Whew! We made it back to Arizona and are now camped near the town of Benson. All I can say is Texas is one BIG state. Before I start posting about our Arizona adventures, I want to finish up with the places we stayed while in Texas…….
After a very fun stay in Galveston, Texas it was time to hit the road again. We had four days in between reservations. That meant, we had four days to do a three and a half hour drive. Now that’s what I call meandering.
We still hadn’t firmly made up our minds about where we wanted to stay during that four-day time frame. So we just hit the road moving south along the Texas Gulf Coast. We had two options in mind; the Matagorda Bay Nature Park or Goose Island State Park. Hmm, decisions!
When you purchase the yearly Texas State Park Pass for $70, you and your accompanying guests get free access to all Texas State Parks plus you’re given four cyber coupons good for 1/2 off a night of camping. With that in mind, we decided on Goose Island State Park and put one of those coupons to use.
We opted for a bay side site wanting to bask in as much sunshine as possible. The other camping loops are nestled in a grove of oak trees with lots of low-lying branches and plenty of shade. The folks at Goose Island State Park are very accommodating and upon check-in they will allow you to drive through the campground first and pick out a site. That’s a huge bonus as many of the bay side sites are not very level. Some have a huge hump.
The campsites located in the loops with the oak trees could be challenging for bigger RV’s, so it’s nice to lay eyes on the sites first.
We lucked out with excellent weather during this 3 night stay. Keep in mind while camping close to the water that salt spray is very corrosive and it only takes a couple of days for rust to show up. Last year, when the wind and weather kicked up, we saw a wave or two actually hit some RV’s camped in these bay side sites, but it doesn’t take actual contact to start the corrosion.
FYI – this part of Texas has sketchy Verizon coverage. We had no problem with our internet but we did have issues talking on the phone. This is AT&T country. We received about 3 TV channels with our Jack Antenna.
From Goose Island State Park we continued down the coast to Mustang Island State Park for our scheduled two-week stay. This was a 45 minute drive and included a ferry crossing.
The campground isn’t the greatest but we love the area. Within a short walk from the campsite over the dunes are miles and miles of gorgeous beach. Corpus Christi, Texas is an easy 20 minute drive away with plenty of sights and shopping. The quaint beach town of Port Aransas is 10 minutes up the road.
At Mustang Island State Park we had good Verizon coverage – internet and phone. We pulled in a dozen TV channels with our over the air antenna. When you book a week, the rate is discounted. The on site bath house is probably the oldest and most rustic we’ve encountered in the last couple of years. I’m trying to be diplomatic, but between you and me, I thought the showers were pretty bad – old with lack of privacy. But overall we enjoyed our stay at Mustang Island State Park and would definitely stay here again.
How about some other camping options on Mustang Island? Trust me when I say, you won’t run out of choices.
Boondocking in the area? YES! Overnight camping is allowed in quite a few areas on Mustang Island but requires a permit from Nueces County for a fee. Padre Island National Seashore has miles of sandy beach geared toward tenting and offers two dry camping campgrounds for RV’s. Fees are very inexpensive
On the Aransas Pass side of the channel there is free boondocking and usually one or two RV’s at any given time can be spotted. On weekends it can be busier.
Do note; the ground is rutted with some soft, sandy spots. It would be wise to be able to read the lay of the land and have a good understanding of low tide versus high tide.
Mustang Island offers a multitude of private RV parks. My folks used to winter at Pioneer RV Resort and it’s a very nice RV park. If luxury is your thing, check out Gulf Waters RV Resort. There are at least 3 more RV parks I drove by in the town of Port Aransas but they all seemed cramped and something I wouldn’t be interested in, not to say they aren’t nice, just not my cup of tea.
Ok, let’s wrap up this post with the RV park where we spent the month of January. This was our second January at this park and I viewed it a whole lot differently this year than last year. I found it more enjoyable this go around, perhaps because I knew exactly what to expect.
First, the park was chosen by Al’s buddy and if you recall the whole reason for us being in Rockport, Texas, was for the guys to do manly things with manly men. That said, Hidden Oaks RV Park is a no frills, rustic kind of place and located just down the road from Goose Island State Park. It’s an ideal place for Sportsmen. There’s even an apartment available in the club house for a nightly/weekly rate.
Although there aren’t any Park Models on site, there are trailers kept here year round as second homes. The sites are close together, grassy with some gravel. There are oak trees and low branches making maneuvering a bit of a challenge in spots.
The unique oak trees are pretty much a theme around Rockport as are goat heads…. you know, those tiny little burrs that stick to everything including pooches poor paws. We’ve encountered those little suckers everywhere in southern Texas and boy do they stick…. and hurt!
Last year I did check out a bunch more RV parks in the Rockport area and did not find anything more inviting than Hidden Oaks. On that note, let me share what I DID enjoy about the place.
Hidden Oaks RV Resort is located in a rural residential area and just down the street from the state park making it great for bike rides and walks. Whooping cranes and Sandhill cranes hang out just a couple of blocks away and I could hear the cranes from my RV. On occasion they even flew over the RV Park. Management and guests are ALL extremely helpful, friendly, and engaging. And the price is right at $300 for the month plus electric. It fits our needs and interests and we would stay here again. Remember this part of Texas is a birder’s and angler’s paradise.
So that’s it for my Texas campground review. Let me know if I missed something or if you have any questions. Happy trails!
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