Hike-in), Campsites with Electricity (Nails Creek Unit) and Campsites with Electricity (Birch Creek Unit); $300 nightly for Group Camp (Birch Creek Unit)
Location: 14222 Park Rd 57, Somerville, TX 77879, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 105.2 miles, 1 hour and 46 minutes
Phone: +1 979-535-7763
If you’re looking for a more rustic camping experience, head to Lake Somerville State Park. Camping here will give you a taste of what it’s like to live off the land. You can go fishing, hiking, and horseback riding while enjoying the scenic views.
At Lake Somerville, you can also go hunting during certain seasons. Camping is only allowed in designated areas, so check with the park before setting up. You can also enjoy different camping experiences, such as primitive camping at the Nails Creek and Birch Creek units. There are alligators in the area, too, so follow all the park’s safety rules.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park
Cost: $31 + tax Day Camp Passes for 4 years and older
Location: 34843 Betka Rd, Waller, TX 77484, United States
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 50 Miles, 1 hour
Phone: +1 979-826-4111
There’s no other campground that’s more perfect for kids than Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park! The Waller, Texas campground has a waterpark, playgrounds, and sports facilities where the little ones can burn off all their energy.
Jellystone Park also offers planned activities, such as arts and crafts, movie nights, and themed weekends. Camping here means enjoying all the amenities and activities the campground offers. The place can give kids (and adults!) the best camping experience, one they’ll never forget. Yogi Bear has always been about family fun, which you can expect at Jellystone Park.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
Cost: $4 entrance fee for adults; $14 nightly for Campsites with Water; $16 nightly for Campsites with Electricity (30 amp); $20 nightly for Campsites with Electricity (50 amp)
Location: Hen House Ridge Boat Ramp – Martin Dies Jr. State Park
Driving Distance from Downtown Houston: 122 miles, 2 hours
Phone: +1 409-384-5231
Don’t let the state park’s name intimidate you. If there’s anything it promises, it’s to make you feel alive! Martin Dies, Jr. State Park is two hours away from downtown Houston, and it’s a place where you can find peace and quiet.
The state park offers ranger programs for those who want to go for night hikes. The place is breathtaking, no matter the time of the day! When camping here, it’s best to bring star charts and binoculars to fully enjoy the experience. The clear night sky is something you wouldn’t want to miss. If you’re looking for a wild and diverse camping experience, this is where you should go.
Houston Camping Tips
Regardless of where you’re camping, taking some essential precautions is vital to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Before camping in Houston, keep the following tips in mind:
Research Your Campsite
Read reviews from other campers and make sure the amenities and activities offered at the campsite fit your needs. Don’t forget to confirm fees and make reservations if necessary.
Check the Weather
The weather in Houston can be unpredictable, so check the forecast before you head out. Camping is meant to challenge you while you’re out of your comfort zone, but you don’t want to make it too difficult.
Be sure to bring all the essentials, including tents, sleeping bags, food, water, and clothes for any type of weather. Camping can be a great opportunity to try new things, but ensure you’re comfortable with your surroundings before venturing too far from the campsite.
Leave No Trace
When you’re finished camping, clean up your campsite and respect the natural environment. Leave no trace of your stay, and take all your trash when you leave. Camping is a privilege, so do your part to keep Houston’s parks and campsites beautiful.
Bring Bug Sprays
Lastly, don’t forget bug sprays! Camping in Houston gives you screened shelter options, but bringing your own bug spray is still a good idea. Keeping the bugs at bay is an inevitable part of the camping experience, but it doesn’t have to ruin your trip.
Have Fun, Campers!
Make your Houston experience memorable by camping at one of the above fantastic campsites in or near the city. Houston doesn’t fall short when it comes to picturesque views and lasting memories! Wherever you decide to camp, you’ll surely go back home feeling refreshed and excited for your next camping adventure.