Camping in Texas’s Gulf Coast is more than just sitting on the beach--although there’s plenty of that if it’s what you want. The Gulf Coast is as varied and interesting as any place in the great state of Texas, and you’ll be able to find exactly the type of activity you’re looking for.
Camping at Mustang Island, near Corpus Christi, will bring you right down on the shore and let you see and interact with a huge amount of wildlife. On land you’ll see deer, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, gophers and ground squirrels, but in the ocean there are more than 600 estimated species of saltwater fish and shrimp and crabs all throughout these protected waters. For birders, there’s nowhere better, with 400 species including the aplomado falcon, the reddish egret, passerines, and hundreds of migrant birds.
Galveston Island has a protected 2000 acres of park for hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and biking. You can fish--and remember that in Texas you don’t need a fishing license in any state park!--on the bay side or beach side. Swim, picnic, geocache, or just enjoy nature while you camp at Galveston Island.
To get a look at some truly wild, protected land, campers can take a private boat or ferry out to Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area, which is 56,000 acres on an off-shore barrier island. The island is 38 miles long, and often less than a mile wide, and supports 19 endangered species of birds, as well as having a healthy population of white-tailed deer and alligators. There’s no electricity or concession on the island, but you’re welcome to fish and take your catches back to your camp to fry them up for dinner!
For a step back in history, campers can visit nearby San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, where General Sam Houston surprised the Mexican army in 1836 and the ensuing battle helped secure Texas’ freedom.
So no matter what you’re in the mood for, whether it’s lying on the beach, casting a line into the bay, enjoying the historic sites, or admiring the alligators (from a safe distance) campers in the Gulf Coast will find it here.