Texas State Parks: Mustang Island, Garner, and Big Bend Ranch

Perhaps one of the best investments for my family has been the Texas State Parks pass. For $70/year we get admission waived anytime we want to visit a park for the day and discounted camping rates. As part of our family resolution to retreat more  – I booked us at Mustang Island in November, Garner in February, and most recently Big Bend Ranch in March.

Mustang Island – The perfect weekend getaway! I laid on the beach all day while my toddler played; my husband and our 9 years old fished right off the pier. On the way back we grabbed delicious, fresh sea food from Snoopy’s Pier.   Next time we want to try camping right on the beach, sand and all.

Garner – Why didn’t we visit here sooner? Perhaps the nicest campground we’ve been to, it’s amenities included a well stocked camp store, boat rentals, food truck, and even a civil war reenactment from some “Buffalo Soldiers.” I’ll admit I was pretty cold overnight (it was February), but it was nothing a hike first thing in the morning (with gorgeous views) couldn’t cure. By afternoon our kiddos were wading in the Frio!

Big Bend Ranch – What an adventure! Our first time camping so remotely (the closest campsite was over a mile away) and our first time camping in the desert (bring lots of water). Highlights for the kiddos included a visit from family of donkeys (burros) and hiking an inactive volcano (El Solitario). On the way back we stopped at the Big Bend Brewing Company for some craft beer, making it just the most perfect road trip for our family.

What are your favorite state parks?


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