My family is a camping family. We also are a family that loves to book our weekends full of things to do, whether that's taking advantage of activities around Houston or traveling elsewhere. As our family has grown, we've gone from tent camping in Houston to trailer camping to RVs and tried out everything else possible in between. Camping in Texas is great fun, and we love finding new campgrounds to explore, especially campgrounds near Houston that we can easily get to after work on a Friday. Families can enjoy Texas State Park camping, Texas National Forest camping, and visiting private campgrounds.
For all the other camping families out there (and families interested in giving camping a try!), we've rounded up a variety of Houston camping spots that allow you to get out of town for a few days without having to drive for hours.
Texas State Parks Camping
Galveston Island State Park photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, texas.gov
14901 FM 3005, Galveston
If you're looking for beach-side camping, look no further than Galveston Island State Park. Whether you're tent camping, driving an RV, or pulling a trailer, this park has a spot for you. For $25 a night you can reserve a site that faces the Gulf beach and provides water and electric hook-ups. These are available for both tents and RVs/trailers. If you're tent camping and prefer a Bay Side spot, you can snag one of the 10 available for only $15 per night; RVs and trailers can reserve one of the 20 Bay Side spots for $20. These sites include water, but not electric.
565 Park Rd. 40 West, Huntsville
One of the best places near Houston for Texas State Park camping, Huntsville has fishing, swimming, boating, and hiking. This Texas State Park is also located within Sam Houston National Forest. The park offers 160 campsites for tent campers and RVs/trailers as well as screened shelters and shelters with amenities, so no matter what your camping preference you're sure to find a site that satisfies. Sites range from $15-$25 per night and shelters start at $30 per night and can go up to $60 depending on the amenities your family wants to include.
Brazos Bend State Park photo by Chase A. Fountain, courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, texas.gov
21901 FM 762 Road, Needville
With 37 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, plenty of bird watching and alligator sightseeing, and fishing galore, nature-loving families are sure to enjoy staying at Brazos Bend State Park. Campsites are available for $12-$25 per night, youth group camping areas range from $25-$40 per night, and screened shelters run $25 per night. There is one cabin on site that is a converted screen shelter available for $65 per night.
Park Rd. 38, San Felipe
If you're looking to get a healthy dose of history with your camping experience, head on over to Stephen F. Austin State Park for some awesome Texas camping. History buffs will love being able to check out the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site while camping, which details the colonial history of Texas, the Texas Revolution, and Stephen F. Austin himself. Campsites run from $12-$28 per night, depending on amenities and if you're RV/trailer or tent camping. Group campsites are $100 per night and screened shelters are $35 per night. For those needing an ADA-accessible cabin, there is one available for $75 per night. Large groups can choose from a group screened shelter/dining hall for $200 per night or the Bullinger Creek Lodge for $300 per night.
Photo by Rachael Cherry
Private Campgrounds Near Houston
19785 Highway 105 West, Montgomery
This KOA campground offers a long list of amenities when you're camping in Houston, such as basketball, outdoor movie nights, and stocked fishing lakes, as well as themed weekends and activities throughout the summer months. If you're tent camping, you can choose from primitive sites or those with water and electric hook-ups. RVs can select pull-through or back-in sites with full hook-ups, as well as if cable and/or WiFi are included. For cabin dwellers with pets, there are options to stay in a one bedroom or two bedroom cabin, or even a more secluded cabin on the hill. Cabins with no pets allowed are available as well. Pricing varies based on the site you select.
Photo courtesy of Lake Houston Wilderness Park, Facebook
25840 FM 1485, New Caney
You'll find almost 4,800 acres of woods and wilderness at this campground and park that's located only 30 minutes north of downtown Houston, making it a hidden gem in the midst of the city. The campground offers campsites, screened shelters, and cabins for campers. Campsites start at $7 per night for a basic tent campsite and go all the way up to $250 per night for those wanting to reserve a lodge. Regardless of your group size, there's a campsite to fit your needs at Lake Houston Wilderness Park. Check the website for availability-as of March 2022 the largest lodges are not available due to Covid-19.
34843 Betka Road, Waller
This park is sure to be a huge hit with the kids with year-round activities, a lazy river and splash pad, mini golf, a game room, and a variety of other family-friendly attractions. There are several different cabin options, ranging from $69 per night to $159 per night, as well as tent and RV/trailer sites that start at $23 per night and go up to $40 per night, depending on amenities chosen. However, prices are subject to change and vary for weekend and holiday reservations. Be sure to check the website for specific accommodation pricing.
Texas National Forest Campgrounds
Photo courtesy of Double Lake Recreation Area Texas, Facebook
301 FM 2025 Road, Coldspring
For hiking, fishing, and exploring, head over to Double Lake Recreation Area in the Sam Houston National Forest. The 23-acre campground offers sites for cabins, tents, RVs, and trailers, as well as the option to choose primitive sites, water-only sites, and sites with both water and electric. Families wanting to be right on the water can reserve a waterfront site, and the lake is stocked with catfish, bream, and bass for fishing. Site prices vary based on the type of site you select and one vehicle is included with the site fee. Two vehicles are included with the site, and dditional vehicles are charged $9 per night.
FM 1375, New Waverly
Another Sam Houston National Forest campground, Cagle Recreation Area can be found off of Lake Conroe. There are RV/trailer sites and tent pads with full hook-ups available, which are split into two separate loops on the campgrounds. All sites are $30 per night. This no-frills Texas campground is perfect for families looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.
Photo by Rachael Cherry
This post originally published in October 2016 and has been updated since.