Corpus Christi, Texas
A Vacationer’s Getaway
North Padre and Mustang Islands
LOCATED ON THE central Texas coast of the Gulf of Mexico, North Padre Island is located within Corpus Christi and is the gateway to Padre Island National Seashore, the world’s longest barrier island. Just a 30-minute drive from downtown, Padre Island National Seashore is one of only a few nesting
grounds in the world for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles.
Separating North Padre Island from mainland Corpus Christi is the Laguna Madre, one of only six hypersaline lagoons in the world. Within these waters, visitors can experience not only award-winning fishing each year, but also world-class conditions for kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and paddleboarding.
With miles upon miles of Gulf beaches available to choose from, visitors won’t have any trouble finding a spot to have a little beachside fun. Both North Padre Island and Mustang Island boast fantastic Gulf beaches to fit your preference, whether you’re looking for relaxing solitude or playful roups. 2017 will also be a great year to experience the all-new Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi! Opened in 2015, the most recent destination to join the Schlitterbahn family offers family waterpark fun, dining and a golf club.
The S.E.A. District (Sport, Entertainment and Arts) is located in downtown Corpus Christi, shouldering the Corpus Christi Bay and Port of Corpus Christi. Comprised of several key attractions, this area is a hub of activity for visitors and locals with cultural, entertainment, sports and business offerings. Elements within the district include: The Art Museum of South Texas, Asian Cultures Museum, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, Hurricane Alley Waterpark, Whataburger Field, Brewster Street Icehouse, Concrete Street Amphitheater and the American Bank Center. For more information, please visit SEADistrictCC.com.
Marina Arts District
The District and Greater Downtown Area are anchored by a bayfront, beach and marina, parks and culture, and sports, convention, and hospitality venues. It is the government, corporate and office center of the region. Residents, office workers and visitors enjoy local restaurants, vibrant night life and music scene, art galleries and museums, and many water activities. Special events and cultural festivals draw thousands annually. Its central location with easy access by highway or local streets and close proximity to the airport make it easy for residents and visitors alike to access. For more information, please visit MarinaArts.com.
Texas State Aquarium
Discover the amazing underwater world of the Texas State Aquarium on an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy daily shows, interactive exhibits and live animal feedings. Be sure to pack swimsuits for the little ones and take a lunch break in the HEB Splash Park (open for Summer). Coming up for 2017: completion of the new Caribbean Journey wing! Prepare to be immersed in habitats, flora and fauna that celebrate the ecological diversity of the Caribbean…..right here in South Texas!
South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
BUTTERFLIES, REPTILES & PARROTS — Oh, My! Corpus Christi’s South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center treats visitors to Flora, Fauna and Fun!
One of the Coastal Bend’s major visitor destinations and leading nature tourism facilities, the 182-acre venue showcases the 2,600 square-foot screened Butterfly House, new Samuel Jones Orchid Conservatory with 22-foot roof peak, Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory, seasonal Plumeria Garden with viewing
platform, plus Rose Garden and massive Rose Pavilion. The delightful Hummingbird Garden, desert-like Arid Garden, “artscaped” Sensory Garden, new Tropical Garden, and educational EarthKind Demonstration Trial Gardens round out your floral experience.
Meet our Resident Reptiles and Exotic Parrots. Then, explore the shaded Mary Hope Brennecke Nature Trail with two Kent Ullberg bronze wildlife sculptures, which leads you to the Birding Tower and Palapa Grande on Gator Lake, wetlands boardwalk and newly enhanced Oso Creek Loop Trail. Back in
the Visitors Center, shop the remodeled and expanded Nature’s Boutique for a variety of unique, reasonably-priced merchandise, while enjoying a snack
and cold drink. Located at 8545 S. Staples St., the Botanical Gardens & Nature Center offers year-round environmental/horticultural education programming, birding classes, special events, memberships with Reciprocal garden privileges, docent-guided group tours, and facilities rentals.
Open daily, 9 am to 6 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Information, 361.852.2100, stxbot.org.
Corpus Christi is home to many wonderful retailers. Make La Palmera Mall your shopping destination for “ordinary turned extraordinary.” For a unique experience, browse the shops at Lamar Park, The Village, Water Street Market, Antique Row or Bleu Frog Mercantile.
If you’re looking for a trail to jog, hike, bike or paddle on, Corpus Christi has you covered. From urban landscapes to stunning natural habitat, the numerous nature trails found within Corpus Christi contain adventures waiting to happen. Lace up your tennies, hop on a bike, or slip into a kayak today to experience some of nature’s finest work.
It’s For the Birds!
Perfectly positioned at the cross roads of two major flyways, Corpus Christi is “America’s Birdiest City” for the last decade. Hundreds of bird species
stop to rest during Spring and Fall migrations. Blucher Park, known worldwide, is a four-acre pocket park attracting bird watchers year round in search of flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, warblers, chimney swifts and dozens more species. The Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge is often crowded with shorebirds, waterfowl, and butterflies. Land birds and raptors occur in surprising numbers, as well. Corpus Christi is home to the largest and most diverse raptor migration platform in the U.S., averaging over 730,000 hawks and falcons each year. Hazel Bazemore County Park is famous for its
internationally-known hawk migration each Fall, ‘Celebration of Flight’, peaking in late September and early October.
If the sheer size of the aircraft carrier USS LEXINGTON doesn’t drop your jaw, the adventure inside definitely will! She’s a National Historic Landmark
and one of the top attractions in Texas. And at 910 feet, 33,000 tons and 16 decks, she’s colossal and a mammoth experience. Speaking of Giant, the three story tall 3D MEGA Theater makes jets roar louder, helicopters loom larger and flying enormously realistic.
Even the Scale Model Gallery is huge, with more than 370 handmade miniature replicas on display. The Virtual Battle Stations are an interactive
experience that puts you behind the controls. The Flight Simulator launches you into real combat; and around every corner, up every ladder and down every passageway, a story unfolds. It’s a complete interactive experience for the entire family.
LEX is open daily at 9 a.m. (closed Christmas and Thanksgiving Days) with all areas except flight and hangar decks air-conditioned. Aboard ship you’ll find the Mess Deck and Ship’s Store. Available for private functions as well as overnight youth camp-outs. www.usslexington.com
For more information, please
Photos via CCCVB.