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Camping Near Houston: 11 Beautiful Parks + Campgrounds

Living in a large city does not mean you need to miss the adventures that nature offers–and that’s where the best camping near Houston, TX comes in.

You may be surprised to learn that there are ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors within a few minutes or hours of the city, even in this urban and industrial area. 

Houston’s location along the Gulf Coast and its proximity to East Texas gives it impressive diversity when it comes to the environments available for camping, whether you’re looking for a glamping destination, a classic RV park close to Houston, or a primitive tent site. 

In this article, we break down the best campsites close to Houston They are all located within a 1.5-hour driving radius of the city center and offer great outdoor fun.

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

Brazos Bend State Park       

Nature is not far away at Brazos Bend State Park. With almost 40 miles of nature trails for hiking, biking, and horse riding, this state park has much to offer outside of camping. 

If you don’t want to hit the trails, spend your day fishing off one of the park’s four piers and your nights’ star gazing at the observatory. The George Observatory is part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. 

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For overnight stays, Brazos Bend State Park has dozens of full hookup sites for RVs, tent sites, and primitive camping areas. For those who need shelter, the park also offers screened habitations and cabins. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

50 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

View of a pond at Brazos Bend State Park as seen from a wooden deck, one of the best day trips from Houston TX

Galveston Island State Park

With all of the great camping destinations in Texas, you can forget there are also great beach camping destinations. Galveston Island State Park allows those who love to spend time along the shore a chance to spend a few nights. 

Fishing, hiking, biking, and kayaking are only a few activities available at Galveston Island State Park. If you want less strenuous activities, collect seashells along the beach or spend the day building sandcastles. 

The park also offers some of the best bird watching with its large variety of coastal birds that visit the park each year. 

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Depending on your preference, the park has both beach and bayside camping sites. Less adventurous? Rent one of the park’s lodges. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Marsh in Galveston Island National Park with a white bird resting on the water

Northlake RV Resort

Northlake RV Resort is the answer for RVers looking for a great Houston RV park to get close to nature while also staying close to the city. Don’t have an RV? No problem, the park has a few RVs and other structures for rent. 

The park has awesome amenities, such as fire pits, wifi, and a large lake to toss your fishing line in. 

The park is good for those who want a short and long term stay. Other things to do, include a workout center, free cable TV, and a computer room for those needing to get online. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

25 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

parents with their child sitting outside an rv in an rv park

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park

Not far outside of Houston is a park based on one of childhood’s most famous bears, Yogi bear. 

Jellystone is geared towards family fun with its numerous activities geared to keeping everyone busy.

In the summer, a water park with a lazy river keeps everyone cool in the summer heat. Also enjoy miniature golf, basketball, volleyball, a stocked fishing lake, and even a theatre. 

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Campsites are available, along with RV sites and cabins for rent. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

young boy splashing water in a water park

Cagle Recreation Area

Located on Lake Conroe, north of Houston, we find Cagle Recreation Area. Cagle is part of the National Forest Service, which has a large footprint in the Houston area. 

Since these campsites close to Houston are along the lake, guests are able to enjoy a full assortment of fun on the water. The park offers an accessible boat ramp to the lake. Fishing is available along the shore, with the area known as a bastion for black bass. 

The park also includes two miles of trails for those who wish to mountain bike or hike. 

Campers have access to sites with full-hookups to only electricity. Tent pads are available with fire pits and picnic tables for each site. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

4 marshmallows roasting over an open campfire

Double Lake Recreation Area

Encompassing thousands of acres with miles of trails for bikers and hikers, Double Lake Recreation is one of the oldest camping spots in the Houston area. 

Part of the Sam Houston National Forest, the park features several campsites that run along the park’s lake. 

Outside of the trails, enjoy a day of kayaking and canoeing. After paddling, take on bird watching within the magnificent pine first of the park.

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Campsites at Double Lake are some of the most private near Houston as pine thickets have been kept in place to divide each site. All sites include a tent pad, fire ring, and a picnic table. Don’t forget the hammock as every site will have an abundance of trees to swing it from. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Piney woods in Sam Houston National Forest as seen looking up

Huntsville State Park

One of the most popular parks in the Houston area, Huntsville State Park was built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is surrounded by state and national forests giving it access to well over 125 miles of trails for the nature enthusiast. 

Campsites are broken up into areas around the park’s human-made lake, most with full amenities such as electricity and water, while some are more primitive. All feature picnic tables and fire rings. Both RVs and tents are welcome, and there are even some screened habitation sites for those who want to keep any bugs at bay. 

The lake is stocked with a variety of fish species and has available canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats onsite. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour, 10 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

lake in hunstville state park, one of the best places for camping close to houston tx

Stephen F. Austin State Park

A beautiful park along the mighty Brazos River, Stephen F. Austin State Park is a nature lovers paradise and home to some of the best camping close to Houston. 

Relax amongst the trees along the river and watch the friendly deer and other wild animals feed each morning or evening. Bird watching is also available as the park has a variety of bird species available for your viewing. 

There are 12 miles of trails for hiking and biking through the park. 

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For history lovers, the parks close proximity to San Felipe de Austin State His­toric Site, the original Austin colony, will fulfill that historical itch to explore the past. 

The park has a large number of campsites, with some reserved for RVs only, while others for tents. Electric, water, and primitive sites are available along with group camping sites. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

55 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

Forested path with people hiking near houston texas

Wolf Creek Park

This is a wonderful small park located on Lake Livingston and ran by the Trinity River Authority. 

Wolf Creek has been one of the Houston area’s favorite parks for decades. Fishing and swimming are allowed off the bank of the park with a designated swimming area marked off. 

Boat ramps, a local store, and miniature golf are onsite for other pleasures to enjoy. 

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With the lake view located east of the camping areas, there are incredible sunrises to enjoy each morning. Campsites come with electric and water hookups, and all have a fire pit and picnic table. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour, 15 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

sunrise over lake livingston, home to some of the best houston campgrounds

Lake Livingston State Park

Staying along the shores of Lake Livingston, you’ll find the beautiful Lake Livingston State Park. 

Known as one of the best fishing state parks around, there you’ll find plenty of spots for your RV or tent. The park also offers screened shelters and group sites for rent. 

When not fishing, take a hike on the park’s trail system or enjoy a kayak ride on the water. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

1 hour, 15 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

tent on the shores of lake livingston at sunset, one of the best places to camp near houston

Lake Houston Wilderness Park

With over 4700 acres to offer guests, Lake Houston Wilderness Park offers enough room for its many visitors out of the city each year. 

The only city park to allow overnight camping in Houston, the park’s amenities include everything you need for a great weekend camping getaway. The park is located on the many creeks and rivers that feed into Lake Houston but is not located on the lake’s shore. 

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Amenities include heavily forested hiking trails, a dining hall, an archery range, along with its single and group campsites. Campsites are available with access to electricity and water while there are also primitive sites available with a short hike further into the park. 

Driving Distance from Downtown Houston

45 minutes.

Check availability & reserve your campsite today!

photo of sunset over lake livingston and a of a tent on a galveston beach, black and red text on a white background reads "the best camping near houston"

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