This coastal city in Southern Texas is found along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The sizeable city sits within a small bay, the Corpus Christi Bay, that is surrounded by a network of islands that stretch across the length of the bay and form a border between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
There are a variety of things to do in Corpus Christi with interesting museums, sandy beaches and family friendly attractions. Whether you’re looking for an exhilarating city break or a relaxing beach holiday, you can live out your dreams in Corpus Christi. Shopping, hiking, water sports… It’s all doable!
In this post, we'll cover:
12. Mustang Island State Park
To get to Mustang Island State Park you’ll have to cross the John F Kennedy bridge that connects the city to Mustang Island. The short half hour drive from the city has great sea views along the way.
There’s a real variety of activities you can do at the Island Park. You can stroll along the miles of sandy beaches, try your hand at fishing or jump on a surfboard and ride the island’s Atlantic waves.
It’s a fantastic place for bird watching, especially in spring and autumn. You’ll likely spot a rock pigeon during your visit, and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a rare Canadian goose. There are plenty of campsites nearby if you want to stay for a few days!
11. Whataburger Field
This multipurpose ballpark was finished and opened in 2005. It can accommodate up to 7,679 spectators. Historically, the site was home to old cotton warehouses that lined the city’s port. There’s still a 1920s cotton press on-site! Some of the building’s architectural features are designed to honor its past.
The venue offers a mix of fun, sports, and history! If you want to watch a match whilst you’re in town or get involved with a community event, check out their page to see what’s coming up.
If you’re lucky you might even see a large ship coming into the port during a visit! Join in the cheering crowds and enjoy the strong sense of community at Whataburger.
10. Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
The museum was built in 1952 near Corpus Christi’s port. If you love science and history, this is a perfect day trip for you! The museum is designed to educate its visitors on the history of South Texas and lets you become a scientist for the day.
You can explore exhibitions of artifacts that span 500 years of the area’s history. From the remnants of shipwrecked boats and antique clothes and furnishings around the museum to the thrilling tales of cowboys and Indians, the museum offers unique insight into the past.
The museum’s hands-on science area is great for kids of all ages, a place where they can learn and explore through interactive exhibits. The whole family will be busy for hours!
9. Texas Surf Museum
The Texas Surf Museum is in downtown Corpus Christi and is the only museum of its kind in the state. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to get to know the surf scene in Texas, and the incredible surfers that put Texas on the map.
The museum has lots of incredible in-action photographs, a variety of eye-catching surfboards hanging on the walls, and documentaries you can sit and watch in their projection theater.
The museum opened in 2005 and is run by some young locals who want to educate visitors and the local community about the benefits and importance of surfing. Pop by for a chat!
8. Selena Museum
Corpus Christi was the home of the famous Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. This Mexican American singer grew up in Corpus Christi and grew to be an international star, known as the “Queen of Tejano.”
Sadly, she was murdered in a hotel room in the city in 1995, when she was just 23. She was killed by a close friend, who was also the founder of one of her biggest fan clubs. But before her tragic death, she won Grammy awards and pulled off iconic ‘90s looks, which you can now see on display in the museum.
Recently Netflix ran a TV show that tells the story of her life, called “Selena, The Series”. You can watch it before your visit if you want to know more. Amazingly, some visitors even got to meet her family members!
7. Bob Hall Pier
This old pier was built in 1950 and extended various times throughout its history. When it was first opened it was just 300 feet, now it’s 1240 feet long! If you head down to Padre Balli Beach and walk along the sandy shore, you’d find it hard to miss the long pier.
Once you’re on the Bob Hall Pier you can walk out into the sea and admire the views of the islands and ocean in the distance. Sunset is an especially magical time to visit the pier.
It’s also a renowned fishing spot. If you’ve got your fishing pole with you, you can try to catch fish directly off the pier. If you can’t make it during the day, don’t worry! The pier is lit up at night for night fishing too.
6. Art Museum of South Texas
The museum has a variety of exhibits that you can explore, from paintings to documentaries. Whatever style or type of art you like, you’ll find plenty of captivating pieces.
Aside from the museum, this visual arts facility hosts performances and events that will get you hooked on art. They have lots of lectures and different classes that you can go to if you want to join in the fun and learn more!
They also run seasonal events, like their Christmas tree competitions, and offer free entry for low income families. This little museum is a place of creativity, fun, and education. It’s accessible to everyone; an ideal destination on a rainy day.
5. South Texas Botanical Gardens
Corpus Christi’s botanical gardens opened in 1996 after various smaller projects set up in the area by a group of enthusiastic botanists were successful. The Botanical Gardens allow visitors to explore local and exotic fauna and flora, within a city!
If you’re looking to get into nature but you’re short on time, this is a great way to do it. Little ones can play in the fun park and explore the easy walking trails that go through the gardens wetlands. It’s a great place for birdwatching!
After exploring the colorful flower gardens and surrounding nature, you can visit the center’s animals! They have impressive exotic parrots that squawk and talk, and a reptile exhibit filled with turtles and huge lizards.
4. Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge
The old Harbour Bridge was built in 1959 and took three years of dedicated construction to finish. This historical bridge increased the city’s commerce and brought in more trading. Sadly, the Harbour Bridge will soon be torn down and replaced by a newer version.
Once the new Harbor Bridge is built it will become the tallest point in South Texas. Originally, the plan was for the bridge to be finished in 2020, but the finish date has already been pushed back to 2023. It’ll take a while to build the United States’ longest cable-stay bridge!
Whichever Harbour Bridge is there when you visit Corpus Christi, you’ll be amazed by the unique architectural design and the importance of the bridge to the surrounding communities.
3. USS Lexington Museum
The USS Lexington is an old military ship that was built in 1941. She is the nation’s longest-serving Essex Class aircraft carrier, victorious in each of her battles! She was used by the U.S. Navy until 1990 when a more modern, and cheaper ship, took her place.
Various communities started fundraising and coming together to bring the iconic ship to their city, but Corpus Christi was her chosen resting place! The boat was towed to the city and positioned on North Beach in 1992.
You can now climb on board this incredible ship and find out about her long history at the museum, right here in Corpus Christi. You’ll have lots of stories to take home!
2. Texas State Aquarium
The local aquarium is a great place to take the family on a rainy, grey day. The bright colors and mysterious creatures inside are sure to brighten everyone’s mood. The Texas State Museum is especially known for the numerous aquatic species from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea on display.
The vibrant, eye-catching colors of the aquarium’s exotic fish will have you gasping in disbelief! You can spend some time with the friendly dolphins, followed by a trip to see the most dangerous of sharks.
Don’t leave before seeing their coral reef exhibits, this unique opportunity is increasingly hard to come by! All in all, the aquarium is an easy and fun way for the whole family to pass the day.
1. Padre Island National Seashore
The Padre Island National Seashore is surrounded by sandy white beaches and unique natural habitats that can only be found in the area. The park is at the end of Park Road 22 on Mustang Island, a straightforward half-hour drive from the city.
Once you’re in the National Seashore you can keep yourself busy fishing, surfing, boating, and even windsurfing on the coast. If you haven’t tried any of these before, now’s your chance!
The area is famous for its Laguna Madre, one of the saltiest water reserves on Earth. The laguna is far saltier than the surrounding sea. There’s enough to keep you busy for a few days, so it might be worth considering staying at a campsite to make the most of your trip.
Map of Things to Do in Corpus Christi