Campgrounds On & Around Galveston Island Offer It All
Whether you’re an experienced camper seeking a long-term site to park — or a novice looking for a place to play for the weekend – there’s no doubt you’ll find what you are looking for in the campgrounds on Galveston Island and its surrounding areas. Aside from the most basic amenities like bathrooms and hot showers, hookups for water, sewer and electric, each park is unique in what it offers its guests.
From golfing to salt and fresh water fishing, from beachfront camping to hiking in nature preserves, from river rafting to lake boating, there is something to suit every camper’s needs during summer, fall or winter travel. You can read more on camping activities on campingfunzone.com.
Many of the island’s campgrounds suffered damage from Hurricane Ike but all have recovered or are in the midst of completing their recovery plans. Some have added many improvements. We’ve covered every campground from Galveston’s east to west ends and even added a special treat for those of us who live here and like to camp off island.
Galveston Island State Park
The state park is the only campground on the island that has sites on the beach and the bay. “It’s really two parks in one,” says park superintendent Trey Goodman. “You can play on the beach and then cross the street and enjoy fishing or bird watching on the bay.”
Highlights on the north side include an estuary filled with wildlife and a bay with beautiful sunsets. This area is ideal for those who like to hike, fish and kayak. The Bay area currently includes 20 RV sites with water and 30/50 amp electric hookups and 10 tent sites with water only. Make sure you get a good quality sleeping bag and the best equipment to go camping.
Beachfront sites are more family-oriented and great for sun worshippers, shell collectors and city dwellers that like to fall asleep listening to waves wash ashore. Most of the 36 sites come with a picnic table. Ever wonder about those funky looking structures on the beach? Goodman believes they are “architecture left over from the 70s designed to emulate sand dunes and waves that were meant to give the shape and feel of beach life at that time.”
Whether you are a day-tripper or someone looking to spend a week or more at the park, advance reservations are always a good idea. During summer months or holidays, Goodman recommends making reservations several months in advance.
After many planning sessions and public input assemblies, exciting additions to the park have been agreed upon. Highlights of the new construction include more multi-use sites for day and overnight stays and a brand new Discovery Center geared toward education about our migrating barrier island, local flora and fauna and hurricane awareness.
Construction is expected to last approximately one year and will not interrupt current services.
Galveston Island State Park is located at 14901 FM 3005 on the west end of the island. For fees and reservations call: 512-389-8900. For general information call: 409-737-1222.
Bayou Shores RV Park
Centrally located Bayou Shores is nestled in a cove on Offatts Bayou and is surrounded by stunning views. Paddle boating, fishing and crabbing are available for water enthusiasts and for those who like the city, this Galveston RV park is the closest one to the historic downtown area.
The Moody Gardens complex, Boudreaux’s on the Bayou, the Schlitterbahn Water Park, museums, shops and restaurants are all nearby. Campground marketing manager Debora Monford calls Bayou Shores “family friendly and the best place to spend a vacation on the island.” Moody Gardens is so close you can watch the fireworks every Friday night from this resort or from the deck at Boudreaux’s, which is next door and features seafood, steaks and burgers and offers live music on the weekend.
The park has a playground, boat ramp, laundry room and activity center. All 88 sites include full hookups and are available for daily, weekly and monthly rentals.
Bayou Shores RV Park is located at 6310 Heards Lane on Galveston. For more information call 409-744-2837.
Dellanera RV Park
Nearly three years after Hurricane Ike, a completely renovated Dellanera RV Park reopened in June with 65 updated RV sites and a new pavilion.
The new beach park offers wider RV spaces to accommodate modern, expandable RV trailers and motor homes. Each site features water and sewer utilities, electrical service, and a private picnic table and barbecue pit. Dellanera boasts 1,000 feet of sandy beach, is available for day–trippers and offers wireless Internet for guests.
“This is a great accomplishment for Galveston tourism,” said Mario Rabago, interim executive director for the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees who governs the campgrounds. “There is plenty of beachfront there for folks to enjoy. We are very pleased to see the park full again.”
The new pavilion offers showers, laundry facilities, a gift shop, umbrella and chair rentals and a recreation room. A children’s playground and a beach nourishment and dune structure project are expected to be completed this winter.
Dellanera RV Park is located on FM 3005 at 7 Mile Road in Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico. Call 409-797-5102 for more information or for reservations.
Jamaica Beach RV Park
This family-oriented gem offers more on-site activities than any other campground on Galveston Island. Owners Ron and Dora Gustafson have more than 20 years in the hospitality industry and treat their campers as if they were guests in their own home.
Located just past the west end city of Jamaica Beach, with unobstructed views of the Galveston Bay and Gulf of Mexico, the facility offers 50 sites, all of which are 30 and 50 amp concrete pull throughs with Wi-Fi. The park currently houses two swimming pools and a spa, a bounce house, a clubhouse with pool table and indoor and outdoor exercise facilities. They have a dog walk area as well.
The outdoor cinema plays two movies per week for RV park guests, weather permitting. In addition, six live Alpacas call Jamaica Beach RV Park their home! The water wars splash pond and mini golf course are both open to the public and anyone can order a pizza to go. Jamaica Beach RV Park is the only campground that sells propane on the premises. Completion of a brand new 90’ X 55’ Zero Entrance Lounge pool is expected by spring of 2012. A full-service grocery and Nate’s West End Restaurant are both within walking distance.
Jamaica Beach RV Park is located at 17200 San Luis Pass Road. For reservations or for more information call 866-725-5511 or 409-632-0200 or visit them online at www.jbrv.net.
Tiki Tom’s RV Park
Tiki Tom’s motto is “No worries!” No surprise for anyone staying at this extended-stay resort in an intimate setting on Jones Lake on West Bay near Galveston.
There are miles of shoreline a few steps down to the water for easy access fishing on Jones Lake. Filet your catch at the fish cleaning station and then walk just a few steps to prepare it at your own RV site. This area is also ideal for kayak fishermen. The park has two pavilions with tables, chairs and a barbeque for use by guests.
Tiki Tom’s RV Park has easy-on, easy-off access to Highway 45; located at Exit 4, at the Tiki Island entrance to Galveston Island. They are ten minutes to the beach or the historic downtown Strand Area with restaurants and shops and 45 minutes to downtown Houston and Hobby Airport.
For more information, or for month-to-month reservations, call 409-935-5599.
Up The River Camp
(Formerly known as Rainbow Campground)
Situated on the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels, Up The River Camp is an ideal fall or winter home away from home for the dedicated fisherman. A special underwater spring, located directly in front of the camp, keeps the water at a desirable temperature for spawning Rainbow Trout. In addition, the GRTU (Guadalupe River Trouts Unlimited) stocks the river three to four times per year to guaranty your catch!
Up The River Camp offers fishing for all, from the novice to the professional. “There have been Rainbow Trout as large as 25 inches caught in our camp,” says Garlan Light, camp office manager. “The 500-foot cliffs overlooking the river make for an incredible backdrop to your fishing experience.”
Long-time Galveston residents Jan and Mechelle Player and Robert Walker are co-owners of Up The River Camp and all three have been vacationing there for decades. “This is the fourth best trout fishing spot in Texas,” says Jan Player.
If fishing, rafting, tubing, canoeing and kayaking are not your thing, then a ten mile ride will get you to downtown New Braunfels or the Gruene historic district where you can go antiquing or visit landmarks like Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. Specialty shops, restaurants and live authentic Texas entertainment are just a few of the local attractions minutes away from camp.
Beautiful Canyon Lake is less than 15 minutes from the campgrounds. Personal watercrafts, ski boats and pontoon boats are available for rent at the marina. Plan an entire day on this fresh water lake with depths of up to 100 feet. The Ship Store and Lucky Sailor Restaurant are open daily.
Relax in a lawn chair, tube down the Guadalupe or sunbathe by the river and watch the wild goats traverse the cliffs. Up the River is a multi-level camp that offers a beautiful scenic view in a park-like setting and rents campsites for RVs and tents, cabins and a full service house on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Their on-site convenience store is open daily.
For reservations or for more information, please call 830-964-2227.