check here for a
unique visit to Corpus Christi
The city is a major deep-waterport and one of Texas' most popular seacoast
playground cities. First European to have visited area is believed to have
been Spanish explorer Alonzo de Pineda in 1519.
First settlement began as a frontier trading post founded in 1839 by
impresario colonizer Col. Henry Lawrence Kinney; obscure settlement until
about 1845 when accelerated growth began. Institutions of higher learning
are Del mar College and Texas A&M of Corpus Christi.
Seawall, with steps to the water, was built in the late 2930's as part
of a major landfill that created Shoreline Boulevard and the popular "T"
head docks for pleasure boats. Corpus Christi Beach, north of downtown
over the bridge, is the site of the USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium,
and offers park areas, picnic tables, showers, and rest rooms. for maps
and current information on Corpus Christ attractions see Visitor Centers.
In keeping with the city's image of having glistening waterways, Corpus
Christi's Watergarden at Bayfront Arts and Science Park sparkles for visitors
who see, hear, and touch the garden's water. some 150 fountains form the
nucleus of the park, which is lighted at night.
AQUARIUM, TEXAS STATE
ART CENTER OF CORPUS CHRISTI
BAYFRONT ARTS AND SCIENCE PARK
ART MUSEUM OF SOUTH TEXAS
BAYFRONT PLAZA AUDITORIUM
COPRUS CHRISTI MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY
CORPUS CHRISTI BOTANICAL GARDENS
CORPUS CHRISTI MARINA
GREYHOUND RACE TRACK
INTERNATIONAL KITE MUSEUM
LAKE CORPUS CHRISTI STATE PARK
MUSEUM OF ORIENTAL CULTURES
PADDLE WHEELER FLAGSHIP
PADRE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE
PIRATES OF THE GULF
PLAYLAND AT THE BEACH
PORT OF CORPUS CHRISTI AND HARBOR BRIDGE
U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION
USS LEXINGTON MUSEUM ON THE BAY
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AQUARIUM, TEXAS STATE - Experience undersea
adventure upon entering through cascades of water above glass-enclosed
tunnel. close-up views of the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico in a wide variety
of marine habitats; an artificial reef community created by the massive
leg of an offshore oil rig; the color and beauty of the Flower Gardens
Coral Reef; 132,000 gallon deep-water exhibit where visitors talk to the
diver; other exhibits are available. More than 125 species of the Gulf's
most interesting creatures. Open Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6
p.m.; Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Located at 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. (Surfside
Exit from U.S. 181). Water taxi available from Bayfront Art Complex. Admission
is charged. Call 512-881-1200 or 1-800-477-GULF.
ART CENTER OF CORPUS CHRISTI - Exhibits
of work by area artists. Main gallery exhibits change monthly. Artist in
residence studios let the visitors view artisans while they work. Also
to be enjoyed is a tearoom. Open Tues - Fri from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat
1 to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Located at 100 North Shoreline Boulevard. Call
BAYFRONT ARTS AND SCIENCE PARK - Focal point
of city's entertainment at north end of Shoreline Blvd. at foot of harbor
bridge; includes convention center and the following:
ART MUSEUM OF SOUTH TEXAS - Strikingly
designed building directly on bay houses significant permanent collection;
other displays frequently change. Open Tues - Sat from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sun from 1 to 5 p.m. Located at 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. Admission is charged.
BAYFRONT PLAZA AUDITORIUM - Home
of Corpus Christi Symphony, community concerts, road shows, and musicals.
CORPUS CHRISTI MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY
- Treasure house of natural history, Gulf Coast shells and artifacts,
wildlife dioramas, pictures, documents, weapons, and memorabilia highlighting
varied, colorful past. "Shipwreck!" exhibit houses artifacts from the 16th
Century shipwrecks off Padre Island. Full-size replica of Spanish treasure
ship. Open Mon. - Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun from noon to 5 p.m.
Located at 1900 N. Chaparral. Admission is charged. Call 512-883-2862.
HARBOR PLAYHOUSE - Texas'
oldest continually performing theater; community productions and summertime
melodramas. Located at 1 Bayfront Park. Call 512-888-7649.
HERITAGE PARK - Eight restored turn-of-the-century
homes in "Old Irishtown" section. Open for visitation is the Sidbury House,
a Victorian house that recalls the elegance of the late 19th Century; open
Tues - Thurs from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. also, the Galvan House that houses
the Multicultural Center, featuring changing art exhibits depicting the
city's heritage; open from Mon. to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located
at 1600 block of N. Chaparral Street. Guided tours Saturday from 10:30
a.m and 12:45 p.m. call 512-883-0639.
CENTENNIAL HOUSE - The city's oldest existing
home built in 1848 of the then popular "shellcrete" construction. It was
once a Civil War hospital. Now restored, furnished, and open to the public.
Open Wed from 2 to 5 p.m. when the flag is flying.. Located at 411 North
Upper Broadway. An admission is charged. Call 512-883-8691.
COLUMBUS FLEET - Re-creation of famous vessels
of Christopher Columbus, authentic in detail and construction, and built
by the government of Spain. The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria moored
at Port of Corpus Christi at Cargo Dock One adjacent to Corpus Christi
Museum of Science and History. Ashore are Spanish exhibits, las Carabelas
Gift Shop, and a food court. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed
Christmas. Admission is charged. Call 512-886-4492.
CORPUS CHRISTI BOTANICAL GARDENS - a 300
acre natural area featuring wild and domesticated species. Hiking trail
through virgin mesquite brushland with more than 1,000 native plants. Small
lake; resident flocks of herons, cranes, and roseate spoonbills. Information
center and gift shop; picnic area. Open Tues - Sun. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays. Located south of city on S. Staples St. at Oso Creek. Admission
is charged. Call 512-852-2100.
CORPUS CHRISTI MARINA - Two "T" heads and "L"
head thrust from bay front at heart of downtown; hundreds of pleasure craft
moor at neat, modern docks and slips. Water sports equipment rental in
season. Excursion boats ply bay from docks; fishing boats based here, too.
excellent view of sailboat races on Wed. evenings.
DOLPHIN CONNECTION - Boat trip provides first-hand
look at sleek and beautiful creatures in the wild. Visitors view and feed
dolphins in their natural habitat in Corpus Christi Bay. Seasonal; reservations
are required. Call 512-882-4126.
FISHING - Free fishing from numerous municipal
piers, jetties, miles of beach, and the seawall. Bait and tackle shops
(tackle may be rented by the day ) are abundant. Arrangements and reservations
for group-boat fishing may be made at Corpus Christi Marina or through
private operators. Among species anglers may expect to take, depending
upon season and proverbial luck of the moment, are (in the bay) sheepshead,
sand and speckled trout, redfish, flounder, catfish, whiting, drum, pompano,
and Spanish mackerel. Deep-sea anglers cruising Gulf waters from Port Aransas
may take tarpon, sailfish, wahoo, king mackerel, bonito, and many others,
plus red snapper and jew-fish over off-shore reefs.
GREYHOUND RACE TRACK - Year-round racing
on a 60 acre facility. Evening races Tues - sat. 7:30 p.m., Sat & Sun
1:30 p.m. matinees. Visitors can see greyhounds in their handling pens;
18 on premise kennels. Track has both full-service restaurants and food
court. Adjacent to I-37 between Navigation Blvd. and McBride Lane. Call
512-289-9333 or 10800-580-RACE.
INTERNATIONAL KITE MUSEUM - The history of kites
through displays and video from the earliest Chinese kites more than 2,000
years ago. Includes fascinating story of kites used in scientific discoveries.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In Best Western Sandy Shores Resort at
3200 Surfside. Call 512-883-7456.
LAKE CORPUS CHRISTI STATE PARK - About 35
miles northwest of Corpus Christi.
MUSEUM OF ORIENTAL CULTURES - Features Japanese
and other Oriental art; scale models of famous pagodas, shrines, and temples;
sculpture, furniture, paintings, and largest U.S. collection of hand-crafted
Hakata dolls Also library, films, slides, and floral art studies. Open
fro Tues - Sat from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Located at 418 Peoples Street, Suite
200. An admission is charged. Call 512-883-1303.
PADDLE WHEELER FLAGSHIP - Narrated cruises
of Corpus Christi Bay and Harbor. Hour-long morning, afternoon, and evening
cruises. Summertime weekend evening cruises feature jazz band. Schedule
varies by season. Call
(361) 884-8306. Departure from Peoples Street "T"
Head. A fee is charged.
PADRE ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE - 110 Mile
long Padre Island offers one of the last natural seashores in the nation.
Each end of the narrow sand island is developed with parks and resorts.
But, in between, the National Seashore preserves an unblemished 80 mile
stretch. Information about swimming beaches and extensive primitive beach
camping areas and nature trails at ranger station. Visitor center with
gifts and concessions, bathhouse, and picnic area. Beachcombers may collect
seashells, driftwood, perhaps prized glass floats from Portugal or the
Orient, and other items washed in by tides. Federal law prohibits collecting
historical artifacts like flint points, antique coins, or any other item
more than 100 years old. Use of metal detectors is prohibited on the National
Seashore. Admission is charged.
CITY PARKS - Ten major city parks offer
a variety of outdoor attractions and facilities, including picnicking,
playgrounds, swimming, tennis, softball and other sports, and fishing pier.
Corpus Christi Beach, north of Harbor Bridge, has a pavilion, playground,
showers, rest rooms, and picnicking.
Cole Park on bay front features pier, playground, amphitheater, and
Kid's Place recreation area for children and families. Outdoor concert
series in summer. Located at 1526 Ocean Drive.
The Hans A. Suter Wildlife Park along Oso Bay features a viewing tower
for watching birds, especially flocks of heron, cranes, and roseate spoonbills.
Boardwalk, hike-and-bike facilities, jogging trail. Accessible by Ocean
Drive or take South Padre Island Drive and exit at Nile.
COUNTY PARKS - Nueces County Parks offer
exceptional recreational facilities. John J. Sablatura Park, near Banquete
on Texas 44 , has picnic, barbecue and camping facilities, and small zoo
with animals of South Texas. J.P. Luby Surf Park on Park Road 22 offers
a surf pier for wave generation. To the south, Padre Balli Park (512-949-8121)
features overnight camping hookups, covered picnic areas, pavilion, park
ranger station, and 1,200 foot Bob Hall Pier with snack and tackle shop.
Packery Channel Park, on Padre Island near junction of Texas 361 and Park
Road 22, is excellent day-use park with good fishing. Padre Island Park,
on Gulf side from Park Road 22, has bathhouse, sandy swimming beaches,
overnight camping facilities, fishing pier, and small Beachcomber's Museum
in park office with nautical and unusual items found along the beach. Port
Aransas Park, at northeast end of Mustang Island on Gulf side, has similar
PIRATES OF THE GULF - Family theme park featuring
an 18 hold championship miniature golf course complete with waterfall.
Open from April thru August daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept thru March Friday
from 4 - 10 p.m. Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday fro noon to 9 p.m. Located
at 2901 West Surfside. Call 512-884-4774.
PLAYLAND AT THE BEACH - Outdoor family park
featuring Supertrack Grand Prix go-cart races, bumper boats, bumper cars,
children's playground, and largest redemption game room in South Texas.
Open seasonally, weather permitting from April to October from 11 a.m.
to 11 p.m. Located at 3001 Seagull Blvd. Call 512-884-7251 for additional
PORT OF CORPUS CHRISTI AND HARBOR BRIDGE -
Port is sixth busiest in the nation with ships from nearly every country
in the world. Major cargoes are oil and refined products, grain, cotton,
and chemicals. The harbor entrance is spanned by an impressive bridge (U>Sl
181) that arches 235 feet above the water. Beneath the bridge is an observation
platform offering close-up views of ships entering and leaving the port.
U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION - Home of U.S.
Navy's Air Training Command. On peninsula southeastern edge of the city,
naval air activities share site with Corpus Christi Army Depot. Tours every
Wed at 1 p.m. from north gate on Ocean Drive. Call 512-939-2674.
USS LEXINGTON MUSEUM ON THE BAY - Vintage
wartime aircraft carrier is a naval museum. The Lex is not
'floating" we are 18 feet into the ground. A trench was dug 10 feet
deep and we were pushed into it by Tug boats. Our fuel tanks were
flooded for ballast and sand and water filled around us throughout the
5 years we have been there. We will never move. (we hope!).
Commissioned in 1943, USS Lexington CV-16 served longer and set more records
than any carrier in the U.S. Navy. During World War II, the "Lady Lex"
saw action from Tarawa to Tokyo and was the first U.S. carrier to enter
Tokyo Bay after the treaty was signed with Japan in 1945. Tours include
the hangar deck, foc'sle, commanding officer/admiral quarters, sick bay,
galley, flight deck, and bridge. Among aircraft on display are vintage
SNJ Texan and Yellow Peril, F2 Banshee, F-4 Phantom, F9F Cougar,
A-4 Skyhawk, OY-1 Sentinel, and Avenger. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Christmas. Adjacent to aquarium. Located at 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd.
(Surfside Exit from U.S. 181). Admission is charged. For additional information
VISITORS CENTERS - For information on city
attractions, accommodations, and events, visit the area visitor bureau,
located at 1201 N. Shoreline Blvd., during business hours; the Tourist
Information Center in Nueces River Park at the Nueces River crossing of
I-37 at west edge of city is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.