Updated: Jan 6, 2021
When we first decided to get our own RV and travel we dreamed of the ultimate road trip out west to visit the iconic National Park spots like Yellowstone, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Sequoia, Yosemite, Grand Canyon. And we did that and it was awesome (we can help you plan your ultimate road trip too).
But we have found that you don't have to travel that far to have an awesome camping experience. There is so many great spots for a quick getaway right here in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. We love to take our own weekend getaways with our kids and because of our RV delivery service we also get to see and experience some of the great places our customers have discovered.
So we thought it would be helpful to our fellow RV glampers wanting to get away to put together our favorite camping spots for RV's close to home!
Drumroll..... Our favorite RV camping along with campground and resort recommendations within a 2 hour drive of Dallas. And yes, we will deliver our rigs to all of these! These really aren't in a ranking order and we will be adding to this list as we check out more. We have some on our to-do list!
1. Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glenrose, TX
This easily makes #1 on our list. We took a family trip out here in the fall and it was a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Especially if you have kids. I will certainly pull together a whole itinerary but the highlights include great RV campgrounds, hiking and seeing the dinosaur footprints along the Paluxy river, getting up close and personal with animals from all over the world at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, gem mining at Dinosaur World, splashing in the lake at Big Rocks Park, and a Noah's Ark replica at the Creation Evidence Museum.
Where to Stay: Dinasaur Valley RV Park
Campground Rating: 9/10
Hookups Available: Full hookups: Electric (50 or 30 amp), Water, Sewage
What we love: Location! Hiking into Dinosaur State Park from the campground, backs up to Paluxy river, across the street from Dinosaur World. Easy to park spots, nice picnic tables and fire rings at every spot. Great amenities like pool, hot tub, community fire pit, playground, a teepee and even outdoor movies and group smore roasting on select nights (we got to enjoy Back to the Future). There is also a little store on site for firewood and emergency purchases.
What we didn't love: Sticker burrs! Around the RV sites it is just fine but as you explore between the sites and the Paluxy River they are ruthless.
Quick Tip: Bring your water shoes! It is nice to hike along the river and there is a creek trail on the other side of the river from the park. You need to cross the river to get to it and splash through the creek for the short trail. You definitely need your water shoes so the rocks don't tear up your feet. There is also rumor that you can find dinosaur tracks back here but we never found them. But we also didn't try very hard!
2. Lake Lewisville - Frisco, Lewisville, Little Elm
This is probably our most popular delivery destination. If you are looking for somewhere to getaway lakeside with very little travel time from Dallas this is a great place! Boating, Fishing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Fishing, Swimming, Water skiing, and more. And even in the fall and winter it can be just a tranquil place for campfires and peaceful relaxation.
Where to Stay: Hidden Cove
Campground Rating: 8/10
Hookups Available: Varies by Site: Electric (50 or 30 amp), Water. Sewage only available at some sites but a dumpstation is also available on the premise.
What we love: It is a hidden gem that is technically in Frisco, TX so right in the middle of the metroplex but you would never know it while you are there. It is on 470 acres and offers so much right on site. There is a marina where you can park or rent boats, canoes, kayaks and even a restaurant and bar! The bustle of the marina is removed from the campsites so you still have the peace and quiet of nature while at your camp sites. And you are 10-15 min driving distance to the fine dining and entertainment of Frisco if you want some city enjoyment as well.
What we didn't love: Amenities are a little dated and can feel more like a state park vs RV resort. If you have kids the playground is old school and limited to swings and a really tall slide. Bathrooms are ehhh.
Quick Tip: Take a stroll through the long-term stay loop and find a really nice peninsula to grab a picnic and watch the sunset. Also avoid leaving right at checkout if you need to use the dump station. Most sites do not have sewage hookups so demand is high and lines are long!
3. Lake Lavon - Lavon, TX
Lake Lavon isn't necessarily my favorite lake in the area but it really great for fisherman! However, I actually picked this because it is a great choice for those that live on the east side of the metroplex which is our neck of the woods (Wylie, Murphy, Sachse, Rockwall, Rowlette). It is really close to our own home and the camgpround out here is one of my favorite for simple peace and quiet, open spaces, and a good ole lake views.
Where to Stay: Lavonia Park
Campground Rating: 7/10
Hookups Available: Varies by Site: Electric (30 amp), Water.
What we love: It is quiet, peaceful, and the RV sites sit up on a hill and have great lake views. I also give a huge thumbs up for covered picnic tables at all of the sites. A major bonus in the Texas heat during the summer! Sites are also spacious and spread out. And the value for the money is awesome. You can get a site with full hookups for $30/night! There are also boat ramps if that is your thing. And bluebonnets in Spring!
What we didn't love: Not a ton of amenities and booking system is a little janky.
Quick Tip: Head over to Collin Park for one day of your trip to enjoy the great swimming beach and marina. There are RV spots there as well if you want to try them out but we think the sites at Lavonia are nicer! Also, if you need bait there is an OLD SCHOOL bait shop not far down the road that will take you back in time called LeRoy's Bait and Tackle on Hwy 78 where the owner will probably great you with a cigarette and only take cash. But they have an alligator in the back along with some turtles if you ask. The kids think that is quite the treat!
4. Tyler State Park - Tyler, TX
Ahh. Home sweet home. This is where both my husband and I grew up and there is something about being in the piney woods of East Texas that bring back so much nostalgia for us. I feel like this is the quintessential camping experience. Camping in the woods with a 64 acre lake ripe for fishing surrounded by trails for exploring, hiking, and mountain biking. They will loan you a rod and tackle out here and you can fish from the shores or peers without a fishing license. You can also rent a kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats or head to the beach area with a floating dock perfect for swimming but be careful with little ones because there is a quick drop off not too far in.
And then there is our hometown of Tyler, Texas nearby if you want to do more than just camp. Also known as the Rose Capital of the World, where you can drive through the stunning Azalea Trails in March and April or visit the Rose Garden to see the peak bloom season in May and October. And if you are there in October be sure to take part of the Rose Festival events and celebrations! And the food! Tyler is a little gem of good food.
Where to Stay: In the park at Lakeview Camping Area
Campground Rating: 8/10
Hookups Available: Varies by Site, full hookups available at Lakeview and Big Pines Camping Area: Electric (30 amp), Water, Sewage
What we love: I love being able to be near the water which is why Lakeview is my top choice. Everything is always well kept and you are an easy hop to the hiking and biking trails.
What we didn't love: Raccoons! They can be cute and entertaining to watch but they can also steal your steak. Keep your food packed up and inside your RV or they will definitely take your lunch.
Quick Tip: Book early! The full hookup sites are reserved way in advance. Plan your trip and get your spot reserved as early as you possibly can.
Bonus Tip: If you like to dine out leave some time in your itinerary to hit some of our favorite spots! I just don't think I could do a Tyler post justice without it. So here is your bonus list within a list for top spots to eat in Tyler.
The Grove - The cutest outdoor eating spot that is ideal for brunch with live music on the weekends! Open spaces for kids to run around and play with giant jenga, corn hole, or play on the mini grove truck play area.
Taqueria el Lugar - they don't have a website but we suggest the 5th street location so you can stroll the charming downtown square. The Gentry location is off the beaten path but it's the original. We don't know what they do with their meat and we don't care. We just know they are the best dang tacos you'll ever have. Trust us.
Shoguns - treat yourself to the best Hibachi I have ever had. I have been chasing anything as good all over the Dallas metroplex and nothing compares. Get the fried rice, maybe a double order. You won't regret it. Walk it off on the hiking trails tomorrow.
Mercados - If you are craving some good ole Tex Mex this is your spot! If you like fajitas this is definitely my top choice. I love my fixins and they are generous with them! And there is something about their soft serve ice cream that is better than all other soft serve ice cream. Don Juan's is also a local favorite if you want to try both and place your own vote!
Country Tavern - So this technically isn't Tyler, it is Kilgore and it will be about a 30 min drive. But if you are craving BBQ it is so worth it. The best fall-off-the-bone ribs you will ever have. Make the trip! But I also have to give a shoutout to Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ that is also hard to beat and has a great atmosphere and live music.
Rick's - You CAN eat here but this really makes the list to grab a cocktail and go out to the patio to enjoy some live music and dancing. Check the schedule and see if there is anything going on while you are in town.
Campground Runner Up: Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Tell me why? Ok, hear me out. If you don't have kids. Don't stay here. In fact, stay as far away as possible. But if you have younger kids it can be a kid's paradise. It is full of kid friendly amenities like a pool, waterpark, pickleball, sand volleyball, playgrounds, horse shoes, hay rides, laser tag, putt putt golf, catch and release fishing and list goes on and on. And different activities throughout the week like tie dying and gem mining. It is pretty much just a summer camp RV Park. And it's only a 10 minute drive to Tyler State Park so you could potentially get the best of both worlds. And it has full hookups so it is a comfortable stay. You're kids will thank me.
5. Lake Ray Roberts State Park - Pilot Point, TX
If there is one thing we have an abundance of around the DFW area it is our wonderful lakes. With the heat we have to endure during the summer here it is a necessity. This is a great place to camp and relax and if you have horses, a place with equestrian trails to explore. Our kids get bored just riding around in boats (although I love this) so their favorite lake activity is finding a beach to splash around in and play in the sand. Lake Ray Roberts has some great lake beaches! There is also plenty of hike and bike trails or even try your luck at the kids fishing pond. Come during the fall and enjoy the fall foliage as the abundance of tree lined trails change their colors.
There is RV camping at both the Isle du Bois and Johnson Branch. We had a dad and his two sons stay at the Juniper Cove sites at the Johnson Branch and had a wonderful time there! We haven't gotten a chance to stay ourselves yet but are putting it on the list. Isle du Bois is closer to Dallas so tends to be a little more crowded so you can find a bit less commotion at Johnson Branch. But I think the Isle du Bois beach area is a bit nicer.
Where to Stay: In the park at Juniper Cove in the Johnson Branch
Campground Rating: 7/10
Hookups Available: Varies by Site: Electric (50, 30, 20 amp), Water
What we love: We love that you can get a 50 amp hookup in a State Park! And for $27/night. Try to snag a spot with lake views and shade.
What we didn't love: No sewage hookups.
Quick Tip: Mosquitoes during summer. Make sure to bring your bug spray!
Other notable mentions that we deliver to and are on our "to-do" list:
Joe Pool Lake
Lake Texoma State Park
Lake Mineral Wells
Bonham State Park
Lake Ray Hubbard (we have spent a ton of time here but my inlaws live near by so never actually camped it!)
Cedar Ridge Preserve
Eisenhower State Park
Hickory Creek Campground
Lake Whitney State Park
Possum Kingdom Lake