Explore America's Campgrounds
Camp at water's edge at Galveston Island State Park on the west end of Galveston Island. The park, the only place within 100 miles to pitch a tent, has 2,000 acres of natural habitat, ideal for a camping getaway. Enjoy hiking or biking the park's trails, jogging along a sandy beach or paddling a kayak in the bay just outside your tent flap.
On Galveston Bay
Pitch your tent at one of 10 tent-only sites that look out at Galveston Bay. The primitive campsites provide a picnic table and fire ring at each site. You'll find restrooms nearby at the RV campground. The RV campsites are not recommended for tent camping. The campsites are convenient to a boat ramp where you can launch your kayak and paddle out into the bay. Bike along the bay-side roads or follow trails inland to explore the park's prairies and marshes.
An Ocean View
On the southern side of the island, set up your tent at one of the 36 sites facing the Gulf. The sites tuck in closely to each other with no vegetation in between; RVs share the sites with tents. The campground is usually at or near capacity in the summer months, so you'll be surrounded by other campers. Electricity and water run to each site, and you'll find showers and flush restrooms nearby. Each campsite comes with a shade structure, picnic table and fire ring.
Weathering the Weather
Summer is the busiest time at Galveston State Park, with many campers coming to enjoy time at the beach. Temperatures linger in the upper 80s, but the humidity rises uncomfortably in late summer, when monsoon and hurricane weather patterns bring 4 to 6 inches of rainfall. Daytime temperatures stay in the 70s through November, before dipping into the 60s from December through February. The coldest winter nights rarely dip below 50, making sleeping in a tent enjoyable any time of year.
An Ounce of Prevention
You won't find shade at the campgrounds. The sun will beat on your tent all day long, so you may want to bring your own shade structure to place over your tent. Water is found at both campgrounds, so hydrate regularly to avoid heat-related illness. Wildlife at the park consists primarily of birds, but seagulls and other opportunists will readily fly away with your food if you leave it unguarded. Seagulls have been known to rip into backpacks and soft-sided containers, so keep your food in airtight containers inside a hard-sided cooler or wildlife-resistant vault.
Indulging her passion for wide open spaces and outdoor fitness through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, author Jodi Thornton-O'Connell takes the mystery out of outdoor skills and guides readers to discover fun ways to physically connect to natural surroundings.