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“Catalina Winemixer” 2019 Coachmen Catalina
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Overlooking the waters of the upper Texas Gulf, the Quintana Beach County Park is a full-service RV park south of Houston. It’s an ideal base for exploring the wildlife refuges and state parks along the Gulf of Mexico coast, as well as the family-friendly attractions of Galveston.
RV camping at the Quintana Beach County Park includes access to 56 paved sites, with water, electric, and sewer connections at each. There are clean restrooms and showers available for guests, as well as picnic tables, a covered pavilion, and the Discovery Event Center.
Recreational facilities at the Quintana Beach County Park include a children’s playground, a volleyball court, and a paved walking trail, as well as a natural beach where you can swim during the summer months. Also within the park is Fort Bates, which includes the remains of the World War II Freeport Harbor Defense.
Directly west of the Quintana Beach County Park is the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, a 45,000-acre conservation area between Sweeny and Brazoria. It hugs a bay that’s protected by a barrier island and was established in 1969 to provide habitat for wintering migratory birdlife. Follow one of the trails that lead between the marshes and ponds while spotting some of the coastal wetland’s more than 300 bird species. Highlights include the Bobcat Woods Boardwalk and the Cowtrap Marsh Trail, as well as the nine-mile San Bernard Auto Tour.
Camping at the Quintana Beach County Park is also a good base for exploring the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1969. It encompasses more than 44,000 acres of vital habitat for migratory waterfowl and resident birdlife, including salt marshes, native bluestem prairie, and woody thickets. Keep your eyes peeled for snow geese, Canada geese, and sandhill cranes while walking the refuge’s trails, together with white ibis, roseate spoonbills, and white-tailed kites.
A one-hour drive along the coast is the Galveston Island State Park, which encompasses just over 2,000 acres of dunes, estuaries, and wetlands on the edge of Galveston. It lies on a barrier island near the Gulf of Mexico, with several trails for soaking up the scenery and spotting the resident wildlife. Kayaking, swimming, and fishing are also possible in the coastal waters, with a fish cleaning station at the end of the bayside road.
Quintana campers can pick up grocery supplies in the local supermarket or fill up their RV rental at one of the nearby gas stations. There are also several eateries in Quintana for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking, including specialty seafood restaurants serving up the daily catch. Alternatively, you can make the 20-minute drive into Lake Jackson, where you’ll find a wider choice of supermarkets, services, and dining establishments.
While you’re in Lake Jackson, don’t miss a visit to the Sea Center Texas to learn about the native marine life of the Texas coast. Aside from themed aquariums where species from near and far are exhibited, the facility also features touch tanks and a marine hatchery that is accessible on guided tours. After exploring the interior exhibits, be sure to stroll along the boardwalk trail that leads through the surrounding wetlands.
Campsites at the Quintana Beach County Park are just over an hour’s drive from Galveston, an island resort city and port on the Gulf Coast. It’s renowned for the Moody Gardens, which is home to three giant glass pyramids that house an aquarium, a rainforest exhibit, and science-themed displays. Get up close to fearsome sharks in the Aquarium Pyramid and admire the tropical plants and butterflies of the Rainforest Pyramid, then cool off in the freshwater lagoons or on the lazy river of Palm Beach.
Amusement rides also cluster at the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, which extends 1,130 feet over the Gulf of Mexico waters. Get your thrills on the Iron Shark roller coaster or be shot into the air on the Sky Shooter before swinging high above the waters on the Texas Star Flyer.
If history’s more your thing, head to the Bishop’s Palace, a Victorian mansion that was constructed between 1887 and 1893 by local architect Nicholas J. Clayton. It’s also referred to as Gresham’s Castle can be explored on guided tours. The property is set across four floors and includes a fresco-adorned dining room and a chapel with stained-glass windows, as well as the original bedroom of the former owner, Bishop Byrne.
Whether you want to birdwatch along the Gulf of Mexico or discover the cultural attractions of Galveston, book an RV rental in Brazoria County and start planning your visit.