What to do and see in Corpus Christi, United States: The Best Places and Tips

August 21, 2017 Vergie Nakamoto

Corpus Christi possesses all of the main ingredients of an ideal weekend getaway: the sun, the sea, the sights, plus exhilarating and engaging activities the whole family can enjoy. Spend the day on the beach soaking up the sun or wind surfing, the breezy city's favorite pastime. Visit the massive Texas State Aquarium with its new Dolphin Bay, a protected habitat for dolphins unable to survive in open water. Take a tour of The USS Lexington, one of the most famous aircraft carriers in U.S. naval history. Stroll through fabulous flora and fauna at the Botanical Gardens. At the Museum of Science and History, check out the recreated Pinta and Santa Maria, two of the ships Columbus used to sail to the new world. At night, enjoy a succulent seafood dinner at any number of fine restaurants, then head to the historic Harbor Playhouse for delightfully original community theater and a true taste of what Corpus Christi is all about.
Restaurants in Corpus Christi

1. USS LEXINGTON

2914 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402-1116 +1 361-888-4873
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

USS LEXINGTON

SPRING BREAK 2018 - Open fro 9am to 6pm. Visitors can tour the most highly decorated Essex Class aircraft carrier of World War II.The 16-story "Blue Ghost" displays military artifacts and more than a dozen aircraft.5 Tour Routes,3D MEGA Theater,Ship's Store,Mess Deck and Flight Simulator. National Historic Landmark located on North Beach.Elevator from the Hangar Deck to the Flight Deck is now available.Welcome Aboard!

Reviewed By CrankingChick - Tucson, Arizona

The ship is easy to locate at North Beach, just off US181 across the Harbor Bridge from downtown. (Note that the bridge is being replaced and construction is causing intermittent closures; check "Harbor Bridge Project" online.) There is a pay parking lot ($3.50) adjacent to the entrance. We visited the nearby aquarium first in the morning; it is within walking distance and has free parking so we left our car there. We wanted to visit the ship with a wheelchair and checked the website ahead of time. It was very clear that the wheelchair (and strollers) would only be able to visit the main entrance/exhibit "Hangar Deck" where the movie theater and snack bar are located, and the top "Flight Deck" where the planes are displayed via elevator. The other three decks housing the living quarters, Pearl Harbor exhibit, engine room, scale model gallery, etc. are accessed by narrow stairways and ladders. We accepted these terms, and were grateful for the unusual opportunity to tour this national treasure. There is a long ramp from the parking area and beach boardwalk at ground level to the entrance opening about half-way up the side of the ship. I had an able assistant, but some may find the ramp challenging. The day we visited, staff was offering rides up and down the ramp in a golf cart. The ship is open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9am to 5pm. It stays open until 6pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The admission price is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 4-12, and includes the movie in the 3D Mega Theater (hourly). There's a $3 discount for seniors and military, and a $1 off coupon on the website good for up to 6 people. You can tour the ship on your own at your own pace or sign up for a special guided tour (extra fee). They also have a smart phone tour that uses a QR code reader to provide information on exhibits on display. The airplanes on the Flight Deck are exposed to the elements so consider the weather before you go. Even though I couldn't reach all the levels of the ship, I still enjoyed our visit and found it interesting and educational. It took us a couple of hours to see everything we could and purchase a gift for my father in the gift shop. After exploring the ship, we took a walk down the beach.

2. Padre Island National Seashore

20420 Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418-6529 +1 361-949-8068
Excellent
69%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Padre Island National Seashore

A 15-minute drive from downtown Corpus Christi transports you to this magnificent 70-mile stretch of white sand beach, scenic dunes and warm ocean water, offering ideal conditions for swimming, fishing, beach-combing, windsurfing, camping, bird-watching and viewing wildlife.

Reviewed By Ron P - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

A short drive from Corpus Christie lies the Padre Island National Seashore where you can camp and drive on the beach. There are 2 campgrounds available for those that would rather stay off the beach. We were there in Jan so it was somewhat cool and breezy. Walk the beach for miles without any crowds to displease. You will love it

3. Whataburger Field

734 E Port Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401-1006 +1 361-561-4665
Excellent
73%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 222 reviews

Whataburger Field

Reviewed By LAH28 - San Antonio, Texas

This was a first time visit for us to the ballpark and we went to a Sunday evening game. From our hotel on Shoreline Drive it was very easy to find and less than 2 miles distance. We arrived about 40 min. before game time and had already purchased our tickets online beforehand. There is pass only parking next to the field and general parking across the street for $5. There was no wait to get in but there are a lot of steps to walk up. So if you are not able to do steps there is an elevator to use. Once upstair, there of course is a Whataburger with a slightly different menu selection than usual (ie. Whataburger for $5.00 and fries and drink are extra). But you expect upped prices at this type of venue. There are also a few other places to get food and drink. The park was VERY CLEAN and we had no problem finding our seats; but they do have lots of people to ask assistance. The fold down, slatted seats were not particularly comfy but again this is the venue. The men’s bathroom was not very clean after the game. There was no one roaming vendors selling refreshments during the game except for one cotton candy person came by once around the 7th inning. The PA system was good as was the video screen. They had lots of audience type participation games the first five innings are so, as well as a raffle drawing. We were surprised though at the lack of enthusiasm from the audience during most of the game even though it was a close game with a nail biting finish. There also were plenty of available seats even though it was Father’s Day. We thought it would be more crowded. There is a small water park next door. The ballpark has a small knoll with a tiny pool area and these are located outside the center to right field fence area. Sections 114 to 124 were in the shade at game time and all behind the netting, dugouts and home base and do not have first three rows behind dugouts. Section 113 on and 125 on are open with rows beginning at 1. The visitor side, from about Section 122, is in the sun up until around 7:30 on the night games. On the home side part of Section 113 is in the sun early and the sections down from this are also in the sun. This field is very close to the bridge over the channel and it began slowly lighting up around 8:00 and by the end of the game was very colorful changing colors from hot pink, white, blue etc. After the game it was not a problem exiting the stadium and getting to the parking lot BUT we were not able to backtrack the same way we came as they had cones blocking the road. So we had to go in the opposite direction. Now not having GPS, and being from out of town, made this slightly challenging at dark. But after about 15 min. we had wound around to the expressway and were able to find our way back to the hotel. In the end it was a good game since our home team won! If you like baseball and want to see a nice field at a reasonable price then put this on your agenda.

4. Malaquite Beach

20420 Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418 +1 361-949-8068
Excellent
69%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 393 reviews

Malaquite Beach

This beach on Padre Island is a great camping and beach-going spot.

Reviewed By charles s - London, United Kingdom

Fantastic beach with an excellent well presented Visitor Center. The Center is smart and well laid out with interesting displays, including objects found washed up on the beach, couldn't believe how many different items there were. The Rangers are friendly and informative. An interesting visit.

5. Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

Corpus Christi, TX
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 377 reviews

Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

Reviewed By casagtraveler - Fishers, Indiana

By day, the bridge itself is impressive, winding high enough to clear the oceangoing freighters in the channel.

By night the light show on the bridge is mesmerizing. It won't occupy your entire evening but it's well worth pulling up to a good spot on the North end of downtown or over by the Tecas State Aquarium to watch the show for a little bit.

6. Texas State Aquarium

2710 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402-1097 +1 361-881-1200
Excellent
50%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Texas State Aquarium

Discover the amazing underwater world of the Texas State Aquarium! Thousands of animals representing over 320 different species are ready to enchant, entertain, and inspire you. Corpus Christi's most popular cultural attraction has welcomed over 12 million visitors since its grand opening in July 1990. Conveniently located on North Beach, the Texas State Aquarium is just minutes from Corpus Christi's downtown district, convention center complex, and museums.The Texas State Aquarium Association is a not-for-profit, educational institution that does not receive any city, state, or federal funding for its operations. Every visit to the Texas State Aquarium is a new and exciting discovery of animals that remind us all of our responsibility to those whose world we share.The Aquarium's Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Program is federally permitted and operates under rigorous standards established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Each year, thousands of protected, endangered or threatened species along the Texas coast become ill or injured. Most are brought to our facility with problems caused directly or indirectly by humans. The goal of the Texas State Aquarium's Second Chances Program is to rehabilitate, and whenever possible, return the animals to their natural environment. The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Aquarium's mission is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for our seas, and support wildlife conservation.

Reviewed By CrankingChick - Tucson, Arizona

We were in Corpus Christi a couple of years ago but we were on a tight schedule and decided to save the aquarium for another visit. When we returned last November, we learned that they had recently opened the new Caribbean Journey exhibits. It turned out to be our favorite section so we were glad we waited!

I purchased tickets for my husband and I in advance online. It was quick and convenient and we didn't have to wait in line. Yes, the price is somewhat high at $35 (kids age 3-12 $20-25), but I consider that the aquarium is a nonprofit organization and that we are helping to support the care of the animals as well as their conservation mission. This is not something we have the opportunity to do everyday. They offer a special price of $30/adult on weekdays (when purchased online) or seniors, military and students can get a $2 discount off the regular price with I.D. Special behind-the-scenes experiences are also available for additional fee such as dolphin training, feeding fish or birds. The aquarium was easy to locate - at North Beach off US181, just across the Harbor Bridge from downtown. [Note Harbor Bridge is being replaced and construction in the area is causing intermittent closures. Check "Harbor Bridge Project" online for updates.] There are signs to direct you to the aquarium and parking is free. We arrived on a Monday morning just after it opened and it was not very crowded.

We spent about 3 hours enjoying all the exhibits and the bird show. The aquarium definitely has more to offer than "just fish". While this aquarium is smaller than some of the other major ones we have visited, there is an impressive variety of displays with a focus on education and conservation. Many of the exhibits have hands-on learning opportunities which should appeal to children in particular. Some of my personal favorites were the iguanas, American alligator, sea turtles, seahorses, toucan, otters, and the porcupine and Red-legged Seriema that were featured in the "Wild Flight" show. Wheelchair access at the aquarium is excellent.

We ate lunch at the Shoreline Grill downstairs. It's a very casual cafe' or snack bar with a service line; self-service beverages and condiments. We ordered a veggie burger and a grilled chicken sandwich which were made to order, and picked up pre-made salads from a refrigerator case. The food tasted good, the portions were generous and the prices were fair. The grill doesn't have a great ambiance because it's under the concrete building and feels somewhat like a bunker. Most of the seating is outdoors in a covered breezeway, only a few tables are inside.

Tip: We visited the aquarium in the morning and the USS Lexington in the afternoon. They are right next to each other, within walking distance. The Lexington charges for parking but the aquarium doesn't, so we left our car at the aquarium and walked.

7. Selena Museum

5410 Leopard St, Corpus Christi, TX 78408-2509 +1 361-289-9013
Excellent
60%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 225 reviews

Selena Museum

Reviewed By travelingkr2011 - Houston, TX

Visiting the Selena museum is a must see if you were a fan of Selena. They have done a great job of preserving her personal belongings including her car.

The tour is very inexpensive at $3pp (they truly could charge much more). Selena fans would pay more.

The museum can get pretty crowded during peak times. You are able to take pictures with no flash or video. There is also a gift shop if you would like to buy Selena branded items.

Parking is scarce. I recommend parking across the street.

8. Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

1900 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401-1114 +1 361-826-4667
Excellent
47%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 212 reviews

Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Popular with families, the museum focuses on the history and culture of South Texas with something for everyone, including relics from a 1554 shipwreck, recreations of two of the three ships used for Columbus's voyage to the New World, an interactive weather station, a children's section with marine activities and numerous artifacts.

Reviewed By David G - Kerrville, Texas

... and gives a good summary of local history. There is an extensive play-and-learn area for kids. We were there on a pre-arranged visit with a group of 14. The guide they assigned us was phoning in his tour He was only reading the text posted at each display, and not very well at that. He thought "sounding" on a sailing vessel had something to do with using the ship sides as drums! There is a very good exhibit of firearms from the arquebus to the .50 caliber Browning "ma deuce" M2 machine gun. The minerals exhibit also attracted mentions from some of our group who wandered away from our tour guide.

9. Bob Hall Pier

Padre Balli Park, Corpus Christi, TX +1 361-949-8558
Excellent
35%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 269 reviews

Bob Hall Pier

Pier that is open to the public 24 hours a day for fishing

Reviewed By Sandra C - Corpus Christi, Texas

Going out to Padre Island is one of the spectacular areas of the Corpus Christi area. Bob Hall Pier is a developed area that offers picnic tables, a cute restaurant with a view of the water, restrooms, showers, fishing pier, items to help you enjoy the beach!

10. Mirador del Flor / Selena's Seawall Statue

Corpus Christi, TX
Excellent
51%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
6%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 191 reviews

Mirador del Flor / Selena's Seawall Statue

Reviewed By M J - Austin, Texas

My husband and I saw the Selena's Seawall Statue as we were walking along the Corpus Christ Seawall. The statue is in a sheltered dome like gazebo. It is a nice place to take a break in the shade as well.

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