Top 5 campervan-friendly campgrounds within 2 hours of Austin, Texas

There’s more to Austin than live music

When most hear “Austin, Texas”, one of the first things that comes to mind is the vibrant live music scene. Truth is, however, there’s much more to Austin than just great live entertainment. Drive just a bit out of the city and you’ll find yourself closer to nature than you are to a bass guitar. Don’t get us wrong: we love to hold a cold beer and bob our heads to the tunes of our favorite bands, but why not have the best of both worlds? Camp in all the natural beauty that Austin and the surrounding areas hold, and be close enough that you can still easily get to your favorite festival.

Here are five spots we love:

Photo credit: @coznlinda

McKinney Falls State Park
Distance from Austin: 13 miles
Travel time from the city: 20 min

Stunning views? Check. Activities galore? Check. Close to the city? Check. This beautiful park has it all. In addition to gorgeous views of the Onion Creek, campers and day visitors alike can spend the day swimming, fishing, or just listening to the falls splash over the rocks. For those looking for other outdoor challenges, there are plenty of bike (road and mountain) trails, bouldering, hikes for all abilities, and spots to have a picnic when you need to just chill out. History buffs can get their fix here too—humans began roaming this area almost 9 thousand years ago and a portion of the El Camino Real de los Tejas ran through the park between the 1600 and 1800’s. If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, this is the place.

Fast facts:

  • Make reservations online or via phone, (512) 243-1643
  • 81 sites, $20-24/night plus park entrance fee ($6 for adults, free for children 12 and younger)
  • Pets are welcome, but not allowed in park buildings
  • Restrooms with showers
  • Water hookups available

Photo credit:  @themilkywaychaser

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Distance from Austin: 95 miles
Travel time from the city: 1 hr 45 min

The name says it all. You’ll be enchanted by the massive pink granite rock that’s brought visitors from afar for years—thousands of them, in fact. The best part is, it’s totally hike-able, so you can climb up there and get your ‘grammable pic or just take in the views without putting a filter on it. If you’re not up for a hike on that particular rock, fear not, there’s a myriad of other options. If hiking doesn’t fit your fancy at all, there are plenty of rope and bouldering options to get your rock climbing fix—or natural geologic wonders, like vernal pools, to learn about as you mosey on through. Enchanted Rock also provides some of the best stargazing around thanks to minimal levels of light pollution. You can see all your favorite constellations shining brightly, as long as it’s not cloudy, that is.

Fast facts:

  • Make reservations online or via phone, (512) 389-8900
  • 35 campsites with water — $18/night
  • 20 primitive campsites (hike in) — $14/night
  • Private group camp (up to 75 people) — $100/night
  • Park entrance fee: $7 for adults, free for children 12 and younger
  • Pets are welcome, but not allowed in park buildings
  • Restrooms with showers

Photo credit: @amy_anw

Pace Bend Park
Distance from Austin: 33 miles
Travel time from the city: 50 min

Pace Bend lives up to its namesake, sitting in a bend of the Colorado River while also offering 9 miles of shoreline. The result of such? There are bountiful spots for swimming and general lazing about on a beach. Not to mention, the trails of Hill Country are abundant and just begging to be explored. Hike, bike, or hop on a horseback to see them all (if you’re feeling spontaneously equestrian).

Fast facts:

  • Reservations can be made online
  • 20 improved campsites with water and electric — $20/night
  • Primitive campsites near the cliffs available on a first come, first serve basis — $15/night
  • Restrooms with showers available by improved campsites
  • Pets are welcome, but must be kept on leashes
  • Potable water available

Photo credit: @kofioliverphoto

Pedernales Falls State Park

Distance from Austin: 42 miles
Travel time from the city: 1 hr

Nestled along the Pedernales River, this state park is a great place to relax and take in the scenery. There are plenty of activities to go ‘round too—swimming, tubing, canoeing and kayaking are made possible by the river, along with hiking and biking trails for every skill level. If you just happen to have brought your horse along for the, ahem, ride, there are horse campsites and horse trails that will accommodate both you and your trotting friend.

Fast facts:

  • Make reservations online or via phone, (512) 389-8900
  • 69 campsites for up to 8 people with water and electric — $20/night
  • Primitive campsites, hike in — $10/night
  • Park entrance fee: $6 for adults, free for children 12 and younger
  • Restrooms with showers available by campsites with water and electric
  • Pets are welcome, but not allowed in park buildings

Photo credit: @zecanard

Inks Lake State Park

Distance from Austin: 67 miles
Travel time from the city: 1 hr 25 minutes

As the name suggests, there are plenty of water activities at Inks Lake State Park. In addition to good old fashioned swimming, you can rent paddle boats, kayaks for one or two people and canoes. If self-propelled watercraft isn’t your forte, they do allow motorized boats in certain areas. The state park boasts 9 miles of hiking trails, highly recommending the 3 mile Pecan Flats hike. Devil’s Waterhole is not to be missed. You can hike the small canyon there, swim in the waterholes, and check out the gorgeous waterfalls when Valley Spring Creek is up and running.

Fun fact: Burnet is known as the Bluebonnet Capital of Texas, so keep your eyes peeled for those beauties sprinkled throughout.

Fast facts:

  • Make reservations online or via phone, (512) 389-8900
  • 125 campsites with electricity — $23/night
  • 49 campsites with water — $16/night
  • 9 primitive campsites, hike in — $11/night
  • Park entrance fee: $6 for adults, free for children 12 and younger
  • Restrooms with showers available by campsites with water and electric
  • Pets are welcome, but not allowed in park buildings

Note: Information and prices are subject to change, but are up to date as of fall 2019. For the latest updates, give park information a call at 1-800-792-1112. Happy vanlife-ing!

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2019-10-31T18:03:27+00:00

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