Open roads, stunning views, and a place to lay your head wherever you go—that's what gets Americans piling into their RVs every summer, forgoing hotel rooms and plane tickets for the freedom to explore. And while the Houston heat may be sending residents running, it's not stopping those with a thirst for adventure from parking their RVs in the Bayou City. With vacation season in full swing, expect RVers to set Houston in their sights as one of the top 10 RV destinations in the country.
Nationwide, the interest in RVing has boomed in the past few years, as vacationers sought safer ways to travel during the pandemic and members of the newly remote workforce became free to work wherever Wi-Fi permitted. The proof is in the pudding: the RV Industry Association's 2021 Annual Report showed record-breaking numbers with over 600,000 vehicles shipped that year, a staggering 19 percent greater than the previous high from 2017. And the notion of RVing being an activity mainly for retirees has become a thing of the past; today, 18- to 34-year-olds make up 22 percent of RV-owning households.
"Americans are choosing camping more often because it is an affordable way to make family memories," Dave Basler, vice president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, told storage marketplace StorageCafe. "As work habits have changed across the country, campers are staying longer, realizing they can now work and study from anywhere and enjoy the benefits of outdoor recreation at the same time."
As the number of RVers has risen, so has the bar for mobile camping grounds. In a 2022 analysis by StorageCafe, cities across the country were judged based on cost, the number of campsites, and amenities, including water and sewer hookups, pull-thru parking, and internet speed. The analysis also factored in elements beyond the campgrounds, like the retail options nearby, the cost of groceries, and median air quality index.
Houston earned the No. 9 spot in the nation per this analysis due to its array of campsites, more than half of which supplied their guests with swimming pools, cable TV, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Add in our affordable prices and the vibrant city as a backdrop, and it’s easy to see why Houston has solidified itself as a destination RVers won't want to miss.
But these campsites aren't just for out-of-towners to enjoy. As the cost of gas stays sky-high, having top-grade RVing grounds in your backyard is a blessing in disguise. Whether you're dreaming of a weekend getaway far from the chaos of the city or a change of pace now that your workspace is defined by access to your laptop, we've put together a guide to a few of the best places for Houstonians to park their home away from home this summer.
Tucked away in Northwest Houston, Fallbrook offers visitors a secluded slice of paradise just 30 minutes from Downtown. Spend your morning fishing in the resort's lake before taking a dip in the refreshing waters of the palm tree–shaded swimming pool, or toast some marshmallows over the firepits after you've made dinner on the outdoor grill. No matter how you choose to spend your days at Fallbrook, know that they will be comfortable—along with its professional-grade laundry facilities and spacious bathrooms, the resort also regularly fogs for mosquitoes, so you can enjoy the best of the outdoors without sacrificing the smaller comforts.
Built for travelers who still want to prioritize luxury on the road, Eric and Jay's RV Resort will satisfy even the most glamorous of RVers. The 10-acre property aims to impress with its spa-like showers, fully furnished game room, and bubbling hot tub. And while you're booking your stay, keep an eye out for upcoming events: the resort occasionally hosts open-house parties, complete with food trucks and live music to entertain the whole family.
Advanced RV Resort is the place to be if you're traveling with a furry friend. The resort is outfitted with plenty of open grass for man's best friend to enjoy and a dog washing station once the fun is done so your RV stays spotless. Leaving Fido at home? The resort still has plenty of amenities fit for a human, like a heated spa, a workout room, and a library. The resort also organizes plenty of activities for guests, so check out the potluck dinners and group evenings.
While Lake Houston Wilderness Park might not be in Houston, we still certainly have our claim on it. The only park owned by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department that offers overnight camping, Lake Houston Wilderness Park is perfect for nature enthusiasts who aren't afraid to go off the beaten path. Bring your kayaks, canoes, and fishing rods to make the most of Lake Houston, or pack your hiking boots and mountain bikes so you can take full advantage of the park's 20 miles of trails. And if you're looking to get out of the heat, pop into the Joe Turner Nature Center, where you'll find exhibits featuring live fish, turtles, and snakes.