335 Park St.
GPS: 29.812117, -94.380234
As I had discovered in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, some small towns try to attract travelers by offering up their City parks for a few nights of free camping (or parking in some cases). This brings in valuable tourist dollars that would be spent on campsites for most travelers anyway (unless they are like me) so it is a win-win. While being out in the wild wilderness camping for free is enjoyable, its also nice sometimes to be near shops and internet.
Winnie Texas is one such example. Unlike Breaux Bridge however, you do have to register at the sheriffs/clerks office first. As you head toward the park, you want to stop there first by making a left at the Exxon station onto Broadway, the light before the park. The process is pretty painless, you just hand over your license to the very nice clerk, she makes a copy and then gives you a permit for 3 days.
The park, like the others I come to find in Texas, is immense. I guess Texas earns its 'Bigger' reputation in this regard. The park has a large, elaborate playground, several sport areas, a rodeo/horse track, and what I am assuming are festival event areas with stands. Multiple covered picnic areas, some with giant BBQ grills/smokers.
Any size rig can easily fit here, more sites and parking than can likely be filled if they try. My guess is they were preparing for Rodeo shows with this space. There are water and electric hookups all over the park. I do not know if they are included for your free stay, I would ask the clerk first. She didn't forbid it, and since I didn't need them, I didn't ask. Both the electric and water did work though.
The park has bathrooms, though they are rather spartan in my opinion. Its rare to find open public bathrooms with absolutely no stall doors or even curtains in them. According to reviews, the ladies aren't spared this either. I thought metal urinals were strange too, though since then I have seen they are a common thing in the southwest. Trash cans are sparse but around.
The park is beautiful, many of the trees scattered throughout were adorned with lights for Christmas (tho it was over already). Something about manicured grass that makes me want to lay down on it and nap, tho it was still a little on the chilly side for that.
After filming several of the areas for my youtube, I decided to settle in under a cute tree at the end furthest from the empty playground after filming it (it is a pretty amazing little castle playground).
It didn't help much because before it even got dark I had a cop knock from a sheriff's deputy.