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Krause Springs © Ed Schipul / Flickr
Krause Springs © Ed Schipul / Flickr
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10 Great Family Vacations in Texas if You're on a Budget

Picture of Sarah Karney
Updated: 14 April 2017
Everyone deserves a vacation, and it doesn’t have to be expensive to bring along the entire family for a memorable trip. Check out these 10 great ideas for family vacations around the state of Texas if you’re on a budget.

North

Palo Duro Canyon State Park Camping, from $16/night
Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro Canyon State Park is an ideal destination for a family vacation focused on reconnecting with nature. About 120 miles long and 20 miles wide, Palo Duro is a great place to go exploring, whether on foot, horseback, mountain bike, or car. Be sure to catch a summer showing of the outdoor musical drama TEXAS at the Pioneer Amphitheater, then stay for the fireworks.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park © Martin Konopacki / Flickr
Palo Duro Canyon State Park | © Martin Konopacki / Flickr

Road Trippin’ Down Route 66: The Route 66 RV Ranch in Amarillo, from $36/daily
Although just 177 miles of the “Mother Road” is in Texas, Route 66 offers a journey through history with plenty of sightseeing and shopping opportunities along the way. No trip along Route 66 would be complete without a stop at the old U-Drop Inn service station in Shamrock and the Midpoint Café in Adrian. Spend some time in Amarillo and check out Cadillac Ranch, the Stockyards of Amarillo, and downtown Amarillo for plenty of shopping opportunities.

Central

Camping at Berry Springs Park & Preserve, from $15/night
Arguably one of the most beautiful parts of Texas, the Texas Hill Country is full of both cultural and natural attributes that make it the perfect place for a family vacation. From kayaking to hiking to catching a baseball game at Dell Diamond, the possibilities are endless when it comes to planning the perfect family vacation in Texas Hill Country. Covering more than 300 acres, Berry Springs Park & Preserve is located in Georgetown and comes with access to toilets, showers, playgrounds, and a youth bike trail.

Swimming Through Central Texas: Krause Springs Camping, starting at $15/adult and $10/child
There’s no better way to beat the Texas heat than by jumping into a nice cool pool, and thankfully Central Texas is home to some of the best swimming holes in the nation. Located in Zilker Park in Austin, Barton Springs Pool is a beautiful spot to take a swim and spot some of the endangered species that inhabit the area. Krause Springs is another popular spring-fed swimming hole located in Spicewood that features breathtaking waterfalls and plenty of camping opportunities.

Krause Springs © Ed Schipul / Flickr
Krause Springs | © Ed Schipul / Flickr

Camp River View on the Frio River, from $50/night
Located alongside the Frio River, Camp River View is the perfect place for families who are looking to enjoy everything that Concan and the surrounding Hill Country have to offer. Grab a tube, sit back, and enjoy a relaxing day floating down the Frio River. When you’ve had enough of that, head over to Garner State Park and enjoy swimming, canoeing, fishing, paddle boating, or a Frio Bat Flight tour. During summer, be sure to attend a dance at the park’s concession building, a tradition that’s endured since the 1940s.

East/Gulf Coast

Inn at the Waterpark: Galveston family fun, from $57/night
While Texas is not known for being a beach getaway destination, Galveston Island is definitely the next best thing. Attractions such as Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn Water Park, and more than 25 miles of beaches make Galveston the perfect family vacation spot. Inn at the Waterpark is located next to all of these attractions, and has mini golf and a pool onsite, with rates starting at just $57/night.

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier © Katie Haugland/Flickr
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier | © Katie Haugland/Flickr

Zip Camp, Nacogdoches, from $5/person/night
Enjoy a trip to the Oldest Town in Texas, where you’ll find fun for the entire family. The charming town of Nacogdoches offers miles of historic trails, plenty of antique shops downtown, and some of the most beautiful gardens in the state. Located on 60 acres full of hiking trails, fishing ponds, and pine trees, it’s nearly impossible to not have a relaxing stay at Zip Camp. Be sure to check out their zipline course as well!

Stow-A-Way Marina and RV Park, from $50/night for cabin
Located an hour north of Houston, Lake Conroe is the perfect getaway spot for a budget-friendly family vacation. Stow-A-Way Marina and RV Park offers a relaxing atmosphere with a long list of activities and amenities. Here you’ll find boat rentals, a swimming pool, on-site restaurant, fishing guide services, and more. If your family enjoys water sports, fishing, or just the serenity of being near a lake, Lake Conroe is a great choice.

Lake Conroe © Katie Haugland
Lake Conroe | © Katie Haugland

West

Backcountry Camping at Big Bend Ranch State Park, for $5 nightly
For a trip full of beautiful views, unparalleled night skies, and loads of outdoor activities, look no further than a trip to Big Bend Ranch State Park. Stretching along the Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border, Big Bend offers numerous opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, with activities such as horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, or 4X4 exploring. With all of the activities offered throughout the day, be sure to save some energy for stargazing at some of the darkest skies offered in the country.

Big Bend Ranch State Park © Colin J. McMechan / Flickr
Big Bend Ranch State Park | © Colin J. McMechan / Flickr

Maverick Ranch RV Park at Lajitas Golf Resort, from $20 with primitive tent
Tucked away between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park is the beautiful golf resort Lajitas. Activities and amenities available to resort guests include a top-tier golf course, ziplining, spa, mountain biking, horseback riding, and much more. For a true tent-camping experience mixed with the luxuries of a high-class resort, Maverick Ranch at Lajitas Golf Resort is the perfect place for you and your family.