Texas campgrounds, RV parks and resorts will be rolling out the welcome mat for about 10% more “Winter Texans” than last year, according to the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
“We have talked to dozens of park owners from central and south Texas and their bookings for the winter are up approximately 10% across the board,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), which hosts TexasCampgrounds.com, the travel planning website.
Schaeffer said parks are also seeing younger “Winter Texans” and many of them plan to visit multiple parks. “They are booking early and moving around rather than just staying in one place for the entire winter season,” he said
Texas campgrounds, RV parks and resorts offer a wide variety of amenities, from heated resort-style swimming pools to state-of-the-art fitness centers, catch-and-release fishing lakes and nature trails. “Of course, the further south you travel into Texas, the warmer it gets,” Schaeffer said. “These are powerful enticements the colder it gets ‘Up North.’”
Some companies have large portfolios of RV parks, including The Boston Group, which owns nine different parks across Texas, including Rio Bonito Cabin and RV Park in Liberty Hill, which has frontage along the San Gabriel River, and Seven Lakes RV Resort in Burnet, which is close to Lake Buchanan.
Schaeffer said the amenities offered by independently owned and operated parks across Texas are quite diverse. Consider these examples:
- Alamo Fiesta RV Resort in Boerne: Located in the German heritage town of Boerne, this 220-site, the pet-friendly park includes mostly pull-through RV sites and rental cabins. The park can be used as a convenient base camp for trips into San Antonio as well as the Texas Hill Country. Amenities include a playground, exercise equipment and a park store.
- Fort Amarillo RV Park in Amarillo: This park is often used as a base camp for excursions to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, which features a rugged 800-foot deep, 110-mile long chasm that is the largest canyon in the U.S. after the Grand Canyon.Fort Amarillo RV Park also accommodates travelers bound for the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place during the first week of October, as well as people interested in seeing Amarillo area rodeos. Fort Amarillo RV Park has many amenities, including a 4,500 square foot dog park, tennis courts; an indoor heated swimming pool; and a unique gift store called Lizzie Mae’s Mercantile, which features everything from Texas-themed souvenirs to Christmas ornaments, unique baking mixes and condiments and home decor items.
- Fredericksburg RV Park in Fredericksburg: This park features all pull-through sites; a clubhouse with modern kitchen facilities, a big screen TV and rec room; a gym and fitness center; a koi pond with water features and ducks; horseshoe pits; and free cable and Wi-Fi.
- Hidden Creek RV Resort in Bryan: This park currently has 98 RV sites, from economy sites to premium pull-through sites for big rigs. The park also offers six rental cabins. Another 42 RV sites are being added this year, including buddy sites. Park amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center, tether ball, a walking trail, a fishing pond, clubhouse, fire pit, two off-leash dog parks and planned seasonal activities.
- Jetstream RV Resort Pearland in Houston: This park is located 12 miles from downtown Houston and minutes from NRG Stadium and the Texas Medical Center. Park amenities include a clubhouse, business center and fitness center; a resort-style heated swimming pool and hot tub; an outdoor kitchen with grills; a dog park and dog wash station; and a playground. Several additional amenities are planned for the near future, including a beer garden, an outdoor fire pit and an outdoor yard game area with string lights.
- LakeShore RV Resort in Garland: Located on the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard, this park features 184 concrete sites, including 70 pull-through sites with full hookups, including cable TV and WiFi. Amenities include workout and computer rooms, a beach access pool and hot tub. The park is within walking distance from City Park, which has fishing piers, a boat launch and walking trails.
- Pioneer Beach RV Resort in Port Aransas: This park features RV sites and cabins. Amenities include two swimming pools; a hot tub; a recreation hall and game room; a dog run; a birding pond with ducks, spoonbills, and cranes; and a private boardwalk to the beach.
- San Jacinto Riverfront RV Resort in Highlands: This park features over 300 concrete RV sites with full hookups, including several river-view RV sites with private spas. The park also has luxury rental accommodations, a riverfront clubhouse, parking for boats and trailers and climate-controlled storage facilities.
- Shady Creek RV Park in Aubrey: This park features large RV sites with full hookups. Most sites have parking for two vehicles on site. Amenities include a banquet/party room with a full kitchen; a swimming pool; fitness center; fire pit; a fenced dog run; an LP gas station and wide paved roads.
- Summer Breeze USA Resorts in the greater Houston area: Summer Breeze USA owns and operates three resorts in the greater Houston, including Katy Brookshire RV Resort and Kemah RV Resort. The Kemah resort features a swimming pool and hot tub and park model rentals. The Katy Brookshire RV Resort features a 10,000-square foot indoor heated pool, a giant indoor Texas boot-shaped hot tub, a NASA-themed water park, park model and cabin rentals as well as a clubhouse and fitness center.
- The Retreat at Shady Creek in Aubrey: Every RV site at this park features a 10- by 12-foot concrete patio. Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center; a play pool with a tanning ledge; two outdoor cooking stations; a putting green; a walking trail; a catch-and-release fishing pond; cornhole; and a dog park. The park also offers organized activities.
- The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine: The Vineyards Campground & Cabins occupies 52 acres of an 850-acre mostly wooded scenic area encircling Grapevine Lake. The park offers RV sites with concrete pads as well as furnished cabins. Amenities include cable television and upgraded Wi-Fi service and a pavilion as well as kayak and bicycle rentals.
- Twin Coves Park and Marina in Flower Mound: This 243-acre park is on the north shore of Grapevine Lake. Families can enjoy a variety of new features including an office/camp store; a playground; two large pavilions; a grass volleyball court; horseshoes and washer game sets; a four-hole disc golf course; hike/bike nature trails, kayak rentals, a boat launch, and a lake overlook area with a fire pit and seating.
Schaeffer noted that companies like Malakoff-based Platinum Cottages are also supplying Texas campgrounds with fully furnished park model style cabins and cottages with separate bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. You’ll find these rental accommodations at numerous campgrounds, including Sun Outdoors Hill Country RV Resort in New Braunfels; Sun Outdoors Lake Travis in Austin; and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Kerrville.