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Texas is one of the best states to explore in a campervan. From its boiling pot cities to its spectacular natural wonders, it has something for everyone wanting to explore the area on four wheels.
Texas is also one of the most naturally beautiful states in the United States. Crisscrossed with meandering riverways, picturesque mountains, and some of the best national parks in the country, it’s a veritable smorgasbord for those who like the great outdoors.
Today we’re going to take a look at a quick road trip you can take through this beautiful state to see all it has to offer. From Austin to San Antonio to Big Bend Park to Waco, you’ll get the best of both the urban and natural worlds with this itinerary.
Get that engine going!
The capital city of Texas, Austin is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the United States. It’s located in Central Texas and is renowned for its numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake, McKinney Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Walter E. Long, and Barton Springs.
Austin is a boiling pot of musicians, college students, blue-collar workers, government employees, and digital marketers. It’s often referred to as the live music capital of the world in reference to its many live music venues and resident musicians.
The city is a popular tourist attraction for a wide cross-section of different people. The area is massively diverse with a quirky slant that makes it a popular hub for musicians and artists.
The Continental Club
The crown jewel of the city’s live music scene, this modestly-sized venue has a roaring reputation that’s well earned.
The dirty sixth is a strip of Sixth Street that’s lined with bars and clubs. With a rowdy reputation for drunken revelry, this is an experience you don’t want to miss.
This public park is host to picnic sites, playgrounds, botanical gardens, and an outdoor theatre. It’s a great place to get back to nature in the bustling city.
Where to park in Austin
The city has a number of metered street parks that generally cost between $1 and $1.25 per hour. Unlike many main cities, Austin sports some street parking downtown that will let you park your RV rental overnight. You simply pay a little extra at the meter.
Great location and good pricing. Pricing ranges from $2 to $24.
Austin City Hall Garage
Plenty of parking and very secure. Prices range from $5 to $42.
Slab BBQ & Beer
A casual restaurant with some of the best roast BBQ sandwiches in the state.
Seoulju Korean Kitchen and Bar
A traditional restaurant that honors the staples of Korean cuisine.
What started as a Chinese food truck has now become one of the busiest small restaurants in Austin.
Pecan Grove RV Park
Housed on a small property in downtown Austin, this park can’t be beaten for location. Prices depend on your date of travel.
Austin RV Park North
This is a family-owned campground located just a few miles north of Austin proper. To stay here you’re looking at $40 per day.
Austin Lone Star RV Resort
A secure, gated RV park with plenty of amenities. Pricing depends on your date of travel.
More than 34 million visitors descend on San Antonio annually, and for good reason: it’s a beautiful, diverse city full of wonders and entertainment. At the axis of three different geological terrains (Prairie and Lakes, South Texas Plains, and Hill Country), the city is home to one of the biggest Latino populations in the United States.
There’s so much to do in San Antonio, from historical missions, to fine art museums, to amusement parks, to excellent dining and drinking. The residents also make for a boiling pot of different cultures which keeps the city vibrant and interesting.
Packed with beautiful restaurants, historic buildings, charming boutiques, and art galleries, the Pearl District is San Antonio’s cultural hub.
The River Walk
Spanning 15 miles long, the river walk is a must-see for those looking to stroll along the riverfront taking in the city’s beautiful architecture.
Natural Bridge Caverns
The largest known commercial caverns in Texas, the natural bridge caverns are a natural wonder that attracts people from all over the world. Tour pricing depends on your date of travel.
Where to park in San Antonio
San Antonio has plenty of on-street parking, however when visiting downtown generally a parking lot or garage is the preferred option.
Bexar County Parking Garage
Best price in town for parking. Prices range from $3 to $12.
Houston Street Garage
Well-lit and in a great location. Prices range from $2 to $15.
The city’s finest example of San Antonio barbeque.
Italian and Italian-American cuisine with a twist. The meatballs are a must-have.
Biga on the Banks
A staple of the city, this restaurant has created some of San Antonio’s most famous plates.
San Antonio KOA Campground
Located just a short distance from the Alamo, this campground can’t be beaten on location. Pricing depends on your date of travel.
Greenlake RV Resort
Situated next to a man-made lake, this park is clean and quiet. Pricing ranges from $42 to $66 per night.
Admiralty RV Resort
Centrally located with a friendly feel, this campground has all the amenities you might need. Rates range from $49 to $75 per night.
On the Mexican border is Big Bend National Park – one of Texas’ most exquisite natural wonders. Desert, mountains, and river combine to create an outstanding environment for hikers, canoers, campers, and nature lovers in this premier national park.
For those less inclined to explore the great outdoors, there’s also the opportunity to see the park from the road with an epic scenic drive. Round everything out with a stop-off at the Fossil Discovery Exhibit or a quick dunk in the hot springs and you have the makings of an excellent day.
A pass into the park will set you back $30.
Big Bend National Park
from San Antonio
Santa Elena Canyon
One of the park’s most spectacular hikes, the Santa Elena Canyon Trail is a 1.7-mile round-trip that’s well worth it.
These 105-degree-Fahrenheit hot springs are the perfect way to relax after a big hike.
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
For beautiful desert and mountain views, you can’t miss this scenic drive.
Parking in Big Band National Park
Big Bend National Park is remote with very few paved parking lots. It’s in your best interest to park at one of the handful of campgrounds scattered throughout the park.
Mountain View Restaurant
Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is the only restaurant within the park itself.
Rio Grande Village RV Campground
This park is one of the handful that offers reservations camping but you should still book well in advance. Pricing starts from $36 per night.
This park is first-come-first-served so you’ll want to be quick to nab a spot. Prices start from $16 per night.
Chisos Basin Campground
Situated high in the Chisos Mountains, this campground is one of the most picturesque in the area. Fees start from $16 per night.
Situated on the banks of the Brazos River, Waco is a moderately sized city with a lot of heart. It boasts a great selection of restaurants, museums, and awesome natural attractions. While it doesn’t boast the tourist numbers of its larger Texan siblings, Waco is nonetheless a bustling destination with a solid tourism trade.
Whether you prefer meandering through world-class museums, marveling at heritage homes, or strolling through lush green parks, there’s something for everyone in this little city.
from Big Bend National Park
Armstrong Browning Library
Boasting the world’s largest collection of works done by Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, this library is not to be missed if you’re a literary nut. Entrance is free.
Cameron Park Zoo
This zoo houses over 300 species and is a great way to spend an afternoon. Tickets are $13 for adults.
Carleen Bright Arboretum
One of Waco’s best natural attractions, the Carleen Bright Arboretum is 16-acres of nature preserve with approximately 8 acres of beautiful botanical gardens.
Where to park in Waco
It’s legal to park on most residential streets in Waco unless a sign specifically says you can’t. There’s a 72 hour limit on street parking, however.
200 Cottonwood St Garage
Clean and well-positioned parking garage.
Dutton Parking Facility
This multi-story car park is well-positioned.
A Waco staple, this barbeque joint has been serving residents and visitors for decades.
A sweet little eatery, there’s no better place in town to grab a bite and do some dog spotting
This small Korean eatery pumps out some of the best Korean cuisine in the state.
I 35 RV Park & Resort
Just 10 minutes north of Waco, this RV park is well located for those wanting to explore the city. Prices start from $43 per day.
Midway Park I
This park sits on the shore of the South Bosque River and is publicly owned. You’re looking at between $28 and $42 per night to stay here.
Flat Creek Farms RV Resort
A family-owned park with spacious sites. Prices start from $37.50 per day.