Houston is the largest city in the Lonestar State and the 4th largest city in the country. Only New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago have more residents. With these crowds, you may wonder if camping in Houston is possible or if skyscrapers, arenas, and apartments have taken up all the land.
Camping in Houston is a suitable alternative to staying in a hotel or Airbnb because of the most affordable nightly rates, convenient amenities, and beautiful scenery. Within an hour’s drive of the city are ten excellent Houston camping spots. So let’s dive in!
Where Is Houston?
Houston is about 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in southeastern Texas. I-10 runs through the city from west to east, and I-45 runs north to south. San Antonio is a straight shot west on I-10, about three hours from Houston. Dallas is a straight shot north on I-45, about 90 minutes from Houston. The Louisiana border is about two hours east.
While the city itself is 640 square miles, the metropolitan area of Houston covers over 10,000 square miles, which is larger than the state of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Over 7 million people call metro Houston home.
Houston is a big city, and no city is great for RV camper driving. Be sure to time your arrival or departure to avoid rush hours at either end of the day or on a weekend.
What Is Houston Known for?
Besides being a major US city and economic hub of the south, many people know Houston for hosting the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It’s the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world. Houston is also home to the Houston Astros professional baseball team and Houston Rockets professional basketball team.
There’s also a strong international community in Houston with over 145 languages spoken there. This culture influences the art scene and musical diversity. The Museum District includes the Houston Museum of African American Culture, the Czech Center, and the Asian Society Texas Center.
Finally, Houston is also known for its link with the Johnson Space Center, NASA’s headquarters for human spaceflight. This is why you’ve probably heard phrases like, “Houston, do you copy?” or “Houston, we have a problem.” This is where spaceflight training, research, testing, and flight control take place for NASA space missions.
Is Houston Good for Camping?
The city itself isn’t the best camping destination, but several suitable options exist outside the city. From state parks to lakeside campsites, camping is a fun way to experience the city. You’re within an hour of top-notch cuisine, sporting events, and famous museums.
Plus, it’s much cheaper than booking a hotel room in Houston. You don’t have to deal with traffic daily when you stay outside the city. Because of the major interstates and highways that run through the city, Houston is easily accessible by RV.
Pro Tip: Enjoy some time in the sun and sand at these 7 Best Beaches in Texas for the Perfect Beach Day.
10 Best Spots for Camping in Houston
All these locations are within an hour of the city. These best spots for camping in Houston offer resort amenities like swimming pools, mini golf courses, and more rustic, natural sceneries. Let’s dive in!
1. Northlake RV Resort
About 20-25 minutes north of the city center, Northlake RV Resort has amenities like a stocked fishing lake, a swimming pool, laundry facilities, a fitness center, and more. Quality RV Resorts owns Northlake, which has daily rates starting at around $55 with a Good Sam discount. There are over 150 campsites with full hookups, including lake sites, back-in sites, and pull-thru sites that can accommodate any size rig.
2. Eastlake RV Resort
Another Quality RV Resort location near Houston is Eastlake RV Resort at 11802 Lockwood Road, about 20-25 minutes northeast of the city center. Rates start at around $54 with a Good Sam discount. Like Northlake, Eastlake offers lake sites, back-in sites, and pull-thru sites. There’s a dog walk, a propane refill station, a stocked fishing lake, a swimming pool, and more.
3. Fallbrook RV Resort
The third Quality RV Resort location is Fallbrook RV Resort. It’s about 20 minutes northwest of the city and offers nightly rates at roughly $55 with a Good Sam discount. Like the previous locations, this campground has a stocked fishing lake, a swimming pool, exercise equipment, laundry facilities, and more. These three Quality RV Resorts also have travel trailers and park models for rent if you don’t bring your RV.
4. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park – Waller
About 50 minutes northwest of Houston is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Waller. For families looking for more amenities and entertainment options, this campground is a good option. It has pedal boats, a jumping pillow, a gaga ball court, laser tag, water slides, and more activities. The location also has cabins, tent sites, and RV sites for rent. Daily rates start around $60.
5. East Park Village RV Park
About 25 minutes east of Houston, off I-10, sits East Park Village RV Park. Daily rates start at approximately $50, weekly rates start at roughly $300, and monthly rates start at around $475. San Jacinto Battleground is one of the closest attractions to the campground. There aren’t many amenities here, but the prices are some of the cheapest in the area. You’ll find shaded sites and full hook-ups at East Park Village RV Park and easy access to the interstate.
6. Katy Lake RV Resort
Another destination to make our best spot for camping in Houston is about 30-35 minutes west of Katy. Katy Lake RV Resort sits on 18 acres with a 6-acre lake. This campground offers Good Sam, TACO, and military discounts. Daily rates start at about $59. Amenities include showers, an exercise room, a dog park, a swimming pool with a hot tub, a propane refilling station, and more.
7. Cullen RV Resort
Sitting about 20-25 from the city center, Cullen RV Resort is a gated community with a playground, a fitness center, a walking trail, a swimming pool with a hot tub, and more. The new clubhouse has billiards, table tennis, board games, and large-screen TVs for guests to enjoy. Rates are approximately $65/night, $280/week, and $600/month with pull-thru, back-in, and waterfront options.
8. Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Lake Houston Wilderness Park makes our list of best spots for camping in Houston because of its beautiful scenery with almost 5,000 acres of forests. It’s the only Houston Parks and Recreation location with overnight accommodations. There are more than 20 miles of trails within the park. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding opportunities here. RV sites are about $30, and tent sites are approximately $7.
9. Brazos Bend State Park
There are two state parks to make our list. The first, Brazos Bend State Park, is about 50 minutes from Houston in Needville. Hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding are everyday activities. There are 37 miles of trails, and the nature center features exhibits about the local ecosystem. RV sites are roughly $25, and tent sites are about $12. This is an option for RVers wanting to stay near Houston but enjoy a more natural environment.
Pro Tip: If you want to go fishing during your Houston camping trip, use this guide on How to Get a Fishing License in Texas.
10. Stephen F. Austin State Park
Finally, the last campground to make our list of best spots for camping in Houston is Stephen F. Austin State Park. This state park is down I-10, about 50 minutes west of the city. You can learn more about the historical figure of Stephen F. Austin while enjoying the beauty of the Brazos River. There are five miles of hiking and biking trails and a Junior Ranger program for kids. Full hookup RV sites are about $30, sites with water only are around $20, and primitive sites are around $15.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Houston?
Due to the extreme summer heat in Texas, June through August isn’t the best time to visit. Trust us; we spent 2 months in Texas in April, May, and into June and couldn’t believe the heat. And that wasn’t even the peak heat season. Temperatures can easily reach over 100 degrees daily. It’s hot and humid due to Houston’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.
In the winter, temperatures can dip below freezing, although rare. Snow or ice is possible. If you’re looking for bright, sunny, warm weather to escape the cold of winter, there are better destinations like South Padre Island deeper south in Texas.
Therefore, it’s best to visit Houston in the spring or fall with mild temperatures. Spring can see dangerous storms and tornadoes, while fall can have hurricanes coming in from the Gulf. But even with the threat of severe weather, your visit to Houston will be most enjoyable during these months.
Does Texas Have Free Camping?
Yes, Texas does have free camping. However, unless you need to be in the Houston area for a reason, we recommend heading further south or west for our favorite free Texas camping options. There are even beach camping spots that are free right on the Gulf of Mexico!
Enjoy Texas-Style Camping in Houston This Season
These best locations for camping in Houston offer a wide range of options. If you want resort-like amenities, one of the Quality RV Resorts may be a suitable solution. If you wish to camp in the trees, one of the state parks may be a better choice. But all these spots for camping in Houston are less than an hour from the city’s museums, sporting arenas, and downtown events.
Which one will you visit the next time you’re in the Lonestar State? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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