Imagine parking your temporary home 10 feet away from
the ocean. That’s padre island national seashore. No, there aren’t hookups in the place where we stayed, but getting to wake up with the sun and step right into the water was worth the heat and humidity at night. Make sure you pack in lots of drinking water! This beach had the most wildlife we had seen in a while: man o wars, sand sharks, clams, plenty of seabirds. Definitely an amazing experience.
Just outside of Corpus Christi in a slightly more remote stretch of Texas coast rests Padre Island National Seashore, a beachfront land preserve operated by the United States Park System that offered a variety of camping and recreation options.
Amongst those, Malaquite Beach Campground, a small but nice facility less than a quarter mile up the beach from the visitors center. This campground boasts around 50 campsites, many featuring a picnic table, BBQ and shade structure.
No reservations can be made so the facility is a first come first come Campground which uses a camping kiosk or account for availability. Campsites are $8 per night and do include handicap options.
While the individual sites do not offer amenities such as running water or electricity, there is a nice bathroom and shower facility located mid-camp. These showers are free and boast cold water showers, something you will more than crave in the humid Texas air.
Campsites are located amongst the grassy dunes about 200 yards from the coastal waters but upon paying you can park in your designated site and set up your tent anywhere within the area including beachside.
We arrived late in the evening just before sunset. Following sunset Campground is very dark, no security lights to disrupt the coastal star views so it can be a bit tricky to navigate. Do not forget a flashlight if you are camping here for sure!
The humidity of the coast was intense so it made for a bit of a hot evening camping though the breeze passing through the tent was very helpful. Make sure your have a fully venting tent when camping here to keep cooler at night and pack lightweight items for sleeping.
All in all I would give Malaquite Campground 4 of 5 Bunnies. The facilities were clean, Campground host was helpful and location was ideal for beach combing away from some of the crowds. I do suggest this to be a weekday excursion however as they did mention because of the low cost it does fill up quickly on weekends.
The only downside, lighting is sparse at night which makes it a bit difficult to navigate the grounds. Again for safety remember to bring a flashlight! And this campsite is very windy, nothing you can do about this though because it is nature, but that can make for difficulty in setting up or using bbqs.
For a video of the campsite and a little more about Malaquite Beach check out this video:
Ocean wind, seagulls and sunshine! These camping sites are in a great location! Close enough to town but far enough away that you feel secluded. The beach is just past the sand dunes from your site. Hearing the waves at night is quite peaceful.
They have flush toilets and hot showers on the grounds. A standing grill, picnic table and a wooden canopy on every camp site.
This camp ground is a first come first serve. So that means it is full by Friday more often then not. If you plan on going there plan on arriving on Thursday midday, in order to get a spot.
We’ve stayed at all the campsites along Padre Island over the years, they’re all pretty similar for views but they have different facilities. In a tent you can camp out at the beach or right next to the picnic table/parking lot. The breeze off the ocean is great. This is a very basic campground, they just have water and toilets, and it’s all very open and close quarters but you are right on the beach so it’s still nice. Not far from the main entrance but still a bit of a drive from “civilization.”
Best thing about this camping area is day use people are Not Allowed! Both tent and RV , WITH a shower right there. Well maintained area and not far from the visitors center. Enjoyed this area.