NOTE: The Pretirement Nomads just camped at SPNS. Check out their post here.
One of the most common boondocking discussions we see in social media revolves around free waterfront/beachfront camping. Yes, we all love the mountains and fresh desert air, but who doesn’t want to spend a few nights sleeping near the constant crashing of ocean waves?
With this in mind, we’re going to start a series of waterfront boondocking spots. With this being the maiden post!
Today’s highlight focuses on South Padre Island National Seashore (Official Website Here), located just outside of Corpus Christi, Texas. There are a lot of pros and a few cons, most of which we’ll list below. But if you’re looking for a seabreeze, a place to swim, open air and the sound of waves right next to you… all while paying ZERO to camp, South padre Island National Seashore should perhaps be added to your list.
SPNS has a lot of benefits. The park has 5 miles of beach boondocking, most of which is not very crowded outside of holidays and a few weeks of extreme summer high season. The general boondocking beach areas can be accessed by most vehicles, but the farthest, most remote areas might require 4×4.
That said, while most areas are accessible by most vehicles, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use caution. It is a beach, after all, and sand is often not an RV’s best friend. If you aren’t certain about current conditions you can always call the ranger station for the latest updates.
Being a free boondocking beach this area is primitive. There is, however, fresh water and a dump station at the paved RV are at the entrance to the park.
As far as the water goes, it’s your traditional blue/green ocean. There are certainly waves and ocean sounds we all crave, but the waves are small and not overwhelming. There will often be surf fishing underway, but most of those fishing go further down into the 4×4 areas.
There are large sand dunes and generally beautiful terrain features all around. Plenty of wildlife too!
Bonfires are allowed, but as always you should leave sites cleaner than they were when you arrive.
The primary downsides are few but notable. First, the main dirt road has traffic at all hours. It is a 15MPH road, but we all know speed rules aren’t always followed. Expect occasional traffic 24/7, some of it seemingly in a hurry. Also, there is a fair amount of trash, especially after weekends. It’s not overwhelming and it doesn’t kill the good vibes, but it’s just depressing that a lot of people just don’t care.
All of that said… this one should definitely be added to the list if you’re in the area!