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11 Best Campgrounds Near Houston, TX

by Joe ColemanJan 26, 2023
11 Best Campgrounds Near Houston, TX

Houston has long had a reputation for being a concrete jungle without good outdoor access. While that critique was fair at one point, the city is actually becoming a revamped version of itself, beckoning outdoor-focused travelers to see what it has to offer. Check out this list of fantastic campgrounds near Houston, TX, along with other ideas and places to make your trip memorable.

Houston Overview

When to Visit

The cooler months of fall are pleasant in Houston, with an average high temperature in the upper 70s and overnight lows around 60. The ideal months to visit tend to be from February to April and then again from September to November.

Can you visit these campgrounds near Houston, TX, during the summer? Sure, you can. It’s an option. However, Houston summers are notorious for being oppressively hot and humid. Summer isn’t peak travel season for Houston, meaning deals are a bit more plentiful from about June to August, but that’s a tradeoff you probably don’t want to make. Fall and spring are quite pleasant here, so enjoy the cooler weather instead if you can.

What to Do in Houston

Houston Museum of Natural Science

This nonprofit museum is one of the premier arts and culture destinations in Houston. The Houston Museum of Natural Science covers a wide range of genres from Ancient Egypt to the environment of modern-day Texas. A full list of permanent and rotating exhibitions is available on their website to make trip-planning easy.

Space Center Houston

A Smithsonian affiliate since 2014, the Space Center Houston serves as NASA’s official visitor center attached to the Johnson Space Center. This science museum is filled with immersive activities sure to excite young minds while engaging adults as well. It’s best to visit this center when you have a full day in the city to spare, but travelers can see the highlights in about four hours if they don’t.

Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo houses over 6,000 animals, with more than 600 species represented. Committed to inspiring the more than 2 million annual visitors, the Houston Zoo uses the funding received to help worldwide conservation efforts. Visitors are encouraged to get their tickets ahead of time via the zoo’s website.

Outdoor Destinations Near Houston, TX

Sam Houston National Forest

trees and moss at Sam Houston National Forest

You’ll hear the name Sam Houston a lot in this section of the Lone Star State, and the name is a historically significant one. Sam Houston was president of the Republic of Texas and, later on, was instrumental in making the Republic a new U.S. state. His name is around a lot, so it’s a fun fact to know.

This forest is the nearest federal land to Houston, located about an hour north of the city. Due to terms established when Texas entered the United States, there is very little federal land here. There are, however, four national forests, all located in the eastern half of the state. While they’re all within driving distance, the Sam Houston National Forest is easily the closest.

The Sam Houston National Forest offers some of the best camping in the state and is one of the few places in Texas where you can free camp. There are plenty of great options here for outdoor activity, but make sure you’re aware of camping regulations during hunting season.

Galveston Island State Park

palm tree at Galveston Island State Park

Roughly an hour in the opposite direction from the national forest is Galveston Island State Park. Located right on the water, facing into the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island State Park has some of the best waterfront camping in the state. Opened in 1975, this 2,000-acre state park is the last piece of undeveloped land on Galveston Island. While much of the Galveston area is focused on fishing and tourism, the state park has the best access to nature.

The state park is known for its great fishing, hiking, and paddling, making it an ideal warm-weather destination. While southeast Texas isn’t the ideal place to be during the summer, those traveling during the peak warm season will want to cool off at Galveston Island.

Sylvan Beach Park

Located half an hour east of the city center, Sylvan Beach Park is actually significantly more popular than Galveston Island State Park. Much like the state park, Sylvan Beach offers good fishing from the pier and plenty of room to walk around. Unlike the state park, admission here is free!

There are fewer structured activities here than some of the other nearby outdoor spaces. However, visitors just wanting to enjoy some time at the beach should consider Sylvan ahead of other options.

Discovery Green

park with walkway by lake next to buildings

Closer than all other options, Discovery Green is a 12-acre urban park in the downtown area of Houston. While once known as a concrete jungle, Houston has spent time trying to revitalize and introduce more public green spaces. While you won’t mistake Houston for Washington, D.C. anytime soon, Discovery Green is on the forefront of Houston’s urban park system.

Located near plenty of great downtown amenities and shops, the Green is a perfect place to set up a picnic lunch or just walk around and enjoy the bit of nature in the heart of the city.

11 Best Campgrounds Near Houston, TX

1. Danny’s RV Resort – Houston, TX

(10 miles from the city center)

Danny's RV Resort main office surrounded by vans and RVs

Easily the most convenient location for visitors wanting to spend time in Houston, Danny’s RV resort is just 10 miles out of downtown. Danny’s RV Resort is an urban camping option, which means you won’t be surrounded by lush trees or wide-open spaces, but you will have the certain urban green space charm that Houston is coming to be known for.

The biggest draw about this Houston, TX campground is the location. You’ll be just minutes from some of the best arts and culture destinations (including the popular Discovery Green). For those who just want full hookups and proximity to the action, you can’t beat Danny’s RV Resort.

Unique Amenity: Dog park

2. Cullen RV Resort – Pearland, TX

(16 miles from Houston)

RV campground near Houston, TX by lake

Cullen RV Resort isn’t far out of the city, but it sure feels like it. With almost 100 sites, this campground near Houston, TX, is a great compromise for those who want to be among the South Texas greenery while staying close to the city itself.

Amenities here are simple, but all the essentials are covered, and then some. With a functional clubhouse and relaxing waterfront, it’s easy to consider a stay here a vacation in and of itself.

Unique Amenity: Waterfront

3. Traders Village Houston RV Park – Houston, TX

(17 miles from the city center)

RVs parked in rows by trees

Traders Village Houston RV Park is a popular name with frequent travelers, mainly for its proximity to the Traders Village Flea Market. While you probably aren’t headed to Houston just for the flea market (but hey, maybe), Traders Village is a good west Houston location to get in and out of the city quickly.

There are several parks and green spaces on the west side of Houston, and Traders Village is the ideal spot to see all of them. When you’re ready to call it a day, relax with the modernized amenity suite that includes full hookups, a recreation area, and a pool.

Unique Amenity: Pool

4. Howdy Y’all RV Resort – Manvel, TX

(21 miles from Houston)

RV lakeside campground near Houston, TX

This Houston, TX campground is quintessentially Texas-friendly, and it isn’t just in the name. Howdy Y’all has a hardworking 24/7 customer support team that guarantees your stay will be pleasant and relaxing.

This park with waterfront views is a favorite of travelers passing through the Houston-Galveston area. Located about halfway between Houston and Galveston, this park lets you choose your own adventure. It’s just as easy to head out for some urban exploration as it is to enjoy the beachfront.

Unique Amenity: Dog park

5. Rayford Crossing RV Resort – Spring, TX

(24 miles from Houston)

two lounge chairs by pool

Rayford Crossing RV Resort is easily one of the most popular resorts in the Houston area. This spot is located north of the city, near the popular Woodlands area of Greater Houston, and is filled with comfortable amenities. If you can think of it, this place has it. Stocked fishing pond? Yep. Wide spots that are easy to pull into? Absolutely. Plenty of space to roam for two and four-legged family members? Got that too!

If you want to check out just one campground near Houston, TX, on this list, Rayford Crossing makes a strong case. The resort is lined with trees and full of outdoor activities, perfect for long days out in the sun.

Unique Amenity: Arts & crafts

6. Cedar Cove RV Resort – Baytown, TX

(26 miles from Houston)

Houston, Texas lake surrounded by wheatgrass

Prefer the Galveston section of the Houston-Galveston? Cedar Cove RV Resort has you on the waterfront, enjoying the best of south Texas’s outdoor scene. With lush grass, plants, and water all around you, it’s impossible to do anything but relax at Cedar Cove.

Anglers will also love this Houston campground for its proximity to the ever-popular Thompsons Fish Camp, which has been around since the early 1950s. Even if you aren’t proficient at fishing (yet), this is a great place to learn.

Unique Amenity: Boat launch

7. Grand Texas RV Resort – New Caney, TX

(31 miles from Houston)

water park with water slides on lake at campground near Houston, TX

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and the 75-foot pull-through spots at Grand Texas RV Resort sure back up that theory. Located near Big Rivers Waterpark and Adventures, Grand Texas is an ideal destination to take in the waterpark, though it also gives you great access to Lake Conroe and the Sam Houston National Forest.

While you’re here, be sure to enjoy the hot tub, clubhouse, and playground area. If you haven’t had your fill of fun by the time you get back to the resort, there’s always more to enjoy on-site!

Unique Amenity: Hot tub/sauna

8. St. Ives RV Resort – Alvin, TX

(33 miles from Houston)

St. Ives office on campground

Located west of Galveston, St. Ives is the perfect balance of comfort and outdoor access. The grounds are beautiful and lined with trees, all while giving you great waterfront options. However, if you want to take it easy, all you’ve gotta do is set up by the pool and take in the sun.

For those wanting to make the most of their time at St. Ives, the resort offers a lazy river, mini-golf course, and a racetrack for RC cars. The best part? You can have all of this and still be within an hour of Galveston Island State Park.

Unique Amenity: Mini-golf

9. Trinity Bay RV & Lodging – Anahuac, TX

(40 miles from Houston)

sunset over lake near Houston

Trinity Bay RV & Lodging puts you on the waterfront in the small town of Anahuac, Texas. The park is also just minutes from Lake Anahuac and Fort Anahuac State Park. The best part of this campground near Houston, TX, though, has to be the views. The South Texas sunsets here are immaculate, almost begging you to sit outside and enjoy the colors.

With all the outdoor access here, kayakers, joggers, and anyone wanting to enjoy the fresh air are just minutes from fantastic destinations for adventure.

Unique Amenity: Waterfront

10. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Waller – Waller, TX

(41 miles from Houston)

people swimming in pool at campground near Houston, TX

Like all Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ locations, this one offers a full suite of ultra-comfortable amenities and plenty of activities right inside the park. Sites here are extra spacious and offer full hookups to make your stay maximally enjoyable. Want to get out of the RV for a night or two? There are lots of spacious cabins to choose from, as well as a lodge that can accommodate up to 28 people!

If you find yourself inclined to leave the park, you’ll be in the wide open spaces of South Texas, far enough from Houston to enjoy nature but close enough to spend memorable evenings in the city.

Unique Amenity: Arcade

11. Rio RV Park – Wallisville, TX

(43 miles from Houston)

airstream at RV campground near Houston, TX

Last but certainly not least, Rio RV Park has more than its share of amenities for you to enjoy. For a place that doesn’t have “resort” in the name, this Houston campground is fully oriented towards comfort. The best part is how nature-oriented Rio RV Park is, making it easy to get out of the RV and enjoy a waterfront walk just moments away.

Unique Amenity: Playground

Though Houston is the largest city in Texas (by a long shot), the city is also a burgeoning outdoor destination. With a growing number of urban green spaces and great federal and state parks nearby, Houston is quickly establishing itself as one of the best outdoor destinations in the Lone Star State. Check out these campgrounds near Houston, TX the next chance you have to plan a camping trip.

Joe Coleman is a freelance travel and outdoor writer based in East Texas. His love for the outdoors started when living near Olympic National Park and has stayed with him ever since. Taking a respite from social media, you can reach him exclusively at

Image Credit: Adobe Stock user Stephanie, Adobe Stock user ©photomarque, Adobe Stock user K I Photography, Adobe Stock user st_matty, Danny’s RV Resort, Cullen RV Resort, Traders Village Houston RV Park, Howdy Y’all RV Resort, Rayford Crossing RV Resort, Cedar Cove RV Resort, Grand Texas RV Resort, St. Ives RV Resort, Trinity Bay RV & Lodging, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Waller, Rio RV Park