With its beautiful beaches and warm weather, Corpus Christi (sometimes simply “Corpus” to locals) is indisputably one of the jewels of South Texas. If you can pull yourself away from the beach, though, you’ll find plenty more fun things to do in Corpus Christi!
No matter what your interest, sand and sun, history, or culture, you will find plenty to do in this lively city–here’s what to do in Corpus Christi!
Corpus Christi Attractions for Fun in the Sun
Play on the beaches.
The pristine beaches of Corpus Christi are a welcome sight to any beach lover, and absolutely one of the biggest attractions in Corpus Christi. Here, you can dig your toes into the sand and enjoy the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico along some of the best beaches in Texas.
The wide beaches of North and South Packery and Whitecap are perfect for building sandcastles or tossing a frisbee.
If you are looking to be closer to the shops and restaurants, then McGee or North Beaches will offer you beautiful views and plenty of nearby amenities.
Explore the wonders of Padre Island.
No Corpus Christi vacation would be complete without a trip to the South Padre Island National Seashore. The beautiful beaches of this barrier island will appeal to your inner nature lover.
Relax on the sandy beaches or take a stroll over the sand dunes of this national park.
Don’t forget to check in on the Hatching Hotline of the Texas Sealife Center, it’s worth setting your alarm clock to watch the newly hatched baby sea turtles make the journey into the sea.
The Best Things to Do in Corpus Christi on the Water
Try out a new watersport.
Many of the beaches of Corpus Christi offer a variety of water sports for the outdoor enthusiast. Surfing, windsurfing, and sailing are popular on the ocean side, with several locations to rent equipment.
Nearby Mustang Island also adds kiteboarding and volleyball to the list of activities available on its sandy shores.
If you are looking to hit the water a little more upscale, the Corpus Christi Municipal Marina provides access to boat tours.
Bring along your fishing gear and tackle box, Corpus Christi has a great variety of fish and styles to suit your experience. Both the ocean and bay sides offer jetties and piers for fishing.
Get close to nature kayaking or wading into the waters of the bay as you cast your line.
If you are looking for bigger prey, charter a deep-sea fishing adventure to try your hand at snapper or tuna.
Experience some incredible kayaking.
Corpus Christi sits on a bay with Padre Island acting as a sand barrier. This provides the area with canals and lakes perfect for kayaking.
Explore the tranquility of Lighthouse Lakes and Laguna Madre’s inland waters. Mustang Island State Park, just north of Padre Island, has 18-miles of water perfect for novice to experienced kayakers.
If you are a beginner or have young children, Bird Island Basin is a great spot to get some experience in calm, shallow waters.
Amusement Parks to Visit in Corpus Christi with Kids (Or Adults!)
This large water park is situated near downtown Corpus Christi off Highway 181. The one-of-a-kind water ride, the Cat 5, is a spiraling 65 feet of fun. Float the lazy river of the Gulf Stream while watching people catch waves on the Shredder.
Your little tikes will enjoy Captain Kid’s Cove featuring mini slides and the USS Dusty replica plane.
Young baseball fans will “step up to the plate” at The Diamond as they run the splash pad bases in honor of America’s favorite pastime.
This park, on the shores of Padre Island, has everything you need to create an adventure to remember. Rides like Wizard’s Waterways and Storm Chaser will give lots of thrills and laughs. Sand Castle Cove and the Lily Pad are perfect splash zones for younger children.
From tubing Rio Aventura, relaxing on Beach Park, siding up to Bob’s Float-In-Bar, there is something for all age groups at Beach Park.
In The Game Funtrackers
What an action-packed amusement park! No problem with heights? Try the ropes course or the bungy dome. For those looking to get behind the wheel, head for the go-karts and bumper boats.
Try your arm at ax throwing or take a swing in the batting cages. Mini-golf and bowling are always a family favorite, but light these up at night for a new family adventure.
Museums + Historical Attractions in Corpus Christi
Visit the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History showcases over 500 years of history for South Texas.
The old Spanish shipwreck and its artifacts capture the imagination of long lost centuries. Children will be fascinated by the HEB Science Center.
Explore the history of Corpus Christi while gazing at Native American artifacts, model T cars, and prehistoric fossils.
See how technology, like electricity, changed the way people lived and transformed urban centers. Understand the unique culture and ecology of South Texas as you travel through the Hall of Earth Science and Coastal Ecology. You can spend hours in this inspiring museum.
Add the “Blue Ghost” of World War II to your list of what to do in Corpus Christi.
The USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier Museum is a great place to connect with the past and one of the best places to visit in Corpus Christi. A tour of the aircraft carrier includes the lower desks, flight deck, and the upper levels. Walk through the dining and medical areas, take a look into the cabins and footlockers of servicemen.
Don’t forget to talk to the volunteers as you travel through the ship, some of them served on the LEX before she was decommissioned in the 1990s and have great stories to tell.
Some of the newest features they offer are the new Flight Simulator and the themed Escape Rooms. Plan this for at least a half-day trip, there is so much to see and do.
Join the fight for equality at the Tejano Civil Rights Museum.
The Tejano Civil Rights Museum is a small gallery depicting almost two centuries of the Tejano struggle for equality. The rooms are arranged to flow with the time periods and center around a specific struggle or event. The last room in the gallery features works from Hispanic artists.
This museum is free but only open on the weekends. Walking through will only take about an hour or so, but it is worth seeing a different side of the rich culture and tradition of Corpus Christi.
The Art Center of Corpus Christi is a must-see for art lovers.
The seven galleries feature a variety of styles from paintings to stained glass to photography. They also feature the work and studios of local artists in the Meadows Gallery. The Art Center offers art classes and family art time to-go weekly.
Explore the Art Museum of South Texas on your trip to Corpus Christi.
The Art Museum of South Texas is right on the bay, near the Science and History Museum.
This museum’s displays are dedicated to showcasing the rich and multicultural history of South Texas. The beautiful art on display is second only to the history and culture that are tied into each piece.
Fun Things to Do in Corpus Christi for Nature Lovers
Get ‘Under the Sea’ at the Texas State Aquarium.
A great place to get in touch with the beauty and wonders of the sea. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef showcases the wondrous colors of the coral reef and numerous varieties of ocean creatures who call reefs home.
The Aquarium has exhibits featuring Caribbean sea life, sharks, stingrays, and dolphins. Additional exhibits include Rainforest animals in The Jungle, alligators in Swamp Tales, and baby seahorses in the Aquatic Nursery.
Don’t forget to catch the turtles of Tortuga Cay or the Wild Flight Theater, and so many more. The Texas State Aquarium is a marvel for kids and adults of all ages.
Stop and smell the roses at The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.
The gardens are located in the southern part of Corpus Christi. The beautiful gardens are grouped into 11 showcased floral exhibits, which include conservatories for Orchids, Bromeliads, Roses, and Plumerias.
Don’t forget to visit the Butterfly House and the Hummingbird Garden.
After you finish seeing the gardens, don’t forget to visit the Nature Center to see the natural wildlife of South Texas. Whether it’s the iguana, birds, or deer, you never know what animals you will see while strolling on the Wetland Boardwalk or near Gator Lake.
You have options for either a guided tour or to move through the park at your own pace.
Shopping and Dining Near the Water in Corpus Christi
Follow the music at the Water Street Market.
A trip down Water Street is one of the best things to do in Corpus Christi, and the perfect opportunity to see the flavor of the city.
Catch a live band playing as you walk through the South Texas Music Walk of Fame. There are a variety of restaurants to tempt your palate. Pick up some local art and souvenirs as you shop the unique stores of the Market.
Located downtown near the water, the Market includes nightlife activities such as dining and dancing at places like Executive Surf Club and Brewster Street Ice House.
Add views from the seawall to your list of what to do in Corpus Christi.
Take an afternoon stroll on the downtown Seawall, feel the warm, salty wind on your face, and watch the orange and purple sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. The Seawall runs along Shoreline Blvd and is perfectly situated near many of the city’s hotels and resorts, and a stroll here is one of the best things to do in Corpus Christi.
Along its 1.5 mile length you will have easy access to a variety of restaurants, including both upscale and local eateries. Many spots along the seawall offer outside seating areas to enjoy the views and catch a salty breeze while enjoying a delicious meal.