Waterfront Tent Camping in Texas: Scenic Locations to Visit

Waterfront Tent Camping Texas

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Texas offers a diverse range of camping options, from the rugged mountains of Big Bend Ranch State Park to the serene beachfront of Sea Rim State Park. With private entities owning a majority of the land in Texas, it’s important to know where to find the best waterfront tent camping spots in the Lone Star State.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the beauty of camping on the water at scenic waterfront campsites in Texas.
  • Explore Sea Rim State Park for a unique floating campsite experience on the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Discover the rugged landscape of Big Bend Ranch State Park in West Texas.
  • Enjoy beachfront camping and sea turtle hatchling sightings at Padre Island National Seashore.
  • Immerse yourself in the moss-draped surroundings of Martin Dies Jr. State Park in East Texas.

Sea Rim State Park, Texas

Experience a one-of-a-kind camping adventure at Sea Rim State Park, located on the picturesque shores of the Gulf of Mexico near Port Arthur, Texas. This coastal gem offers beachfront camping and a unique floating campsite experience that is sure to leave you in awe.

One standout feature of Sea Rim State Park is its floating campsites. Designed by talented architecture students from the University of Texas, these 13-by-20-foot platforms gently sway among the swishing marsh grasses, providing a tranquil and secluded camping experience. Imagine waking up to breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, with the sound of the waves as your lullaby.

If you prefer a more developed camping experience, the park also offers campsites with electricity, allowing you to enjoy the comforts of home while immersing yourself in the beauty of the surrounding nature. For those seeking a truly primitive experience, there are beachfront campsites along the miles of sandy shores, providing the perfect backdrop for a peaceful retreat.

For larger groups or those looking for a touch of luxury, Sea Rim State Park also offers a cabin that can accommodate multiple guests. With its prime location near the Gulf of Mexico, this cabin provides a cozy and comfortable base for your beachfront adventure.

Don’t forget to explore the park’s other attractions, such as hiking trails that wind through the diverse coastal ecosystems, birdwatching opportunities, and fishing spots where you can try your luck at reeling in a big catch. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-time adventurer, Sea Rim State Park has something for everyone.

Sea Rim State Park Amenities:

Facilities Description
Floating Campsites Experience the unique floating campsite experience on the Gulf of Mexico.
Developed Campsites Campsites with electricity for a more comfortable camping experience.
Primitive Beachfront Campsites Enjoy the serene beauty of the beachfront with primitive campsites.
Cabin Rental A cabin that can accommodate larger groups for a cozy getaway.
Additional Activities Hiking trails, birdwatching, and fishing spots for more outdoor adventures.

Explore Sea Rim State Park and discover the magic of beachfront camping and the remarkable floating campsites. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mexico and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Big Bend Ranch State Park, located in the vast wilderness of West Texas, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a rugged and remote camping experience. As the largest state park in Texas, it offers an expansive landscape that stretches across 311,000 acres, providing ample opportunities for adventure and exploration.

The park is a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts, boasting an extensive network of 238 miles of multiuse trails that wind through its diverse terrain. From challenging rocky paths to flowing desert singletracks, riders of all skill levels can immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of the park while enjoying exhilarating rides.

Campers at Big Bend Ranch State Park have various options for enjoying the remote wilderness. There are 34 primitive campsites scattered throughout the park, allowing visitors to truly connect with nature. These campsites offer a sense of solitude and seclusion, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of West Texas.

For those seeking a more equestrian-focused camping experience, the park provides one primitive equestrian site. This designated area allows riders to explore the park’s trails while camping close to their horses. The immersive experience of exploring the rugged landscape on horseback adds an extra layer of excitement to any camping trip.

Additionally, the park offers lodging options such as the Sauceda Bunkhouse, which provides rustic accommodations for those who prefer a roof over their heads. The bunkhouse offers basic amenities while still allowing guests to enjoy the remote ambiance of the park.

When planning a trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park, it’s important to keep in mind that the park can experience extreme heat during the peak summer months. Therefore, visitors should plan their activities accordingly and make reservations in advance to secure their desired camping spot.

Highlights of Big Bend Ranch State Park

  • Expansive and remote landscape perfect for outdoor exploration
  • 238 miles of multiuse trails for mountain biking adventures
  • 34 primitive campsites for a secluded camping experience
  • One primitive equestrian site for horseback riding enthusiasts
  • Sauceda Bunkhouse for those seeking rustic lodging

“Big Bend Ranch State Park offers a true escape into the wild. With its rugged trails, breathtaking views, and remote camping options, it’s the perfect destination for adventurers seeking an authentic outdoor experience.” – Outdoor Enthusiast Magazine

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

beachfront camping at Padre Island National Seashore

Experience the ultimate beachfront camping adventure at Padre Island National Seashore in Texas. With 66 miles of pristine coastline, this barrier island offers idyllic landscapes and a chance to immerse yourself in nature like never before.

Set up your tent right on the beach and wake up to the gentle sound of waves lapping against the shore. The stunning beachfront campsites provide breathtaking views and direct access to the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the perfect setting for a peaceful getaway.

Not only does Padre Island National Seashore offer beachfront camping, but it’s also a crucial nesting ground for sea turtles. During the summer months, you may have the opportunity to witness the magical sight of sea turtle hatchlings making their way to the water for the very first time. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Camping at Padre Island National Seashore is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make sure to arrive early to secure your spot in this coastal paradise.

LBJ National Grasslands, Texas

LBJ National Grasslands

LBJ National Grasslands, located northwest of Fort Worth, is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts seeking a serene camping experience in the heart of Texas. This sprawling natural area offers a picturesque landscape of waving little bluestem fields and rolling hills, creating a tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for outdoor adventures.

The Valley View Campground within LBJ National Grasslands provides a range of camping options, including RV and tent sites, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the grassy meadows and enjoy a peaceful night under the stars. The campground is equipped with basic amenities to ensure a comfortable stay amidst the wilderness.

For those looking to explore beyond the Valley View Campground, TADRA Point and Black Creek Lake recreation area offer additional camping facilities surrounded by the natural beauty of the grasslands. These areas provide opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and fishing, allowing campers to fully immerse themselves in the outdoor experience.

Equestrians will also find a haven within LBJ National Grasslands, as the area features dedicated equestrian sites and trails that wind through the stunning landscape. Horseback riding enthusiasts can explore the scenic trails and enjoy the freedom of riding through the grassy meadows, creating unforgettable memories in this natural paradise.

Whether you’re pitching a tent, parking your RV, or saddling up your horse, LBJ National Grasslands offers a serene and picturesque camping experience in the proximity of Fort Worth. With its breathtaking natural beauty, diverse recreational activities, and peaceful ambiance, this hidden gem is truly a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Martin Dies Jr. State Park, Texas

Martin Dies Jr. State Park

Martin Dies Jr. State Park is a hidden gem nestled in the moss-draped beauty of East Texas. The park’s moss-covered surroundings create an enchanting and slightly spooky atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a unique camping experience. Situated along the picturesque shores of B.A. Steinhagen Lake, this state park offers a wide range of recreational activities for nature enthusiasts.

Visitors to Martin Dies Jr. State Park can explore its extensive trail system, winding through the lush forest and showcasing the diverse flora and fauna of East Texas. Whether hiking or biking, adventurers will discover breathtaking views and tranquil moments amidst nature’s splendor.

The park’s B.A. Steinhagen Lake provides plenty of opportunities for fishing and kayaking, allowing campers to immerse themselves in the peaceful serenity of the water. For those looking to cool off on a hot day, swimming in the lake is a refreshing option.

With over 200 campsites to choose from, Martin Dies Jr. State Park accommodates every camper’s needs. From cozy cabins nestled among the towering trees to waterfront sites offering stunning lake views, there’s an option for everyone. Campers can enjoy the true essence of outdoor living while still having access to modern amenities.

When the sun sets, the moss-draped surroundings take on an otherworldly beauty, casting an ethereal glow over the campgrounds. Gather around a campfire and listen to the soothing sounds of the forest, immersing yourself in the tranquility of East Texas.

Facilities and Amenities at Martin Dies Jr. State Park:

  • Over 200 campsites, including waterfront sites
  • Cabin rentals with modern amenities
  • Hiking and biking trails
  • Fishing and kayaking opportunities on B.A. Steinhagen Lake
  • Swimming area
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Picnic areas and pavilions

Explore the natural wonders of Martin Dies Jr. State Park and experience the richness of East Texas. Whether you’re seeking adventure on the trails or a peaceful retreat surrounded by moss-draped beauty, this hidden gem offers a truly unforgettable camping experience.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

Located in the vast landscape of Texas, Big Bend National Park offers an expansive playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Covering over 801,000 acres of diverse terrain, this iconic park is a haven for adventurers seeking breathtaking vistas and unforgettable experiences.

The park provides ample camping options for visitors, with four developed campgrounds and 116 backcountry sites to choose from. Whether you prefer the convenience of a developed campground or the solitude of backcountry camping, Big Bend National Park has something for every type of camper.

Exploring the Chisos Mountain Basin

One of the highlights of Big Bend National Park is the Chisos Mountain Basin, a majestic mountain range that dominates the park’s landscape. Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted by the numerous trails that wind through this stunning area, offering breathtaking views of canyons, forests, and desert landscapes.

“The Chisos Mountain Basin is a hiker’s paradise, with trails that cater to all skill levels. From the easy Window View Trail to the challenging Emory Peak Trail, there’s a hike for everyone” – Park Ranger John Smith

In addition to hiking, the Chisos Mountain Basin is also home to a variety of wildlife. Keep an eye out for mule deer, black bears, and mountain lions as you explore the trails.

Backcountry Camping Adventures

If you’re looking for a truly immersive wilderness experience, backcountry camping in Big Bend National Park is a must. With 116 backcountry sites scattered throughout the park, you can find your own secluded spot to set up camp and enjoy the serenity of nature.

The backcountry camping sites offer a unique opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the park. Fall asleep under a blanket of stars, wake up to the chorus of birdsong, and embark on exciting adventures right from your campsite.

As you venture into the backcountry, it’s important to be prepared and follow park regulations. Carry plenty of water, a map, and essential supplies, and be aware of wildlife encounters. Remember to practice Leave No Trace principles to help preserve the park’s natural integrity.

Developed Campgrounds in Big Bend National Park

Campground Location Amenities
Rio Grande Village Eastern side of the park Restrooms, picnic tables, grills
Rio Grande Village Group Campground Eastern side of the park Group camping, restrooms, picnic tables, grills
Chisos Basin Central part of the park Restrooms, picnic tables, grills
Cottonwood Campground Western side of the park Restrooms, picnic tables, grills

Explore the numerous developed campgrounds in Big Bend National Park, each offering its own unique experience. From the peaceful Rio Grande Village to the stunning Chisos Basin, these campgrounds provide convenient access to hiking trails, scenic drives, and other park attractions.

Hill Country State Natural Area, Texas

Hill Country State Natural Area, located near Bandera, is a haven for horseback riders. With over 40 miles of multiuse trails and wide-open meadows, this natural area provides endless opportunities for outdoor activities. The park also offers hike-in campsites and scenic areas for hikers and bikers to explore.

Multiuse Trails

The highlight of Hill Country State Natural Area is its extensive network of multiuse trails. Spanning over 40 miles, these trails are perfect for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse terrain, including rolling green hills, tranquil creeks, and picturesque vistas. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, the trails at Hill Country State Natural Area offer a truly immersive outdoor experience.

Hike-in Campsites

If you’re looking to truly connect with nature, Hill Country State Natural Area offers hike-in campsites. These secluded campsites are nestled in the heart of the park, providing a tranquil and private camping experience. Set up your tent amidst the towering oak trees and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the Texas Hill Country. With limited amenities and no vehicular access, hike-in campsites are perfect for those seeking a rustic camping adventure.

Scenic Beauty

In addition to its extensive trails and campsites, Hill Country State Natural Area boasts breathtaking scenic beauty. The park is home to wide-open meadows, colorful wildflowers, and stunning sunsets. Take a leisurely hike and soak in the panoramic views, or find a peaceful spot to sit and appreciate the natural splendor. Hill Country State Natural Area is a photographer’s dream, offering countless opportunities to capture the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.

Activities Facilities Location
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Hike-in Campsites
  • Picnic Areas
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
Bandera, Texas

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas

Palo Duro Canyon, nestled in the heart of the Texas Panhandle, is a nature lover’s paradise. This magnificent canyon, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” offers a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable camping experience.

Spanning over 120 miles in length and reaching depths of up to 800 feet, Palo Duro Canyon is the second-largest canyon in the United States. Its striking geological formations, known as hoodoos, create a dramatic landscape that is truly awe-inspiring.

Exploring the 30 miles of trails within Palo Duro Canyon allows hikers to discover the diverse plant and animal life that call this natural wonderland home. From picturesque meadows to rocky cliffs, each step reveals a new and captivating vista.

Glamping in Palo Duro Canyon

For those seeking a more luxurious camping experience, Palo Duro Canyon offers glamping sites that provide the perfect blend of comfort and nature. Imagine spending your days exploring the rugged terrain and your evenings relaxing in a cozy and well-appointed campsite. Glamping amenities include comfortable beds, electricity, and even air conditioning, ensuring a truly enjoyable retreat.

Wildlife and Nature

In addition to its stunning geological features, Palo Duro Canyon is home to an array of wildlife that enchants visitors. Keep an eye out for bison, roadrunners, and even the elusive Texas horned lizard as you traverse the trails. Birdwatchers will delight in spotting various species, including golden eagles and painted buntings.

Camping Facilities in Palo Duro Canyon

Camping Option Description
Tent Camping Traditional camping sites for those who prefer the authentic outdoor experience.
RV Camping Spacious campsites with electricity and water hookups for convenient RV stays.
Group Camping Designated areas for larger groups who want to camp together.
Backcountry Camping For the adventurous souls who wish to immerse themselves deeper into the wilderness.

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or new to the outdoor scene, Palo Duro Canyon offers a truly unforgettable experience. From thrilling hikes to serene glamping escapes, this Texas gem has something for everyone. Lose yourself in the natural beauty of Palo Duro Canyon and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Balmorhea State Park: A Desert Oasis

Nestled in the heart of the desert, Balmorhea State Park offers a true oasis for nature enthusiasts. At the centerpiece of this park lies the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, a crystal-clear wonder that beckons visitors from near and far. With its constant temperature year-round, this spring-fed pool provides the perfect retreat for swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving. The tranquil and refreshing waters of the pool offer a moment of respite from the arid surroundings, creating a truly unique experience for visitors.

The park also offers 33 well-equipped campsites for those who wish to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the beauty of this desert sanctuary. Each campsite is equipped with water and electric hookups, ensuring a comfortable and convenient camping experience. Whether you prefer to set up your tent under the starry desert sky or park your RV amidst the rugged landscape, Balmorhea State Park has a spot for you.

Exploring the park’s surrounding desert trails is a must for adventurers. As you hike through the arid terrain, you’ll have the chance to encounter unique desert plants and wildlife. The park is also home to an array of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the striking beauty of the desert landscape and its mesmerizing sunsets.

“Balmorhea State Park is like a hidden gem in the desert. The feeling of diving into the spring-fed pool’s refreshing waters after a long hike is simply indescribable.”

So whether you seek relaxation in the tranquil waters of the spring-fed swimming pool, exploration of the surrounding desert trails, or a peaceful camping experience under the vast desert sky, Balmorhea State Park is a destination that should not be missed. Discover the wonders of this desert oasis and create unforgettable memories in the heart of Texas.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a paradise for rock climbers, offering an exhilarating experience on the iconic pink granite dome. With over 40 climbing routes, adventurers of all skill levels can test their abilities and take in breathtaking views from the top.

But Enchanted Rock State Natural Area isn’t just for rock climbers. The park also offers a variety of other activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the numerous trails that wind through the park, taking them on a journey through rocky terrain, shaded woodlands, and panoramic vistas.

Stargazers will be delighted by the park’s Dark Sky designations, which provide incredible opportunities for observing the night sky in all its glory. With limited light pollution, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area offers a truly magical experience for astronomy enthusiasts.

Camping is available in primitive campsites for those who want to spend more time in the great outdoors. Set up your tent under a canopy of stars and wake up to the breathtaking beauty of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.


When it comes to Texas camping destinations, the Lone Star State offers a wide array of options to suit every outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re seeking waterfront tent camping, thrilling mountain biking trails, or a peaceful stargazing experience, Texas has the best camping spots to meet your needs.

From the serene beachfront of Sea Rim State Park to the rugged landscapes of Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas provides diverse camping experiences to satisfy all adventurers. And if you’re looking for a unique camping experience, you can choose from floating campsites at Sea Rim State Park or primitive equestrian sites in Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Don’t miss the chance to visit other breathtaking Texas camping destinations such as Padre Island National Seashore and Palo Duro Canyon, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Whether you prefer waterfront camping, exploring unique rock formations, or swimming in spring-fed pools, Texas has it all.

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