There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors. If you’re looking to get in touch with your wild side, but don’t want to stray far from home, there are four top campgrounds in the Austin area. Whether you’re pitching a tent or parking an RV, this guide will help you find the best spot to get back to basics.

 

McKinney Falls

McKinney Falls State Park

If you want to connect with nature without sacrificing comfort, McKinney Falls provides the perfect solution. Settle in at one of the 81 campsites across the 744 acre property. The reserved and secluded campsites offer water and electricity and are located near communal restrooms and showers. If you want to escape, but still prefer AC, rent a cabin complete with bunk beds, a fridge and a microwave. Camping starts at $20/night and cabins start at $86/night.

The state park is most popular for the lower and upper falls swimming holes, but there are plenty of other trails and creeks to explore. The park features hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, swimming, a historic homestead and a 500-year-old cypress tree

Pro-Tip: Bring bug spray!

 

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

Emma Long Metropolitan Park

If proximity is key, Emma Long is more centrally located than McKinney Falls. The park offers both primitive and premium camping options, but doesn’t take reservations. If you like to socialize with other campers, you’ll find more open and inviting campsites. Enjoy the communal amenities of restrooms and showers plus premium water and electricity. Primitive camping starts at $10/night and premium camping starts at $20/night.

The park is located along Lake Austin so there are boat ramps and water sports options. Explore the Turkey Creek Trail, play basketball and volleyball or host a BBQ.

Pro-Tip: Watch out for sticker-burs!

 

Windy Point Park

Windy Point Park

If diving is the highlight of your life, you must camp out at Windy Point. The primitive campground accommodates up to 230 tents along the shores of Lake Travis. Modern amenities include restrooms, showers and dressing rooms. Windy Point is one of the few parks that offers wifi throughout the area. Camping starts at $10/night.

Windy Point features a haven for diving enthusiasts with six platforms for training. Divers can explore boat wrecks, underwater metal sculptures, marine life and a Pinto. Use the onsite air fill station to gear up. If you’re not a diver, you can go for a swim or have a picnic.

Pro-Tip: Keep an eye on water levels!

 

Sandy Creek Park

Sandy Creek Park

If you need a total escape from modern society, Sandy Creek offers primitive camping in a secluded environment. The 25-acre park at Lake Travis offers restrooms, grills and water, but no showers. The park isn’t as crowded as the others and there is less boat traffic. The serene environment offers a romantic spot to watch the sunset. Camping is first come, first serve and $15 per vehicle.

The park is ideal for long walks, sunbathing, swimming, fishing and bird-watching. Sandy Creek is home to the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, so keep an eye out for wildlife.

Pro-tip: Wear sunscreen!

 

Where do you like to camp in Austin?