Ready to cruise through South Texas? Don’t forget to relish exploring all the best things to do in Corpus Christi, TX. Situated on the Texas Gulf Coast, Corpus Christi is a vibrant city with a rich history. You won’t want to skip out on the trippy vibes of Corpus Christi on your trip.
Relax on one of Corpus Christi’s many sandy beaches along the 127 miles of coastline. Spend some peaceful time at beautiful Cole Park and learn about the city at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. While soaking up the top tourist attractions in Corpus Christi, you can also explore the vibrant nightlife and savor the coastal city’s delicious seafood at top-notch restaurants.
Not sure what to do on your Texas Gulf Coast adventure? Carve out a perfect trip to this lively city with this guide to the best places to visit in Corpus Christi, TX.
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Texas State Aquarium
Intrigued by marine life? Start by gazing at the beautiful sea creatures at Texas State Aquarium. Opened in 1995, the splendid aquarium holds the beauty of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. For families, it’s one of the coolest places to see in Corpus Christi.
During your Texas State Aquarium visit, you’ll get to know the efforts behind rehabilitating wildlife creatures through various exhibits. You can also look at and choose one of the aquarium’s many education programs. If you’re on a family trip, head to the 400,000-gallon Dolphin Bay and observe the adorable feats of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
Make sure to take your kids to the splash park, a fossil digging site, and enroll them into programs where they’ll learn about the fauna.
Love war history? Drive straight to the WWII-era aircraft carrier, USS Lexington permanently docked at Corpus Christi Bay. The huge ship, also known as the “Blue Ghost,” now serves as a museum and hosts various events throughout the year. For history buffs, the USS Lexington is one of the top Corpus Christi tourist attractions.
You can explore the ship’s hangar deck, see restored warplanes, and get a feel of what life was like during wartime. Climb up to the top of the USS Lexington for lovely views over Corpus Christi Bay. Or head down to the engine room and witness its state-of-an art engineering.
If you’re traveling during Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, you can join in for special events hosted on the USS Lexington.
Looking for a perfect natural tan? Pack your sunscreen and soak in some sun rays at North Beach. Once known as Corpus Christi Beach, the stretch of sand sits on Corpus Christi Bay and provides the city’s best swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.
At North Beach, you can stroll beside the 1.5-mile-long boardwalk running parallel to Ocean Drive. On your walk, relish in the views of the skyline, the marina, and serene water.
If you love fishing, don’t forget to bring your tackle; North Beach is among the best fishing spots in Corpus Christi. To score a perfect catch, you can fish from the pier or wade into the water.
For food, head to any of the beachfront restaurants and enjoy delicious seafood dishes while appreciating stunning sea views.
Mustang Island State Park
Want to feel some island energy? No better place to enjoy Texas-style island time than Mustang Island State Park. The 3,500-acre state park offers various outdoor activities like camping, birding, swimming, and fishing. For outdoor adventure, it’s one of the top points of interest in Corpus Christi.
Explore five miles of beachfront and sand dunes present at the Mustang Island State Park. Witness the majestic views of Gulf sunsets and try your hand at kiteboarding or windsurfing. If you’re not ready to dive into the water, rent a surfboard and try some sand surfing on the dune.
End your wonderful evening at the spacious campgrounds. Pitch a tent and gawk at the various species of birds flying over the park.
Want a destination that’ll fulfill the interests of everyone in your travel group? Pack everyone up and head over to Cole Park. Concerts, movies, outdoor activities, trails—you name it!—and this Corpus Christi city park has it.
Bring your skateboard along and show off your skateboarding tricks at the 10,000-square-foot concrete ramp, gaps, and ledges. Nature lovers can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the scenic trails of Cole Park. Play some games like Tic Tac Toss in the ample green space.
If you’re on a date, pack a romantic picnic lunch and enjoy it while sitting beside the fountain before strolling through the gardens. Or cook a meal together on the park’s grills.
Fan of the Latina singer Selena Quintanilla? Take out time to explore the pride of Texas, Selena Museum, situated inside the Q-Productions, the recording studio. The museum is an extravaganza of the life and legacy of the “Queen of Tejano music.”
At the Selena Museum, you can explore exhibits featuring Selena’s memorabilia, clothing, awards, instruments, and platinum and gold records. You can also marvel at her iconic Porsche. Check out the photographs and videos highlighting different phases of Selena’s life.
Don’t forget to swing by the Selena Store for a memento. This huge gift shop has t-shirts and hoodies, posters, tumblers, and other one-of-a-kind Selena Quintanilla-Perez merchandise.
Padre Island National Seashore
Planning some outdoor adventure on your Corpus Christi trip? Pack your swimsuit and head over to Padre Island National Seashore. The national park sits on the shores of the barrier island separating Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Padre Island National Seashore is the antithesis of nearby buzzing South Padre Island. Here, you’ll feel nature up close rather than rub elbows with the spring break college crowd.
Drive the park’s length or explore it on foot or by bike. Or hit the waters to enjoy an impeccable kayaking experience over the crystal-clear waters.
Stop at any point to enjoy fishing, swimming, birding, and picnicking on the golden sands. If you’re lucky, you might even glimpse sea turtles hatching or dolphins frolicking in the water!
Sports fans need to save time in their itinerary to catch a baseball game at Whataburger Field on the Corpus Christi waterfront. Located near the Texas State Aquarium and the Harbor Bridge, the field provides magical views as your cheer on your team.
Whataburger Field is the home stadium of the city’s Double-A affiliated minor league baseball team, the Corpus Christi Hooks. While watching the game, feast on some of the delicious food items like chicken sandwiches, nachos, and hot dogs.
While exploring the Whataburger Field, keep an eye out for elements from its old industrial structures, such as corrugated sidings, wooden beams, and vintage machinery.
Lazy Beach Brewing
Want to enjoy a beer while watching the waves crash on the shore? Pull up a chair at Lazy Beach Brewing. Situated near Whitecap Beach, the brewery offers a comfortable outdoor seating area to enjoy the ocean views as you sip on your suds.
You won’t feel like a tourist at Lazy Beach Brewing thanks to its cozy home-like ambiance. Try out some of their famous beer flavors like Banana-nana Booch Booch, Poseidon’s Trident, Hard Kombucha, and Beach in Wheat.
You can also ask them for the unique weekly flavor; they have had a ritual of introducing one every week since 2014.
If your stomach’s growling, order some delicious food from the food trucks parked around the brewery.
South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
If you’re a nature lover visiting Corpus Christi, pick your binoculars and drive down to the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center. You’ll find this natural wildlife paradise of nature 15 miles from downtown Corpus Christi.
Stroll through the different gardens like Rose Garden, Bromeliad Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Plumeria Garden, and Sensory Garden. You can also explore the Nature Center to learn about the local flora and fauna. Move on to the orchid conservatory and butterfly house to complete your South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center tour.
You can also go to the gift shop and cafe on the premises in case you want to buy a souvenir or get hungry.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
Ready to travel back in time? Schedule a visit to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History in Downtown Corpus Christi. Established in 1945, the museum holds an exceptional collection of artifacts dating back to the pre-Columbian period.
Take a stroll through the museum’s galleries that tell the stories of the Civil War, local flora and fauna, Padre Island’s famous excavated shipwreck, and local treasures and gemstones.
The interactive exhibits at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History explain the heritage of local civilizations, their creative crafts, and the ecology of coastal regions.
Traveling to Corpus Christi with little ones? Your kids can also have a blast and expend a little energy at the playground at the science center.
Padre Balli Park
Want to have some raw outdoor fun on your Corpus Christi sightseeing adventure? Lace up your shoes and head to Padre Balli Park, a beautiful beachside park located on North Padre Island. The 375-acre park is perfect for a day of picnicking, swimming, fishing, bird watching, and hiking. For outdoor activities, it’s one of the best places to go in Corpus Christi.
Go surfing, kiteboarding, or windsurfing at the waves of the Laguna Madre Bay. Or, if you’re driving by and want a stop, use the paved campsites available at Padre Balli Park. You can also pitch your tent at Padre Balli Park, or if you have an RV, connect to the central water and electricity hookups.
If you’re staying overnight, get a parking permit and park your car or RV. Padre Balli Park also includes other helpful amenities like restrooms.
Need to add another dash of history to your trip plans? Make Heritage Park your next stop to experience the history of Corpus Christi. This Texas historical landmark contains several stunning preserved historic homes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Reserve a walking tour of the Heritage Park that’ll take you through the two most famous buildings here: Sidbury House and Britton-Evans House.
The Sidbury House, once owned by Charlotte King Cook Sidbury, will give you the feel of a Victorian-style home in the heart of South Texas.
While you’re visiting the Britton-Evans House, admire its Queen Anne architecture and marvel at how much natural light lights up the home throughout the day.
Corpus Christi Bay Trail
Love exploring attractions on your own? Choose Corpus Christi Bay Trail for your solo expedition. The nine-mile trail stretches from downtown to Oso Bay. The route will take you past the Art Museum of South Texas, the Museum of Science and History, and the city’s picturesque marina.
If you’re a fan of seafood, visit the many seafood shacks and restaurants by the Corpus Christi Bay Trail. Fajitaville, Blackbeards, and Doc’s Seafood & Steaks are some of the most popular ones.
You can also find many parks and playgrounds along the way to take a break. If you’re traveling along with your partner, click a few scenic shots on the trail.
Art Museum of South Texas
Cycling on the Corpus Christi Bay Trail? Take a break at the Art Museum of South Texas to soak up some information about the local art scene. Established in 1972, the museum holds a rich collection of rare contemporary artwork. For art lovers, it’s one of the top-rated Corpus Christi points of interest.
You can explore paintings, sculptures, graphics, and photographs by renowned artists. The Art Museum of South Texas also holds temporary exhibitions from time to time. Be sure to check their events schedule before planning your visit. You can also ask about the details of education programs, designed for both adults and children.
If you feel hungry while exploring, head to the on-site cafe and relish the cuisine with a touch of Asian and Mediterranean flavors.
Want some peace after exploring the Art Museum of South Texas? Drive down to McGee Beach, a beautiful spot for swimming, fishing, and relaxing. One of the most beautiful beaches in Corpus Christi, the stretch of sand lies on the north side of Corpus Christi Bay.
If you’re traveling with kids, let them play in the sand and build sandcastles, while you unfold your mat and lay down on the sand to soak in some rays.
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Or hire a paddle boat and explore the marine life under the placid waters of Emerald Cove. You can also go fishing in the pristine and calm water of McGee Beach.
Hurricane Alley Waterpark
Looking for some fun activities in Corpus Christi? Beat the heat of summers at Hurricane Alley Waterpark. This massive waterpark on Port Avenue will provide a wonderful experience for you and your friends or family.
Take a break from the sun and waves and dive into the refreshing world of the Hurricane Alley Waterpark. Try out different slides such as speed slides, tube slides, and body slides. If you want to take it slow, enjoy floating down the lazy river.
On your Hurricane Alley visit, don’t forget to try out the wave pool to feel the sensation of powerful waves crashing against your body. You can bring your kids-friendly area with several slides and a splash pad.