We stayed both in the campground and on the beach (free after park entrance fees) campground spaces. Generator hours are enforced but not burdensome. The host was very friendly. We enjoyed the seashore and the camping on the beach as well as in the campground. There are excellent birding programs and activities as well as other ranger programs. The junior ranger program is also available here. With a Golden Age pass and free beach camping this is a cheap stop with many National Park program benefits. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed at the Bird Island Basin (BIB) campground, where all sites are first come, first served and are right up to the bay shoreline. There was only a $5 camping fee with our Golden Age Passport, ($10 without)! The pass is good for one week. No hookups but water is available nearby. The dump station is at the beach-side Malaquite campground which is an 8.4-mile round trip from BIB. If you are a windsurfer or kayaker, this is the campground for you! Cell phone reception was position-dependent but texting worked reliably. We purchased a cell phone amplifier, which allowed us to access web sites. Park staff was very friendly & helpful with lots of on-going activities. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a first come first serve campground with no hookup 50 yards away from the ocean. There is a bathhouse with showers. It is in walking distance to the Visitor Center where one will find exhibits, films, and meet for ranger tours. We took a driving birding tour for over two hours and it was excellent. The campground has an amphitheater with fire pit where Rangers give talks on a scheduled basis. There is a daily sheet with all the tours, walks and talks given by the Rangers. At this campground there are 43 RV sites, 7 for compact vehicles and 26 sites for tent camping many right on the beach. There is another campground right on the bay but it is smaller but the bay is better for wind surfing and kayaking. If you have an America the Beautiful pass you don’t pay a fee to get into the park and you get 50% off camping fees so we paid $4.00. If you want to camp on the beach south of the Visitor Center it is free but don’t get stuck it will cost $1000 to get pulled out. Padre Island is a great birding site for those migrating in the spring and fall. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Loved this place for its location, quietness, fresh sea breeze and the sound of the waves. Showers and Restrooms are quite new and get cleaned daily. Sites are level and come with a grill. Yes, there are no hookups but the dump station just outside the campground is very easy to access. For 8 USD per night I think this is great value, I can definitely recommend this place. Campground host is helpful but don't rely on his information about how to treat stings by jelly fish - better get informed beforehand. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
I would give the park a higher score but we visited during a red tide episode. That meant dead fish on the beach and an aerosol that irritated the throat. Yes, we were warned but unless you experience it you don't realize how bad it is. By the 2nd night we were coughing all night. That said, it's a great park right on the beach. They should do something about the lights at the visitor center and bathrooms to cut down on light pollution, but that's the only problem. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed with our family of 9 and enjoyed this CG more than some with full hookups. The location was good, absence of crowds was excellent and proximity to the visitors center was reasonable (about a 15 min walk on the beach, or 5 minute drive). Newly remodeled showers and bathrooms- the showers are cold water- which didn't keep us away. Dump facility is just outside of the CG, but an easy move every couple of days. CG host met us as we drove in and was helpful with site, local info. The 'regulars' invited us to a fish fry the day after we arrived, there's definitely a group that returns here often. Nice stop on our trip across the country. We camped here in a Motorhome.
One of our favorite places to boon-dock. Primitive and natural. No hookups means no crowds. Plenty of solitude and sand dollars on the beach. The sounds of the ocean will lull you to sleep. Stargazing is good though we did notice some light pollution from Corpus Christi. Sand isn't too bad and what does come inside can easily be swept or vacuumed out. Yes, there's salt spray, but that's to be expected. Ghost crabs like to crawl into things, so don't leave your shoes outside. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is a gem of a place to stay. GORGEOUS views of the ocean and beach. Quiet. Nice volunteer hosts keep an eye on things. And CHEAP! No hookups, but dump station and fill water on the way in and out. It's a long way to town and civilization, but worth it to stay here, even in stormy weather. Daily guided beach hikes and ranger talks make it interesting and educational. One of the nicest locations we've stayed at. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This review is for the Malaquite Campground. We love the ability to look out the back window and watch the crashing waves, at night listening to those same waves is worth the admission price. Like others have said there are no fancy amenities, but a very nice peaceful place. We will return there. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The national park has 5 miles of open beach camping – no hookups, but they do have a public bath house (with cold water only). The rate is $10.00 for ten days. Quote from NPS Web Page: "Semi-primitive, providing only toilets, rinse showers, picnic tables and 50 designated sites (8 sites are for tent camping only, 26 are for tent or RV camping, and 16 are for RV's only). An $8 fee is required; $4 with a Golden Age or Golden Access passport. There are no hook-ups. There is a gray water dump station and potable water filling station prior to entering the campground. Please do not run generators after 10 p.m. For security, the area is patrolled by rangers. Camping is accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations are accepted. The campground is rarely full; during fall, winter, and spring usually less than half the sites are occupied. A camping permit is required and is available from the campground host, patrolling rangers, the entrance station, or from the information desk at the Malaquite Visitor Center. Campsites are located less than 100 feet (33 meters) from the beach and have an unobstructed view of the Gulf. The Visitors Center is 1/2 mile south along the beach. Please note that a 14 day camping limit is in effect at all camping areas. At the end of 14 days, campers must vacate their site and leave the park for a minimum of 48 hours before returning to camp." We camped here in a Travel Trailer.