During Thanksgiving break we took the camper out for some downtime at Goose Island State Park near Rockport, TX (north of Corpus Christi). Through the years we’ve been up and down the Texas cost many times and have lived both north and south of the area, but this was our first time to visit Goose Island. The park is really two parks in one. On one hand there’s a wooded campground with lots of live oak trees and considerable underbrush. On the other hand there’s a bay front area where you park the camper right on the bay. The bay front campsites are the most popular and even cost an extra few dollars a night.
By the time I settled on this as a camping destination the bay front campsites were all reserved, so I took a campsite in the woods. However, the day before we arrived the weather was pretty rough along the bay with rain and strong winds. Water was crashing into the concrete wall that borders the island with spray hitting campers. Many people left, some heading for parts unknown and, I think, others for the woods. When I arrived the day following the rough weather they couldn’t find a campsite in the woods big enough for our 30 foot camper and they offered me a site along the bay. Since that’s what I wanted in the first place it was fine with me.
The bay front sites aren’t much to look at. No grass, no trees, with a mixture of gravel and crushed sea shells underfoot. There are concrete shelters with picnic tables and the sites are close together. Hook ups throughout the park are water and electric only. There are no playgrounds for the kids along the bay, and I didn’t see one in the woods either.
The draw, of course, is the bay right outside the door. Lots of folks fish non-stop, putting lines out and leaving them by the hour. A few fish were caught during our time there, but not many. If you like the sounds of the water, watching a variety of bird life, and downtime in general, you don’t have to fish to enjoy the place. If you like to fish, it’s a good place to camp, especially if you have a boat.
We saw some spectacular sunsets and had to put up with some stiff winds now and again. Winter overnights this far south along the Texas coast are generally mild and the area is full of RV parks which, in turn, are full of “Winter Texans” who come south for respite from the Mid-Western winters. A cold night in the area is warmer than a warm day up north.
All in all, a nice place to spend some time, although, unless your kids like to fish, there’s not a lot for them to do in the campsites along the bay. For a couple looking for some scenic downtime it’s just right.