Nearly 300,000 square miles of desert, forest, rivers, hills, and beaches come together to form the Lone Star State. From a rich environmental history to the many cultural influences it boasts to its eclectic mix of natural beauty, Texas is an outdoors lover's paradise.
Whether you're looking to drive towards canyons to hike or waters to splash around in, Texas' diverse landscape delivers multiple options for getting outdoors.
We rounded up a list of five of the best places to hitch up your wagon and head out to. If you're a fan of woods, waves, or the windy west, these five great RV parks and camping sites offer something for everyone.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park
Located about 40 minutes west of the Texas-Louisiana border, or about two and a half hours from Downtown Houston, Martin Dies, Jr. State Park (634 Park Road 48 South, Jasper, TX 75951) is one of the state's most underrated camping ventures. Mixing east Texas pineywoods with west Louisiana swampland, this small-but-exciting 705-acre park is great for outdoor enthusiasts.
Six wooded trails complement hikers and bikers alike, and water wanderers can paddle on B.A. Steinhagen Lake in kayaks and canoes.
Four campsites etch the park and provide ample relaxation before getting out to the evening star-gazing party or your pick of hiking trail. From the mile-long Forest Trail to the two-mile Slough Trail, Martin Dies is a great site for family camping and adventuring.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Everyone knows about the Grand Canyon—in fact, everyone in the world knows about the Grand Canyon. But the second-largest canyon in the U.S. lies in the heart of the Texas Panhandle.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park (11450 Park Road 5, Canyon, TX 79015), known for its wide open skies and starry nights, is perfect for canyon dwellers and wild west aficionados. More than 30 miles of hiking, biking, and horse trails wind throughout the park, which also offers options for bird watching and geocaching.
History buffs can watch a musical drama performance of the history of Texas (which actually sounds truly amazing) under a blanket of stars every Tuesday through Saturday night. Campsites can be about as modern as you'd like with water, electricity, and ample room to park an RV, or primitive with walk-in campsites galore.
Interested in heading down into the 820-foot canyon? Three cabins rest atop the canyon's rim and four more are available on the canyon floor.
Mustang Island State Beach
Just a stone's throw from Corpus Christi, this sandy respite offers surf and sunshine for campers looking for a different outdoors experience. Families can park their RV and stay overnight or unpack their gear and put up some tents on the beach itself.
Mustang Island (17047 State Hwy 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373) is a breeding ground for unique wildlife like sea turtles and wild waterfowl, and offers paddling and great Texas beach fishing.
The beach-based park has something for everyone from bird watching to junior explorer events for the kids where they can collect seashells and learn about the surrounding area and its animals. Mustang Island is one of just a few Texas beaches that offers overnight camping right on the beach and includes electric campsites and primitive sites.
Grand Texas RV Resort
Another great location near the Houston area, Grand Texas RV Resort (22846 Hwy 242, New Caney, TX 77357) may be the best choice for the glampers in your family.
Boasting cable TV, super fast WiFi, and jacuzzis, this RV stop encourages inhabitants to stay awhile.
The surrounding area in New Caney is classic east Texas with a pineywood outline. The RV park is a community-driven resort that welcomes residents from all over.
A Good Sam Club affiliate, Grand Texas RV Resort has full water and sewer as well as 50, 30, and 20 Amp hookups.
What list of Texas campsites would be complete without a mention of the west Texas wonderland that is El Cosmico? The Instagram-friendly campground has brought Marfa, the small arts community its in, to life with its eclectic array of lodging.
Bohemian in style and pure Texas in its scope, El Cosmico (802 S Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843) is one of the state's and the country's most sought-after camping sites.
Adventure seekers can choose between vintage trailers, tepees, safari tents, yurts, or self-camping stations to kick back in. Brightly multi-colored touches festoon the 18-acre park which plays host as a relaxing and transcendental desert paradise.
All accommodations include access to bath houses, a communal dining area, and the hammock grove. El Cosmico is full of wonderment for all and offers a unique look at life in the state's more storied locales.
Anyone who car camps or travels throughout the state in their RV would appreciate the diversity of these choices, but really, it only scratches the surface.
In other words, fill up your tank, pack the things you need, and head to the road. You don't have to travel too far in Texas to come across another great campsite or RV park.
Read More: 3 Top Off-Roading Destinations in the U.S.
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