Sunset camping at Paradise Pier in Galveston.
Sunset camping at Paradise Pier in Galveston.

10 Galveston Camping Tips To Know Before You Go

Camping with Nature & on Beaches in Galveston

By Hayley Simpson | Published on April 22, 2022

Are you ready for a gulf-sized adventure in Galveston? As one of the country's most charming and exciting beach towns, with historic architecture, fun attractions, sandy beaches and world-class restaurants, Galveston promises to be anything but boring. You can experience Galveston in whatever style that suits you: staying in a luxurious hotel, a modern RV resort or a beachfront campsite. Whatever you choose for your Galveston camping experience, here are 10 things to know before you go, plus the area's best campsites.

1. Choose Your Camping Adventure

When it comes to Galveston camping, there's a sea of options that cater to all styles of campers. You can choose to pitch a tent on the beach or pull up your RV in one of the region's many RV resorts.

Galveston Island State Park caters to every type of camper, whether you want to pitch a tent along the shore or park your RV. There are two main camping sites next to Como Lake and on Seawall Boulevard, which include basic and premium sites, restrooms with showers, shade shelters, picnic tables and fire rings. Pick up a Bolivar Beach Parking permit at a local store or real estate agency, hop on the ferry and enjoy free camping along Bolivar Peninsula's 27 miles of beaches, too. You'll have to head to nearby Crystal Beach for restroom facilities though.

If you're not interested in "roughing it" in a tent, Galveston is also home to several RV resorts. Oceanfront Stella Mare RV Resort opened in 2017 and is home to a splash pad, swimming pool, private lake (deck included), two dog parks, free Wi-Fi and spacious shower facilities. Galveston Island RV Resort gives it a run for its money though, with eco-friendly sites, a swimming pool with lounge facilities, a clubhouse with a wrap-around deck and a "bark park" for pets.

Another option is the family-favorite Jamaica Beach RV Park. With two pools, a playground, volleyball facilities, outdoor movie nights and beach access, kids won't know where to begin.

2. Visit Galveston During The Shoulder Seasons

Summer is the busiest season for Galveston camping as kids are on vacation from school, but it's also the hottest time in Texas. And in winter, many "snowbirds" from the northern states flock to Galveston in their RVs to escape the cold weather. The best time of year to go camping in Galveston is either in spring or fall when there are fewer crowds and pleasant weather.

All campsites and RV resorts have nightly rates. However, many of them also offer weekly and monthly rates during the off-season or their off-peak times (typically November to February) if you're eager to extend your stay.

3. Bring Your Binoculars For Bird Watching

Did you know that Galveston is home to over 300 bird species? With beaches, wetlands, grasslands and woods, it's no wonder Galveston is one of the country's best bird-watching locations. Due to the birds' migration patterns, spring and fall are the best times to go bird watching. Some top locations to visit include Big Reef Nature Park, Corp Woods Nature Sanctuary, Galveston Island State Park and Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary.

4. Book Your Camping Plans In Advance

Summer is the peak season for camping in Galveston, making it essential to ensuring you have booked your camp related plans in advance. Start by reserving a campsite at Galveston Island State Park and plan your trip around it. Another ideal camping trip tip is to secure a Texas State Park Pass, which you'll need if you decide to camp in Galveston Island State Park. The one-year pass gives you unlimited access to over 90 state parks. You'll also need a permit if camping on the Bolivar Peninsula, which you can purchase at several local stores. As well you may want to check with local Texas law when considering fishing outside of the Galveston state park.

5. Pack Smart For The Travels Ahead

When camping in Galveston, you need to be prepared for the climate and environment of the Gulf Coast. If you're visiting in the summer, it can get wet, meaning it becomes mosquito central in this region. So, bring insect repellent and a tarp to keep your tent dry in case of a rain storm. The weather can be unpredictable all year round, so make sure your tent is insulated to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter — and pack extra tent stakes so that you're ready for surprise winds.

6. Bring Your Furry Friends Along

Galveston is a very pet-friendly place. Many of the RV resorts have dog parks, and at Galveston Island State Park, pets are welcome at the campsites as long as they're always leashed. There's nothing like enjoying nature and hiking with your dog by your side.

7. Prepare To Camp Knowing You’ll Get Wet

Being on the Gulf Coast, Galveston is all about water-based activities. Bring your swimsuits and fishing gear to fish off the piers and lakes. Then rent or bring a kayak to enjoy the area's paddling trails.

8. Galveston Only Allows Beach Camping In Designated Areas

While it may sound exciting and romantic to just pitch your tent on Texas's breathtaking shoreline, it's not exactly legal. To overnight beach camp in Galveston, you would need to be in one of the designated beachfront campsites located in Galveston Island State Park and on the Bolivar Peninsula.

9. Beware Of Snakes As You Camp

Like the rest of Texas, Galveston is home to a variety of venomous and non-venomous snakes, including water snakes and rattlesnakes. If you do encounter a snake, freeze or back away slowly to allow the snake to retreat. Be aware of snake safety tips and seek medical treatment immediately if bitten.

10. Find Adventurous Things To Do While Camping!

There are so many fun adventurous things to do while camping in Galveston. Around Galveston Island State Park as a traveler, you could enjoy; fishing, swimming, or even tackle one of the many hiking, biking, paddling, and horseback riding trailheads. Then in Galveston, you can visit Moody Gardens (an award-winning amusement park), explore The Bryan Museum and stroll along the Historic Pleasure Pier.

Galveston is a terrific camping destination as well as one of the world's busiest cruise ports, too. Check out the many cruises from Galveston to plan your next adventure.


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