Planning a seaside getaway? Well, Corpus Christi is the place for you!
Located in the state of Texas, Corpus Christi is a beautiful coastal city and the perfect destination for tourists seeking a vacation filled with outdoor experiences. The city boasts numerous beaches, each offering its own unique advantages. Additionally, there are several museums where tourists can learn about the city’s history and the Karankawa Indians, who lived there hundreds of years ago before the Spanish colonization. The city also features museums dedicated to science and art, as well as parks with stunning views and brilliant architecture. Overall, Corpus Christi is a must-visit destination, so remember to include it in your next vacation plans.
Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or a nature lover, Corpus Christi offers something for everyone. This city is home to a wide array of tourist attractions, each unique and appealing in its own right. Here are some of our top picks!
Texas State Aquarium
Are you fascinated by marine life? Then, the Texas State Aquarium is the perfect place for you to visit on your trip. This amazing aquarium, which opened in 1995, shows the wonders of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a terrific family attraction in Corpus Christi.
During your visit to the Texas State Aquarium, you will learn about conservation activities aimed at rehabilitating marine creatures through several exhibits. You can also participate in one of the aquarium’s many educational activities. A must-see sight for families is the 400,000-gallon Dolphin Bay, where you can marvel at the charming performances of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
Don’t forget to take your kids to the splash park, the fossil excavation site, and programs that will help them better comprehend the marine ecosystem.
Baseball fans should definitely attend a game at Whataburger Field along the Corpus Christi waterfront. This site is situated close to the Texas State Aquarium and the Harbor Bridge and provides magnificent views as you support your favorite team and enjoy the game.
If you are lucky enough you might get to see the Corpus Christi Hooks, the city’s Double-A minor league baseball team, in action at their home stadium. Enjoy a selection of scrumptious food options, such as chicken sandwiches, nachos, and hot dogs, while watching the game.
Take note of the architectural characteristics indicative of Whataburger Field’s industrial background, such as corrugated walls, wooden beams, and ancient machinery, as you explore Whataburger Field.
South Texas Botanical Gardens And Nature Center
This tourist attraction of Corpus Christi wrap you in tranquility, where the beauties of nature and art mix beautifully. Explore over 2,500 different orchids, enjoy the exquisite perfume of the rose garden and its pavilion, and meet the many butterflies, reptiles, and parrots that live in this enchanting refuge.
There is also a gift shop and a café on the premises if you want to buy a souvenir or fill your appetite.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
Visit the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History in downtown Corpus Christi. This museum, which opened in 1945, houses an outstanding collection of historical relics, some of which date back to the pre-Columbian era.
Explore the museum’s display halls, each of which tells a story from the Civil War to the region’s unique plants and wildlife to the renowned shipwreck excavation on Padre Island. There is also a collection of local jewels and treasures.
Kids aged 3 and above will have a blast at the H-E-B Science Center, where interactive exhibits allow them to explore and experiment. Additionally, there’s a playground for them to have fun at this fantastic Corpus Christi museum.
USS Lexington Museum On The Bay
The USS Lexington, a World War II-era Essex Class aircraft carrier also known as the “Blue Ghost,” has been transformed into a family-friendly museum and offers a unique blend of history and modernity. This massive ship is now a museum and conducts various events all year, making it a must-see destination in Corpus Christi for history buffs.
Visitors can explore the ship’s hangar deck, see rebuilt warplanes, and learn about life during WWII. The upper levels of the USS Lexington offer panoramic views of Corpus Christi Bay. Alternatively, you can admire the engine room’s cutting-edge engineering as well.
If your visit falls on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, you can participate in special events onboard the USS Lexington.
Padre Island National Seashore
Experience an amazing day in a scenic setting, just a short drive from downtown Corpus Christi. This tourist attraction is located on the world’s largest surviving natural barrier island, which separates Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico. It extends 70 miles of the national coastline, allowing visitors to stroll along sandy beaches while being caressed by Gulf winds, watch diverse birds and fauna, and bask in the South Texas heat.
Corpus Christi Bay Trail
Enjoy exploring tourist attractions at your own pace by walking or biking along the Corpus Christi Bay Trail. This scenic nine-mile trail runs from downtown to Oso Bay, offering a journey that includes notable stops like the Art Museum of South Texas, the Museum of Science and History, and the charming city marina. There are several parks and playgrounds along the trail where you can take a break.
If you love seafood, there are numerous options along the trail from seafood shacks to restaurants. Fajita Ville, Doc’s Seafood and Steaks and Blackbeards are extremely popular among tourists and locals.
Art Museum of South Texas
Founded in 1972, the Art Museum of South Texas houses an impressive collection of contemporary art. For art enthusiasts, it’s a highly regarded attraction in Corpus Christi.
Inside, you can discover paintings, sculptures, graphics, and photographs created by well-known artists. The Art Museum of South Texas regularly features temporary exhibitions, so it’s a good idea to review their events schedule before planning your visit. Additionally, they offer education programs tailored for both adults and children. Beyond admiring the exhibits, visitors have the opportunity to browse the gift shop for unique finds. Moreover, children can engage in creative activities at the on-site ArtCade, where they can unleash their artistic talents and craft their own masterpieces.
If you find yourself hungry during your exploration, don’t hesitate to visit the on-site café, where you can savor a culinary experience infused with Asian and Mediterranean flavors.
Selena Memorial Statue
The Queen of Tejano, Selena Quintanilla-Perez is one of the brightest stars to emerge from Corpus Christi and the city has made sure to pay a tribute to the legend in the form of the Selena Memorial Statue located in the city’s seafront.
Selena was a famous Latin singer and style icon who passed away at a surprisingly young age in 1995. She was murdered in Corpus Christi by none other than the former president of her fan club. However, she still lives in the hearts of the Corpus Christi natives and is celebrated through this statue. Visitors can visit this landmark and take several pictures with it. They will also love the picturesque views offered close to the statue.
If you’re a fan of the Latina singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, make sure to set aside some time to visit the Selena Museum, a true gem located inside Q-Productions, the recording studio. This museum is a celebration of the life and legacy of the “Queen of Tejano music.”
Within the Selena Museum, you can immerse yourself in exhibits showcasing Selena’s personal items, clothing, awards, musical instruments, and her impressive collection of platinum and gold records. You’ll even have the chance to admire her iconic Porsche and explore a rich collection of photographs and videos that capture different moments in Selena’s life.
And, before you leave, don’t forget to drop by the Selena Store for a souvenir. This extensive gift shop offers a variety of items, including t-shirts, hoodies, posters, tumblers, and other unique Selena Quintanilla-Perez merchandise to cherish.
Take a drive to McGee Beach, one of the most stunning beaches in Corpus Christi, situated on the north side of Corpus Christi Bay. It a lovely destination for swimming, fishing, and unwinding.
If you’re traveling with kids, they can have a blast playing in the sand and building sandcastles. Meanwhile, you can spread out your mat on the beach and bask in the sun. You can even rent a paddle boat to discover the marine life beneath the calm waters of Emerald Cove.
Lazy Beach Brewing
Sit at Lazy Beach Brewing and enjoy a beer while watching the waves break. This brewery near Whitecap Beach has a nice outdoor seating area to enjoy the coastal beauty while sipping your favorite brew.
Lazy Beach Brewing has a friendly and inviting atmosphere that makes you feel more like a local than a tourist. Discover their well-known beers, including Banana-nana Booch Booch, Poseidon’s Trident, Hard Kombucha, and Beach in Wheat.
Inquire about their weekly special flavor, a custom they’ve kept alive since 2014. If you get hungry, you can easily order delicious food from the food trucks around the brewery.
Pack your sunscreen and enjoy the sun’s warmth at North Beach for a gorgeous, natural tan. This sandy attraction, formerly called the Corpus Christi Beach, is located along Corpus Christi Bay and provides the best options for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing in the city.
Stroll down the 1.5-mile-long boardwalk that runs along Ocean Drive at North Beach. Enjoy the magnificent sights of the city’s skyline, the marina, and the calm waters while walking.
Bring your fishing gear if you’re a fishing enthusiast as North Beach is one of the best fishing spots in Corpus Christi. You can fish from the pier or wade into the water to ensure a successful catch.
Mustang Island State Park
Mustang Island State Park is the best tourist attraction for a true Texan island experience. This 3,500-acre state park provides a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, bird watching, swimming, and fishing. It’s a popular outdoor adventure location in Corpus Christi.
Mustang Island State Park has five miles of coastline and picturesque dunes. Enjoy the stunning Gulf sunsets and, for the more daring, try your hand at activities like kiteboarding and windsurfing. If you’re not ready to enter the sea, consider renting a surfboard and sand surf on the dunes.
You can use the spacious campgrounds to cap off your enjoyable day. Set up a tent and marvel at the many bird species that soar above the area.
When in Corpus Christi, you have to take out time and visit Heritage Park. This historical landmark displays several historic homes that have been preserved and managed to survive the test of time. Most of these homes are from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Book a walking tour of Heritage Park, and get a chance to explore two standout buildings: Sidbury House and Britton-Evans House.
The Sidbury House, previously owned by Charlotte King Cook Sidbury, offers a taste of a Victorian-style residence right in the heart of South Texas.
As you explore the Britton-Evans House, take in its Queen Anne architecture and appreciate how the home is filled with natural light all day long.
Hurricane Alley Waterpark
If you are visiting Corpus Christi in the summers, then Hurricane Alley Waterpark is a must visit to beat the heat and have the time of your life. This magnificent waterpark located on Port Avenue promises a fantastic time for you, your friends, or your family.
Get a break from the sun and the ocean waves by diving into the cool world of Hurricane Alley Waterpark. You can have a blast on various slides, like speedy slides, tube slides, and body slides. If you prefer a more relaxed pace, simply float down the lazy river.
During your visit to Hurricane Alley, be sure to experience the wave pool, where you can feel the excitement of strong waves crashing against you. There’s also a kid-friendly area with multiple slides and a splash pad for your little ones to enjoy.
Foods To Try In Corpus Christi
From delightful cocktails to mouthwatering tacos and scrumptious treats from food trucks, Corpus Christi’s culinary scene caters to a wide range of tastes. You’ll find classic American and Texan barbecue here, and be sure not to overlook those sizzling steaks cooked over the open flames of a mesquite grill!
Moreover, the city has several alfresco dining spots situated right by the water, allowing you to take in the beauty of the sea while enjoying tasty seafood. Make sure to try out the octopus and the redfish topped with a heavenly poblano crawfish cream sauce.
For those who prefer diner-style restaurants, you can savor all-day breakfast alongside traditional American fare, and the city also offers a handful of Mexican-inspired dishes too. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan, you’ll find options to suit your dietary preferences. In Corpus Christi, there’s something to please every palate.
Scams to Avoid In Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is a tourist friendly place and has very few scams.
It’s easy to lose your things in Corpus Christi, especially in crowds and on the beach. Always be careful of the money and valuable items you put in your pocket to avoid pickpocketing. When you are at the beach, do not leave your things unattended because someone might steal them when you look away ruining your trip.
If you have rented a house instead of booking a hotel room, it’s essential to keep your safety in mind. Always remember to lock the doors and windows before you step out or when you’re going to sleep. Try to avoid being alone at night, and stay in well-lit, public areas to minimize the chances of getting robbed. Your safety is a top priority.
The usual taxi scam rarely happens here thanks to the local bus system (CCRTA) which has routes throughout the city. If you still decide to take a taxi, talk about the fare before getting in the vehicle and also have a look at the kilometers to your destination from your current location on an app such as Google Maps.
Things To Do If You Are In Corpus Christi For One Day
Be prepared for a fun filled day in Corpus Christi. Start off your day by visiting the Texas State Aquarium which is one of the best aquariums you’ll ever get to see. The marine life at this aquarium is magnificent and the dolphin show is the cherry on top. If you have kids, there are special activities for them to do at the aquarium as well making sure that they enjoy their visit.
Then, head to the USS Lexington Museum located inside a ship. The colossal military museum is close to the aquarium. Here tourists get a chance to look at old warplanes and learn more about them. They can even enjoy beautiful views of the Corpus Christi Bay from the USS Lexington or head to the engine room to look at how the ship operated back then. Then, have lunch nearby such as Pier 99.
End the day by visiting one of the excellent beaches in Corpus Christi such as the Padre Island National Seashore and North Beach. Relax, swim and unwind at the beach. Have dinner at a restaurant close to the beach before heading back to your hotel.
Things To Do If You Are In Corpus Christi For 3 Days
A weekend getaway to Corpus Christi is just what you need to get away from the daily hustle of your life and unwind. Here is a sample itinerary for you to follow.
Start your first day in Corpus Christi bright and early. Visit the Texas State Aquarium in all its glory to learn more about sea life through various exhibits. Get a chance to be close to dolphins as they perform.
Once you are free from the aquarium, visit the USS Lexington Museum. The museum is located in a ship offering you extraordinary views of the sea while being informative at the same time. Whether you are a history buff or not, you will enjoy your time here. You are bound to get hungry once you are done with the museum, so head to a restaurant nearby.
After a delicious lunch, go to the North Beach which isn’t located far from the museum. It’s a white sand beach where you can sit, relax and enjoy the sunset. You can even fish at the beach from the pier and enjoy the views from the Ferris wheel nearby. End the day with dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Start your day by going to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History and have a look at artifacts which are as old as the pre Columbian period.
Then, head to the Hurricane Alley Waterpark located in Port Avenue. This is the perfect place to visit solo or with all your family members as it has rides suitable for all age groups. The wave pool and lazy river are the highlights of the waterpark. You can book the tickets for this water park online as well to avoid standing in lines.
If there is a game at the Whataburger Field, get some tickets and go to enjoy it. End the day with a scrumptious dinner from a nearby restaurant.
Since this will be your last day in Corpus Christi, make the most of it. Start the day by heading to the Padre Island National Seashore and later in the day to Mustang Island State Park. Both of these tourist attractions are extraordinary. At the Padre Island National Park you can sit on the shores and get a beautiful tan. You can also bird watch. If you want a true island Texan experience, then Mustang Island State Park is your go to place. There are several activities for you to do here such as kiteboarding and windsurfing.
Once you have explored the two locations, have lunch nearby and then head to the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Here you will find nature and art blend in with each other to provide you an exquisite experience. There is also a gift shop here for you to buy souvenirs for friends and family back home.
After a fun filled day, head to the Lazy Beach Brewing and Café to have a drink or two along with your dinner.
Things To Do If You Are In Corpus Christi For 5 Days
Begin with a visit to the Texas State Aquarium, where you can explore a wide variety of sea life exhibits and even get up close to performing dolphins.
After your aquarium adventure, make your way to the USS Lexington Museum, located on a ship that offers both breathtaking ocean views and informative exhibits. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or not, you’re sure to have a great time here. Once you’ve finished exploring the museum, it’s time to satisfy your appetite at a nearby restaurant.
Following a delicious lunch, head over to North Beach, not far from the museum. This serene white sand beach is perfect for relaxation and catching a beautiful sunset. You can even try your hand at fishing from the pier or enjoy the views from the nearby Ferris wheel. Wrap up your day with a hearty dinner and a restful night’s sleep.
Start your second day at the Corpus Christi Bay Trail. The views from the nine mile trail are amazing and the tourist attractions nearby are the cherry on top. While cycling or walking on the trail, make a pit stop at the Art Museum of South Texas which was built in 1972. The museum constantly has new rotating exhibits for visitors and a permanent collection of over 1,850 works. If you are travelling with children, drop them at the ArtCade in the Musuem where they will get a chance to create their very own personalized work. They will have a great time here and you will get a chance to look at the huge collection at the museum peacefully. Make sure to visit the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History as well, where you can explore ancient artifacts dating back to the pre-Columbian era. There are several restaurants at the Corpus Christi Bay Trail. So, have lunch at one of these before heading to your next destination.
Take a trip to Heritage Park and get a tour of the beautiful houses here. Walk through these houses and have a look at the history they behold within them. You are also bound to love the architecture of these late 19th and early 20th century buildings.
Head to the Selena Memorial Statue built as a way to pay tribute to Selena Quintanilla-Perez. The statue is magnificent and so are the views from here. End the day with some comforting food and a good night’s sleep.
Begin your day with a trip to the Selena Museum built in the honor of the Queen of Tejano Music. She was a star who passed away too soon and this museum displays all of her achievements and several pictures and artifacts from her childhood.
Next, make your way to Hurricane Alley Waterpark on Port Avenue. It’s a fantastic destination for solo travelers or families, offering rides suitable for all ages. Don’t miss the wave pool and lazy river – they’re the waterpark’s main attractions. You can conveniently book your tickets online to skip the lines.
If there’s a game happening at the Whataburger Field, grab some tickets and enjoy the action. Wrap up your day with a delicious dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Day 4 is all about soaking in the beauty of nature and enjoying the beach life. A few minutes away from downtown Corpus Christi, Padre Island National Sea Shore is all about living your best life. This tourist attraction is one of the very few natural barrier islands to exist and separates Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico. Here you can wear your swimsuit and enjoy a swim or sunbathe. You can even kayak over the stunning crystal clear water surrounding the Padre Island or get a chance to see dolphins up close in the water.
Once you have enjoyed at Padre Island, head over to the Mustang Island State Park to get the full Texan island experience. You can go in the water for swimming or try your hand at fishing here. You can also rent a surfboard to sand surf on the dunes here. There are even special places allotted for visitors to camp and enjoy the magical night sky. There are several restaurants nearby for you dine in at and enjoy some delicious seafood.
Start the last day of your trip a little late. Have a delicious breakfast and pack all your belongings before you head out to McGee Beach. Go for a swim and later rent a paddle boat. After a great time at the beach, stop for lunch at a nearby restaurant before heading to your next destination.
Next, head to the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. This tourist attraction is ideal for nature lovers as it offers a variety of gardens such as Rose Garden, Hummingbird Garden and Sensory Garden. The Nature Center is a great place to learn about the area’s flora and fauna. There is also a butterfly house here which is beautiful.
End the day by going to Lazy Beach Brewing and Café. Enjoy a drink or two with your dinner and witness the night life of Corpus Christi unfold.