Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Corpus Christi, TX

  • Published 2022/07/17

Discovered in the year 1519, the city of Corpus Christi is named after a Roman Catholic holiday.

The name of the city means “Body of the Christ.”

It is also known as “Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus.”

Located in the south Texas area, Corpus Christi is quite famous.

Pop legend Selena Quintanilla Pérez, the “Queen of Tejano Music,” was born, brought up, and died here.

The Selena Museum is one of the city’s major attractions.

Apart from that, Corpus Christi is also home to a number of natural attractions, art museums, and historic homes that will surely enchant you.

Almost three-fourths of the city is covered with water, which makes it an excellent place for water sports.

Corpus Christi is a perfect place for discovering your inner self while enjoying the soothing ocean air.

The following are the best things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas:

Take the Kids to the Texas State Aquarium

Aerial view of Texas State Aquarium

Philip Lange /

Corpus Christi is also a famous place for providing immense knowledge about life in the water through its institutions.

The Texas State Aquarium is one of the institutions that showcase the area’s amazing underwater life and aquatic animals.

The most interesting thing about this aquarium is that it also exhibits live seashores and aquatic animals that are found in the Gulf of Mexico.

Entrance doors of Texas State Aquarium

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Laguna Madre provides you with an opportunity to see seahorse and crab exhibits.

Dolphin Bay is another attraction that gets a lot of tourists’ attention.

With a volume of more than 400,000 gallons, Dolphin Bay is home to a wide variety of dolphins.

The aquarium also houses a 4D theater and a splash park that organizes various fun activities for kids.

Exterior of Texas State Aquarium

magraphy /

Stop and Smell the Flowers at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Daytime view of South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Phil Slattery, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spread over 180 acres, the South Texas Botanical Garden and Nature Center is designed to allow visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and sweet fragrance of flowers.

The place exhibits a premium orchid house and a very well-managed hibiscus garden, among many others.

Beautiful orchids in South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

dejavubymarciachase /

The nature center also has its own nature trails, which can be used to explore the wide variety of flora that this place has to offer.

During certain times, you can also spot certain animals, such as deer and coyotes.

The South Texas Botanical Garden and Nature Center also organizes fun family events like garden parties and the Big Bloom plant sale.

Admire the Works of Art at the Art Museum of South Texas

Exterior of The Art Museum of South Texas

CrackerClips Stock Media /

The Art Museum of South Texas is one of the most culturally attractive destinations in Corpus Christi.

The place is very well-managed with a range of modern facilities and a large number of educational exhibitions.

So, why not pay a visit and learn about the culture and other dimensions of the region?

The place also hosts workshops, performances, and musical events in order to spread awareness about Corpus Christi’s rich culture and heritage.

Check Out the Unique Exhibits at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Exterior of Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History attracts both adults and kids equally.

This is mainly because the museum offers a variety of exhibitions that endorses the history and culture of the South Texas region.

The museum is a bit different from others because of its unique offerings that include a display of shipwreck cargo, a children’s area, and a display featuring local reptiles.

It also showcases an aesthetic vintage collection of old carriages, which largely displays the native culture of South Texas.

The museum is designed in such a manner that it allows guests to admire the area’s ecology and vast coastal region.

Apart from regular educational programs, the museum also offers special tours to the countryside and various wildlife sanctuaries.

Its unique services make the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History one of the city’s must-visit attractions.

Learn about the Queen of Tejano Music at the Selena Museum

The Selena Museum was opened in the year 1998 by the family of famous Latina singer Selena Quintanilla Pérez.

Located on Leopard Street, it was built in the part of the city where the late singer lived most of her life.

Her memory brings both joy and sorrow to the city of Corpus Christi, as she was a living wonder who left the world too soon.

The museum depicts the life of the pop star and exhibits her recording studio and stage costumes.

It also showcases the awards that she won, her personal items, and the Porsche that she owned.

Admire the Views from Bob Hall Pier at Padre Balli Park

Scenic sunset over Bob Hall Pier

Brent Coulter /

Bob Hall Pier is located in Padre Balli Park on Padre Island.

The place offers mesmerizing views, fresh ocean air, and excellent opportunities for fishing.

Bob Hall Pier is an adequately populated place with a lot of visitors and vendors, making it an excellent destination for family picnics.

Surfers walking along Bob Hall Pier

Philip Lange /

The 374-acre Padre Balli Park offers a lot of adventure sports like swimming.

You can also go sunbathing, camping, and utilize facilities such as a bathhouse and a cabana.

The waters under Bob Hall Pier

Berns Images /

Take Photos of the Colorful Displays at the Texas Surf Museum

It is a fairly known fact that Texas is one of the most ideal places for surfing.

The Texas Surf Museum is a one-stop place for those who are interested in the sport.

It depicts the history of surfing, both in Texas and worldwide.

The museum also displays photos of famous surfers, facts about surfing, films about surfing, and a bench made entirely out of a surfboard.

The Texas Sur Museum is not a typical historical museum, as it also offers an opportunity to dive deep into marine life.

Admission to this museum is free of cost.

Enjoy the Views along the Corpus Christi Bay Trail

The Corpus Christi Bay Trail is an ideal place for those who enjoy hiking and bicycling.

It is spread over an area of nine miles and is an ideal place for sightseeing.

The trail runs past many of the city’s famous attractions, including the Art Museum of South Texas.

You can enjoy various other things along this trail, such as concerts and great park views.

The place also offers a peek into the campus of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The Corpus Christi Bay Trail also welcomes a wide range of birds, which makes this place the best destination for enthusiastic birdwatchers.

Tour the Historic Centennial House

Exterior of the Centennial House in Corpus Christi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Famously known as the Britton-Evans House, the Centennial House was built around 1849.

It is the oldest home in Corpus Christi.

This two-story home was used also used as a hospital during the Civil War.

History marker of Centennial House, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Centennial House is now completely restored and revamped, with new fittings and furnishings (mostly antiques and artifacts).

It is open to visitors, and public tours of the site are available.

Travel Back in Time at the Sidbury House

Exterior of Sidbury House, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Along with Centennial House, Corpus Christi is also home to another historic home known as the Sidbury House.

This particular structure was built in 1893.

The Sidbury House is the only living and standing form of Victorian architecture in the city.

It is quite famous for its asymmetrical outline, large and spacious verandas, roofs with steep pitches, and balconies that are aesthetically decorated with vintage woodwork.

This place is a treat to your eyes and is a must-visit attraction for tourists who enjoy touring aesthetically pleasing sites.

Spot Beautiful Wildlife at Padre Island National Seashore

Jelly fish on shells in Padre Island National Seashore

JB Manning /

Located to the south of Corpus Christi, Padre Island is known to be the longest barrier island in the world.

Padre Island National Seashore is highly undeveloped and spans 70 miles from one end to the other.

This beautiful area is spread over 130,000 acres and includes a large number of stunning beaches, surprising sand dunes, as well as widespread grassland habitats.

Since Padre Island is centrally located, it provides habitat to more than 350 species of birds.

A person watching the birds from a tent in Padre Island National Seashore

IrinaK /

The place is a paradise for people who love birds because it also welcomes migratory birds from half of the North American continent during certain times of the year.

It is a wonderful place to visit if you wish to enjoy great marine diversity, ranging from sea turtles to some endangered species.

You can visit Padre Island National Seashore for a few hours or even for an overnight camping picnic and have the time of your life right in the midst of nature.

A turtle in Padre Island National Seashore

JB Manning /

See the Blue Ghost at the USS Lexington Museum

Daytime view of Blue Ghost USS Lexington

GregD /

USS Lexington, also known as “The Blue Ghost,” is a massive aircraft carrier that was used during World War II.

The aircraft carrier was commissioned in the year 1943 and is now a part of a naval museum in Corpus Christi that was named after it.

The carrier has a blue camouflage body, and the Japanese claim to have sunk her.

An aircraft on the USS Lexington Museum

JairoBarron /

While visiting this museum, you can join guided tours that go on for around four hours and give you an opportunity to get a close-up look at the carrier’s major deck and quarters.

You can also enjoy the collection of simulators, scale models, and some games and fun escape room experiences.

The mega theater in the museum is also used to screen a 3D movie for visitors.

An aircraft displayed on USS Lexington Museum

JairoBarron /

See the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge All Lit up at Night

Sunset over Harbor Bridge

Moab Republic /

Constructed in the late 1950s, the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge connects the city to its port.

The bridge was constructed with steel and designed in an arch shape.

Its style is purely southern, and the bridge offers impressive views of the city lights at night.

The influence of Mississippi-style bridges can easily be seen on the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge.

View of the lit up Harbor Bridge

Henryk Sadura /

One interesting fact about this bridge is that it transports a load of more than 30,000 cars on a daily basis.

The structure is covered with more than 10,000 multicolored LED lights that make it a splendid view at night.

This is the primary reason why this bridge is so famous among the masses.

The light from the bridge illuminates the adjacent harbor with pretty colors, especially on the Fourth of July.

Far view of the Harbor Bridge

Henryk Sadura /

Try the Craft Beers at Lazy Beach Brewing

Lazy Beach Brewing is a simple yet classy microbrewery offering fine handcrafted beers in Corpus Christi.

The drinks brewed here are also served in other parts of the city, but the best place to taste their handcrafted beers is the brewery itself.

A food truck is also available outside the brewery to provide you with the perfect culinary company for your pint.

The place offers regular beers, along with seasonal beers made in collaboration with other microbreweries in the Texas region.

Treat Yourself to a Fancy Dinner at Republic of Texas Bar & Grill

The renowned Republic of Texas Bar & Grill is one of the best restaurants in Corpus Christi.

It is a prestigious steakhouse with breathtaking views of Corpus Christi Bay.

This multilevel Texas steakhouse provides customers with stunning panoramic views of Corpus Christi Bay from the 20th floor of the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel.

Daniel Rosa, the executive chef of Republic of Texas Bar & Grill, attributes his passion for cooking to his mother, who is an expert at creating delectable feasts for loved ones.

They offer everything you’ll need for an excellent dining experience, including prime steak, seafood, an award-winning wine selection, and breathtaking vistas.

Go Birdwatching at Mustang Island State Park

Birds at Mustang Island State Park

rlsmithtx /

Over five miles of beachfront provide visitors of the Mustang Island State Park plenty of space for sun-filled recreation.

Wild mustangs that formerly roamed the island gave way to ranches in the late 1800s, giving the island its name.

The western beachfront of the island in Corpus Christi Bay is followed by the trail’s three sections.

The waters of Mustang Island State Park

Agave Photo Studio /

Programs on birding, astronomy, wildlife hikes, and other activities are available.

You may camp, have a picnic, fish, paddle a kayak, watch birds, and surf on the beach.

Tour the area, relax on the beach, go fishing in the bay, and discover new birds at Mustang Island State Park.

Shop till You Drop at La Palmera

La Palmera, a one-million-square-foot prime retail and leisure destination in Corpus Christi, offers more than 100 restaurants and shopping alternatives.

Visitors get to shop at the top national merchants and niche stores.

Full-service eating options are available through La Palmera, in addition to a range of selections in the La Palmera Cafés Food Court and specialized food and beverage spots all across the mall.

Additionally, there are facilities that include a children’s play area with an underwater theme on the top floors, along with parking and concierge facilities at the main level of the mall.

For the convenience of locals and visitors alike, Home2Suites by Hilton is situated just next to La Palmera.

Venture Down the Six-Story Slide at Hurricane Alley Waterpark

Unwind on the beach or enjoy the surf while escaping the heat at Hurricane Alley Waterpark.

Over 12,000 square feet of thrilling wave pool action can be found at Storm Surge.

Take a dip in their river, Gulf Stream, and float blissfully through Hurricane Alley while taking in the scenery and soaking up the sun.

The only one of its type in Texas, CAT 5 is an exhilarating six-story slide complex that stands over 65 feet tall.

Grab a companion and enjoy as you ride down the complex’s spiral in two-person tubes.

Order a Steak at Blackbeard’s on the Beach

Blackbeard’s on the Beach is situated in a vivid purple building that is one of the oldest surviving structures on North Beach.

The restaurant has been a popular location for locals and tourists of Corpus Christi since 1991.

They offer a varied menu of seafood, steaks, and comfort cuisine in addition to nightly live music.

If you’re searching for a juicy steak, a delicious burger, or loaded nachos, they’ve got you covered.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Scenic Walking Trails at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Birds of the waters of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

William Cushman /

Located in the city of Austwell, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is about 50 miles north of Corpus Christi.

This place is spread over an area of 70,000 acres and was established as a winter homeland for certain endangered bird species.

It eventually became home to other wildlife species, including alligators, a variety of snakes, and various bird species like whooping cranes.

Wetland boardwalk at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

RebaKay /

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge features a fair share of tidal flats, grasslands, and freshwater ponds that encourage the growth of aquatic life.

It also offers beautiful and mesmerizing walking trails.

An observation tower has also been installed in the place to ensure a fair chance of locating a wide range of animal species.

Live oaks on the gulf coast of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Wildnerdpix /

Final Thoughts

There are many entertaining and fascinating tourist attractions in Corpus Christi, a Texas city on the Gulf of Mexico, which will undoubtedly make tourists happy.

Numerous outdoor pursuits and opportunities for beach enjoyment are available at this destination.

Enjoy days filled with sightseeing, surfing, and seafood dining when you visit the charming city of Corpus Christi.

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