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Camping Near Austin: 15 Fun Parks + Campgrounds

With its prime location near some of the best camping, swimming, hiking, and exploring in the Texas Hill Country, it’s no surprise that Austin is the most popular city in Texas for lovers of the outdoors! Just a short drive from the capital will take you to not only the best camping near Austin but some of the best camping in Texas overall.

We’ve organized this guide to the best campgrounds near Austin by distanced, covering a radius of up to 3 hours from the city.

Whether you’re looking for a primitive campsite, an RV campground, or a fun chance to go glamping near Austin, we have you covered here.

Calm water at Inks Lake State Park Texas

The Best Camping Within an Hour of Austin

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

Although this park is within the city limits of Austin, you would not know it by looking around Emma Long Metropolitan Park.

Established by and controlled by the city of Austin, the park is an urban forest located along the shores of Lake Austin. 

With three large camping areas available, this park offers nature at a close distance to home. 

This park offers both primitive sites with no utilities or water and primitive sites with water only. If you are looking for a bit more luxury, Emma Long Metropolitan Park also offers premium camping near or away from the water with full utilities. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

13 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

two people sitting in folding chairs at a campsite drinking coffee with a thermos between them

SHAMBA Farms

SHAMBA is an acronym for Sustainable Homestead and Microclimate Based Agriculture. As you would guess, it is a sustainable working farm with animals, located on 10.5 acres near Elgin, Texas. 

Privately owned SHAMBA Farms also allows primitive tent camping on site. The good news, there is a composting toilet bathroom available for camper’s use. 

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The farm is primitive only with no tent pads for tent camping, but the charm of a pond, starry skies, and free-roaming chickens are more than enough amenities for most. 

If you do not wish to rough it, the farm offers a guest house and a vintage camper for glamping available to rent for your stay. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

23 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

brown chickens in a grassy field

McKinney Falls State Park

The first state park on our list is popular for a good reason. McKinney Falls State Park is close enough to Austin for convenience, and far enough from the city to offer visitors solitude surrounded by nature. 

The park has 81 campsites, all with water and electricity available for tent or RV use. Nestled along Onion Creek are also six newly remodeled cabins for rent. For large child-friendly groups, the park offers a primitive youth camping area. 

Enjoy a swim or fish at the park, along with other amenities such as hiking and biking trails. If that is too much for you, sit back and relax as the water crashes over the park’s namesake’s falls. 

As a state park, McKinney offers full restrooms and showers throughout the park for camper’s use. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

15 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Small waterfall over limestone at MicKinney Falls State Park TX

Sandy Creek Park

Part of the Travis County Park system, Sandy Creek Park is nestled along the shore of Lake Travis. 

Open only to primitive tent camping, the park’s 20 sites do not offer water and electricity, although there are water spigots located in several areas of the park. 

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Campers can enjoy access to the lake for swimming and boating. Grills are located around the park for grilling and picnicking. 

Unlike most of these campgrounds near Austin, you can’t make reservations to camp at Sandy Creek. The park operates on a first-come, first-served basis.

Distance from Downtown Austin

22 miles.

Outdoor grill at a campsite with sausagse on top and a hand holding tongs extended toward them

Blanco State Park

Just making it inside of our 1-hour window is Blanco State Park, located southeast of Austin. 

The park sits along the cool Blanco River and offers nature at its best. The park’s roughly 30 campsites are either full hookups for RVs or at least provide electricity. If worried about bugs, the park also boasts screened shelters along the river. 

The limestone edges and bottom of the river present a beautiful cascade of clear water for campers to enjoy. 

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Swimming, fishing, kayaking/canoeing, and picnicking are some of the best fun the park offers. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

57 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Small waterfall in a river in Blanco State Park near Austin TX

Cedar Breaks Park

Cedar Breaks Park is located on the shores of the large reservoir, Lake Georgetown. Part of the federal park system, it is efficiently run by the Army Corps of Engineers.   

With 64 camping sites, all are geared for either RV or tent camping. 

Although outside of Austin, the park is near the city of Georgetown, which makes it feel almost as if it is an urban park on the water. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

26 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

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Pedernales Falls State Park

Another water wonder close to Austin, Pedernales Falls State Park is a place of cascading water over large limestone slabs. Depending on the time of year and the amount of rain, these slabs will be underwater or exposed for exploring. 

The park has several different camping options, including sites with full water and electric hookups and primitive tent camping. The primitive camping is special as it sets on top of a bluff overlooking the river. 

 If you are in a large group, Pedernales has youth group campsites and even a group equestrian campsite for those who like to ride horses. 

Other attributes to this great park are hiking trails and bird watching. You can even bring your own canoe or kayak for a paddle in the river. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

42 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Kate Storm sitting on a rock overlooking Pedernales Falls on a cloudy day. Pedernales is one of the best places to camp near austin tx

Best Camping Near Austin Within a 2 Hour Drive

Inks Lake State Park

We tried to squeeze this wonderful Texas park within the one-hour drive timeframe, but it would not cooperate. That’s alright, though, because an extra few minutes of driving is worth it to reach this excellent state park. 

Built in the 1930s by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp), Inks Lake State Park offers rough rock outcrops over crystal clear water. Water fun is the name of the game here, but the park gives more. 

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The park has over 200 campsites available and ranges from full-service hookups to water and primitive only. They have also set aside several sites for tents only within the electric available area. 

If you wish to spend time in the park differently, there are 22 cabins available. Many cabins are along the water and have playgrounds dispersed amongst them for kids to play in when they’re not swimming. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

70 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Kayakers in a rocky part of Inks Lake, one of the best places to camp near austin tx

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock has long been an attraction to visitors who are drawn by the dome-shaped outcrop of granite and its exquisite view across the hill country. 

Known for its climbing, view, and hiking, the park also offers tent camping. About thirty-five tent sites, some with water, are available as a walk-in camping area. This area is set up with picnic tables, restrooms, and showers. 

Two other areas near the hiking trail are available with primitive tent sites to enjoy. 

As a bonus, heading out to this great spot for camping near Austin will allow you to enjoy this popular spot early in the morning, before it fills up for the day.

Distance from Downtown Austin

100 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Kate Storm hiking on Enchanted Rock State Natural Area on a day trip from Austin

Lake Somerville State Park

Lake Somerville has long been one of central Texas’s favorite camping spots. The lake is made of over 11,000 acres of water with 85 miles of shoreline. 

Lake Somerville State Park has over 150 campsites with a mix of full hookups for RVs, water only, and primitive sites. 

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For large groups, the park has available several pavilions and group halls for gathering. 

The lake is not the only attraction as the park boasts 26 miles of interconnected hiking trails for camper’s enjoyment. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

85 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Sunrise over Lake Somerville, home to one of the best campgrounds near austin texas

Colorado Bend State Park

This Texas gem was only opened in 1987 and is known for its many sinkholes, caves, natural springs, and waterfalls, including the stunning 70-foot Gorman Falls.

There are so many cool-water springs in the park that if you walk far enough, you can probably find one just for yourself. 

The park offers drive-in, walk-in, and hike-in camping sites. There are no hookups in the entire park, but there is potable water in the area.  

The primitive sites are both walk-in, which means close to parking, and hike in, requiring you to hump it to the backcountry of the park. The walk-in sites do have restrooms nearby. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

70 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Close up of a waterfall at Colorado Bend State Park Texas

Camping Within Three Hours of Austin

Garner State Park

Used for camping since the 1920s, Garner was donated and opened as a state park in 1941. Generations of Texans have come to this popular camping spot to hike, and swim in the Frio River, which runs through the park. 

There are over 40 screened shelters located in the park and 17 full-service cabins for rent. Thirteen of the cabins offer a fireplace for a winter stay. 

This wonderful park provides almost 300 camping sites with full hookups, electric or water only sites for tent or RV camping. Also provided are large group camping sites for rent to keep your team together while camping. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

175 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

View of the turquoise water of the Frio River in Garner State Park, one of the best weekend getaways from Austin TX

Huntsville State Park

This great camping spot brings us out of the Hill Country and into East Texas’s piney woods. Huntsville State Park was a CCC project, built during the depression and has served the area for decades. 

Created next to the national forest and a human-made lake, the park offers tons of nature to camping guests, with a swimming area, fishing, hiking trails, and canoe and kayak rentals. 

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The park offers 28 screened shelters, some with full amenities such as grills, picnic tables, and hookups for RVs. 

There are also 160 campsites for RVs and tents. These are divided into full hookup, electric and water only sites. Of course, as with most state parks in Texas, there is an abundance of restroom and shower facilities spread throughout the park. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

167 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Overlooking a lake in Hunstville State Park, home to some of the best hiking trails near Houston TX

Mission Tejas State Park

For those who enjoy camping in state parks, this quaint and historic park is a favorite among people looking for the best camping near Austin. 

Mission Tejas State Park is named after the first Spanish Mission erected in Texas, and the park now has a replica of the mission in the center of the campgrounds. The park also has a small fishing pond and hiking trails that intersect with the original Camino Real, Texas’ first Spanish highway system. 

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About 24 campsites are available for RVs and tents with full hookups, electric and water only sites. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in nature with its shaded towering pine trees and secluded camping. 

Distance from Downtown Austin

193 miles.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

two photos from campgrounds, one of a tent with a campfire in front of it and one of a white mug in front of a campfire. Black text on a white background reads "the best camping near austin"

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