Corpus Christi is a beautiful city on the Southern coast of Texas and is the state’s eighth-most populous. The port of Corpus Christi – to which the city owes much of its growth and expansion – plays an important role in the United States economy as it is the fifth-largest port in the country.
Padre island, in the eastern reach of Corpus Christi, is one of the main vacation spots for college students from all over Texas during the March spring break. The very fitting nickname of this city is “The Sparkling City by the Sea”, though you’ll have to explore it for yourself to see if you agree. Here are my top things to do in Corpus Christi.
- Corpus Christi
- 20 Things To Do In Corpus Christi
- 1- Explore The USS Lexington Museum
- 2- Visit The Texas State Aquarium
- 3- Cross The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge
- 4- Visit The Whataburger Field
- 5- Feel The Sand Between Your Toes On Whitecap Beach
- 6- Walk Along North Padre Seawall
- 7- Wander Round The Botanical Gardens
- 8- See The Mariner’s Astrolabe And Other Treasures
- 9- Explore The Selena Museum
- 10- Go Horseriding On The Beach
- 11- Eat Seafood At Snoopy’s Pier
- 12- Drink Locally Brewed Craft Beer
- 13- Take A Peek At Bob Hall Pier
- 14- Enjoy The Art Center of Corpus Christi
- 15- Cool Down At Hurricane Alley Waterpark
- 16- Enjoy Nature At Mustang Island State Park
- 17- Watch A Show At The Harbor Playhouse
- 18- Enjoy Unique Art At K Space Contemporary Gallery
- 19- Visit The Texas Surf Museum
- 20- Walk The Corpus Christi Bay Trail
- 20 Things To Do In Corpus Christi
20 Things To Do In Corpus Christi
1- Explore The USS Lexington Museum
The USS Lexington is a museum docked in Corpus Christi and the world’s oldest fleet carrier.
In 2003, the ship became a National Historic Landmark, named after a military battle in the American Revolutionary War.
Shipyard workers petitioned the navy to name the ship in honour of the USS Lexington (CV-2), which sank in WWII during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
The USS Lexington is the world’s oldest fleet carrier.
The USS Lexington Museum is at 2914 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402.
2- Visit The Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium has over 500 species, such as turtles, fish, seahorses, jellyfish and otters.
It’s an absorbing place to spend half a day and one of the memorable experiences is to snorkel with sharks in a cage.
Admission is around $40 for adults and kids under two can enter free.
The Texas State Aquarium is at 2914 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402.
3- Cross The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge
The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge, one of the most iconic sights within the city, carries both the U.S. Route 181 and the Texas State Highway 35 from downtown Corpus Christi to Rincon Point, with around 26,000 vehicles using the bridge each day.
The bridge was completed in 1959 to replace the previous drawbridge and provide an uninterrupted flow of vehicular traffic and shipping transit below the bridge.
However, the bridge was only designed to last for 50 years, and so its replacement, the New Harbor Bridge Project, is currently underway, after which the Harbor Bridge will, unfortunately, be destroyed.
Visit this architectural work of art before it’s gone.
The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge is at Harbor Bridge, Corpus Christi, TX 78402.
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4- Visit The Whataburger Field
Corpus Christi was originally the home of the Whataburger headquarters until the company relocated to San Antonio in 2009.
Due to this, Whataburger, Inc. paid for the naming rights of this minor league baseball stadium which opened in 2005.
A Whataburger restaurant is even located within park grounds, and the roof of the stadium is painted in the iconic Whataburger orange and white.
The two crown jewels of Corpus Christi, the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium are visible from within the stadium.
Even though the Whataburger Field is a baseball stadium, a menagerie of different events are held here each year, such as bike rides, street festivals, and football (or soccer) games.
The Whataburger Field is at 734 E Port Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
5- Feel The Sand Between Your Toes On Whitecap Beach
Texas has a reputation for grey and stony beaches but Whitecap Beach completely smashes this stereotype with its white sands, clear water and peaceful ambience.
The beach also offers excellent conditions for fishing (jetty, stand-up, and in-water fishing), surfing, windsurfing and kiteboarding.
It provides access to the seawall for those looking for a gorgeous place to run, bike or stroll by the ocean.
Some amenities in this little slice of paradise include public restrooms, public showers and lifeguards on duty.
Your furry friends are also welcome here, so bring the whole family.
Whitecap Beach is at 15820 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
6- Walk Along North Padre Seawall
The North Padre Seawall is a wall and walkway constructed to protect nearby buildings from storm waves and beach erosion.
The two-mile bayfront wall was completed in the 1960s and is a popular destination for enjoying the spectacular ocean views (without getting sand in your shoes).
If you’re looking for a wild party, visit Padre Island and its stunning seawall during the March Spring Break.
For a calmer experience, leave the partying to the college students, and plan your visit outside these dates.
7- Wander Round The Botanical Gardens
Some of the major exhibits at the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center include an arid garden, an Exhibit House, a hibiscus garden, a hummingbird garden, an orchid garden, a contemporary rose garden, a sensory garden and a water garden.
With all of these incredible gardens and a 30-acre (12 ha) nature trail that includes 35 species of trees, herbs, cacti, and shrubs, there truly is something to see here for everyone.
Those with a keen eye might even catch a glimpse of a white-tailed deer along the trail. But make sure to be wary of the local coyotes.
The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is at 8545 S Staples St, Corpus Christi, TX 78413.
8- See The Mariner’s Astrolabe And Other Treasures
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, established in 1957, spans over a whopping 40,000 square feet since its expansion in 1990.
Some of the most famous artifacts within this museum include those retrieved from the wreck of the Spanish ship San Estaban, which was wrecked in a storm in the Gulf of Mexico in 1554 and rediscovered in 1970.
One of these treasures was the world’s oldest mariner’s astrolabe, with a confirmed date of 1554.
The museum hosts events for kids (such as the Backyard Bugs & Birds Intersession Camp) and a distinguished lecture series for speeches by experts in areas such as Geoscience.
The H-E-B Science Center located within the museum is an educational play area that includes models of things such as cells and atoms as well as imagination blocks and a shadow wall.
Other exhibits include the Hall of Earth Science, Coastal Ecology, the Xeriscape Garden, and the Prehistoric Predators & Prey exhibit, among many others.
The Corpus Christi Museum is at 1900 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
9- Explore The Selena Museum
Selena Quintanilla Pérez, known by her stage name “Selena”, was a Mexican-American Tejano singer known as the “Queen of Tejano music”.
Her fans adored her, and she became a sensational and influential Latin artist who is attributed with bringing Tejano music into the mainstream market.
16 April is celebrated in Texas as Selena Day and the movie about her life and career, Selena, released in 1997, helped Jennifer Lopez to rise to her current-day fame.
The Selena Museum in Corpus Christi pays tribute to this musical icon through a display of her stage costumes, GRAMMY award, and red Porsche car.
The museum is in the actual studio where Selena used to record her music, and the studio still produces music to this day.
The Selena Museum is at 5410 Leopard St, Corpus Christi, TX 78408.
10- Go Horseriding On The Beach
A trip to Corpus Christi wouldn’t be complete without a horseback ride along the beach.
Horses on the Beach is an experience cultivated for all levels of riders (from beginner to advanced) as well as all ages, both young and old (starting at six years old and older).
For an unforgettable experience, book a sunset ride and watch as the sky lights up in reds and gold, all from the comfortable vantage point on horseback.
The horses are calm and perfectly trained, ensuring a stress-free, relaxing ride and an incredible experience.
Horses on the Beach is at 16499 South Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
11- Eat Seafood At Snoopy’s Pier
Snoopy’s Pier Seafood Inn was founded by commercial fisherman Ernie Butler in 1980 and remains a local favourite for fresh and delicious seafood alongside a perfect and unobstructed ocean view.
The restaurant includes an onsite fish house and shrimp breading facility to guarantee freshness for the entire menu.
A full-service bar is also within the inn, so grab a plate of fried shrimp and a cold beer and watch the sunset over the water.
Snoopy’s Pier is at 13313 S Padre Island Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
12- Drink Locally Brewed Craft Beer
The Lazy Beach Brewing and Cafe taproom opened in June 2015 and, since the opening, has offered a new flavour of beer each week.
The taproom offers 15 beers, three hard kombuchas and a hard seltzer on tap.
The brewery also offers a Thirty Thursday event every Thursday where you are invited to run or walk at your own pace from the grass field on Yorktown towards Bill Witt Park and Bear Creek Trail.
There’s an alfresco patio seating with overhead fairy lights that create a romantic and relaxed vibe to be enjoyed while you drink a cold beer.
Lazy Beach Brewing And Cafe is at 7522 Bichon Dr #100, Corpus Christi, TX 78414.
13- Take A Peek At Bob Hall Pier
The Bob Hall Pier, which opened in 1950, is one of the best fishing spots on the Gulf Coast, though it is currently being torn down and rebuilt after the damage was inflicted on the pier during Hurricane Hanna in 2020.
The iconic pier has been closed since the tragedy and the rebuilt pier is scheduled to reopen in 2024.
Despite the current lack of access to the pier itself, the spot remains an iconic location along the beach, and the rebuilding efforts are sure to be of interest.
The Bob Hall Pier is at 15820 Park Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
14- Enjoy The Art Center of Corpus Christi
The Art Center of Corpus Christi is a free-to-visit gallery that showcases hundreds of pieces of local art.
Art classes, released monthly, are always available at the gallery and range from clay to photography to oil painting.
The gallery also hosts a weekly portrait session and a free “make and take” art project every Wednesday at the Artisan market and the downtown Farmer’s Market.
The exhibits in the Art Center include a diverse range of styles and subjects and rotate throughout the year to include different artists and groups.
It’s also available to be rented for special events such as weddings and celebrations.
The Art Center of Corpus Christi is at 100 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. Explore the top sights on this fun scavenger hunt.
15- Cool Down At Hurricane Alley Waterpark
The Hurricane Alley Waterpark is a refreshing day of fun for the entire family.
The waterpark provides something for everyone with special events such as Dive-In Movie Tuesdays and Sensory Friendly Sundays.
The most thrilling attraction inside the park is the Cat 5 6-story slide that stands over an incredible 65 feet.
The Momentum slide comes a close second at half the height of the Cat 5, but still all of the fun with twists and turns for maximum enjoyment.
Make sure to catch some waves at the Flowrider Double Surf Simulator, with private lessons available for experienced surfers and non-surfers alike.
The Hurricane Alley Waterpark is at 702 E Port Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
16- Enjoy Nature At Mustang Island State Park
The Mustang Island State Park covers 3,954 acres (1600 ha) and has a 5-mile (8 km) beachfront as Mustang Island is a coastal barrier island.
The island was named after the wild mustangs that used to roam the region but no longer exist in this area.
Camping, picnicking, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, and sunbathing are just a few of the many activities to enjoy at the State Park.
Birdwatching is also a significant activity within Mustang Island as over 400 species of birds call the island home.
Mustang Island State Park is at 9394 TX-361, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
17- Watch A Show At The Harbor Playhouse
The Harbor Playhouse Theater is one of Texas’s oldest continually operating community theatres.
The Playhouse performs shows such as In The Heights, Heathers, A Christmas Carol The Musical, and Clue The Musical, displaying a great range of entertainment choices for all tastes.
The Harbor Playhouse prides itself on providing affordable cultural entertainment for the community, with tickets ranging from $10 to $20.
The Harbor Playhouse is at 1802 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
18- Enjoy Unique Art At K Space Contemporary Gallery
The K Space Contemporary is an art gallery specialising in contemporary art.
The gallery was established in 2001 and opened its street-level location in 2007.
K Space Contemporary operates on a non-profit basis and provides a venue for emerging artists to further their careers by exhibiting their art and innovation.
The art displayed here is guaranteed to be unique, unusual, and breathtaking. K Space Contemporary also runs art programs for teens and seniors.
The K Space Contemporary Gallery is at 623 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
19- Visit The Texas Surf Museum
When you think of Texas, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not surfing.
However, the coasts of Texas are home to a thriving surfer community, one which is displayed at the Texas Surf Museum.
Here, you can chill out on a bench made from surfboards, watch a surf film, and meander through the hundreds of surfer photos displayed throughout the museum.
The Texas Surf Museum is at 309 N Water St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. The Texas Surf Museum is one of the places you’ll visit if you explore Corpus Christi on this crazy scavenger hunt.
20- Walk The Corpus Christi Bay Trail
The Corpus Christi Bay Trail spans over 8.9 miles (14 km) and passes many of the city’s main tourist attractions, such as the Art Museum of South Texas, the Museum of Science and History and the Corpus Christi Marina.
The trail is a winner with bikers, walkers, skaters and bird watchers.
It also links six of the city’s parks and includes stunning bay views.
One end of the Corpus Christi Bay Trail is at 100 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. Another end of the Corpus Christi Bay Trail is at 6300 Ocean Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78412.