30 Best Things to Do in Corpus Christi, Texas

Aerial view of Corpus Christi, Texas

If you’re planning things to do in Corpus Christi for an upcoming vacation or weekend getaway, it’s time to take out a pen and jot down some ideas. Yes, some of us still use pens, but you’re welcome to have Alexa add them to your to-do list.

 Whether you’re visiting Corpus Christi for the first time or you’re practically a local, the Gulf Coast Texas town offers museums, parks, botanical gardens and nature, outdoor recreation, watersports, the Corpus Christi Bay Trail, and long stretches of pristine golden sands backed by the emerald hues of the Gulf of Mexico.

Corpus Christi is approximately 143 miles south of San Antonio. Locally known as the Texas Riviera, Corpus Christi sits along Corpus Christi Bay and Nueces Bay. It’s easily accessible to the nearby Aransas Bay, Copano Bay, and Laguna Madre.

You probably think you’ll find some great seafood with all this water access. You would be correct! Casual and fine dining restaurants, cafes, and beachside bars are scattered throughout the area. You can bet there’ll also be plenty of chances for offshore fishing.

You may wonder, “just what is Corpus Christi Texas known for?” That would be the wind. Yes, the wind. Corpus Christi is an excellent area for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing. The Windsurfing World Championships have been held there.

From the beach and the bay to Corpus Christi’s downtown area and city center, we’ve collected a wide array of attractions, activities, and fun things to do in Corpus Christi. Here are some of our ideas for the top things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas.


  • Most Significant Landmark – USS Lexington
  • Park to visit – Mustang Island State Park
  • Free activity – Texas Surf Museum
  • Activity for kids – Texas State Aquarium
  • Activity for adults – Art Museum of South Texas
  • Place to eat – Landry’s Seafood House
  • Nightlife – The House of Rock
  • Place to stayDouble Tree by Hilton Corpus Christi Beachfront

Things to Do in Corpus Christi, Texas

1. South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Blooms and birds at the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
Image by Karen used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Address: 8545 South Staples Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78413

Nature lovers in your crew will want to pay a visit to the 180-acre South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. The botanical gardens and nature center are two of the best Corpus Christi attractions for checking out the natural world.

Parrots, reptiles, butterflies, and hummingbirds flutter, fly, and crawl among vines, orchids, and rose gardens at the South Texas Botanical Gardens. Visit tropical and desert-themed gardens and conservatories, hang out in the Butterfly House or hummingbird garden, or walk along nature trails.

The South Texas Botanical Gardens also has a sensory garden where you can explore using all of your senses. Designed as an educational tool, tour guides help visitors discover textures, fragrances, colors, and even edible flowers at the gardens and nature center.

The fun and colorful Aloft Corpus Christi, located along the main stretch of S. Padre Island Drive, is a terrific choice to be near the nature center, attractions, and activities in the coastal city of Corpus Christi. It has an on-site restaurant, a pool, a fitness center, a billiards room, grilling facilities, and a terrace.

See Related: Things to Do in Beaumont

2. Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Entrance of Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
Image by Larry D. MooreCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 1900 N. Chapparal Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Head to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History for educational fun. It’s near Harbor Bridge, American Bank Center, Hurricane Alley Waterpark, and the Port of Corpus Christi.

You’ll find exhibits on local South Texas history, prehistoric predators, Spanish shipwrecks off the coast of Texas, railroad history, coastal ecology, and earth sciences. There’s also a 5,000-square-foot exploration area designed just for kids. They can run, touch, and discover to their heart’s content.

Check out the xeriscape garden before you leave the Corpus Christi Museum of Science. Learn about rainwater collection, hardy plants, and water-saving practices you can use in your own yard.

See Related: Things to Do in Dallas, Texas

3. Corpus Christi Bay Trail

Scenic trail in Corpus Christi Bay
Hundley Photography / Shutterstock

Location: Corpus Christi, TX 78412

The scenic, nine-mile waterfront trail connects many points of interest in the city. You’ll pass the Art Museum of South Texas, Harbor Playhouse, McGee Beach, several parks, Corpus Christi Marina, the Anderson Amphitheater, and the Museum of Science and History.

Hiking, biking, rollerblading, jogging, and walking are popular activities along the Corpus Christi Bay Trail. You’ll also spot sailors, windsurfers, and kiteboarders. It’s a great stretch along the water to take in the sights or relax with a picnic.

The trail begins (or ends, all depends on you) at the Art Museum of South Texas and runs to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi at the southern end (where it’s known as the Texas A&M Hike and Bike Trail).

4. Texas Surf Museum

Truck parked at Truck parked at Truck parked near Texas Surf Museum
Image by Marilyn Brinker used under CC BY-NC 2.0

Address: 309 N. Water Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Texas surf culture is alive and on display at the Texas Surf Museum. It’s one of the best free things to do in Corpus Christi. Since its opening in 2005, the museum has acquired a collection of items and artifacts such as boards, posters, surfboard benches, surf films, and vintage photos of surfers.

The museum’s mission is to enlighten, encourage, and educate visitors about surf culture, the fun and health benefits of the sport, and conservation practices that protect the waterways of the Texas Gulf Coast.

After getting your surf culture, head over to the Executive Surf Club, the Water Street Oyster Bar, Lucy’s Snackbar, or La Playa by the Bay for a bite to eat.

The Residence Inn by Marriott Corpus Christi Downtown is a pet-friendly hotel near the Texas Surf Museum, American Bank Center, and McGee Beach. It has a swimming pool, a fitness center, a bar, and free Wi-Fi.

See Related: Friend Vacation Ideas

5. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Forest near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Image by Larry D. MooreCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 1 Wildlife Cir, Austwell, Texas 77950

For outdoor Corpus Christi attractions and fun things to do, head over to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Part of a barrier island chain along the Texas coast, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is about as far from the mainland’s farms, ranches, and longhorns as you can get. You just might forget you’re in the Lone Star State.

Go waterfowl hunting, pier fishing, hiking, and bicycling on designated trails within 115,324 acres on the southwest side of San Antonio Bay. There’s a 16-mile road to travel the area by car. Climb observation towers and platforms to get a birds-eye view of the refuge, bay, and marine life at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Established in 1937, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is home to wildlife such as the American alligator, Kemp’s ridley turtles, burrowing owls, wood ducks, and the endangered whooping crane. Have those binoculars handy.

Looking for a hotel near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The Hampton Inn & Suites Rockport-Fulton, near Rockport Beach Park and the Fulton Mansion, is a great choice. There’s an outdoor pool, laundry facilities, and a fitness center. Enjoy free Wi-Fi, free complimentary breakfast, a microwave, a mini-fridge, and a coffee maker.

The Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay is another terrific option near Aransas Wildlife Refuge. There’s an on-site restaurant, a pool, a business center, a gift shop, and outdoor seating areas. Choose water or pool views.

6. Mustang Island State Park

Ocean view from Mustang Island State Park
Image by Jonathan Cutrer used under CC BY 2.0

Address: 9394 TX-361, Corpus Christi, Texas 78418

Mustang Island State Park is among the best things to see in Corpus Christi. It offers 3,954 acres and five miles of beachfront property on the sparkling sand and emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Search for shells and sea turtles, work on your tan, go swimming and snorkeling, or develop your sandcastle-building skills.

Don’t forget to bring your kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. There are 20 miles of paddling trails along the Mustang Island State Park Paddling Trail. Bring your rod and reel for fishing at the nearby Bob Hall Pier.

Mustang Island State Park camping includes 48 water and electric campsites and 50 drive-up primitive sites.

If you’d like a little more luxury on Mustang Island, Blue Oyster beach getaway fits the bill. Enjoy the beach and the bay with amenities like a full kitchen, dining room, living room, and a community lagoon-style pool and hot tub.

This vacation cottage on stilts has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and can accommodate eight guests. The Best Western Padre Island is conveniently located between Mustang Island and Padre Island.

It’s a great option for those who want to visit these beautiful Texas Gulf Coast areas and discover fun things to do. This pet-friendly hotel has an outdoor pool, BBQ facilities, and a business center. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a work desk.

See Related: Best Cheap Places to Travel in the US

7. Padre Balli Park

Bob Hall pier at Padre Balli Park
Image by Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

Address: 15820 Park Rd 22, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

Located between Mustang Island and Padre Island National Seashore on the Gulf, Padre Balli Park is a beachfront destination with miles of beach. The 1,240-foot Bob Hall Pier, located within the park, offers fishing for grouper and speckled trout.

Grab a bite at Mikel May’s Beachside Bar & Grill beside the Bob Hall Pier. You can rent golf carts to scoot around the Gulfside location and get to the Bob Hall Pier.

Camping facilities include 100 paved campsites for RVs and 12 areas for tents. There’s a shower house, water and sewer hook-ups, picnic tables, and free Wi-Fi.

Island Escape offers easy access to Padre Park, the Bob Hall Pier, Padre Island Seawall Beach, and the rest of Mustang Island and South Padre Island. There are two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a dining area. This cute vacation cottage features an outdoor pool, a patio, and free Wi-Fi.

Aruba Beach Getaway is an excellent place to base a Corpus Christi vacation. Located near Padre Park, South Packery Channel Beach, and North Padre Island, this vacation home has five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

This vacation rental has a dining area, a kitchen, and a living room as well as a washer/dryer and a balcony. Enjoy a dip in the heated outdoor pool or just lounge in the sun.

See Related: Things to Do in Austin, Texas

8. Padre Island National Seashore

Entrance of Padre Island National Seashore
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 20301 Park Road 22, Corpus Christi, Texas 78418

Padre Island National Seashore is a thin sliver of land situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre. Laguna Madre is a hyper-saline lagoon (and one of the saltiest in the world).

Padre Island National Seashore is famous for its Spanish shipwreck past. Today, most folks enjoy kayaking, camping, swimming, windsurfing, watching marine life, and walking along nature trails.

With more than 70 miles of sand dunes, tidal flats, and prairie ecosystems, it’s the perfect hang-out for Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, more than 300 species of birds, and many other marine creatures. If you’re lucky, you might catch sea turtle hatching events.

Honestly, is there anything more adorable than those tiny turtles heading to the water? Beaches on Padre Island include Big Shell Beach, Little Shell, Whitecap Beach, Natural Beach, and JP Luby Beach.

For those into adventure and fun activities, take a 4-wheel drive vehicle for a ride 60 miles down the beach to the Mansfield Channel and the Laguna Madre.

If you’re looking for a longer day trip while visiting Corpus Christi and Padre Island National Seashore, head to the South Padre Island Birding, Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary. There’s a birdwatching boardwalk, an observation tower, and an interactive exhibit room.

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Corpus Christi – N. Padre Island offers stunning Gulf of Mexico views. Bird Island Basin and the Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community are nearby for the birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts in your group.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, pillowtop mattresses, and free hot breakfast. Guest rooms have a mini-fridge, a microwave, a coffee maker, and desks with ergonomic chairs. For an extended stay, choose a suite with a kitchen. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool and a hot tub.

See Related: Things to Do in Lubbock, Texas

9. The USS Lexington and Museum

Tourist near The USS Lexington and Museum
Image by Liveon001 ©Travis WittCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christi, Texas 78402

History and military enthusiasts in your crew won’t want to miss the USS Lexington Museum. It’s one of the best things to see in Corpus Christi. The World War II Essex Class aircraft carrier, nicknamed the Blue Ghost, is open and ready for tours. It’s near North Beach on the bay.

Guided and self-guided tours of the Blue Ghost are available. Explore the hangar deck, the gallery deck, the flight deck, and the lower decks.

Check out 11 decks of exhibits and displays on WWII history, anti-aircraft guns, landing gear, and scale models of aircraft. There’s also a flight simulator, an escape room, and an IMAX light and sound experience about Pearl Harbor.

Located across from the Texas State Aquarium, in Corpus Christi Bay, the USS Lexington was the set for Michael Bay’s 2000 movie Pearl Harbor.

The Double Tree by Hilton Corpus Christi Beachfront is the perfect location for those wanting to take in the USS Lexington’s history. Texas State Aquarium and Whataburger Field are also nearby.

The hotel has banquet facilities, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a business center. Rooms have a work desk, cable TV, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a coffee maker.

See Related: Things to Do in Houston, Texa

10. Selena Museum

Statue of Selena in Selena Museum
Image by SimiprofCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 5410 Leopard Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78408

Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez (popularly known as Selena) is from Corpus Christi. Owned and operated by her family, the Selena Museum features the singer’s awards and memorabilia, costumes, and the recording studio where she once recorded. Other Tejano singers still record at the Selena Museum, as did Jennifer Lopez for her portrayal of the singer in the 1997 film Selena.

For more Selena tributes, there’s a bronze statue of the singer at the seawall on the bay (just off Shoreline Blvd). The statue is also known as the Viewpoint of the Flower. Seaside Memorial Park, just a bit further south of the Selena statue, is her final resting place. The peaceful setting has sculptures, trees, and memorials.

For accommodations near the Selena Museum, the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel is an excellent choice. Right on the waterfront, amenities at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant (the Republic of Texas Bar & Grill), a business center, and rooms with balconies and cable TV. Choose from marina, bay, or USS Lexington views.

The La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Corpus Christi is another convenient choice for easy access to the Selena Museum and statue. It offers a daily continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a work desk, and an outdoor swimming pool at this pet-friendly hotel.

See Related: Most Photographed Cities in the World

11. The Friendship Monument

Statue at The Friendship Monument
Image by Karen used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Address: Lawrence Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Captain Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon sits upon a trusty stead (waving his hat in welcome) overlooking the bay. It sits just south of the Selena statue. Sculpted by artist Sherman Coleman, it was installed in 1992.

In 1762, Falcon set up an outpost and way station near the Nueces River (present-day Nueces County). From here, he explored the coasts of Padre Island, Mustang Island, and St. Joseph’s Island. This was still Spanish territory back then.

You can thank Falcon for bringing the first longhorn cattle to South Texas and setting up a ranch.

See Related: Most Famous Landmarks in the USA

12. Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures & Education Center

Entrance of Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures & Education Center
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 1809 N. Chapparal Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Discover the art, culture, and history of Japan, Thailand, India, and other Asian countries at the Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures & Education Center. Exhibits include traditional kimonos, porcelain sculptures, a rickshaw, Hakata dolls (the largest collection in the world), jade statues, origami art, and a Korean warship from the 1400s.

The museum was founded in 1974. It’s located near the American Bank Center and the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. This makes it easy to plan a whole day of culture, museums, and activities.

13. Heritage Park

Address: 1581 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Heritage Park has 12 historic homes – the oldest dates to 1851 – that include the Britton Evans House, the Galvin House, the S. Julius Lichenstein House, the Gugenheim House, and the Grande-Grossman House. Art and cultural events are held in some of the homes.

Many are a Texas Historical Landmark. They’re all examples of the ethnic diversity and culture in the South Texas area. Visit the 1893 Sidbury House, home of Charlotte King Cook Sidbury who was one of the most influential female civic leaders in the late 1800s.

It’s now home to the Corpus Christi Parks and Rec. It’s also reported to be haunted. So, there’s that. The Britton Evans House, built in 1849, is a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture.

Also called the Centennial House, the Britton Evans House was a private home and a Civil War hospital. It’s now a museum filled with period furniture and décor. This is one of the best places to go in Corpus Christi for those who enjoy daydreaming about fancy Victorian parties and the days of yesteryear.

The Best Western Corpus Christi offers convenient access to the Britton Evans House at Heritage Park, American Bank Center, and the Selena Memorial Statue. Overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, the hotel has a fitness center, a business center, a swimming pool, and laundry facilities. Rooms have cable TV, a mini-fridge, and a microwave.

14. Harbor Playhouse

Former a movie theater at Harbor playhouse
Image by Patrick Feller used under CC BY 2.0

Address: 1802 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

If you’re more into the Jazz Age than the Victorian era, Harbor Playhouse is the place to be. Dating to the 1920s, the Harbor Playhouse performing arts theater features classic and contemporary plays and original musicals.

Harbor Playhouse is the oldest continually operating community theater in Texas. Attend shows like Heathers, A Christmas Carol, In the Heights, and Clue the Musical.

See Related: Visiting the Four Corners National Monument in the USA

15. Hurricane Alley Waterpark

Slide and aerial view Hurricane Alley Waterpark
Hurricane Alley Waterpark / Hurricane Alley Waterpark

Address: 702 E. Port Ave., Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers … Oh my! Hurricane Alley Waterpark is one of the best things to do in Corpus Christi to beat the Texas heat. It’s near Harbor Bridge and Whataburger Field.

Pack the kids in the car and spend the day splishing, splashing, and zooming down thrilling slides (or take it easy and float around the lazy river). There are areas designed specifically for the little ones to splash and play. There’s also a bar for Mom and Dad.

The Holiday Inn Corpus Christi Downtown Marina makes a terrific anchorage for waterpark fun. Located near the Corpus Christi seawall, it has an on-site restaurant, an indoor/outdoor pool, a fitness center, and business facilities.

Guest rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, a desk, and a coffee maker. Enjoy bay and marina views while sipping your morning coffee or evening glass of wine.

16. Art Center of Corpus Christi

Lake side view of Art Center of Corpus Christi
Image for TripAdvisor

Address: 100 N. Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

With free admission, the Art Center of Corpus Christi is one of the best things to do on a budget in the coastal city. You’ll find it on North Shoreline Blvd.

Corpus Christi’s art gallery promotes regional artists and offers exhibits on paintings, portraits, photography, and printmaking. Formerly known as the Art Community Center, the center’s themed exhibitions promote awareness for Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, and other organizations.

The Barry Brown Clay Studio is located inside the Art Center of Corpus Christi. It’s open to the public for classes on beginner and advanced clay topics such as wheel throwing and hand forming. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make clay mugs, vases, or sculptures, here’s your chance.

The pet-friendly Emerald Beach Hotel Corpus Christi Texas is just a few minutes south of the Art Center of Corpus Christi. Located on a lovely stretch of beach along Corpus Christi Bay, it has a fitness center, a heated indoor pool, a hot tub, a bar, an on-site restaurant, and a terrace overlooking the beach.

Rooms at Emerald Beach have free Wi-Fi, a coffee maker, and a work desk. Enjoy beach volleyball or let the kids run wild on the playground. There’s also a game room with a pool table and table tennis.

17. Lazy Beach Brewing and Café

Entrance of Lazy Beach Brewing and Café
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 7522 Bichon Dr #100, Corpus Christi, TX 78414

Open since 2015, Lazy Beach Brewing and Café features craft beer and kombucha, a taproom with local brews, and food trucks. The Lazy Beach Brewing taproom menu is ever-changing, so if you’ve been there once, it’s probably completely different now.

This Texas bar is a fun place to hang out with friends after a day of exploring. Lazy Beach Brewing is within convenient access to the South Texas Botanical Gardens.

18. La Palmera Mall

La Palmera Mall building and skyline
La Palmera Mall / Facebook

Address: 5488 S. Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

With specialty shops and national retailers, La Palmera Mall is the place to go if you need, well … most anything. There are more than 100 stores in an indoor and open-air setting. Check out Dillard’s, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, MAC Cosmetics, Oakley, Pandora, and more.

Hungry? Grab a bite at The Cheesecake Factory, Grimaldi’s Brick-Oven Pizza, Longhorn Steakhouse, or Chick-Fil-A. They also have the required coffee shops, pretzel stands, and Dippin’ Dots.

Home2 Suites Corpus Christi Southeast Texas is located beside La Palmera Mall. There’s a swimming pool, a fitness center, and laundry facilities. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi at this pet-friendly hotel. Family rooms and rooms with kitchens are available.

19. Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge

Butterfly deck at Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge
Image by Terry Ross used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: 909 Ennis Joslin Road, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412

Birdwatchers and nature lovers will want to check out the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge. Located on the western shore of Oso Bay, you’ll be able to explore hiking and biking trails lined with native plants, trees, and flowers. Bring the binoculars to spot pelicans, herons, egrets, and spoonbills.

Looking for accommodations near the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge? Check out the Embassy Suites by Hilton Corpus Christi. It’s also near the Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi Beach, and other fun things. Spacious suites have separate living and sleeping areas and kitchenettes.

The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and has an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, a restaurant, and business facilities.

See Related: National Parks in The USA to Visit

20. Whataburger Field

Whataburger Field during Conquer the Coast
Image by Mglsndst1993CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 734 E. Port Avenue, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Whataburger Field – the namesake of the burger chain founded in Corpus Christi in 1950 – is the home stadium of the Corpus Christi Hooks (an affiliate of the Houston Astros) minor league baseball team.

In addition to Corpus Christi Hooks games, special events and other fun things to do includes concerts, 5K runs, college and high school baseball games, street festivals, and bike rides.

Don’t forget to visit the original Whataburger at 4126 South Staples Street. It’s a replica but still a fun photo op. There’s a working Whataburger on the site, as well as plenty of others in town to appease your burger cravings.

21. Art Museum of South Texas

Front View of Art Museum of South Texas
Image by Jim EvansCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 1902 N. Shoreline Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

That stunning structure on the bay is the Art Museum of South Texas. Located near the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge (Highway 181), at the Port of Corpus Christi, the Art Museum of South Texas offers a wide variety of Texas art, including sculptures, paintings, photographs, glasswork, crafts, and more. You’ll also find art from Central, North, and South America.

The Art Museum of South Texas was established in 1936 and has a gift shop, a café, and an interactive area for the kids. Enjoy unique events such as lectures, weekend art workshops, independent films, arts after school, and young artist contests at the art museum.

22. Texas State Aquarium

Aquarium at Texas State
Image by Smcafee87CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 2710 N. Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, TX 78402

Located on the other side of Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge from the main city center, Texas State Aquarium specializes in the conservation and rehabilitation of marine animals. Take the kids and spend a few hours visiting sharks, ocelots, flamingos, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, and more.

Marine habitats include the jungle, Dolphin Bay, the Caribbean, the swamplands, and the coral reef. Don’t miss the Hawn Wild Flight Theater with its trained birds and exotic animals.

The aquarium is near North Beach, which makes a nice place to cool off after an aquarium visit.

For a budget-friendly option near the aquarium, North Beach, the USS Lexington, the Gabe Lozano Sr Golf Course, and other fun activities, the Knights Inn Corpus Christi at North Beach is an option. It’s about a block away from North Beach.

All guest rooms have a mini-fridge, a microwave, free Wi-Fi, and a private balcony. There’s an outdoor pool and a picnic area.

The colorful Hotel De Ville is another option in Corpus Christi’s North Beach area. Guest rooms have seating areas, cable TV, a coffee maker, and free Wi-Fi.

Three-bedroom suites have full kitchens. There are a variety of parks in the area, including Heritage and Bayside.

23. In the Game Funtrackers

Tourist enjoying at In the Game Funtrackers
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 9605 S. Padre Island Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78418

For the speed demons and thrill seekers in your group, you’ll definitely want to add Funtrackers to your list of places to visit in Corpus Christi. They’ve got go-karts, arcades, axe throwing, bumper boats, batting cages, a laser maze, a Ferris wheel, mini golf, and many other fun things we can’t remember right now.

Take our word for it, though. The place is packed! It’s near the Port of Corpus Christi and Harbor Bridge.

24. Corpus Christi Bay Dining and Recreation

Landry’s Seafood House building entrance
Landry’s Seafood House / Facebook

Address: 600 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Head out to Corpus Christi Bay for waterfront dining, parks, and recreation. Three pier-like structures jut into the bay and offer eateries like Landry’s Seafood House, Joe’s Crab Shack, and L-Head Seafood House (all near Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX).

You’ll also find Arad Urban Park and Sarnia Park, jet ski rentals, the Corpus Christi Marina, Gulf Stream Marine, and the Corpus Christi Yacht Club.

Access the piers via Coopers Alley, Lawrence St. T-Head, and Peoples St. T-Head in downtown Corpus Christi.

See Related: National Parks in The USA to Visit

25. Gulf Coast Nightlife

The House of Rock building at night
The House of Rock / Facebook

Address: 511 Starr St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

From beach bars to pubs, cafés, and taprooms, you’ll find an array of Corpus Christi venues featuring live music and entertainment. The House of Rock, Nueces Brewing Company, the Executive Surf Club, and the Hard Knock Sports Lounge are all spots to enjoy a drink, watch the big game, or hang out.

Other hot spots to enjoy live music and after-hours entertainment include:

  • Rockit’s Whiskey Bar and Saloon
  • Flanagan’s Downtown
  • Whiskey Rio
  • The Library
  • 1920 Bar and Lounge
  • The Brick Bar and Bites
  • Grandview Lounge

26. Walking Ghost Tour

Corpus Christi graveyard at night
Corpus Christi Walking Ghost Tour / Viator

Address: Hughes Street and N. Mesquite Street, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

One of the best ways to get a local’s look at downtown Corpus Christi is with a guided tour. Enjoy a Corpus Christi Walking Ghost Tour where you’ll learn all about the area’s eerie past, rich history, and paranormal sites.

Use paranormal investigation gear and learn about different types of hauntings for a unique and spooky take on Corpus Christi. The tour’s meet-up point is at Hughes Street & North Mesquite Street.

27. American Bank Center

Outside view of American Bank Center Corpus

Address: 1901 N. Shoreline Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

An auditorium, arena, and convention center in one, American Bank Center hosts live performances, trade shows, conventions, sporting events, and other entertainment. It’s sometimes called the Selena Auditorium.

Home to the Corpus Christi IceRays, it hosts rodeos, musicals, Disney on Ice, the Blue Man Group, and concerts by Dwight Yoakam, Reba McEntire, and the symphony.

28. Watergarden

Fountain in  Watergarden
Image by Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

Address: 1700 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

This unique area is under Harbor Bridge and features a large-scale water fountain, green space, art installations, and a giant buffalo sculpture. It was designed by cityscape architect Robert Zion, who also designed Paley Park and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Watergarden is the perfect spot to sit and relax after exploring. The Selena Auditorium, the Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures, and the Art Museum of South Texas are all nearby.

29. Fulton Mansion State Historic Site

The George W. Fulton Mansion in Fulton, Texas, United States
Image from Larry D. MooreCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 317 Fulton Beach Road, Rockport, Texas 78382

Overlooking Fulton Bay, and near Aransas Wildlife Refuge, the 1877 Fulton Mansion is a stunning example of French Second Empire architecture. When first built, it was beyond its time with indoor plumbing, central heating, gas lighting, and hot and cold running water.

Grand live oaks and a Texas Historic Landmark surround the beautiful structure. The Education and History Center has interactive exhibits and a museum store.

La Quinta by Wyndham Rockport-Fulton is convenient to the Fulton Mansion and the Texas Maritime Museum. The pet-friendly hotel has free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers. Rooms have a mini-fridge and a microwave.

30. Goose Island State Park

Big tree at Goose Island State Park
Image by TravelingOtter used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: 202 S Palmetto St, Rockport, TX 78382

Goose Island State Park is a great place to take the kids and go geocaching, camping, boating, swimming, fishing, kayaking, and nature-watching. The 321.4-acre park sits along Aransas and St. Charles bays.

Cast for fish on the 1,620-foot fishing pier or launch your boat or canoe/kayak for a day of on-water fun. Be sure to check out the Big Tree, one of the largest live oak trees in the U.S.

Camping accommodations include 44 bayside campsites and 57 sites beneath live oak trees. All have water and power hook-ups.

There are also 25 walk-in tent sites for those who like to rough it. The campground has restrooms with showers (for those who prefer not to rough it).

Tours in Corpus Christi

Sunset view in Downtown Corpus Christi, Texas
SeanPavonePhoto / Adobe Stock
1. Glowing Kayak Tour Corpus Christi - North Padre Island Top Recommendation

Glowing Kayak Tour is a unique way to experience the coastal ecosystem of Corpus Christi. Paddle by moonlight, spotting blue crab, redfish, stingrays, and more as you glide through the shallows. Take in views of the twinkling coastal lights from the water and learn about the area’s history and ecosystem from your guide.

2. Explore Corpus Christi with a Unique Scavenger Hunt by Operation City Quest

Take a break and have some fun! Explore the Corpus Christi area with an interactive scavenger hunt. Find things in any order you'd like. Complete challenges to earn points. Follow the rankings to see how your score ranks up against others on the leaderboard. All of the scavengers hunts feature a remote host via chat to help along the way!

3. Crazy Corpus Christie Scavenger Hunt

The Crazy Corpus Christi Scavenger Hunt is a unique way to learn about the city and explore it beyond what tourists typically experience. Playing the game is simple, fun, and exciting: Use your phone or tablet to navigate through trails, solving riddles and answering questions along the way. The more you play, the more points you get!

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Sandy Allen

Sandy Allen

Sandy is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia. Her specialties range from hotels, dining, beaches, and boating to theme parks, urban settings, mountain getaways, and fun attractions. She loves Nashville, Las Vegas, and Williamsburg, Virginia - but you're most likely to find her at the beach or on a boat somewhere. In addition to ViaTravelers, her work appears at AFAR, PierShare, Cozymeal, and more.

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