Galveston Island in Texas is well known for its 36 miles of beautiful beaches and provides fantastic beach camping opportunities no matter what your level of comfort is.

You’ll find luxury campgrounds and primitive camping options, all with easy access to the beach, as well as surrounding activities and adventures available throughout Galveston.

Pick the beach camping location that best suits your camping interests. Some beach areas are much quieter and ideal for fishing, swimming, birdwatching, and simply relaxing on the beach. While other beaches provide a more upbeat and party atmosphere with food and alcohol available at many of them.

All of that information we will show you right here.

That’s because we know this area well, so will share with you our favorite Galveston beach camping options and campgrounds below. We’ll let you know what the vibe is like in each, as well as what to expect and what’s close by to each.

We’ll also look at dispersed beach camping at Galveston too. It’s possible during the day, but gets more complicated at night. We cover the rules, exceptions and what is and what isn’t tolerated right here.

So read on to begin your beach camping in Galveston adventure!

CONTENTS:

  1. The Best Beach Campgrounds in Galveston
  2. Dispersed Camping in Galveston and Beach Camping
  3. Best Time To Camp in Galveston
  4. Best Day Use Dispersed Beach Camping in Galveston
  5. Best Time To Camp in Galveston
  6. Birdwatching in Galveston

The Six Best Beach Campgrounds in Galveston for Fun, Views & Adventure!

Most paid beach camping in Galveston is through RV parks, and those facilities can vary from self-contained camping to full-service luxury RV resorts.

While most of the tent camping sites are available in the Galveston Island State Park, or you’ll need to look into dispersed camping options on the beach – we look at that (and the rules around it) further down this article.

1. Galveston Island KOA Campground

Galveston Island KOA Campground is a premium RV camping spot that also provides lodges if you’re looking to get away from tent camping or RV life for a while. The campground is filled with amenities, activities, and has fabulous beach access.

The campground puts on a huge range of activities to keep you and the kids entertained during your stay, and provides many ways to socialize with other campers. Bingo, happy hour, and other seasonal events are put on constantly during your stay.

Amenities and Facilities

The campground provides sites for RVs and trailers up to 65’ with full hookup, including cable tv. And for an extra fee you can get Wifi access throughout the campground and can purchase propane for your RV.

You will also have access to showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities.

Included on-site are fantastic facilities like a heated pool and jacuzzi, a private fishing pond, a lazy river in that runs through the campground, and a range of activities like basketball courts, playground, and other games available. Simply put, the facilities here are exceptional.

What’s Close By

The Galveston Island KOA is on the far end of the island, further away from many of the shops and activities. However the beach is right there to relax on in a more tranquil setting than some of the busier beaches on the other end of the island.

A short drive away is The Pointe restaurant and bar, which provides some of the best food – especially seafood – on the island. Just note that you’ll only be able to do takeaway orders as dine-in is only available to residents.

The Important Info

Rates: $60 – $100 per night

Address: 23700 Termini-San Luis Pass Rd, Galveston, TX 77554

Galveston beach camping

2. Galveston Island State Park Campgrounds

Galveston Island State Park has multiple campgrounds spread throughout the park on both the bay and beachside, so you’ll be able to pick the best location for your camping experience. The bay campgrounds are only 1.5 miles from the beach, so if you do stay there, it’s a short walk to the beach.

The bayside campgrounds have 10 tent campsites and a short distance away, 20 full hookup campsites for your RV, but tents can also be set up there.

There are 36 campsites on the beach side of the park, providing full hookup for your RV, and tents can be set up there as well with premium views and access to the beach.

Amenities and Facilities

All campsites come with a picnic table, fire ring with grill, shade shelter, and there are showers and restrooms available at each campground area.

Only the beachside and the larger bay side campgrounds have electricity for your RV, so select the right location based on your hookup needs.

What’s Close By

You’re located right in Galveston Island State Park, which provides a huge range of activities at your doorstep, including fishing, swimming, biking, hiking through the trails, paddling along the kayaking trails, birdwatching, and enjoying all of the beach activities nearby.

Fishing is available from the bay or beachside or from one of the ponds within the park. And you don’t need a fishing license if you’re doing it from shore.

Rangers have guided tours around the park, providing information on the history, animals, and plants that you’ll find within the park and Galveston. So that’s another fun activity you can take part in.

The Important Info

Rates: $15 – $40 per night

Address: 14901 FM3005, Galveston, TX 77554

Galveston beach camping

3. Dellanera RV Campground

Dellanera RV Campground provides direct access to the beach from 65 campsites. In fact you have just a short fence that you can step over, and then you’re ready to explore the beach So it doesn’t get any closer to Galveston beach camping unless you park your RV directly on the beach!

Depending on your preference and availability, you can select the beach side or the lagoon side of this RV park. Then you’ll either have ocean views or fantastic sunset views to enjoy from the back of your RV.

Amenities and Facilities

Each of the 65 RV spots has a dedicated 1,000 feet of beach to use and enjoy, though there is nothing specifically separating your beach from others.

You get full hookups for your RV, including water, power, sewer, and there is a picnic table and BBQ pit available at your site.

A central area provides restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities, and free Wifi is available throughout the campground.

What’s Close By

You have three fantastic restaurants within walking distance that surround this RV park, Woody’s Bar and Restaurant, Cooper’s Landing, and the Seahorse Grill. Woody’s Bar is the closest and arguably has the best food. It overlooks the lagoon by the RV park for a great afternoon relaxing with the family.

Also located close by is the Galveston Rifle and Pistol Club, which requires a membership but only costs $25 per year. So that’s a great place to practice your shooting technique with various guns while one vacation.

The Important Info

Rates: $66 per night

Address: 10901 San Luis Pass Rd Galveston, Texas 77554

Galveston beach camping

4. Jamaica Beach RV Resort

Jamaica Beach RV Resort is located right next to the popular Jamaica Beach and provides a huge range of features, luxury amenities, and activities to keep the entire family happy during your trip. And of course there is easy access to relax on the beautiful Jamaica Beach!

The campground has 181 full hookup sites with concrete pads, and you can choose from the standard or deluxe-sized sites, depending on your needs. Prices can vary between weekdays and weekends, as well as summer and winter.

Amenities and Facilities

Jamaica Beach RV Park boasts loads of amenities, including a 700-foot lazy river and pool, a miniature golf course, dog park, exercise room, indoor infinity spa, water slides, kids playground, movie theatre, and many more activities and features to explore!

There is also a camp store that provides the essentials, including snacks and drinks. Propane can also be purchased from the store.

Free Wifi is provided, and there are restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.

What’s Close By

Jamaica Beach RV Resort provides convenient trails to get you to the bay on the other side of the island, easy access to the beach in front of the RV park, and even provides excellent birdwatching opportunities as you walk through the trails.

Close by are three great restaurants, including Nate’s Westend Steakhouse, Way West Grill and Pizzeria, and Shrimp n Stuff for some tasty seafood snacks.

Just up the road is the Galveston Island State Park, which gives you access to everything the park has to offer, including more trails to hike, fishing, kayaking, and more birdwatching around the park.

The Important Info

Rates: $50 – $88 per night

Address: 17200 Termini-San Luis Pass Rd, Galveston, Texas 77554

5. Sandpiper RV Resort

The Sandpiper RV Resort is located right at the popular Stewart Beach and provides 43 concrete pads for large RVs with beach views for all and full hookups available.

The RV resort was previously a hotel but was partially destroyed by a hurricane and then reinvented as an RV park! But many of the original buildings and facilities have survived and been renovated, including a number of guest rooms that you can stay in rather than your RV.

Amenities and Facilities

Each site comes with a picnic table, a private grassed area, and shade. There are dedicated dog walking areas and free Wifi throughout the campground.

The clubhouse provides access to a lounge with TVs, a full kitchen, a movie theatre, laundry facilities, and washrooms.

Cook facilities are provided, as well as an outdoor pool and hot tub.

What’s Close By

Sandpiper RV Resort is located right on Stewart Beach, which provides you with access to one of the more popular and action packed beaches with bike and kayak rentals, beach fishing, and if you want a bigger fishing experience, there are charters that leave daily to take you to the best fishing spots.

Conveniently located across the road is a Walgreens so you can pick up all your needed supplies without breaking the bank or having to drive anywhere in your RV.

The Important Info

Rates: $50 per night with a two-night minimum

Address: 201 Seawall, Galveston, Texas 77550

Galveston beach camping

6. Stella Mare RV Park

Stella Mare RV Park provides a luxury RV resort experience and is located just a short walk from Sunny Beach, which also lets you park your RV on the sand.

The beach and RV park are dog friendly, and it’s a perfect relaxed fishing spot far away from the much busier beaches.

Each RV site has a concrete pad that’s either 70’ or 90’ long to accommodate big rigs, and each site comes with an in-ground umbrella holder, and full hookups are available, including water, sewer, and power.

Amenities and Facilities

Stella Mare RV Park provides restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and free Wifi throughout the park. You’ll also access to a clubhouse with TVs and a full kitchen.

There are community fire rings, grills, picnic tables, a heated pool, waterslides, and a hot tub.

It’s a pet-friendly environment with two dedicated pet areas and easy beach access that is also pet friendly. That makes this one of the most pet friendly Galveston beach camping options.

What’s Close By

Stella Mare RV Park provides a self-contained area that you don’t really need to leave if you don’t want to, and allows you to stay in a tranquil and peaceful environment with fantastic views of the gulf and access to multiple beaches, including Sunny Beach and Beach Pocket Park.

Most restaurants and activities will require a short drive or a slightly longer walk to get to, but that means you’re not going to be disturbed by the noise that many of the busier beaches can attract.

The Important Info

Rates: $65 – $80 per night

Address: 3418 Stella Mare Ln, Galveston, TX 77554

Dispersed Camping in Galveston and Beach Camping

Like the rest of Texas, Galveston Island allows dispersed camping on Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) or United States Forest Services (USFS) managed land, which is typically the state or federal forests or lands; you do need to follow certain rules and regulations.

  • Don’t camp near trailheads, recreational areas, or developed campgrounds
  • Keep your campsite as small as possible
  • Use existing campfire or fire ring areas
  • Build your campsite in an area without vegetation
  • Don’t camp within 200 feet of a water source
  • Dispersed camping in the same area is limited to 14 days within 30 days.
  • Don’t build a campfire in a Texas State Park.
  • Take away whatever you bring to the campsite.

However dispersed beach camping in Galveston is illegal between 12 am – 5 am, and the only place you can legally boondock overnight is the Galveston Island State Park. But the park has a number of paid campgrounds that you’ll need to stay clear of as a dispersed camper.

You can set up camp during the day at many of the beaches with your RV or tent, which is helpful if you want to enjoy the beach during the day and retreat back to the Galveston Island State Park at night.

However the reality is that dispersed camping on beaches at night is sometimes tolerated if you’re not causing problems and creating noise, but that’s a risk you need to decide on.

An alternative option for dispersed beach camping is to take the free ferry ride from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula, which provides free beach camping along 27 miles of beach; the only cost is a $5 yearly parking fee if you’re in an RV.

Galveston beach camping

Best Day Use Dispersed Beach Camping in Galveston

Tent or RV dispersed beach camping is possible between 5 am – 12 am in Galveston, which gives you the ability to enjoy the beach in your tent or RV during the day and use the facilities of each beach, such as showers and restrooms.

  • Stewart Beach
    • Restrooms and showers are available during the day but closed at night.
    • Open fires aren’t allowed, but BBQ pits can be used.
  • East Beach
    • Restrooms and showers are available during the day but closed at night
    • Open fires aren’t allowed, but BBQ pits can be used.
  • Seawall Urban Park
    • Open fires aren’t allowed, but BBQ pits can be used.
  • Beach Pocket Park
    • Open fires aren’t allowed, but BBQ pits can be used.

You’ll find a range of beach parks and beach access points to get your RV or tent set up for daytime beach camping. Stewart Beach and East Beach have the best facilities if you’re looking for bathrooms and showers.

Best Time To Camp in Galveston

The best time to visit Galveston and enjoy beach camping is October to November or March to April, as the weather during these months is warm and enjoyable without being extremely hot.

During peak seasons, Galveston can be very busy, and beach campgrounds fill up quickly, so booking well in advance is going to be required. And you may need to determine how close to the action you want to stay.

The winter months from December to March are going to be less crowded in Galveston, but the weather may be too cold for most people to really enjoy the beach.

Birdwatching in Galveston

While there are many adventure activities when you’re visiting Galveston, it’s also one of the best birdwatching locations in the state!

It’s directly in line with the main trans-Gulf migration route and has a vast range of habitats for all kinds of birds to visit.

With natural habitats including wetlands, beaches, woods, ponds, grasslands, and bays, there are birds that live year-round, winter in Galveston, or simply pass through on their migration routes.

At any time of year, you may be able to spot up to 300 different species of bird around different parts of Galveston, with everything ranging from waterbirds (ducks and pelicans), waders (sandpipers and plovers), and even raptors (hawks and owls).

During the summer and winter migrations, you’ll see a vast range of migratory birds stopping over in Galveston, such as rangers, warblers, parula, and many more.

In April each year, there is a birdwatching festival called Featherfest, which is a week of birding workshops, field trips, and other social events. It’s open and encouraged for anyone to join and experience the festival and bring a camera to get some great pictures.