If you are looking for a weekend getaway to the Texas coast, then consider visiting the Texas Gulf town of Corpus Christi.
Famous for its sandy beaches, sunny coastal climate, unique museums, and more. Honestly, there are so many things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas that you are sure to find something in this coastal city to enjoy!
Since the majority of this town is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, you will notice that many of the attractions in Corpus Christi revolve around the water.
Corpus Christi boasts attractions such as the Texas State Aquarium, the Texas Surf Museum, and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History!
In addition, Corpus Christi is also home to the USS Lexington, a great botanical garden, Mustang Island State Park, and more!
Let’s get busy looking at all of the fun things to do in Corpus Christi!
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Texas State Aquarium
One of the fun things to do in Corpus Christi is to visit the Texas State Aquarium. The Texas State Aquarium lives up to the mission every day as they inspire people to engage with the sea and support wildlife conservation.
The Texas State Aquarium offers several educational programs, along with a variety of exhibits of marine life to ensure that their visitors have a unique experience.
One of the most popular exhibits at the aquarium is Dolphin Bay. This 40,000-gallon, 12-foot deep saltwater pool allows guests to get up close and personal with the aquarium’s four Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
You can view the dolphins throughout the day at the Underwater Observation Area or catch their performance twice daily at the top level shows.
All four of the dolphins were born in a protective environment and are not able to be released into the wild. The aquarium uses the dolphins as ambassadors to not only entertain the audience, but to also teach about the importance of protecting and preserving the seas for all creatures.
The Texas State Aquarium also has a Living Shores exhibit which houses crabs and seahorses surrounded by information related to the Corpus Christi sea shore. This area is also home to the state’s biggest touch pool experience!
That isn’t all though, the aquarium also has various birds of prey, coral reefs, and various other flora, fauna, and sea creatures.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Hawn Wild Flight Theater to see the birds of prey put on a great show!
During the hot summer months, the kids will love cooling off in the on-site splash park after digging for fossils in the fossil dig.
The Texas State Aquarium is located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78402.
Corpus Christi’s North Beach (originally named Corpus Christi Beach), is a beautiful 1.5-mile long cove near downtown Corpus Christi. The prime location across from the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge makes this a great location to spend the day.
Given the fact that you can go swimming, beach combing, picnicking, sunbathing, and more on North Beach, it is no wonder that this stretch of sand tops the list of things to do in Corpus Christi.
The fact that North Beach is close to so many of the other Corpus Christi attractions means that you can easily combine it with other activities to complete your day.
The USS Lexington Museum
If you are a history lover, then a visit to the USS Lexington Museum should definitely be on your list of Corpus Christi attractions.
This warship has seen its fair share of battles, serving in World War II. The USS Lexington was a key player at Pearl Harbor where it served as a carrier for combat aircraft.
Today, the USS Lexington is stationed in the Corpus Christi Bay and welcomes visitors to come aboard and learn all about the historic 1943 vessel.
Now a museum, the USS Lexington not only allows guests to learn all about its role in battle, but it also serves to educate people on the history of other naval battles. Taking a self-guided tour of the 1,000 square-foot interior, or plan your trip on one of the many special event nights to make your trip extra fun!
Notice the blue color of the ship. This color helped to give the Lexington its nickname, the Blue Ghost. The color of the Blue Ghost helped to camouflage it against the water, making it difficult to be seen during battle.
Don’t worry, the ship is not just a real-life history lesson. The Lexington also houses a flight simulator, an escape room, virtual battle stations, and a 3D movie, making it one of the fun things to do in Corpus Christi as well.
You will find the USS Lexington at 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78402.
South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will have you falling in love with Corpus Christi for sure!
This nature center, which is comprised of more than 180-acres offers visitors the opportunity to surround themselves with nature.
The numerous flower gardens at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center make it well worth a visit. The gardens here include an orchid conservatory, a butterfly house, a plumeria garden, and a hummingbird garden!
The South Texas Botanical Gardens and nature center is also packed with flora and fauna for you to enjoy while exploring the garden.
There is also a playground and an area where kids can get up close and personal with birds and reptiles during their visit to the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.
The address for the Botanical Gardens is 8545 S. Staples St., Corpus Christi, TX 78413.
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Art Museum of South Texas
What started in 1944 with a small collection of art, has grown into a thriving and evolving institute of art at the Art Museum of South Texas.
The two buildings of the Art Museum of South Texas house several permanent and rotating exhibits of art. The permanent collection here contains over 1,800 works of art with a focus on the local, South Texas history and the Corpus Christi art community.
In addition to the local artists, the Art Museum of South Texas also houses works from North, Central, and South America. These works of art range from full-scale art installations to paintings, ceramics, and watercolors, so everyone is sure to find something they love at the Art Museum of South Texas.
The art center hosts several events throughout the year and really wants to be know as the community’s art center. This means that they welcome locals and visitors alike to come and enjoy the art center on a regular basis.
One visit here, and you will see why the Art Museum of South Texas is one of the best things to do in Corpus Christi.
You can find the Art Museum at 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is another great museum to add to your Corpus Christi itinerary.
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is a great place to get hands on with science and history! The Museum of Science and History originated in 1957 and has since grown into a major Corpus Christi attraction.
What sets the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History apart from other museums is that it focuses on south Texas, including the Corpus Christi area.
Here you can learn all about South Texas’ role in the Civil War, check out historic photographs, learn about the local flora and fauna, and all about the people and cultures that shaped this area of Texas.
A popular area in the museum, especially for kids, is the Science Center. This area contains a playground for kids, and several hands-on exhibits to get kids engaged in science.
Of course, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History also hosts fun programs throughout the year as well.
The Science and History Museum can be found at 1900 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
Padre Island National Seashore
One of the best things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas is to visit the Padre Island National Seashore, the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world!
This one of the really unique and fun places to visit in this area!
The Padre Island National Seashore is a barrier island that spans 70-miles. This gorgeous stretch of sea shore is comprised of over 130,000-acres of land just waiting to be explored.
The beautiful grasslands, sand dunes, and beach that make up the Padre Island National Seashore is a favorite weekend destination for locals and tourists.
The island is separates the Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico and is a great place for birdwatching! There are over 350 species of birds that are known to frequent the island and the Laguna Madre area.
Of course, recreational sports are popular here as well, especially in Laguna Madre. You can enjoy some windsurfing or fishing in the calmer waters of the Laguna Madre, ride horses down the beach, or just relax on the golden sands as you listen to the waves roll in from the Gulf of Mexico.
Visit during the summer and you can witness the hatching of the baby sea turtles, including the rare species, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle! This is a once in a lifetime experience for sure, making this a great nature park!
You can find the Padre Island National Seashore at 20301 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
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Texas Surf Museum
One of the fun and quirky museums in Corpus Christi, Texas is the Texas Surf Museum.
Located in downtown Corpus Christi, the Texas Surf Museum celebrates the town’s relationship with the sport of surfing.
The Surf Museum opened in 2005 and is a great place to visit to learn more about the surfing culture.
Here visitors can immerse themselves in the surfing paraphernalia that the museum rotates throughout the year.
The Texas Surf Museum is free to visit and is a great way to learn more about this fun sport.
The Surf Museum is located at 309 N. Water St., Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
You cannot visit Corpus Christi and not learn more about the Tejano music icon, Selena. Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was a Grammy winning Latin pop artist that was the worlds’ highest-charting artist in her genre.
Prior to Selena’s life being cut short at the age of 23, she had recorded four albums and had a cult following of fans.
Selena lived with her family in Corpus Christ for most of her life and it is here where she recorded her music. Her family added an attachment onto their recording studio, Q-Productions Studio, to create the Selena Museum after her death.
Even if you aren’t a Selena fan, the Selena Museum is well worth adding to your list of things to do in Corpus Christi. Here you can learn all about the famous recording artist and understand more about her life and unfortunate passing.
The Selena Museum houses items such as costumes, albums, photos, awards, and Selena’s prize possession, her red Porsche.
After visiting the Selena Museum, be sure to go down to Seaside Memorial Park on the seawall and view the bronze memorial statue.
The Selena Museum’s address is 5410 Leopard St, Corpus Christi, TX 78408.
Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge
The Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge may seem like an odd thing to add to your list of things to do in Corpus Christi, but trust me, add it.
While the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge is responsible for connecting the city to its port, and for transporting over 30,000 vehicles a day, it is what happens here at night that put it on our list.
At night, the 620 foot, steel bridge comes alive with over 10,000 individual lights that put on a great LED light show!
This is one of the fun things to do in Corpus Christi at night!
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Art Center of Corpus Christi
The Art Center of Corpus Christi was established in 1972 with a commitment to bring all forms of art to the community of Corpus Christ, Texas.
The Art Center brings in rotating exhibits and offers art lessons and experiences for people of all ages. One of the most popular things to do at the art community center is to create pottery at the Barry Brown Clay Studio.
Of course, the Art Center also hosts a wide range of events including a Wednesday Art Market, a Farmers Market, and more.
The Art Center of Corpus Christi is located at 100 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
Bob Hall Pier
Ok, so Bob Hall Pier is technically located in Padre Balli Park, which is on Padre Island. The fact that it is close enough to Corpus allows us to add it to our list of fun things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Bob Hall Pier stretches 1,240 feet out into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, making it the perfect place to try your hand at some deep water fishing.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the gear to snag a deep water fish, there is a Tackle Loaner Program on site! You never know what kind of deep water fish you might catch from the Bob Hall Pier, so give it a try!
Of course, if that isn’t your thing, then you can just enjoy a long stroll out over the water on your visit to the Bob Hall Pier. It is a great place to catch a gorgeous sunset.
Mustang Island State Park
Another barrier island that is popular in this area, especially for nature lovers, is Mustang Island State Park.
This 18 mile long island is located about 30 miles south of Corpus Christi’s downtown area. Mustang Island is a great place to spend the day while you are in Corpus Christi, Texas.
People flock to Mustang Island State Park to enjoy birdwatching, fishing, and catch a glimpse of the sea turtles that call this area home.
Of course, you can also enjoy other recreational activities here. Kayaking, swimming, sunbathing, and building sandcastles is another reason Mustang Island is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Corpus Christi Bay Trail
The Corpus Christi Bay Trail should definitely be on your list of things to do in Corpus Christi. This fun trail allows you to get a great overall span of the city.
Corpus Christi Bay Trail is a paved trail that runs 8.8 miles from Oso Bay to the downtown Corpus Christi, Texas.
Taking the Corpus Christi Bay Trail allows you to enjoy a great view of the city.
This trail is a fabulous opportunity to get in some exercise while checking out Corpus Christi.
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Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a nice, quick getaway from the city as it is located about an hour outside of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Running along the edge of the Texas Gulf Coast, the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge serves as great purpose to this area as it is a protected refuge and winter home for the endangered whooping crane.
Of course, the whooping crane isn’t the only animal that like to call this wildlife refuge home though. Here you will find numerous species of birds, alligators, snakes, lizards, bobcats, and more!
The refuge has numerous nature trails that allow you to explore the 70,000 acres and the environments contained within it.
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to spend the day hiking or biking the nature trails, enjoying a picnic, fishing, or just taking in the fabulous scenery.
The Aransas Wildlife Refuge is a great addition to your list of things to do in Corpus Christi.
Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge
If you want to enjoy a wildlife refuge without leaving Corpus Christi, Texas, then head to the Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge.
This wildlife refuge is considered one of the best places in the world for sea bird watching.
Located on the western shore of Oso Bay, you can come here to try and catch a glimpse of the many birds that frequently visit the refuge. Some of these species include pelicans, herons, egrets, and spoonbills.
The refuge has a pier, hiking and biking trails, and a picnic area for visitors to enjoy as well.
Britton Evans House and the Sidbury House
History lovers want to add the Britton Evans House and the Sidbury House to their Corpus Christ things to do list.
These houses from the 19th century allow visitors to see what life in the 1800s was like in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Britton Evans House, also called the Centennial House, was built in 1849 by Forbes Britton, a shipping partner who was responsible for the operation of a freight line between Corpus Christi and Galveston.
The Greek Revival style home is filled with period specific antiques and furnishings paying tribute to its past life.
The Britton Evans House served as a private home, a hospital during the Civil War, and is now a museum.
The Sidbury House is the city’s last remaining example of Victorian architecture from the late 1800s.
The house was home to a prominent Corpus Christi civic leader, Charlotte King Cook Sidbury and is now a Texas Historical Landmark.
The Sidbury House is said to be one of the most haunted locations on the island!
Check it out for yourself when you visit the houses of Heritage Park. See if you experience a ghostly when you add this to your list of things to do in Corpus Christ!
Sports lovers in Corpus Christi are glad to have Whataburger Field, which hosts minor league baseball games.
The ballpark was completed in 2005 and has 7,000 seats that welcome fans to come out and enjoy a day at the ballpark.
Whataburger Field is home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, a Double-A Texas Houston Astros affiliate team.
Of course, a day at the ballpark isn’t complete without junk food. Get your fix at the concessions stands that sell funnel cakes, hot dogs, pretzels, peanuts, and more!
In addition to the ballpark, visitors here can enjoy checking out the climbing wall, basketball courts, and Cotton Club recreation area.
Whataburger Field is located at 734 E Port Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
Hurricane Alley Waterpark
If you are visiting Corpus Christi, Texas during the summer, then you are going to need to escape the Texas heat. That is when you head to Corpus Christi’s Hurricane Alley Waterpark.
The Hurricane Alley Waterpark is a great addition to your list of Corpus Christi things to do, especially if you are traveling with kids.
The park’s affordable admission prices combined with the water rides and lazy river make it a great was to spend the day while visiting Corpus Christi.
Visit Hurricane Alley Waterpark at 702 E Port Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
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The Harbor Playhouse has been one of the top tourist attractions in Corpus Christi for some time now. Opening its doors in 1925, this live entertainment venue has to be on your list of things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The wide variety of shows offered at the Harbor Playhouse means that you are sure to find a show that you will love. They showcase comedies, musicals, dramas, and more!
Thanks to the fabulous live performances that are put on at the Harbor Playhouse, it has earned the reputation as being one of the best live performance theatres in the state of Texas!
Visit Harbor Playhouse at 1802 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
La Palmera Mall
If you want to get some shopping in during your trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, then you should head to la Palmera Mall.
Housing more than 130 retail spaces, La Palmera Mall is a great place to spend the day shopping and grabbing a bite to eat!
This mall has it all too. There are big name stores like Michael Kors, H&M, Dillard’s, and Macy’s in addition to the local shops that call La Palmera home.
The unique thing about this mall is that it offers the opportunity to enjoy both indoor and outdoor shopping all in one area.
You will find the mall at 5488 S Padre Island Dr, Corpus Christi, TX 78411.
Republic of Texas Bar and Grill
Head to the Republic of Texas Bar and Grill, located in the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel to not only get a fabulous meal, but to also enjoy some of the best views in the city!
The menu at the Republic of Texas Bar and Grill will have your mouth watering as you choose between seafood, wild game, delicious Texas steak, and more. Pair your selection with one of their hand crafted cocktails and that fabulous view and you have the perfect date night in Corpus Christi!
You will find the Republic of Texas at 900 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, TX 78401.
Horses on the Beach
Horses on the Beach is one of the fun things to do in this area! This is a must-do activity if you are an equine lover.
Offering horse adventures for people of all ages and skill levels, Horses on the Beach is a unique and fun way to see the city.
Saddle up and join your expert guide on a ride that is sure to be the highlight of your trip to Corpus Christi, TX.
In addition to the guided horseback rides, Horses on the Beach also offers hayrides, a petting zoo, and Ranch Cookouts.
You will find them located at 16499 S. Padre Island Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
Lazy Beach Brewing
Lazy Beach Brewing is a great little micro brewery in Corpus Christi that serves up delicious, cold beer.
Established in 2014, the Lazy Beach has become a favorite with Corpus Christi locals, and one visit here makes it easy to understand why.
Visit the taproom and try their variety of beers before making your final selection and heading outside with your favorite.
We especially enjoyed the Banana-nana Booch Booch. Trust us, give it a try!
When you are ready for a bite to eat in a casual atmosphere, head to Snoopy’s Pier, especially if you are in the mood for seafood!
Snoopy’s Pier is a laid-back joint serving up delicious fish and chips, crab cakes, Texas shrimp, and, honestly, whatever the catch of the day is. Now, it doesn’t get any fresher than that!
The view of the beach from Snoopy’s Pier doesn’t hurt either.
Snoopy’s is located at 13313 S. Padre Island Dr., Corpus Christi, TX 78418.
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Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight:
We love using CheapOAir, Kayak, and Kiwi to search for the best prices on flights. We love using these search engines because they search the web for airlines all over the world to ensure you get the best deal! In addition to flights, you can also find great hotel prices on Kayak and Kiwi.
Book Your Vacation Package:
If you want to book an entire vacation package, then we suggest using Expedia. We love how easy Expedia is to use and we always find good deals on entire vacation packages on their site.
Another great site for vacation packages is BookVIP. BookVIP offers super cheap vacation packages to incredible destinations. You are sure to save money using their site!
For full guided vacations including hotels, some meals, transportation, and guides, then we book with Trafalgar. Trafalgar is a trusted tour company that will meet all of your needs while ensuring that you have a great experience.
Trip.com allows you to book flights, hotels, train tickets, rental cars, airport transfers, tours, and more all on one site. Owned by the parent company that also owns Skyscanner, this is a trusted resource for travel booking and a great “one-stop-shop.”
Book Your Accommodations:
We always begin our search by checking out the honest review on hotels at TripAdvisor. This allows us to narrow our search for specific properties once we are ready to book. Of course, you can also book directly on the TripAdvisor site as well!
There are several accommodation sites that we like to use. One of our favorites is Booking.com because it gives you a wide variety of hotels and guesthouses at a good price.
Another “go-to” hotel booking site for us is Hotels.com. We love their loyalty program that allows you to earn free nights, and their “secret prices” for members are fabulous deals!
If you are looking for a luxurious all-inclusive vacation, then consider checking out the Sandals/Beaches properties. Sandals properties are for couples only and Beaches are for families. We have visited Sandals in the past and absolutely love the attention to detail and the service they provide.
Tour Companies We Trust:
We love taking guided tours when visiting new places. Our go-to tour companies are Viator.com and Get Your Guide. Both of these companies have been in business for years and provide excellent customer service. You can trust booking tours from their sites for sure!
CityPass is a great way to save money when visiting large cities. CityPass allows you to get free admission to major attractions once you buy their pass. The savings add up quickly with this pass, often saving 50% with combined admissions.
Another great pass to save money in larger cities is the Sightseeing Pass. This pass allows you to save valuable time and money by combining admissions to major attractions. They also have a handy app that keeps everything you need at your fingertips.
Looking to Save Time and Money?
Check out our resource page for all of our favorite vendors. These companies help us to save time and money on our travels!
About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.