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4 Corpus Christi Locations Perfect for Beach Camping

Get Those Van Motors Humming as You Prepare for The Ultimate Southern Road Trip

Fall has set in throughout much of the nation, but the sun is still hot, and the waves are still cool and refreshing in this south Texas year-round vacation mecca. Here are 4 Corpus Christi locations perfect for beach camping, plus two must-have accessories for any beach excursion.

Corpus Christi KOA Journey

A popular choice among fellow RVers and Vanlifers, this is a highly favorited park, as highlighted on RV LIFE Campgrounds. The review site shows that this KOA has received 50 reviews and has an 8.9/10 score.

This beachfront, pet-friendly resort hosts 66 sites, a pet area, a year-round swimming pool, and a playground. On the grounds is a designated play area for the fur babies. There are showers, restrooms, and a retail shop. They have all the incidentals you might have left at home, plus frozen margaritas and other alcoholic beverages.

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During the day, rent a kayak, take a guided fishing trip, or try windsurfing. Take the short drive over to Mustang Island State Park and do some exploring for a day.

Beach Camping at Mustang Island State Park

Of course, if you don’t want to drive to this state park from the KOA Journey, you could opt to park and stay in the state park instead. In addition to the above-listed water activities, there are on-the-beach campsites for vans and RVs. Be steps from the Gulf of Mexico when you set up camp in a part of the 1.5-mile stretch of undesignated beach sites. There is a beach bathhouse and bathrooms located nearby the headquarters. Depending on how far down the strip of beach you set up, restrooms could be as close as 50 yards or a mile and a half away. The nightly cost of camping here is $10, plus a daily entrance fee.

To learn more about Mustang Island and to see the ratings left by other campers, head over to RV Life Campgrounds for additional information.

Padre Island National Seashore

First, to clarify, this location is different from South Padre Island. They are spaced out more than 100 miles apart. The National Seashore is located in the island’s northern part, at the opposite end of the barrier island that is Padre Island.

This park is located just outside Corpus Christi at the very end of Park Road 22. With an average of 70 miles of undeveloped beaches and untouched nature, the Malaquite Campground is a good choice for van lifers.

The Malaquite Campground

The Malaquite Campground at the Padre Island National Seashore is open year-round, and while it doesn’t offer on-the-beach sites, there are plenty of oceanside sites. A wide drive away separates two rows of parking. One side is a grassy area on the oceanside campground sites that is perfect for Van Campers. The opposite parking row is on gravel and preferred for RVers, although it is a first-come, first-served setup.

A boardwalk connects the campground to Closed Beach, as well as sand paths at either end of the campground sites.

Currently, camping fees are $14 a night, or $7 with proof of access pass or ability to claim a senior discount.

This is another highly favorited park, as recorded by RV Life Campgrounds. It currently rates in at 9.1/10. Learn more about this camping destination here.

Beach Camping on North Beach

This section of free beach does require a paid park entrance fee and a free camping permit. Park on the beach, but it is recommended to park as close to the dunes as possible to prevent traffic jams. There are a lot of rules to follow but well worth it to park and set up camp on the beach. You can find all the do’s and don’ts here.

View of sandy beaches and a variety of campers near the dunes.
Photo courtesy:

The amenities are basic at this section of Padre Island National Seashore. Still, they include flush toilets and cold-water rinse showers available at the Malaquite Visitor Center. All camping here is primitive, and there are no facilities or designated camping sites. Once at North Beach, you will be about 12 miles from the nearest store, so be sure to pick up everything you need before heading to camp.

Two Must-have Beach Accessories

iLive Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers

A trip to any beach isn’t complete without the tunes! iLive provides waterproof Bluetooth speakers, complete with removable 10-inch stakes.

iLive Bluetooth speakers

Enjoy time on the beach with your favorite music with this pair of speakers. The built-in rechargeable batteries can be charged via a USB cable or solar-powered.

Caminito Beach Blanket

The Caminito Brand of blankets are perfect for picnics on the beach. Large enough for up to four people, this blanket rolls up into thirds and comes with a handmade leather strap, allowing easy storage under a van seat or cubby.

Caminito Brand Blankets
Photo courtesy of Ellie Waldner

Created by a mother/daughter team, each blanket is designed with a traditional Mexican weaving method, providing unique products. When unfolded, the blanket measures 83″ by 51″, but when rolled, it takes up just 16″ X 6.5″ of indoor cargo space. Check out the variety of colors and designs of the blanket rolls here.

The City of Corpus Christi

While each of these six camping locations provides plenty of water activities, the city of Corpus Christi has a variety of indoor activities as well.

Spend some leisure time at the Texas State Aquarium. Sea life, dolphins, and a variety of touch pools await your visit. At night, there is a walking ghost tour, if you dare. For family travelers, stop at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History or the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center.

Plenty of shopping and dining options range throughout this city, as well as antiquing, art centers, and farmer’s markets.

With all this variety and virtually year-round sunny skies, it’s no wonder Corpus Christi is perfect for beach camping.

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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