After reading that you could drive and camp on the beach at Mustang Island State Park on the Gulf Coast of Texas, I knew we had to stop and stay there.
Camping on the beach is fine for tents and small vans, but probably not recommended for bigger rigs, unless you don’t mind calling out the AAA to get you unstuck from the sand.
The regular campground is a parking lot and a very oddly constructed one at that. There are 2 camp spots placed directly together then a small strip of grass between the next set of two. If the campground is busy, you’ll end up with a site in which your picnic table is on the side opposite your door.
Then again, the beaten-up tables leave little to be desired as do the barbeque grills which are completely rusted and usually leaning to one side or another.
The ‘grass’ is full of what we call ‘pokies’ but are referred to as ‘stickers’ by the locals, i.e. step on them and they stick to you or your dog’s feet.
But THEN there’s the beach which is lovely.
The State Park staff do a remarkable job of keeping the beach clean based on the trash I saw on the beaches beyond the park boundaries.
As clean as the park beaches are, I wouldn’t walk barefoot on them or on the dunes. The plastic debris brought in by storms is embedded everywhere in the sand dunes.
Dogs are allowed on the beaches (unlike Florida and Mississippi) but must be kept on a leash. Fortunately, the rangers are really nice and only give you a warning if they catch your dog running off-leash (unlike California).
Ergo, Jasper had a lovely time chasing his ball on the beach and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
We met some lovely folks (see my REAL Swiss fondue post) and some characters.
The sunsets and sunrises were absolutely spectacular… one really great thing about being in the flat lands.
And the land there IS flat. Super flat and completely treeless. When a big dead bush drifted into our campsite during a wind storm we wondered where it came from considering we handed seen any flora that large in quite some time.
The birds are spectacular – lots of interesting seagulls, egrets, little hawks, pelicans (brown and white) and a number of other birds I cannot name and am too lazy to look up.
I really enjoyed riding my bike on the hard wet sand… but apparently, you’re supposed to wash AND oil your chain after riding in the salt water of the Gulf.
Guess it’s time for a new bike.