A Fun Weekend at Son's Blue River CampWe just back from a very fun and unique Labor Day weekend at in Kingsbury, Texas. I'm sure you just muttered to yourself, "where in the heck is Kingsbury?" It's 7 miles west of Lulling, 17 miles east of San Marcos and about 15 miles south of Lockhart and really easy to get to from Highway 130 or Highway 10. Best of all, Son's Blue River Camp is located on a beautiful stretch of the San Marcos River.
If you're looking for a unique and fun family weekend adventure, a family reunion, or just a get together with friends, we can highly recommend Blue River Camp. Some of what we loved about Blue River Camp includes:
taking advantage of the over 500 feet of riverfront on the gently flowing San Marcos River which is perfect for swimming, kayaking, tubing, or just relaxing
enjoying the picnic tables with canopies and umbrellas with four chairs on the edge of the river - most people quickly move the chair into the river to sit and chill
- taking a relaxing nap in the hammock
utilizing the the very cool one and two story cabanas (which remind me of some tiki bars on a remote Pacific Island) for playing games, relaxing in the shade, or grilling a lunch or dinner
staying overnight in one of the camping tents and not having to drive home after a long day of fun
- the ease of access from just about anywhere in Central or South East Texas
the lack of pestering bugs - I was shocked that during our three day visit we weren't bothered by flies, mosquitoes, bees, or other little creatures
the Blue River Camp staff that is courteous, helpful, and committed to ensuring you have a fun and memorable week
One of the other things I loved about our weekend at Blue River Camp was devouring some delicious burgers and BBQ, floating and sitting in the cool river, watching the grandkids have a blast, games and lots of laughs, and then being able to walk to my bed for the night! It doesn't get much better than that!
My only complaint is that the air was always fragrant with the smell of everything from burgers and shish kabobs to jalapeno poppers to BBQ ribs and chicken, and lots more mouth watering good stuff cooking on the grill. Every time I walked by a cabana I wanted to stop and sample some of their food - my stomach was growling the whole time we were there and everybody else's food looked much better than ours!
For our weekend getaway we glamped at Blue River Camp. What is glamping you ask? According to Urban Dictionary, "Glamping means camping with glamour - similar to regular camping but with nicer things than usual, being warmer, and being much more comfortable." To me Glamping means tent camping without all the pain - no frustrating tent to set up plus there is electricity, fans, cots with mattress instead of leaky air mattresses that go flat in the middle of the night, picnic tables and water spigots plus fun things to do while you're glamping.
Our glamping at Blue Water Camp included two tents and one of the ten very cool two story thatched roof cabanas. The cabanas are up a small hill about 75 yards above the San Marcos River. The bottom story of the cabana is very well equipped with a new Weber BBQ grill, picnic table, bench seat, 6 wicker chairs, 3 tables, a water spigot, a big hammock, and a ceiling fan with a light. Climb up the spiral staircase to the top floor which has a bar type shelf around the perimeter, bar stools, an oval bar table, a fan and light, and a great view of the river. We had cabana K which is the last one on the right facing the river - as the last one it's a little more isolated, well landscaped with tropical plants with red blossoming flowers, and a grassy area on the right front.
Just in front of two the story cabanas are 11 single story thatched roof cabanas. Like the two story cabanas they are well equipped with a Weber Grill, picnic table, wicker chairs, tables, fan and light, water spigot plus a great view of the San Marcos river about 50 yards away.
On the edge of the water or in the water are canopies covering picnic tables and umbrellas providing shade for two zero gravity chairs and two director chairs - which typically are moved to the middle of the river. The majority of the picnic tables and umbrellas are usually reserved for the people renting the cabanas while the picnic tables are first come first serve. Some of the reservable umbrellas or picnic tables come with a side table, hammock, and a couple chairs.
At the front of the two story cabanas are 18 clamping tents forming a horseshoe around the volleyball court and showers. Each clamping tent has two oversized double cots with a comfy mattress, two small tables with two powerful fans, and at least one battery operated light. Each of the five tent windows and the door have a flap to cover the window to provide privacy. Unzip the flap and there is a screen that provides excellent circulation.
See this map of Blue River Camp to get a picture of the layout of Blue River Camp.
When we visited it was 100 degrees during the day with little to no breeze. Which means we spent the vast majority of our time:
- sitting in chairs in the river and people watching
- floating downstream on our backs or in tubes
- skipping rocks
- consuming several drinks and snacks
- playing cards and cribbage on a picnic table in the river
tossing the football and inventing games like dive for the rock, float under water for the longest, doing summersaults, skipping a ball across the water, and more
- and of course I had to sneak off for a quick relaxing nap in the hammock
The grandkids were up first thing in the morning and dressed in their swim suits and they immediately headed to the River after devouring a couple donuts and cinnamon rolls. And they only got out when called for lunch or dinner - but right after eating they were back in the river! Needless to say they loved it! They had to be very waterlogged!
I was dreading having to get into our tent after staying all day in the shade and in the cool refreshing San Marcos River - I imagined uncomfortable cots, not being able to fall asleep, and waking up in a big pool of sweat. I considered sleeping in the front seat of the car with the air conditioning turned on full blast. But by the time we went to bed it had cooled down to around 85 or so and as soon as we turned on the two fans on high, the blast of air did an excellent job of keeping us cool. In fact, about half way through the night I had to turn the fan down to a lower speed and cover myself with the sheet. The fans put out what could have been considered gale force winds and once-in-awhile the fan wind would catch under the sheets and create a big balloon out of the sheets - I was expecting to float up to the top of the tent. And the cots were surprisingly comfortable. In fact, about ten minutes after my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light! We all slept very well! The early morning was amazing - a cool morning breeze with the sounds of doves cooing, roosters crowing, some cows mooing, and the sun rising over the trees made for soothing wake up call. That (plus the smells of outside cooking) is what camping is all about.
The 18 clamping sites have 18' x 24' tents and they form a horseshoe around the lighted sand volley ball court. At the open end of the horseshoe which points to the cabanas and river are a couple outdoor showers, a porta potty, and a fire pit with chairs. Each site has a post with a water spigot, electrical outlet, and a small light on top of the post and a picnic table plus a gravel parking spot. The vast majority of the sites are shaded by some tall towering trees. Porta potties and outdoor showers are available, but beware the porta potties don't have a light inside - poop at your own risk late at night! To be safe, take a flashlight with you. Good News - new air conditioned bathrooms with flush toilets and showers will be on site in the near future. Don't forget to bring sheets, pillows, and blankets - Blue River Camp doesn't not provide them.
Up a gently rising hill about a quarter of a mile from the river are two cabins that you can rent if you don't want to glamp. The cabins are one bedroom plus a sleeper sofa, full kitchen, shower, bathroom, direct TV, and all the utensils and linens.
During your visit you can play sand volleyball or bean bag toss or rent a kayak or tube to float the river. The Blue River Camp shuttle service will take you upriver for a two to four hour float depending on the river flow.
Blue River Camp opened in 2018 and they have plans to add more cabins, a pond with a large inflatable water park (slides, climbing wall, and more), the new bathrooms and showers, and a stage for live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Most of the visitors during our three day visit were families with young kids. The Camp was sold out but it didn't seem overly crowded and everyone seemed friendly and courteous. Rob, the onsite manager and his staff were great and very committed to making sure we hade a fun and memorable time during our stay.
Son's Blue River Camp is owned by Best Texas Travel who owns several unique vacation rental properties like The Tipis at Geronimo Creek Retreat in Seguin, the River Road Treehouses in New Braunfels, and Son's Island on Lake Placid in Seguin. Son's Island was the original location for cabanas and tent camping and the model for Blue River Camp - read about our weekend stay on Son's Island before they had tents. We've stayed in the Treehouses and one the Tipis and enjoyed both - you should also consider them for your next vacation, romantic getaway, or a unique weekend experience.
"ll say this in parting - a weekend in a tent at Blue Water Camp will create a lasting memory that you and the kids won't soon forget! Have fun.