Let’s talk campgrounds

I don’t normally do campground reviews or talk too much about the places we park.  First, there are a lot of great bloggers out there that do a much better job in that department than I could ever do.  Second, reviews are subjective.  I’d feel badly hurting anyone’s feelings or recommending a place only to have someone else sorely disappointed.

Brahma calf

Can we talk?

After our 3 month Texas Gulf Coast adventure, I’ve had a few bloggers express interest in the places we camped and would appreciate a little more information.  Thus, I’ve decided to do a quick and dirty on my Texas campground experience.

photographySo let’s grab a drink and I’ll tell you the where, why, and MY opinion.

I’m not always fond of making reservations because I like to keep our plans fluid.  What I mean is if we really enjoy a location and want to stay longer, I want that flexibility.  The opposite holds true as well, and yes, there have been plenty of places that were a total let down and I couldn’t wait to move on.

But alas, reservations are a necessity especially in popular places and during holiday weekends or special events.

Another tidbit that’s important to ME are views and space.  Therefore we prefer staying in State Parks, National Forests, or boondock in the backcountry.  I’ll gladly give up the convenience of hook-ups for nature and views.  But there is a time and place when a Private RV Park is the perfect venue, especially when near a large metropolitan area.

Knowing I wanted to spend a month on Galveston Island had me searching for Private RV Parks for that leg of our journey.  The Galveston Island State Park was already booked on the weekends during our time frame, plus you can only reserve a two-week stay. I liked the idea of staying near the state park so I could do some hiking and bird watching there and that was the main reason I chose the Jamaica Beach RV Resort.

Jamaica Beach RV Resort

checking in at the Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston Island, Texas

It did not disappoint.  All sites are pull-thru, concrete, and level.  Each site offers a picnic table, full hook-ups, and are relatively nicely spaced.  A monthly stay in a private park is always the most economical rate versus the nightly rate with the exception of the discounted nightly rate with a Passport America or Escapees membership.  Do note: be informed and don’t assume, as discounts are not always applicable or honored and usually apply to a one or two night stay only and quite often not on weekends.Jamaica Beach

Jamaica Beach RV ResortThe Jamaica Beach RV Resort has two swimming pools, a mini golf course with a cute pirate theme, and a pond with ducks.

The on-site laundry facility was also convenient and rarely busy.

The one big negative is the beach is located across the street (a busy road) at a public access point.  Also, road noise can be heard within the RV park especially at those sites located closer to the busy road.

We did enjoy our month at this park. I would stay here again and even recommend it, but we did check out a few other options in the area for future reference.

Galveston Island State Park is ok and offers two different types of camping experiences.  They have a campground on the ocean side for those beach goers and another on the bayside for birders, kayakers, and anglers.  Our friends MonaLiza and Steve stayed on the bayside and wrote a review. Click here to read Steve’s review.  Do note; the state park does fill up on weekends.  Thus, I would highly recommend a reservation.Galveston Island State ParkI did visit the state park regularly during my stay on Galveston Island. I found the trails the majority of the time were too wet to navigate with tennis shoes.  Muck boots would be more appropriate, but I still managed to find plenty of  photographic opportunities.Galveston Texas

Here are a few other options of places to stay for a Galveston Island visit;
Dellanera RV Park is owned and managed by the county and is in a great location. There’s few amenities, the sites are gravel, and it’s on the ocean.  It looks ok.
Bayou Shores RV Park would probably be my last choice.  I didn’t like the location and it seemed a little unkempt.
Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park is connected with the RV retail store.  We found ourselves visiting their parts department several times.  The RV park looks nice and private. It’s even located next to a large county park (not visible from the RV park) with water access.  It’s actually located on the mainland and not the island near exit 10 thus it’s not that far from Galveston.  Anglers and Kayakers would like this place.
Tiki Tom’s looked like an interesting place and is definitely geared toward anglers and boaters.

Is there boondocking on Galveston Island?  I wouldn’t plan on it.  There’s no overnight camping allowed anywhere on the beach on Galveston Island – county ordinance.  I’m not sure they’ll even allow you to overnight in the Wal-Mart parking lot.  Sorry, I failed to confirm that tidbit.  Throughout the island we did notice lots of signs stating, “No overnight parking”.  So if there is boondocking, we didn’t find it.Galveston Island

Next up, we’ll move on down the coast.

The Next Exit 2015: The Most Accurate Interstate Highway Service Guide Ever Printed

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49 thoughts on “Let’s talk campgrounds

  1. All anyone can do is give their opinion. And that’s actually a good thing because over time you come to know the bloggers you read and how they view things and you can kind of tell whether their opinions would mirror one’s own or not.

    You guys are more active than we seem to be becoming. 🙂

    • Hopefully whatever I post will be of help in someone else making a decision. I know I appreciate it when other RVer’s write a post about the places they stay. Sometimes I think we don’t move around enough or as much as I would like, but I guess it’s all relative 🙂

  2. I think we have the same criteria, Ingrid — views and spaciousness are our primary considerations. Along with peaceful surroundings and dark night skies! But then again, as you said, there are times when when we’ve just loved staying in a private RV park — when we want to be close to an interesting little town, for example. In our year and a half of full-timing, we’ve basically discovered that we really don’t have any rules. 🙂

  3. I always appreciate the campground reviews of another full timer. Their perspective on a park is often different than that of a weekend warrior. Rarely, actually only once, was I ever disappointed by a full timers review. Thanks.

    • Now that we are full-time, I look at places a little differently and realize it’s only temporary. I think I was a lot more particular when I was part-time 🙂

  4. That cow photo is fantastic Ingrid! Great reviews and really helpful information. Like you I am a bit uncomfortable doing reviews but I think it is a big help for others.

  5. Love that cow shot!
    I totally agree with you about writing reviews for it is really very subjective. When Steve writes his reviews he attempts to be inclusive of all kinds of campers. He knows that he can not cover everybody so usually it just our opinion of the park. Opinions which could be colored by weather, crowd and timing.
    Anyway,your review will benefit anyone who might want to visit Galveston. Great review post!

    • Thanks ML. My review will hopefully be helpful and give visitors a better idea as to what to expect. Since we were there longer than you, we were fortunate to have some good weather days 🙂

    • I love to see reviews especially from fulltimers. We all like different things, but we’ve found some great locations over the years from other folks. Thank you all for sharing. I’ve learned a lot from reading blogs.

  6. Thanks for the reviews. I just left a state park that was a bit funky but awesome on the nature (that’s most important to me). It was virtually empty other than me. I moved to
    Snowbird retirement heaven. lol No nature and lots of low key non-strenuous activities.

      • I will check out some of them but I more adventuresome things I’d like to do. I’m meeting an author for a Mardi Gras parade tonight. Tomorrow I’ll either explore Fairhope or go to the beach.

    • Thanks. Isn’t that face adorable? I was pleasantly surprised when she came over to me at the fence and then almost make contact with my camera. She was a curious one 🙂

  7. Great review. When we are staying in Houston for several months, we always talk about going to Galveston for a week. I’ll keep your recommendations in mind. Thanks!

    • That always happens to me on Facebook when I hit the return key when I didn’t mean to post just yet. Reviews are definitely helpful as all businesses make their park look great on their websites 🙂

    • We love our “Next Exit” Book and it’s all marked up with some of our favorite stops since we routinely travel the same Interstates time and again. Those little Brahma calves captivated me and the birds were quickly forgotten…. too cute for words 🙂

    • Thanks Elisa and Galveston Island also has some very lovely non-camping accommodations. We saw some vacation home rentals that we would’ve considered if our grown children had joined us. Galveston was a fun stop for us.

    • She was such a cutie and stole my attention away from the cranes. I actually had to lower the camera to avoid wet cow nose on the lens 😆

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