The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico attract visitors all year and the Texas Gulf Coast is no exception. This coastal area is just one of the seven reasons why you should go RVing in Texas as there are many RV parks, attractions, and things to do and see no matter where you set your GPS.
Six Places to Visit on the Texas Gulf Coast
It’s wise to remember that college students take over the beaches in March for Spring Break, while vacationing families abound in the summer. However, by late fall, tourist season winds down, and that’s when many RVers choose to become honorary “winter Texans.”
Houston offers seemingly endless shopping, dining, and nightlife. As an international hub and port city, you’ll find every type of cuisine imaginable within the city, so bring your appetite. Additionally, Houston is one of only four cities in the country (and the Texas Gulf Coast) that has professional ballet, opera, symphony, and theater all in one place. The Museum District downtown includes 19 institutions, showcasing art, culture, history and more.
This city is also home to the Space Center Houston, a Smithsonian museum with interactive exhibits that enthrall visitors of all ages. The museum is next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where you can take a tour and observe the mission control room. Once you get outside of the main city hub, you’ll find an abundance of RV campgrounds and resorts in the Houston area. Don’t forget to check the nearby suburbs including Katy, Richmond, Pearland, Sugar Land, League City, and The Woodlands.
2. Galveston Island
Galveston Island on the Texas Gulf Coast is accessed by I-45, just southeast of Houston. A popular RV destination, there are many choices when it comes to finding a RV park, with two being some of the preferred choices for RVers. In addition, Galveston Island State Park has sites near the water with full hookups.
Also, the island is home to one of the country’s largest Mardi Gras celebrations. As a result, visitors can enjoy spectacular parties, concerts, parades, and elegant masked balls over 12 days every February.
What’s more, the kids will love Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark and another attraction is Moody Gardens. This top spot has a world-class aquarium, rainforest environment, IMAX theater, planetarium, indoor beach, and more – all housed in enormous glass pyramids.
3. Port Aransas and Mustang Island
Port Aransas, usually referred to as Port A, is the only city on Mustang Island. The claims to be the “Fishing Capital of Texas.” Anglers can fish from piers in areas like Corpus Christi Bay. Or, take a boat out on the open water for more action. Many private charters are also available. Other water excursions include dolphin watching, party cruises, kayaking, surfing, and waterskiing. It’s also where kite boarding RVers catch big air and good times.
Additionally, Mustang Island State Park offers a stretch of undeveloped beaches that’s perfect for water sports, relaxation, and bird watching. There are RV campsites with hookups and even drive-up primitive camping available right on the beach (Read more on what you need know about RVing on a beach).
4. Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is the gateway to Mustang Island and Padre Island National Seashore, which has many historical and cultural attractions. For instance, there’s the USS Lexington, a World War II aircraft carrier that’s permanently docked in Corpus Christi and open seven days a week for tours. Further, Corpus Christi is home to the Texas State Aquarium, an impressive facility dedicated to conservation and rehabilitation of ocean wildlife. Further, there’s no need to worry accommodations. There are several RV parks to enhance your stay in this coastal community.
5. Padre Island National Seashore
The Texas Gulf Coast is also home to Padre Island National Seashore is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. Soft, sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. In addition to being an excellent location for bird watchers, the island is a nesting ground for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. If you’re lucky, you may be able to observe the release of newly hatched baby sea turtles.
Near the entrance to the park is a Visitor Center with nice restroom facilities and showers. There are RV campsites here as well. For unforgettable experiences, drive onto the primitive camping areas. They span 60 miles down the South Beach where you can boondock right on the shore.
6. South Padre Island
South Padre Island continues the line of barrier islands along the coast. Unlike the pristine National Seashore to the north, it is packed with attractions, beachfront hotels, shopping, and dining options. To get to the here, take the Port Isabel Causeway across the bay onto the island. Campgrounds, too, are in the immediate area, most offering all the services you require.
The sandy beaches and sparkling waves are South Padre Island’s main attractions. Many activities focus on the water, from sandcastle competitions, dolphin watching and fishing to surfing, parasailing and diving. Perhaps visit Sea Turtle, Inc., where injured sea turtles are rehabilitated. Watch over hatchlings to release them safely back to the ocean.
If you’re in the mood for some nightlife, South Padre Island has got it covered. Watch the sun set from the deck of an oceanfront restaurant, then dance the night away at one of the live music venues.
Additionally, the Texas Gulf Coast many other places to visit. Regardless, The its hurricane season peaks in September through October. If you find yourself in the potential path of a hurricane, change your travel plans. If you’re already in the area, don’t wait until an official evacuation is declared. You may end up on the gridlocked highways.