Winter Camping in Texas

Winter Camping in TexasTexas induces thoughts of ten-gallon hats, six-guns, tin stars and rough-and-tumble cowboys riding the dusty plains. But there is more to Texas than the cowboy image. There are hundreds of miles of white sugar-sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Kemp's Sea Turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Texas's South Padre Island (picture right). Surfers can ride waves from Galveston to Corpus Christi. For those seeking an escape from colder winter climates, Texas has many options for camping and outdoor activities. Wintertime camping is a warm and sun-filled affair in Texas.

South Padre KOA

South Padre KOA is 10 minutes from the Sea Turtle Inc. rehabilitation and nature center. Visitors to the center can watch naturalist-led talks and seminars on the sea turtles of the region, and hike the beaches keeping an eye out for the marine creatures. Campers can pitch their tents at the KOA's numerous tent sites. Picnic tables and fire rings are at each tent location. Fresh water is available for drinking and cooking needs. Pets are welcome if leashed. Showers, bathrooms and a guest room are on the premises. Surfers can catch early morning waves along the Island's beaches. Sea-kayakers can paddle the Atlantic coastline, keeping an eye out for the occasional manatee and wild dolphins.

South Padre KOA
1 Padre Blvd
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-5665


Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island offers campers a warm, beach destination. Saltwater fishing charters can be hired from the harbors on the island, and scuba divers can take guided or unguided dives. The Galveston Island State Park offers tent camping areas. Tent sites have picnic tables and fire rings with grills. Showers and bathrooms are available for guest use. Fresh water is available for drinking and cooking. Pets are allowed but must remain leashed at all times. There are four miles of hiking and biking trails in the park. Surfing, snorkeling and sea-kayaking can be enjoyed right from the campground.

Galveston Island State Park
14901 FM 3005
Galveston TX 77554
(409) 737-1222

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang State Park is on South Padre Island and offers tent campers sites along the sugar-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Tent sites are flat and level for easy shelter set-up. Picnic tables, fire rings and grills come with each site. Fresh drinking and cooking water is available on the premises. Showers, bathrooms, guest gazebos and activity rooms are available for guest use. Pets are allowed if leashed. No glass bottles or containers are allowed on the beaches. Guests should check with rangers for red-tide warnings and take needed precautions when in effect. The area is home to a myriad of sea fowl and shore birds. Wild dolphin are frequently spotted swimming the waters off the coast.

Mustang Island State Park
Port Aransas TX 78373
(361) 749-5246



Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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