Can’t Miss Campgrounds on the Gulf Coast

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View of a beach on the gulf coast near a few campgrounds

A trip to a campground on the Gulf Coast is the perfect way to enjoy the warm water, soft sand, and great sightseeing. While the west and east coasts are great, sometimes you just want something new. Maybe you want calm, warm water.

The Gulf Coast can often make you feel like you’ve stepped onto a Caribbean island without needing a passport. If you like packing the tent or bringing along the RV for your trips, we have some great campgrounds on the Gulf Coast that you won’t want to miss.  

What States Are Considered the Gulf Coast?

The Gulf of Mexico takes up quite a bit of real estate, covering over 600,000 square miles. The states that the Gulf of Mexico touches include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. These states all make up this coastline in the United States. The Gulf of Mexico, of course, also borders Mexico. 

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Gulf Coast?

There isn’t a bad time to take a trip to the Gulf Coast. You’ll find plenty of fun year-round, depending on how you want to spend your time. If not getting in the water or cooler temperatures doesn’t bother you, visiting in the winter will give you the least crowds. Summer is your best bet if you don’t mind the crowds but can’t wait to soak up those hot summer rays and swim in warm water. 

Visitors who want some warmth and fewer crowds but don’t mind sharing the beach a bit can find a sweet spot. If this sounds like you, you may love visiting between March and May or September through November. People refer to this as “shoulder season,” and it can be a delightful time to visit. These months bookend the busy season, giving you lower rates, fewer crowds, and great weather. However, Gulf Coast campgrounds can be busy all year.

What Makes the Gulf of Mexico Unique?

The Gulf of Mexico receives praise for its sandy beaches and warm waters, but that’s not all about this massive, old body of water. Many may not realize the wonders that exist below the surface. In fact, until the 1990s, much of the Gulf of Mexico went unexplored. The waters have large coral reefs, home to many fish and plants that make up the ecosystem. 

Another unique aspect of the Gulf of Mexico includes the source of oil. The current projections put yearly oil barrel production at over 700 million. So while the Gulf provides life to animals and gives millions of visitors endless recreation opportunities, it also provides an essential resource. 

Can’t Miss Campgrounds on the Gulf Coast

Now that you’ve decided to make a trip to the Gulf Coast, you need a place to stay. What better way to take in the Gulf of Mexico than staying in a campground only steps from the water? Let’s look at some great options available for campgrounds on the Gulf Coast. 

Galveston Island State Park

Galveston Island State Park is in Galveston, Texas, only an hour southeast of Houston. This state park sits right on the water, brimming with outdoor recreation. You’ll have many opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and hanging out at the beach. 

The campground has 20 electric campsites and 10 water-hookup sites. Electric ones cost $20 a night, while water-only ones cost $15. The electric campsites are only open to those in RVs. You’ll find these on the bayside of the park. Only tent campers can use the water-only sites throughout the park.

View of Galveston Island State park near some campgrounds on the gulf coast

Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park campground sits right on the Gulf Coast. You can reach the park heading south from Houston in just over an hour. Here you will find 52 acres of beachfront property perfect for bird watching, surfing, beachcombing, and swimming. 

Quintana Beach County Park has 56 campsites with paved pads, electric, water, and sewer hookups. You’ll also find a bathhouse with restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. The campsites are only 300 yards from the beach. 

Keep in Mind: While visiting national parks, you want to spend your time wisely in the parks! Make sure you Don’t Waste Your Time at These National Parks in Texas!

Gulf State Park Campground

Gulf State Park Campground sits at the southern end of Alabama. Visitors can arrive from Mobile, Ala., in around an hour. You can enjoy two miles of beaches or one of the many other things to do here. Many people come back year after year and always find something new. 

Gulf State Park Campground has 496 campsites. You’ll have your choice of pull-through or back-in, with many waterfront sites. Additionally, this massive campground has 11 modern bathhouses. You’re never too far from a restroom, no matter where you stay. This Gulf Coast campground even has three glamping sites for a more luxurious experience. Or, if you’d rather keep it simple and more traditional, book one of their 11 primitive sites. 

An RV by the beach at Gulf State Park near multiple campgrounds on the gulf coast

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Found in the panhandle of Florida is a great state park worth a stop. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is an hour and a half east of Pensacola and around two and a half hours west of Tallahassee. It has over 3 miles of beautiful white sand beaches surrounded by large dunes. The more than 15 miles of trails take visitors through pine forests, dunes, and wetlands. 

The campground features 156 campsites suitable for RVs. Additionally, it has 16 bungalows, 16 cabins, and 22 tent sites. RV sites provide electricity, water, and sewer hookups, costing $42 a night. Tent sites cost $24. 

Henderson Beach State Park

You may find Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Fla., a great place to call home while visiting the area. With miles of white sand beaches, 30-foot dunes, and warm gulf water, your entire group may leave with memories to last a lifetime. Visitors enjoy spending their days swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. 

This Gulf Coast campground has a bit of something for everyone. Some sites can accommodate RVs or tents, while others are RV or tent specific. Choose from four loops with options for RVs and tents. All sites offer electric and water hookups, including those designated for tents. Campsites cost $30 nightly.  

Keep in Mind: Think you’re ready for your camping trip to Florida? You may want to think again! There are a few things people They Don’t Tell You About Camping in Florida that you need to know.

Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach is located about halfway between Destin and Panama City Beach in Florida. This area has some of the most beautiful beaches in the state and the country. Western Lake, which lies along the park, has great fishing and paddle sports. Those looking to stretch their legs can explore 4 miles of trails. 

The campground area of Grayton Beach State Park has one main camping area and a few cabins. Campsites include electricity and water. Campers can choose to camp in tents or bring along the RV at the Grayton Beach State Park. Sites vary in length, allowing all types of campers to enjoy the area. Each campsite costs $30 a night.  

View of Grayton Beach State park, near multiple campgrounds on the gulf coast

Pensacola Beach RV Park

Pensacola Beach RV Park sits in the heart of Pensacola Beach, Fla. The campground lies on the Gulf Coast, giving guests easy access to a sandy beach leading to the warm, clear seawater. Groups of all kinds enjoy all the area offers. The RV park has plenty of family-friendly activities and some great nightlife venues for the older crowd. 

Those camping at Pensacola Beach RV Park can expect standard, deluxe, and premium tiers of sites. Each site features full hookups, regardless of tier level. The premium sites are the closest to the water, but all sites are within easy walking distance. Rates range from $70 to $140, depending on the season and other factors.

Overlook of Pensacola Beach RV Park, one of the campgrounds on the gulf coast

Forget East and West; the Gulf Coast Is the Best

Often when people talk about heading to the coast for a trip, they mean either going far west or far east. Consider heading south to explore what the Gulf Coast offers. The great news is that the Gulf Coast feels more accessible to those in the middle of the country. While most of the ones on our list lie in Florida, you can find many more in all the other states bordering this warm coast. Would you consider booking a campground on the Gulf Coast?

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