While not technically on the coast, Corpus Christi offers one the best beach vibes in Texas, as visitors play in and beside the blue waters of Corpus Christi Bay. There are tons of things to do in town, both on and off the beaten tourist path.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History
If you want museums, Corpus has them. Start by learning about natural and man-made history of town at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, where you can view full-sized replicas of Columbus’s ships – the man Corpus claims as its forefather given the prominent Spanish influence all over town.
Fast forward a few hundred years in seafaring technology from Columbus’s Ship and visit the USS Lexington, a WWII aircraft carrier turned museum. I highly recommend making a reservation for a “hard hat tour” to dive into the belly of the beast below deck.
Texas State Aquarium
See what kinds of wildlife is living in the sea below at the Texas State Aquarium. You’ll see fish of every different color and you can even pet a stingray!
Texas Surf Museum
Sadly the Texas Surf Museum, has permanently closed. The museum transitioned to a nonprofit marine conservation organization called Texas Surf Conservancy. The history department at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is in the process of creating an archive to document and store the building’s collection of art, historical photographs, surfboards and memorabilia that highlights the Coastal Bend’s history. Some will be available to the public through the institution.
If you are looking to spend some time under the Corpus sunshine, you can join the sunbathing masses at McGee Beach which is right next to downtown or North Beach (formerly Corpus Christi Beach) just over the bridge by the USS Lexington. Those interested in a drive can head to North Padre Island on the Padre Island National Seashore or Mustang Island State Park.
Finally, for adventure junkies one of the best kept secrets of Corpus is the constant wind blowing through the air, making it one of the best places in the world to kite surf. If you want to try to capture the wind and have it carry you over the bay, set up a private lesson with Pro Kite Boarding. After 3 hours or so, you’ll have it down.
The ORIGINAL Whataburger
All this learning is sure to work up an appetite, and any trip to downtown Corpus should include a stop at Whataburger by the Bay, the double-decker flagship restaurant of one of Texas’s favorite burger chain which started in Corpus Christi in a wooden shack.
Executive Surf Club
The Executive Surf Club is a great place to grab a beer, fried shrimp and sandwiches, and has been serving beach bums since 1990. Don’t worry…you don’t have to be a surfer to get in.
If you are in the mood for pizza, look no further than Panjo’s Pizza, the thin-crust original serving up slices since the 1960’s. Friday and Saturday nights, Panjo’s features “Bubba and the Boys” a good-time ragtime piano and brass group. You’ll be singing along in no time!
Corpus Christi, TX