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The Best State Park Camping For Snowbirds

Published on October 30th, 2020 by Nikki Cleveland

State Park Camping

The Best State Park Camping For Snowbirds

Many RVers prefer state park camping for the cheaper rates and easier access to outdoor activities. Depending on the area, most state parks have all the amenities needed to stay comfortable such as hookups, bathhouses, a dump station, and some even have laundry facilities.

If you are one of the many snowbirds heading south for the winter in an RV, you can find dozens of state parks open for year-round camping. We searched RV LIFE Campgrounds to find some of the most popular places across the U.S. for state park camping over the winter. These are just 10 of the highest-rated spots for their great location, spacious RV sites, hookups, and other modern amenities.

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1. Lake Havasu State Park, Arizona

Arizona is a snowbird’s haven between the boondocking near Quartzsite, luxurious RV resorts, and cheap state park camping such as Lake Havasu State Park on the Arizona-California border.

Lake Havasu State Park is open year-round on the Colorado River with a spacious RV campground and plenty of opportunities for water activities like boating, fishing, kayaking, and jet skiing.

The campground has spacious waterfront sites with 50-amp electric hookups and access to potable water, a dump station, and showers. Standard sites are $35 a night while beachfront sites are $40.

State Park Camping
Lakeside campsite. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user NJoy Travel

2.  Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys

Reservations are difficult to get at Bahia Honda State Park for a reason. Bahia Honda has breathtaking views from Big Pine Key less than 40 miles from Key West. It sits on both the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast with gorgeous beaches, marinas, and water activities.

Amenities include big rig friendly sites, electricity, water, and access to bathhouses and a dump station. Take the nature trail for a walk around the park or rent a kayak or canoe to experience the park by water. The park is also a popular location for snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and boating.

Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user rightknot

Bahia Honda State Park allows reservations to be made up to 11 months in advance. They can be booked online or by calling the park. Camping fees are only $36 a night, a great deal for such a spectacular location.

3. Curry Hammock State Park in the Florida Keys

Curry Hammock is another popular spot in the Florida Keys for state park camping. It is located about halfway between Key Largo and Key West with a small 28-site campground and opportunities for paddling and kiteboarding.

State Park Camping
Curry Hammock State Park. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user Frank Fernandez

The campground offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and spacious gravel parking areas for cars and RVs. Each site has electric and water hookups, a charcoal grill, and picnic table, as well as easy access to a dump station, and restrooms with composting toilets and solar-heated showers.

During the winter, the campground can fill up quickly, so reservations are essential ahead of time. You can book a spot online or by calling the park directly. Camping is also $36 a night here in addition to a $6.70 reservation fee.

4. Myakka River State Park, Florida

Myakka River State Park can be found north of Fort Myers with wetlands and forests surrounding the Myakka River. The campgrounds make a perfect home base while you go kayaking on the river, hiking the park’s trails, or exploring on one of their boat tours.

Collier-Seminole State Park. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user KayakSmurf

The park has three campgrounds with 90 sites total, including Palmetto Ridge with full hookup gravel-based sites, and Old Prairie and Big Flats campgrounds with dirt-based sites. Camping fees are only $26 a night in addition to the reservation fee.

5. Lake Corpus Christi State Park, Texas

Northwest of Corpus Christi, there is a reservoir of the same name, as well as a state park along the shores with an RV campground. The park has a variety of camping accommodations including full hookup sites, and sites with water or electricity only.

Fees range from $10 nightly for water-only sites to $20 for electric-only and $25 for full hookups, in addition to the daily entrance fee. Cabins are also available for just $50 nightly.

Lake Corpus Christi State Park. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user Motorhome Madness

Spend the day swimming, paddling, fishing, or boating on the lake, or hiking or biking along one of the trails. The town of Corpus Christi is a short drive away with plenty of attractions and restaurants.

6. Garner State Park, Texas

Garner State Park sits west of San Antonio along U.S. Route 83 and the Frio River. It is one of the most popular state parks in Texas between its proximity to the city, hundreds of campsites available including some with full hookups, and access to the river for swimming, canoeing, or floating.

snowbird parks
Garner State Park. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user cgaskins

The park also has 16 miles of hiking trails to explore, screened shelters with picnic tables, and 18 holes of mini-golf. You can check campsite availability and make reservations online.

7. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park offers primitive campgrounds as well as developed campgrounds, including Borrego Palm Canyon Campground and Tamarisk Grove.

Borrego Palm Canyon has full hookup sites that can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. The smaller Tamarisk Grove campground has just 27 sites, well shaded by trees, with no hookups but potable water and showers available.

snowbird parks
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Borrego Palm Canyon Campground – Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user the_wanderinghippie

The state park is recognized as a Dark Sky Park with some of the darkest night skies for stargazing. It also has miles of great hiking trails with beautiful mountain, desert, and canyon views.

8. Crystal Cove State Park, Southern California

If you would rather stay closer to the coast in California, check out Crystal Cove State Park south of Newport Beach in Orange County. The park’s Moro Campground is located right across the Pacific Coast Highway from the beach with spacious RV sites and beautiful ocean views.

state park
Crystal Cove State Park. Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user We2RV

Take a walk along the beach or head in either direction to explore the many attractions in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. The park is also known for its great swimming, surfing, and tide pools.

9. Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico

In Southern New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park sits on a large reservoir along the Rio Grande River, just north of the town Truth or Consequences. State park camping is available at Lions Beach Campground along with a variety of activities on the lake such as boating, fishing, kayaking, and jetskiing.

The campground has 173 sites including some with full hookups, as well as primitive beach and boat-in camping. There are also 15 miles of hiking trails, boating facilities, and picnic tables available for day-use.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park, Lions Beach Campground – Photo via RV LIFE Campgrounds user SNWP

Note: The park is currently open to New Mexico residents only. Reservations are required for camping and can be made online.

10. Pancho Villa State Park, New Mexico

Pancho Villa is another gem in New Mexico, further south on the US-Mexico border. The state park has 79 sites, 75 of which have electric hookups. The campground also has water, a dump station, playground, restrooms, and primitive camping available.

Pancho Villa State Park. Photo via park

Browse the Visitor Center and museum to learn more about the area history, or if you have a passport, head into Mexico for the day and explore the shops and restaurants. Keep in mind this state park is also currently open to New Mexico residents only.

Find more state park campgrounds

Of course, there are plenty more state parks in the U.S. that are open year-round for camping. Head over to RV LIFE Campgrounds to discover more campgrounds and reviews from fellow RVers. Make trip planning easier with RV LIFE Trip Wizard and the RV LIFE App With RV GPS

You may also like these 17 Unforgettable RV Camp Spots Near Joshua Tree

Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

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13 thoughts on “The Best State Park Camping For Snowbirds”

  1. Good article. We love the state parks. Tho it should be noted most parks have a one week maximum stay. Creating an online account through ReserveAmerica helps for reservations and checking the park layout. We’ve also learned to pay the deposit and mention during check in we are seniors, military or have America the Beautiful Park Passes, sometimes getting a substantial discount on camping fees. DG

  2. You won’t get a reservation in an Arizona state park in the winter unless you plan a year in advance, and even then you need to be online as early as possible. Elephant Butte is 20 degrees at night in the winter not much of a snowbird destination

  3. I just stayed in Elephant Buttes in New Mexico. I’m not a resident of NM and was able to book online. The full hook ups seem to be reserved for the camp hosts. There was a locked cap on the septic dumps at the sites so you had to drive to the dump station if your tanks got full. Resivior was way low. but there was plenty of beech as a result. Price was OK but not great. $150 for an 8 day stay. Lots of trails and you could still put a boat in the water.

  4. We live in Florida. Thanks to snowbirds we can’t get a reservation in our own state park system. Welcome to Florida … now go home.

    • J and L,
      I get your frustration, but you shouldn’t try to ban all visitors to your state (maybe you just want the campers to go home). We do bring in money for your businesses and services and help support your state parks. It’s a bit greedy to think that since you live in Florida that you be the only people allowed to access your state parks. Do you ever travel to other states that you don’t live in? How would you like it if they told you to go home and that you couldn’t get a site because you didn’t live there? That means no traveling for anyone. We all just stay in our home state. Seems rather petty.

    • J and L looks like you have a business opportunity here! Set up affordable camping sites and become a proud owner of a campground business. Sounds like there is a need by your comment I’m sure there are many side businesses that would not be happy with your position with snowbirds which have the same problem as you as campers heading north in the summer.
      Solution more sites in both areas!

    • Florida State parks there is supposed to be a 14 day stay limit, but
      we also live in Florida and can no longer get in to the parks.
      The State took over the reservation system but that hasn’t helped.
      Sad since our tax dollars support the state parks we can’t get into.

    • We know the feeling we live in Colorado and can’t get into Rocky Mtn. National Park or Garden of the Gods here in Colorado Springs, Co.

  5. Good luck getting in the Bahia Honda and Curry Hammock. It’s like a lottery. We have tried for about three years to get into Bahia Honda never succeeded. I’m talking every day for months until the dates just didn’t make sense. We managed to get into Curry Hammock, I think that took about a month of us trying every morning.


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