Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Have you ever dreamed of having a beachfront home? How about waking up on the beach with the ocean before you? Or maybe you have dreamed of watching the sunset/sunrise over the sea from your front yard?
What if I told you that there is FREE beach camping?!? You can camp right on the beach for free!!!
Once I learned that there was free beach camping I knew we had to check it out.
There are spots away from people on the National Seashore, spots near good size towns with plenty to keep you busy, and free beach camping spots near quaint beach towns.
We spent about 5 weeks in December and January exploring the free beach camping in Texas. It was relaxing and nice to skip winter. We set up our Coleman Screen House and spend hours outside watching the waves and drinking coffee or enjoying sundowners.
SUPPLIES/CONDITIONS- Important Information
While free beach camping is amazing, there are some things you need to be aware of. Although typically very safe and stable, before picking your spot, you should look into the tide and beach conditions which can change rapidly with different weather conditions. RVers should always use caution to avoid becoming stuck in unexpectedly deep sand. It’s important to be able to move quickly if necessary.
We used a couple of things to make our free beach camping even better that you may also want to bring with you. We used our solar shower to rinse off before coming into the RV keeping sand to a minimum. We used our solar lights, both in the RV and outside in our screen room as we don’t use a generator. Plus it makes for good mood lighting.
Our month-plus camping for free on the beach was amazing. I highly recommend you give it a try. It is a great place to winter and it's very affordable! So here are our favorite free beach camping spots.
Free Beach camping spots you should check out.
Port Aransas- You can find lots of free beach camping in Port Aransas. Several spots to try are GPS 27.813074, -97.067474 and 27.786002, -97.092714. The beach is very wide here so plenty of room for your RV without worry of the tide coming in.
Port Aransas is a cute old school type beach town. It is a fairly busy area with many other RVers enjoying the scene. There are amenities close by should you need to stock up on groceries or want to have dinner at.
One thing that I really liked about this free beach camping spot is that you can have a beach fire!!!
Galveston - Galveston is a fun beach town with all the things you would expect in a tourist area like restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and a pier. You can easily spend a day here exploring.
The free beach camping is a away from the main area. You will need to cross on a free ferry which is a fun experience. Once back on land head toward GPS 29.407228,-97.306867 and find a spot in this area.
Padre Island National Seashore- This Seashore is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world. It is part of the National Park Service so if you have an America the Beautiful Pass (a great deal at only $80) it is free to enter and camp. Otherwise you will need to pay the park fee.
There were not as many day visitors here or campers so it felt much more private. However, there was no cell signal with verizon.
The beach is open to RV and primitive tent camping with no reservations required. There are no designated sites, so you can set up wherever you'd like. Toilets and showers are available at the Visitor Center, and the nearest amenities (ice, food, firewood, etc.) are about 12 miles away.
Corpus Christi- Is a good size town with lots of attractions and things to do. We spend a day visiting breweries and had a great time! This beach does see a fair amount of traffic but the beach is nice and wide so there is lots of room.
Head toward this GPS 27.619534, -97.200741 and you should end up at JP Luby Beach. The first part of the beach requires a permit but keep going and you will see signs letting you know that no permit is needed further down the beach. One thing to note is that we were here in mid December and permits were sold out so we didn’t need one. Should you need one, you can get them at area gas stations and grocery stores.
Campfires are also allowed at this beach so we enjoyed some S’mores.
RV Dump Station
While you are camping at the beach for free, you may need to dump or get water. Lucky for you there is Padre Balli Park. We went twice to empty our tanks. It is a campground should you rather have hook ups but we prefer free beach camping. You can empty your tanks there for $4 and it is big rig friendly. Padre Balli Park GPS 27.584, -97.22. It is open year round and has potable and rinse water (non-potable) available. Tip: the parking/camping lot had many large, unavoidable potholes so go slow!
There are many other areas to camp for free on the beach in Texas. If you don’t already use freecamping.net or the WikiCamps USA (just to name a couple) to find free camping spots, you should. They’re a great resource for finding free camping anywhere in the states.
Have you camped on the beach? We would love to hear about it.
Penny Pinching Globetrotter