July 27, 2019

20 Texas State Parks You Should Visit Before Summer is Over

Now is the time to plan the summer getaways you look forward to all year. Whether you're into camping and hiking or fishing and swimming, here are some local spots — and some within driving distance — to hit up before the season is over.

Last month, Texas Parks and Wildlife began allowing limited overnight camping in its parks. No group camping is allowed, and even if you're just going for the day, you'll still need to make an advance reservation.

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Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, (830) 438-2656, tpwd.texas.gov
You definitely won’t be bored if you decide to spend some time at this state park. Not too far from San Antonio, the park is a hot spot for swimming, though the watering hole is also a solid options for tubing and fishing. There’s also a new paddling trail where you can kayak or canoe.
Photo via Instagram / larrynodarse
Guadalupe River State Park
3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, (830) 438-2656, tpwd.texas.gov
You definitely won’t be bored if you decide to spend some time at this state park. Not too far from San Antonio, the park is a hot spot for swimming, though the watering hole is also a solid options for tubing and fishing. There’s also a new paddling trail where you can kayak or canoe.
Photo via Instagram / larrynodarse
Garner State Park
234 RR 1050, Concan, (830) 232-6132, tpwd.texas.gov
A favorite for lots of locals, Garner State Park is a no-brainer. Whether you’ve already visited this summer or have yet to sneak in a seasonal trip, taking time to visit this state park won’t take much convincing. In addition to beautiful scenery, you’ll be able to go swimming or hiking – even dancing at the jukebox dances on the summer evenings. Definitely opt for a swim if it’s particularly hot out. After all, floating the Frio is a Texas pastime.
Photo via Instagram / mytxtravelsandadventures
Garner State Park
234 RR 1050, Concan, (830) 232-6132, tpwd.texas.gov
A favorite for lots of locals, Garner State Park is a no-brainer. Whether you’ve already visited this summer or have yet to sneak in a seasonal trip, taking time to visit this state park won’t take much convincing. In addition to beautiful scenery, you’ll be able to go swimming or hiking – even dancing at the jukebox dances on the summer evenings. Definitely opt for a swim if it’s particularly hot out. After all, floating the Frio is a Texas pastime.
Photo via Instagram / mytxtravelsandadventures
Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway
14222 Park Road 57, Somerville, (979) 535-7763, tpwd.texas.gov
Not too far from the Alamo City you’ll find the calm oasis of Lake Somerville. Fishing, paddling, swimming, camping, mountain biking, birding, hiking – here, there’s something for everyone who enjoys being outdoors. If you just want to see where your adventure takes you, consider exploring the nearly 40 miles of trails.
Photo via Instagram / kaitlyn_angela
Lake Somerville State Park & Trailway
14222 Park Road 57, Somerville, (979) 535-7763, tpwd.texas.gov
Not too far from the Alamo City you’ll find the calm oasis of Lake Somerville. Fishing, paddling, swimming, camping, mountain biking, birding, hiking – here, there’s something for everyone who enjoys being outdoors. If you just want to see where your adventure takes you, consider exploring the nearly 40 miles of trails.
Photo via Instagram / kaitlyn_angela
Mustang Island State Park
9394 TX-361, Corpus Christi, (361) 749-5246, tpwd.texas.gov
Head toward Corpus Christi and you’ll be able to score a whole five miles of coastline here. If you choose to spend time on the beach, you’ll be able to spend time swimming, surfing, kayaking and having beach-side fun like building sandcastles. Further inland there’s space for you to camp, hike and more, so you’ll have endless fun here.
Photo via Instagram / vic_franco96
Mustang Island State Park
9394 TX-361, Corpus Christi, (361) 749-5246, tpwd.texas.gov
Head toward Corpus Christi and you’ll be able to score a whole five miles of coastline here. If you choose to spend time on the beach, you’ll be able to spend time swimming, surfing, kayaking and having beach-side fun like building sandcastles. Further inland there’s space for you to camp, hike and more, so you’ll have endless fun here.
Photo via Instagram / vic_franco96
Devils River State Natural Area
21715 Dolan Creek Road, Del Rio, (830) 395-2133, tpwd.texas.gov
Head west and take a daytrip out to Devils River, which offers plenty of summertime fun. This remote getaway is home to a beautifully pristine rivers, featuring clear spring-fed water. Take advantage of such beauty and have a day of fishing, swimming or paddling if you’re up for a strenuous adventure. On land, you can hike or bike parts of the area packed with history.
Photo via Instagram / g.meeker
Devils River State Natural Area
21715 Dolan Creek Road, Del Rio, (830) 395-2133, tpwd.texas.gov
Head west and take a daytrip out to Devils River, which offers plenty of summertime fun. This remote getaway is home to a beautifully pristine rivers, featuring clear spring-fed water. Take advantage of such beauty and have a day of fishing, swimming or paddling if you’re up for a strenuous adventure. On land, you can hike or bike parts of the area packed with history.
Photo via Instagram / g.meeker
South Llano River State Park
1927 Park Rd 73, Junction, (325) 446-3994, tpwd.texas.gov
Nestled along the southern bank of the Llano River, this state park provides refuge for people. Still, humans can take part of the sereneness of the park, located in the Hill Country. Be sure to bring your sense of adventure so you can take your pick between swimming, floating the river, paddling and fishing, though you can stay dry by camping, hiking or biking. If you’re into astronomy, you may want to reserve time for some stargazing, as SLRSP is an International Dark Sky Park.
Photo via Instagram / psychadelic_bee
South Llano River State Park
1927 Park Rd 73, Junction, (325) 446-3994, tpwd.texas.gov
Nestled along the southern bank of the Llano River, this state park provides refuge for people. Still, humans can take part of the sereneness of the park, located in the Hill Country. Be sure to bring your sense of adventure so you can take your pick between swimming, floating the river, paddling and fishing, though you can stay dry by camping, hiking or biking. If you’re into astronomy, you may want to reserve time for some stargazing, as SLRSP is an International Dark Sky Park.
Photo via Instagram / psychadelic_bee
Lake Corpus Christi State Park
23194 Park Road 25, Mathis, (361) 547-2635, tpwd.texas.gov
This family-friendly park should definitely be on your shortlist if you enjoy water sports, wildlife and, most of all, relaxing in nature. The waters here let you swim, paddle, fish, water ski or explore via boat. Seriously, fishers can likely post up at the 18,256-acre Lake Corpus Christi and be fine all day. Bird lovers will be content here as well as there are more than 200 species that have been spotted here. You can also hike, bike, camp and nature-watch.
Photo via Instagram / marcusc_photo
Lake Corpus Christi State Park
23194 Park Road 25, Mathis, (361) 547-2635, tpwd.texas.gov
This family-friendly park should definitely be on your shortlist if you enjoy water sports, wildlife and, most of all, relaxing in nature. The waters here let you swim, paddle, fish, water ski or explore via boat. Seriously, fishers can likely post up at the 18,256-acre Lake Corpus Christi and be fine all day. Bird lovers will be content here as well as there are more than 200 species that have been spotted here. You can also hike, bike, camp and nature-watch.
Photo via Instagram / marcusc_photo
Brazos Bend State Park
21901 FM 762 Road, Needville, (979) 553-5102, tpwd.texas.gov
South of Houston you’ll find Brazos Bend, which prizes itself in offering a “wild” experience. For a true getaway where you can be one with nature, bring your binoculars and camera so you can appreciate the beauty of the park. Or, you’re always welcome to hike, bike, fish and ride your horse. There’s 37 miles of trails just waiting to be explored.
Photo via Instagram / swilcox1208
Brazos Bend State Park
21901 FM 762 Road, Needville, (979) 553-5102, tpwd.texas.gov
South of Houston you’ll find Brazos Bend, which prizes itself in offering a “wild” experience. For a true getaway where you can be one with nature, bring your binoculars and camera so you can appreciate the beauty of the park. Or, you’re always welcome to hike, bike, fish and ride your horse. There’s 37 miles of trails just waiting to be explored.
Photo via Instagram / swilcox1208
Inks Lake State Park
3630 Park Road 4 W, Burnet, (512) 793-2223, tpwd.texas.gov
Families wanting to squeeze in one last summer trip can feel secure about making plans to visit Inks Lake. Located in the Hill Country, this state park has plenty of family-friendly fun in water and on land. Here’s your chance to swim (do so at Devil’s Waterhole!), boat, water ski, fish and even scuba dive! If you prefer to stay dry, choose from camping, observing nature and hiking – there’s nine miles of trails!
Photo via Instagram / thewestexwindow
Inks Lake State Park
3630 Park Road 4 W, Burnet, (512) 793-2223, tpwd.texas.gov
Families wanting to squeeze in one last summer trip can feel secure about making plans to visit Inks Lake. Located in the Hill Country, this state park has plenty of family-friendly fun in water and on land. Here’s your chance to swim (do so at Devil’s Waterhole!), boat, water ski, fish and even scuba dive! If you prefer to stay dry, choose from camping, observing nature and hiking – there’s nine miles of trails!
Photo via Instagram / thewestexwindow
Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, tpwd.texas.gov
Not too far from Johnson City you’ll discover the tranquil, though sometimes turbulent waters at Pedernales Falls. This park should be visited by folks who thrive in natural scenery as it offers camping, hiking, biking, bird-watching and horseback riding on dry land. There’s even a butterfly garden if you truly want to kick back and enjoy every bit of nature. Certain areas are available to swim in, but there’s also chances for tubing, canoeing and kayaking down the river.
Photo via Instagram / flora.the.explora231
Pedernales Falls State Park
2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, tpwd.texas.gov
Not too far from Johnson City you’ll discover the tranquil, though sometimes turbulent waters at Pedernales Falls. This park should be visited by folks who thrive in natural scenery as it offers camping, hiking, biking, bird-watching and horseback riding on dry land. There’s even a butterfly garden if you truly want to kick back and enjoy every bit of nature. Certain areas are available to swim in, but there’s also chances for tubing, canoeing and kayaking down the river.
Photo via Instagram / flora.the.explora231