We love Corpus Christi because it has lots of fun things to see and do, good restaurants, great fishing, fun nightlife, great attractions, a variety of lodging, and more. Below are our comments and observations about some of the major attractions and things to see and do in Corpus during your next visit or vacation to Corpus Christi.
One of the things that we enjoyed about the Lexington was the variety of ways they disseminate information and facts – from movies and videos to exhibits to the tours through the ship. As you take any of the five well done self guided tours (Flight Deck, Foc’sle, Gallery Deck, Engine Room and Sick Bay, and the Hanger Deck) thru the Lexington, you’ll be amazed at the displays, sights and sounds, and the ship itself. The Lexington is also home to an Imax theater which was showing Fighter Pilot and Lewis and Clark when we visited – Fighter Pilot was fantastic. In addition, you’ll find a Flight Simulator on the Lexington that has 11 different simulated rides, video/computer battle stations, a variety of aircraft, and lots more. Plan on spending at least 4 hours to really enjoy the USS Lexington.
Corpus Christi Marina
The Corpus marina is downtown and is stunning with all the beautiful power boats, cruisers, sailboats, and fishing boats. If you like to admire boats, you won’t be disappointed cruising through the marina. In addition, at the marina you’ll find:
- Charter boats for bay or deep sea fishing, day cruises, or evening dinner trips
- Boat rentals including paddle boats, kayaks, jet skis, or 36′ sailboats
- A restored Nina, one of boats that Christopher Columbus sailed across the ocean to discover America
- A couple good places to eat, drink, and enjoy the view and sunset – Joe’s Crab Shack and Landry’s
- A wide paved bike/foot/jogging path along the waterfront
If you like museums, Corpus offers you several choices including
- The Art Museum of South Texas – in addition to a large display of permanent art and traveling displays (we really enjoyed the Charles Schwartz Peanuts display), the Museum has a store and cafe overlooking the ship channel
- Museum of Science and History – a very well done museum with full size displays, hands on exhibits, video, and much more. You’ll also find an array of live reptiles from alligators to turtles, gold and guns from the oldest scientific excavation of a Spanish 1554 shipwreck, and the famous Columbus ships the Santa Maria and Pinta – tours of each of the ships are available. Suitable and interesting for all ages.
- Surf Museum – this museum details the history of surfing in Texas, from South Padre Island to Galveston, through memorabilia and photographs
- Selena Museum – a tribute to Selena
- Heritage Park & Cultural Center – nine historical homes dating back to 1851
Texas State Aquarium
One of the better aquariums in Texas and an amazing underwater world with thousands of animals and fish in 8 unique sections (Gulf of Mexico, Shipwreck, Louisiana Swamp, Reel to Real, Sunken Temple, Discovery Rig, White Tigers, Rainforest, and more) plus amusements (ferris wheel, train, games, dancing fountains, carousel, etc.), and live shows. We loved the dolphin show and were amazed at how well trained the dolphins are and the tricks and stunts that the trainers have taught them, some of which include distinguishing the difference between a square, circle, and triangle; waving or smiling to the audience; or sailing 10 feet out of the water! The bird show was also very entertaining and interesting with a variety of animals doing tricks and stunts. Both of the show’s narrators added a little humor and got some of the audience involved in the show. Well worth the price of admission!
South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
180 acre site along Oso Creek with a blend of exotic floral exhibits, pristine natural wetlands, and native habitats. This is part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and it has a nature and wetland boardwalk through native mesquite forests, around Gator Lake, and to Hummingbird Gardens. If you like roses, you’ll enjoy the 35,000 square foot Rose Garden and Rose Pavilion.
Padre Island National Seashore
This is the longest remaining undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. Excellent for remote beaches, shell hunting, bird watching, windsurfing, driving on the beach, beach combing, or primitive camping. Or just sitting in a beach chair, relaxing, enjoying the sun, sand, and surf.