Monday, November 10, 2014

Campground review: Brazoria County Free Beach

Texas has 367 miles of coastline on the Gulf of Mexico, much of which you can camp and drive on.  (Texas treats it's beaches as two way roads).  I traveled to the town of Surfside, TX which is just to the east of Freeport, TX to camp on the Brazoria County Free Beach where you are allowed to camp for up to 14 days ----for FREE!  Thus the "Free" in Brazoria County Free Beach.

The Tank's campsite at high tide.
While driving a road vehicle on sand might conjure up need for oversize tires and 4-wheel drive that's not the case on the Free Beach, the sand is hard packed and discernible "roads" that vehicular travel have created make that portion of the beach as solid as asphalt roads.  The "hard pack" also almost eliminates blowing sand which is welcome in the steady wind that's always present.

Here's the Free Beach data sheet:


Hookups:                                 None
Fire ring:                                  No (you could dig a hole in the sand)
Water Access:                         Yes
Fresh Water:                            No
Trash Service:                          Yes
Toilets:                                    Port-a-Johns in some places
Showers:                                 No
Dump station:                         No
WiFi:                                       No
Level sites:                              Yes
Laundry:                                 No
Store:                                      No
Pool:                                       No
Shade:                                    No
Verizon reception:                   4G, 2 out of 5
Internet reception:                   2 out of 4
Cost:                                      Free for up to 14 days
 
That's a shrimp boat out on the horizon.
If you decide to camp at the Brazoria County Free Beach you need to insure you're on THAT beach and not the Surfside Beach where camping is prohibited (and the sheriff patrols daily).  The GPS data for the site in the top picture is:  28.990895, -95.235838.  Anywhere east of that is the Free Beach and you shouldn't have a hard time finding a great campsite.

Did I mention the great sunrises?

Being an early riser has some benefits!
In the late spring and early summer the Gulf had experienced a massive seaweed die off that resulted in tons of dead seaweed clogging up the beaches and, with the accompanying smell, left most of the beach around Surfside unusable.  I'm very glad to say that problem is no longer a worry and you can see from my pictures that the sand is relatively clean.

The strong steady winds make kite flying a widely embraced pastime on the beach.  One of the days of my stay the local kite club had an outing.  Here's some pics:

Kites and seashore just go together some how.
If you're by the Gulf you have to have a pink shark kite.
The round rainbow one was like a parachute with a hole in it.
The weather was just perfect during my six day stay, 80 in the day with nice breezes and 50's at night.  The windy conditions have the added benefit of eliminating most annoying bugs from the equation too.  Although I just waded around a bit the water temperature was warm enough to be swimable and many families near me were doing that.  You have to camp on the beach by the Gulf at least once in your life and if you do you'll find it relaxing and fun....and the price at the Brazoria County FREE Beach can't be beat!

Thanks for reading!