Texas is blessed with a beautiful shoreline and plenty of interior lakes where residents and visitors can enjoy waterside camping. No matter if you seek beach camping spots or sites right next to Texas’ largest lakes, there is a camping spot on this list that is sure to please.
Now almost all of these locations can accommodate both tents and RVs, so all types of campers can enjoy a waterfront view. Enjoy Texas’ best watering holes at these 10 best waterside camping spots in Texas.
Padre Island National Seashore, Corpus Christi
Padre Island is one of the most popular waterside beach camping destinations in the state of Texas. Camping here is easy; you can drive on the beach and set your tent up on the shoreline. Now some of the camping on Padre Island National Seashore is primitive, so water, electricity and other amenities are not accessible. However, there are some campgrounds with basic amenities, such as Malaquite Campground. Expect to experience Texas wildlife here; the seashore is home to over 400 bird species, loads of different fish and even sea turtles.
Mustang Island State Park, Port Aransas
For a more remote experience, head to Mustang Island State Park near Port Aransas. The sand dunes here are a unique feature of the park; they can reach heights as tall as 35 feet. Now when it comes to waterside camping, there are both primitive spots as well as established sites. Amenities at this state park include water, outdoor grills, picnic tables and restrooms with showers. Even RVs have electricity and a spot to rest at Mustang Island State Park.
Matagorda Island State Park, Matagorda Island
Matagorda Island State Park offers 13 waterside campsites complete with a fire ring and a barbecue pit. However, the unique feature of this park is the fact that it is only accessible via boat. Take the Matagorda Ferry that runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Once you get there however, you will be pleased to see 39 miles of beach teeming with wildlife such as peregrine falcons, cranes and of course aquatic life. Make sure to peep out of your tent once the sun goes down because this island is also a great spot to stargaze.
Possum Kingdom State Park, Caddo
For those living in Dallas or Fort Worth, Possum Kingdom State Park is a great getaway option since this park is only an hour west of the metropolitan area. Possum Kingdom’s main feature is a large lake, which has drawn the attention of boaters, snorkelers, fishermen and scuba divers. There is a sandy beach here as well as other swimming areas. With numerous campsites available, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to pitch your tent.
Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Pilot Point
Ray Roberts Lake, a 3,000-acre reservoir, is the main attraction at Ray Roberts Lake State Park. This is another waterside camp area that is near to Dallas and Fort Worth residents. Now the beach is a must-visit while you’re here but don’t forget that this state park is also a great location for fishing, windsurfing, and hiking. For waterside camping, try to get a spot at Isle du Bois Walk-in Developed Campsites.
Inks Lake State Park, Burnet
This Texas Hill Country gem has a clear water lake, enjoyable hiking trails, and almost 200 campsites. Since it is only an hour northwest of Austin, Inks Lake State Park is a great option for residents and visitors needing an escape from the city. Don’t miss out on a section of the lake referred to as Devil’s Waterhole and make sure you visit the bird blind for pristine bird-watching. Rentals for paddle boats, kayaks and canoes are found within the park. When it comes to camping, the lakefront spots are sure to please.
Caddo Lake State Park, Karnack
Camp on the shores of Texas’ largest natural lake at Caddo Lake State Park. This swampy area is covered with forests of pine and cypress trees, making it such a picturesque location. This state park isn’t for swimming however; alligators actually live within the waters here. However, rent a kayak or canoe to explore the area. Anglers will love Caddo Lake State Park because more than 70 species of fish call this lake home. Waterside camping and cabins are available.
Lake Livingston State Park, Livingston
An hour north of Houston is Lake Livingston State Park. Lake Livingston, one of the largest lakes in the state, is perfect for swimming, bird-watching, and fishing. Waterside campsites are available for both tents and RVs. Wildlife enthusiasts should keep an eye out to catch a glimpse of bald eagles, armadillos, and even bobcats.
Lake Whitney State Park, Whitney
Lake Whitney State Park, which is outside of Waco, is the perfect place to go fishing, swim, hike, mountain bike, and camp. Nearly all of the campsites have access to the lake. Do keep in mind that swimming is only in designated areas. For those looking to fish, expect to find Small-mouth bass and stripers. Birdwatchers will enjoy the views of over 195 species of bird, varying from turkeys to bald eagles to pelicans. Spring is a great time to visit Lake Whitney because of the gorgeous views of Texas bluebonnets.
I.B. Magee Beach Park, Port Aransas
Located in Port Aransas, I.B. Magee Beach Park is a great spot for waterside camping right on the beach. Tent camping can be found on the shore, while RV spots are nearby. This beach park is a surfing hotspot, hosting surf camps during the summer months. Fishermen will enjoy the abundant waters at Magee.