Day to day life on the job can get tiring. Once the weekend finally rolls around you want to escape to a place where you can spend time with the family. Unfortunately, research can get exhausting. Lucky for you, we’ve done most of the work. Our 25 Best Campgrounds Within Two Hours of Los Angeles worked up some buzz, so we decided to return with 25 Best Campgrounds within Three Hours of Dallas.
We looked at a variety of campgrounds! Whether your family prefers RV vacationing, tenting or cabins, this list will suit your traveling needs. We expected to find several beautiful lakefront campsites but were pleasantly surprised by the breadth of outdoor activities that the Dallas area has to offer. From hiking, fishing, and swimming to rock climbing, fossil hunting, and geocaching, Dallas has it all.
Lake Mineral Wells State Park : Mineral Wells, TX
Rock climbers have named this park one of the best sites in Texas. It spans 3,010 acres and is highlighted by sheer rock cliffs. If you aren’t experienced climbers, hike down to the lake. The kids will love running amongst boulders while they watch the climbers. We recommend bringing your fishing poles and checking out one of the six fishing piers. This is the perfect place to introduce your child to the joy of fishing. Catfish, crappie, sunfish, and largemouth bass are in abundance. There is also an extensive list of ranger programs at the park including kids’ wilderness survival, cowboy history through music and poetry, astronomy and wildflower walks. Just beware that no skiing, tubing or jet skiing is allowed.
Bonham State Park has an unrivaled family atmosphere. You can find families socializing, fishing, canoeing and picnicking year-round. There are extensive trails in the park for hiking or mountain biking, a beach for swimming and even ranger expeditions exclusively for the kids. We like renting paddle boats and letting the kids expend their energy by giving us a free tour around the lake. The lone downside to this cozy park is that it only contains 12 RV hook-ups. Make sure to call ahead of time! If you do a lot of hiking be sure to check out our 13 Hacks To Make Your Hiking Boots Last article. Maintenance makes a big difference!
If you like a campground that truly resembles a resort, The Vineyards is for you. This nationally acclaimed campground is well known for its lakefront views and peaceful setting. Campsites lie on the shores of Grapevine Lake, under an hour’s drive from Dallas. Designed for RVs, the Vineyard includes a camp store, and several different amenities including bicycle and kayak rentals, a swim beach, basketball and volleyball courts, wi-fi and complimentary coffee. If you’re an avid biker, you might be interested Kamoot, an app that will track your routes.
Meadowmere Park is home to 50 beautiful lakeside tent campsites on the southwestern shores of Lake Grapevine. The campground offers a bathhouse with toilets and showers and each campsite comes with a picnic table and fire ring. In addition to barbecue grills and kayak rentals, the campground contains a stunning beach/swim area, a playground for the kids, and massive amounts of open space for hiking and exploring. The one drawback is that there are not a lot of trees. If trees are a must for your campsite make sure to get there early! And if you’re looking for a mouth-watering recipe for the grill, check out our Guinness Marinated Steaks!
Opposite Meadowmere Park, on the north shore of Lake Grapevine, lies Murrell Park. If you are accustomed to roughing it this may be the place for you. Known for its beautiful lakeside hiking and biking trails, the park also includes a bargain campsite for tent campers. While the only amenities are picnic tables and fire pits, the surrounding trails contain some of our favorite nature spots on the list. Want to make tear down easier? Learn how to Pack Your Tent Perfectly Every Time.
Park your RV in the shade of 2,000 oak trees at Treetop RV Resort. Its 169 spacious sites feature concrete patios and full-hookups including a library, bathhouse, pool and laundry facilities. What separates treetops from its competitors is its family atmosphere. Enjoy taking part in weekly game nights, frequent potlucks, parties and BBQs. Looking for some fun floats for the pool? Here are 17 awesome swim floats you’ll love.
Known for their clean and well-kept RV resorts, Destiny’s Dallas location does not disappoint. Destiny Dallas has 172 spacious sites all nestled in a lushly wooded park surrounded by large shade trees. The resort even provides propane, laundry facilities, a recreation hall, pool, convention center and an RV, truck and car wash.
Only a 20-minute drive from Cowboys stadium, Globe Life Park and Six Flags, Texan RV Ranch boasts a country setting with city convenience. With its friendly staff and well-kept public areas, you can’t go wrong. The park has a fully stocked store, laundry facilities, and bathhouse and is one of the only parks we could find with free Wi-Fi. Whether you’re in the Dallas area for a short stay or a long vacation, the practicality of the Texan RV Ranch is hard to ignore.
If you’re looking for convenience you have to consider Traders Village RV Park. Only a 25-minute drive from the city center district, Traders Village Park has the short commute and essential amenities that RV campers are looking for. Park amenities even include a Dog Park and Sunday church service. As an added bonus it’s adjacent to the Traders Village weekend Flea Market, known for its festivals and special events.
We weren’t able to find many campgrounds that combine a family atmosphere with a convenient location. Located midway between Fort Worth and Dallas, Sandy Lake RV resort does just this. Sandy Lake guests enjoy taking a dip in the swimming pool or relaxing on a picturesque patio. It includes a dog park, pancake breakfasts, crafts, and religious services.
Northlake Village is a great place to get away from the congestion of the city. Located between Denton and Fort Worth, it possesses large RV camping sites with full hook-ups, including free Wi-Fi, an on-site laundry facility, a fitness center, and a bathhouse with private showers. What we like most about this that it’s located between the Fort Worth Cabela’s and the Grapevine Bass Pro Shop. Outdoorsy families rejoice! But if you’re looking to camp in April or November be aware that it’s the closest RV Park to NASCAR’s Texas Motor Speedway. Race weekends can get hectic.
Shady Creek RV Park recently changed management and has since been revamped into one of the most customer-friendly parks in the area. Located just off of HWY 380 but just far enough to be nice and quiet, it’s difficult to do better than Shady Creek. It contains all the amenities your family needs, and while it’s not located on a lake, its beautiful camping lots do not disappoint. The pool doesn’t hurt either.
Shady Creek RV Park
Aubrey, TX 76227
RV: $45 Learn more
Branded a crown jewel in the RV world, Bluebonnet Ridge is the most consistently high-rated park on our list. Their whole team works to spoil their guests in every way possible, from well-kept grounds to prompt service requests. The location is perfect for many reasons: only a half-hour from Canton, only 40 miles from Dallas; everything is close enough to be convenient yet far enough away to be comfortable in a sweet country setting. It also has a fishing pond which, if you ask us, truly separates it from the pack.
On the west shore of Joe Pool Lake, Loyd Park covers about 791 acres of native Texas landscape, perfect for a lakeside vacation. Individual campsite sizes are large (avg 1000 sq ft.) and each one has a picnic table and pavilion, grill, fire ring, and more Texas tranquility than you can handle! Boat owners can request access to the four-lane boat ramp, and canoe and kayak rentals are available as well.
Located just outside of Glen Rose, Dinosaur Valley State Park is perfect for younger families. It encourages its visitors to walk where the dinosaurs walked millions of years ago. Kids can explore fossils, dinosaur tracks and more. If you dare, you can also camp at the park. There are forty-six campsites with electric and water hook-ups. If your kid is a fanatic this is a must-see.
Located across from Loyd Park, this is one of our favorite sites for tent campers. Situated in beautiful natural surroundings southwest of downtown Dallas and adjacent to Joe Pool Lake, you would be hard-pressed to find a better place for families that love the outdoors. Cedar Hill State Park offers mountain biking, boating, bird watching, camping, fishing and hiking trails. The campsite is nothing to scoff at either. Facilities include running water, electricity, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, fire rings, and a grocery store. Wi-Fi is also included.
Located on the scenic southern shores of Lake Texoma on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, Eisenhower State Park is a great place to get away from the bright lights of the city. There are so many things to do within the park, you may not fit it all in with just one weekend. The 423-acre park offers camping, biking, boating, swimming, fishing, and waterskiing. If you want a break from activities, take a twenty-minute drive south to see President Eisenhower’s Historic Birth Site.
Eisenhower State Park
50 Park Road 20
Denison, TX 75020-4878
Tent: $20 Learn more tweet
Ray Roberts Lake State Park : Pilot Point, TX
Ray Roberts Lake is a local favorite for Dallas and Fort Worth residents. The lake is large, the water clear, and the surrounding hills and foliage make for a beautiful landscape. There are plenty of fishing piers and picnic areas and it’s not uncommon to see horses walking the surrounding trails. We like parking our car with a nice view of the lake so we can watch the windsurfers. This is a great place to take the family for a weekend trip, just be sure to get there early.
Regardless of whether you have a passion for locomotives, the Texas State Railroad is worth the trip. Deep in the piney woods southeast of Dallas, lies the original Texas railway where you can hop on and enjoy a vintage steam or diesel train ride on a train manufactured in the 1920s, through dense Texas pine forests. The neighboring Rusk Depot campground features 71 camping sites with full-hookups and numerous activities.
If you like fishing you already know about Fairfield Lake. This State Park used to be one of the top bass fishing lakes in Texas and is still stocked with red drum, but nowadays perch dominate the catch. If you dare to look past the fishing you’ll find that this is one of the most beautiful Parks on our list. Dogwoods turn the landscape lily-white during the spring and deer are known to frolic around the lake throughout the year. One thing you must see is the gorgeous sunset that overlooks the lake. Get there early and stake out a spot on the beach.
The wildlife at Lake Bob Sandlin State Park is second to none. For the fisherman, Lake Bob is a great spot for largemouth bass, spotted bass and bluegills. If you go during cooler months, there are even trout stocked in the trout pond. But above all else, we come to this State Park in search of bald eagles. The chance to view our country’s national bird in its natural habitat does not come around often. We recommend you take advantage of the opportunity. Set up a tent amongst the tall pines and take in the serenity, you may just come across a nest full of hatchlings. Just two hours outside DFW, this place is a real find.
Tucked away in Texas Hills Country, Inks Lake State Park has everything the family could wish for. You may come for the lake but you’ll end up amazed at the variety of dry land activities. Campers can start their morning by hiking any of the 7.5 miles of hiking trails then kayak, canoe, water ski or scuba dive to cool down. Stay at one of nearly 200 campsites or 22 cabins, most of which offer easy access to the lake.
One of the only campsites on our list located on the Waco side of Dallas. Most people come to Lake Whitney to fish for stripers or smallmouth bass, but make sure not to forget about it when planning your next family vacation. There are numerous activities to do in and around the lake. We recommend encouraging your child to become a Junior Park Ranger. The Park supplies you with an activity book with specific guidelines and activities your child must accomplish. Upon completion, you can accompany them to the Ranger Station where they will be sworn-in while standing under the American flag. In the meantime, you might even have time to snag a striper.
Lake Whitney State Park
Whitney, TX 76692
Tent: $20-$24 Learn moretweet
Fort Parker State Park : Mexia, TX
This Park is our hidden gem. There are only about 30 RV sites, but they’re rarely full. The park rangers are extremely helpful, and the park’s lack of acclaim makes it strikingly peaceful. Whether fishing or hiking, this small park has a lot to offer in terms of beauty. If you find yourself traveling to Dallas from Austin take a detour to Fort Parker, we promise it won’t disappoint.
When newcomers think of Texas’ nature destinations they usually think of Big Bend National Park, but Texans know Colorado Bend State Park is the real treasure. The most popular aspect of the park is Gorman Falls, a 65-foot waterfall that runs year-round in the park. Stay a while longer and you’ll find several miles of swimming holes, hardcore mountain biking, and wild cave tours that include rappelling. This is a State Park with a National Park feel. Even the most experienced hikers will not be let down.