Corpus Christi is a city of salty sea air and sun-drenched beaches. Whether you’re seeking some rest and relaxation or exploring a new place, the sparkly coastal city in southern Texas is worth checking out.
With its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, historical sites, great restaurants, and unique outdoor adventures, Corpus Christi offers something for everyone, from beach bums to history buffs and foodies!
Whether traveling solo or with family and friends, these activities will provide an unforgettable experience that will make your visit extra special. Keep reading to discover the must-see attractions in Corpus Christi.
My visit to Corpus Christi was hosted by Travel Texas and Visit Corpus Christi. All opinions are my own.
1. Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the southern part of the Lone Star State. There are so many things to do and see at this incredible facility.
From the moment you enter, you’ll be amazed by the diverse array of marine life on display. Whether you’re interested in gentle dolphins, graceful stingrays, or fierce sharks, you’ll find plenty to capture your attention.
But the aquarium isn’t just a place to admire animals from afar. There are also interactive exhibits that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the inhabitants of the tanks. You can touch the stingrays, venture through an underwater tunnel, or enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour. For the more adventurous, you can even swim with the sharks.
Plus, the aquarium offers daily dolphin shows and demonstrations that are both entertaining and educational. We saw the dolphins with their trainers and watched part of a dolphin show.
Whether you’re a lifelong animal lover or just looking for a fun day out, the Texas State Aquarium is the perfect destination for people of all ages.
2. USS Lexington Museum
The USS Lexington Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of America’s naval forces. Perched on the Corpus Christi waterfront, this unique museum showcases the USS Lexington, an iconic aircraft carrier that served the U.S. Navy from the 1940s through the 1990s.
Visitors can explore the massive ship’s numerous compartments, including the engine room, living quarters, and bridge. But the Lexington doesn’t just showcase vintage machinery and naval artifacts. The museum also hosts a variety of interactive exhibits and experiences that offer a deeper understanding of life aboard the USS Lexington and the challenges of serving in the U.S. Navy.
I enjoyed learning about how women played a part during the war and throughout the years.
3. The Beach
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi beaches are regarded as some of the best in the region. The city’s beaches stretch for miles, boasting soft sand dunes and warm waters.
There are plenty of water activities available, whether you come to sunbathe, swim, or surf. Kiteboarding, windsurfing, and sailing are also popular beach pastimes, and it’s not uncommon to see people strolling along the shore collecting shells or playing volleyball.
Corpus Christi is known as a fishing hotspot, and for good reason. With miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and access to numerous bays and estuaries, Corpus Christi offers anglers a diverse range of fishing opportunities year-round. Whether you’re after redfish, trout, flounder, or tarpon, this coastal city has got you covered.
The most popular spots to fish are Bob Hall Pier, Packery Channel, and Mustang Island State Park. So, grab your gear and hit the water — you never know what you might reel in!
5. Art Museum Of South Texas
The Art Museum of South Texas has contemporary and traditional art collections and hosts rotating exhibitions. You will find unique and inspiring cultural art.
We enjoyed the museum and then had a delicious lunch at Elizabeth’s, which is located in the same building.
6. Local Cuisine
Corpus Christi is home to a wide array of local cuisine. The city’s proximity to the ocean means that seafood, such as shrimp and fish, is a popular ingredient in many dishes.
Many restaurants also serve Tex-Mex dishes like tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas, which combine Mexican and American influences. Other local specialties include kolaches (pastries filled with sweet or savory ingredients like sausage or cheese) and barbecue brisket, a staple of Texas cooking.
Overall, there’s something for every food lover to enjoy in Corpus Christi’s delicious and diverse culinary scene.
7. The Selena Museum
Corpus Christi is famously known as the hometown of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the “Queen of Tejano Music.” You can visit the Selena Museum to learn more about her life, music, and legacy.
Visitors can wander through exhibits featuring her iconic outfits, awards, and personal items inside the museum.
Stroll downtown and pay tribute to the famous Selena statue.
8. Padre Island National Seashore
The Padre Island National Seashore was my favorite beach in Corpus Christi. With its vast and pristine sandy beaches, visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and birdwatching.
The park is also home to several species of sea turtles and visitors can learn about their conservation efforts through informative interpretive programs. The park rangers provide educational talks as well.
Additionally, visitors can go fishing, boating, or kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico or explore the park’s lagoon systems.
If you’re looking for a fun-filled adventure with plenty of things to do, then Padre Island National Seashore is the perfect destination.
9. King Ranch Tour
A visit to the iconic King Ranch in Texas is a must-do for any lover of American history and culture. The ranch, known for its sprawling size and rich legacy, offers a tour that takes visitors through the heart of the property and its many attractions.
This expansive property includes over 825,000 acres of beautiful South Texas land — that’s larger than the state of Rhode Island! Home to various wildlife and a thriving cattle business, King Ranch offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the American West.
Visitors can view the storied Texas Longhorns up close; the bull in the above photo greeted us during our visit.
We started with a cowboy lunch, explored the ranch’s historic buildings, and spent time in the museum. With so much to see and do, a King Ranch tour is an experience you won’t soon forget.
10. Texas Tease
Experience a perfect evening with a sunset cruise and dinner on the Texas Tease. Sail along the beautiful coast while watching the stunning sunset. The cruise offers a serene and romantic atmosphere that is perfect for any occasion.
We enjoyed the cool sea breeze while indulging in a delicious dinner on board. The Texas Tease promises an unforgettable evening with scrumptious food, breathtaking views, and a relaxed, laid-back vibe.
11. Glow In The Dark Kayaking
One of the highlights of our time in Corpus Christi was Glow In The Dark Kayaking with GlowRow. Kayaking under the stars with glowing kayaks is a unique and fun experience!
We paddled through the calm waters of the lake under the moonlit sky. The clear kayaks glow in the dark with LED lights, the paddles glow, and the fish are attracted to the lights and often swim right under you.
It’s a surreal experience as the water beneath you lights up with every stroke of your paddle and the glowing kayak reflects off the water’s surface. Whether out for a romantic evening or the whole family joins the action, this unique adventure will leave lasting memories.
12. Beach Picnic
For a romantic breakfast for two or lunch for the whole family, a picturesque beach picnic is an experience you won’t want to miss. Pretty Picnics takes all the work out of it by providing everything except the food and set-up. You can bring your picnic, hire a caterer, or use the hotel restaurant to obtain the food.
When we visited, we enjoyed breakfast on the beach and took in the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. The food was from the hotel buffet breakfast and was delicious, especially the Texas waffle, while Pretty Picnics took care of everything else.
From learning about history to soaking in some sun, Corpus Christi has something for every traveler. You will have a great time exploring this Texas city with so many fun and diverse options. Be sure to visit some of these top-rated attractions on your next trip to Corpus Christi!