Looking for the best camping north and east of Dallas? Look no further. While there are no mountains, the prairie does hide a beach or two – really – and some delightful camping. Don’t drive for hundreds of miles when you can camp so close to Dallas.

Bonham State Park

Bonham is a hidden gem just northeast of McKinney. Built in 1935 by the CCC, both the lake and the park remain off the beaten trail. When other lakes closer to Dallas get too crowded, this is the park to escape to. It’s only $3 per adult, per day pass, and children under 12 are free. Tent camping is a mere $15, while RV campsites only $20. The campsites are limited in number, but the locals all rave. This is the park we whisper about to each other. Located at 1363 State Park 24 in Bonham, this is one of the last places to see the Blackland Prairie.

Lake Tawakoni State Park

Closer to Dallas, and certainly more crowded, Lake Tawakoni also draws a loyal, local crowd. At 10822 FM 2475 in Wills Point, Texas, Lake Tawakoni provides a more beach feel than most other Dallas area lakes. It’s not South Padre Island, but for those who usually get there only once a year, Tawakoni offers a weekend getaway substitute – with five miles of shoreline. The price is a bit more expensive than Bonham at $5 per day, per adult. Kids under twelve are still free. They offer more campsites, and prices range from $20-$42 per night.

Eisenhower State Park

Looking for a beach and a smaller crowd? Then Eisenhower wins hands down. The camping offers amazing views of Lake Texoma and the Oklahoma side of the lake. Boating is superior over most Texas-only lakes. Also $5 a day for adults, and free for kids, the campsites are $12-$200 per night, with the widest array of options, for individuals and groups, peak and off-peak. While the beach is small, the hiking is beautiful, with even the occasional cliff vista. The Cross Timbers region differs from the prairie just to the south, and feels like more of a getaway than other parks. The park is easy to find at 50 Park Road 20 in Denison.

Too many North Texans think great camping means going to Big Bend National Park in West Texas. At the very least, they expect a long drive far from Dallas or Fort Worth. But, just a short drive from the north Dallas suburbs, campers can find a place to relax and unwind.

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