Corpus Christi is a fantastic destination for those looking to experience the beauty of the Texas Gulf Coast. The city is home to miles of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, and fishing, as well as take a stroll along the iconic Corpus Christi Bayfront. The city also offers a variety of cultural attractions, including the USS Lexington Museum, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, and the Art Museum of South Texas. With its great weather, delicious seafood, and friendly locals, Corpus Christi is a great destination for a vacation or weekend getaway.
15. Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures & Education Center
The Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures & Education Center in Corpus Christi, Texas is a must-see destination for those interested in the rich history and culture of Asia. The museum offers a wide range of exhibits and programs that highlight the diverse cultures of Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Visitors can explore the art, artifacts, and traditional garments of the different countries, and learn about their customs, religions, and languages. The museum also has a variety of educational programs and workshops that allow visitors to gain a deeper understanding of Asian culture. The Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures & Education Center is a great place for families, students, and anyone interested in learning more about the rich history and culture of Asia.
14. Taste Some Gulf Seafood
Corpus Christi is known for its delicious seafood, so there are many great places to eat in the city. Some of the best places to try seafood in Corpus Christi include Blackbeard’s On The Beach. This popular seafood restaurant has a casual atmosphere and offers a variety of seafood dishes, such as shrimp, oysters, and fish. The restaurant also has great views of the beach and is a great place to enjoy a meal with family and friends. Black Diamond Oyster Bar is a casual seafood restaurant that serves a variety of seafood dishes, including shrimp, oysters, seafood gumbo and bisque, as well as burgers and sandwiches. The outdoor seating and stage for live music are perfect on sunny days.
Local mainstay Water Street Market has multiple options in one location. Part of the large building is the Water Street Oyster Bar, their first signature restaurant that features classic oyster (as well as general seafood) offerings. Next door is the Water Street Sushi Room which focuses on sushi roll creations as well as poke bowls.
13. Sunset Cruises
(image via Instagram)
Corpus Christi, Texas, offers a variety of sunset cruise options for visitors to enjoy. Some of the best places to take sunset cruises include Sunset Sail Charters. This local company offers a variety of cruises on Corpus Christi Bay. They are perfect for enjoying the sunset while viewing the city’s skyline. You’re in good hands with knowledgeable Captain Dave, who has both sail and power boats depending on the type of charter experience you choose.
If you’re wanting a truly unique experience, Red Dragon Pirate Cruises offers a pirate-themed sunset cruise on Corpus Christi Bay. It’s worth the 45-minute drive to Port Aransas on the other side of the bay at the northern tip of Mustang Island. Cruises include live pirate entertainment, games, and a treasure hunt. While it’s popular with families, they also offer adults-only sunset cruises on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
12. Corpus Christi Beaches
Corpus Christi is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Texas. Visitors can enjoy miles of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Mustang Island State Park has five miles of beachfront that is great for swimming, fishing, and picnicking. Visitors can also enjoy miles of hiking and bike trails or take guided nature tours.
North Beach is located in downtown Corpus Christi and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy the boardwalk and playground. You also can’t miss the giant aircraft carrier docked right there. Whitecap Beach is located on Mustang Island and is a great spot for swimming, fishing, and picnicking. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water sports, such as kayaking and windsurfing. You’re also able to drive out onto the beach (parking permit required).
If sand isn’t exactly your thing, you should check out Bob Hall Pier when renovations are complete in mid-2023. Hurricane Hannah caused extensive damage leading to a partial collapse in 2020. Located on Padre Island, this large pier was famed as the best place to fish in all of Corpus Christi. The views weren’t too shabby, either.
11. South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Corpus Christi is a great destination for those interested in nature and horticulture. The gardens feature a wide variety of plants and flowers, including cacti, succulents, and tropical plants. Visitors can also explore the nature trails, which are home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, butterflies, and reptiles. The nature center offers educational exhibits and interactive displays that provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the area’s ecology and conservation efforts.
The Botanical Garden has a Butterfly House, and visitors can see the tropical butterflies up close in a natural setting. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the metamorphosis process of the butterflies. The gardens also include a Japanese Garden featuring a koi pond, a tea house, and a traditional Japanese garden.
The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center offers guided tours, classes and workshops, as well as special events throughout the year. It’s a great place to spend a relaxing day with family and friends and also a great spot for photography and bird-watching.
10. Kayaking and Paddleboarding
(image via Wikimedia)
For some unique fun, try renting a paddleboard or kayak. Corpus Christi Bay is a great place to kayak and paddleboard, offering beautiful views of the city skyline and the USS Lexington.
Rentals and guided tours are available from companies like Nature Trails Kayaking. Their bread and butter are Eco Tours, 2-3 hour kayaking tours through various island canals, marsh habitats, and the “Texas Paddling Trail.” If you want to head out and explore the bay on your own, you can rent a kayak or standup paddleboard for a few hours without a guide.
Nauticool Adventures has many watersports offerings for visitors, including kayak rentals. One of the more unique options is the fishing kayak rentals. These kayaks have storage hatches and rod holders to help make catching that big fish an easy task. They also have single and tandem kayaks available for rent.
9. Fishing Excursions
Corpus Christi, Texas, is known for its abundant fishing opportunities, and there are several local businesses that offer inshore (bay) and off-shore (Gulf of Mexico) fishing trips. Southbound Fishing Charters is owned by local Captain Pierre Petrila. With options for half- and whole-day excursions in either the bay or the gulf, Captain Petrila’s “No Fish, No Pay” rule means you’re nearly guaranteed to take home a trophy catch.
If you really want to go far out in the deep, Fishermans’ Wharf in nearby Port Aransas may be your best bet. The most-family friendly option is a 6-hour half-day tour that targets species like kingfish (mackerel), red snapper, triggerfish, and jack fish. Other tours include 9- and 12-hour trips. They even offer overnight experiences like the 36-hour (overnight) Deep Drop Trip trolling the waters or drifting at deep-water rigs. In the fall and winter months, they offer a 56-hour (2 nights) tuna fishing charter.
8. USS Lexington Museum
The USS Lexington Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a must-visit destination for history and military enthusiasts. Construction on the aircraft carrier began in 1941; thereafter, it saw action in WWII and the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Visitors can explore the decks of the ship and learn about its history, including its role in the Battle of the Coral Sea.
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits, such as flight simulators and historic aircraft, that give visitors a sense of what life was like on board the ship. The USS Lexington Museum is also home to the Mess Deck cafe, which serves up some delicious snacks. With so much to see and do, the USS Lexington Museum is a great place to spend a day learning about the history of the US Navy and the role it played in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
7. Corpus Christi Hooks Baseball
Visiting a Corpus Christi Hooks baseball game is a fun and exciting way to spend an evening. The Hooks are a minor league team that plays in the Texas League and are affiliated with the Houston Astros. At Whataburger Field, visitors can enjoy the game while taking in beautiful views of Harbor Bridge.
The Hooks offer a variety of food options, including traditional ballpark fare and local specialties like Whataburger burgers. The Hooks are known for their lively and entertaining games, with plenty of opportunities for fans to get involved, such as between-inning contests and games. With affordable ticket prices and a great family-friendly atmosphere, a Corpus Christi Hooks game is a great way to spend an evening in the city.
6. Hurricane Alley Waterpark
Hurricane Alley Water Park in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a must-visit destination for families and water lovers. With a variety of exciting slides, pools, and attractions, the park offers something for everyone. Visitors can take a ride on the park’s signature “Riptide Rocket” water slide, relax in the lazy river, or play in the wave pool.
Hurricane Alley Water Park also offers a variety of food options, from fast food to sit-down dining. The park is equipped with shaded areas and lounging areas for visitors to escape the sun and relax. With its exciting attractions and friendly atmosphere, Hurricane Alley Water Park is a great place to spend a day in the sun while free from sand.
5. Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
Located downtown, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History features interactive exhibits that showcase the rich history and cultural heritage of the city and surrounding areas. Visitors can learn about the Native American tribes that inhabited the region, the impact of the oil industry on the local economy, and the role of Corpus Christi in the Civil War.
The museum also features a variety of science exhibits, including a hands-on discovery center where visitors can learn about physics, biology, and other subjects. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events, such as workshops and lectures, for visitors to deepen their understanding of the subjects on display
4. Selena Museum
The Selena Museum in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a great visit, even if you aren’t a die-hard fan of the legendary Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. The museum is located in the former studio of Selena’s father and music producer, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., and showcases Selena’s music and legacy. Visitors can see a variety of memorabilia, including Selena’s costumes, awards, and personal items.
The museum also features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn about Selena’s life and music and to experience her performances in a virtual environment. The museum is also home to a gift shop, where visitors can purchase Selena-related merchandise and souvenirs. Do be aware that the museum is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
3. Art Museum of South Texas
The Art Museum of South Texas is located in the heart of downtown Corpus Christi and features a diverse collection of works from local, regional, and national artists. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibitions, including contemporary art, modern masterpieces, and traveling exhibitions. Past exhibitions have focused on blow-up inflatable contemporary art, texas women working in abstraction, as well as works from artists Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs, such as workshops and classes, for visitors to deepen their understanding of the art and artists on display. The museum is also home to a gift shop, where visitors can purchase art-related merchandise and souvenirs.
2. Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island National Seashore is located on the Gulf of Mexico and spans over 70 miles of pristine shoreline, offering visitors a variety of recreational opportunities. Visitors can swim, fish, hike, camp, and observe wildlife in their natural habitats. Padre Island is also home to several unique ecosystems, including dunes, marshes, and tidal flats, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience a diverse range of landscapes. The seashore also offers a variety of ranger-led programs, such as nature walks and beachcombing tours, for visitors to deepen their understanding of the area’s ecology and history.
1. Texas State Aquarium
The Texas State Aquarium is located on the shore of Corpus Christi Bay and features a variety of exhibits showcasing the diverse marine life of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Visitors can see a range of marine animals, including sea turtles, dolphins, jellyfish, and many others. The aquarium also offers a variety of interactive exhibits, such as touch tanks, that allow visitors to learn about the animals and their habitats first-hand.
In addition to its exhibits, the Texas State Aquarium also offers a variety of educational programs and events, such as behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters, and live shows. During warm weather months, there is even an H-E-B-sponsored splash park and water play area. If you’d rather the kids stay dry, Owen’s Paleo Park that is a mock fossil dig site allowing kids to unearth dinosaur bones. These are included in the admission price of the museum!
As you can see, Corpus Christi has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips from nearby Corpus Christi, Texas.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.