Situated on the Western side of the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi, TX is a beautiful coastal city with a uniquely charming atmosphere. Living in Austin, I’ve been to Corpus several times. Knowing what I know now, these are my recommended things to do in Corpus Christi and how I would spend a perfect day.
The biggest thing that will affect your day is the weather. If the weather is beautiful, you may want to spend most of the day at the beach. In that case, this itinerary could easily last you three days. If you go in the winter, this could still be spread across two days.
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How To Spend A Perfect Day In Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is a great place for a family vacation, a beach getaway or a romantic weekend. Below are the best things to do in this southern Texas town.
You feel like you are in a small town when you are near the beach, but you also find many museums, a downtown area, and tons to do in downtown Corpus Christi.
Things to do in Corpus Christi
If you are wondering what to do in Corpus Christi, below are some of my favorites. I’ve included options for nature lovers, fun things for a family, and outdoor activities.
Aside from swimming at the beach, fishing is my top pick of things to do in Corpus Christi. You can start out early on the Bob Hall Pier or charter a boat to take you out. I like to get this in early to build an appetite for a big breakfast.
Grab Some Breakfast
What better way to begin your day in Corpus Christi than by enjoying some delicious local fare for breakfast? For a true taste of the area, joints such as Andy’s Kitchen or JB’s German Bakery & Cafe are your best bet. These establishments have been serving the area for years and are the perfect place to grab a bite before your big day out.
Visit The Aquarium
You might expect the Texas State Aquarium to be in one of the bigger cities in Texas, but it is actually located in the heart of Corpus Christi. The town’s storied maritime history makes it the perfect place to house the state’s most prominent aquarium. Home to a vast array of dolphins, turtles, stingrays, and fish the aquarium is the place to spend a few hours before lunch.
Explore the Blue Ghost
After enjoying the aquarium, just down the beach is the best museum in town – the USS Lexington. Originally built during World War II, this Essex-class aircraft carrier (nicknamed “The Blue Ghost”) now serves as a naval museum featuring airplanes and an IMAX theater. Anchored in Corpus Christi Bay since 1992, the USS Lexington offers visitors a unique chance for the public to experience life aboard an aircraft carrier.
Corpus Christi Museums
The Art Museum of South Texas was established in 1936. Their The permanent collection & special exhibits showcase regional fine art, photography & crafts. They have several fun special events as well.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History collects and preserves natural and cultural history objects with emphasis on South Texas.
Selena Museum is a self-guided tour memorial for Selena fans showcasing the singer’s awards & memorabilia. Any music fan will get a lot out of this experience.
Lunch in Corpus Christi
Close to the USS Lexington is Yo Philly Cheese Steaks & Subs. It’s a small sports-themed sandwich shop, with mostly Eagles gear covering the walls. Here you will find great Philly cheesesteaks, pizzas, burgers, and more. You wouldn’t know by the looks, but it is easily the best sandwich place in town.
Hit The Beach
Now it is the hottest time of the day. It’s time to spend some time on one of Corpus Christi’s beaches. Though there really are no bad options in the area, the best beaches are the Whitecap beach on North Padre Island National Seashore or Port Aransas Beach. Of course, if you get tired from walking, these are also perfect spots to just sit in the sand and watch the waves roll in.
If you are visiting mid-June through August, make sure to ask about the sea turtles hatchling release. Most releases that are open to the public take place at 6:45 a.m. on Malaquite Beach in front of the Visitor Center at Padre Island National Seashore on North Padre Island.
Additional Corpus Christi beach options include North Beach. It’s located across the Harbor Bridge and north of downtown Corpus Christi. This is a beautiful beach that tends to be a bit on the touristy side, but for good reason. It’s a perfect choice if you want to include a bit of sightseeing into your day at the beach because the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington aircraft carrier museum are also located here.
A bit more of an adventure would be a trip to Mustang Island State Park. The state park is located about 30 minutes south of downtown Corpus Christi. in Port Aransas, Texas. There is a 5-mile stretch of beachfront and plenty of water activities including fishing, swimming, surfing, and kayaking. If you prefer, you can also hike, bike, or birdwatch. Mustang Island State Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As you are enjoying the beach, stop by the Texas Surf Museum. This quirky and interesting museum showcases everything that is special about Texan surf culture and history. Visitors can relax on a bench made from surfboards or spend time browsing through the hundreds of photos that adorn the museum’s walls. Even better, admission to the museum is absolutely free.
Make Time For Nature
As the sun begins to set on your day in Corpus Christi, it is a good idea to make some time for nature. More specifically, you can spend a couple of hours exploring the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center. This 182-acre wonder is home to birds, reptiles, butterflies, and a wide variety of local plant species. If you fancy taking a stroll, the center even offers a boardwalk that winds through the area’s scenic natural wetlands.
After all of that activity, it has to be time for dinner! Of course, Corpus Christi offers a huge range of dining establishments, so you are bound to find somewhere to suit your tastes. For a delicious steak with some scenic views, the Republic of Texas Bar & Grill is the place to go. Alternatively, if you would prefer to indulge in some local seafood, the Water Street Oyster Bar is a superb dining option.
Time to Kick Back
Whew, what a day! Having enjoyed the sights and beaches of Corpus Christi, it is now time to relax. Head back to the beach to relax and hear the waves crashing in. You can even enjoy some smores over a fire on the beach.
For great convenience getting to the beach, I recommend staying at The Gulfstream Condos. They are situated right on the beach and offer a patio or balcony for you to relax on. I love being able to catch the sunrise each morning over the beach and always being just a few steps from the sand. Even better, each condo includes a kitchen that is perfect for enjoying a few meals together. We usually ate in a few times to save money and so we do not have to leave the beach.
Compare Hotels and House Rentals in Corpus Christi
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Corpus Christi Map & Location
- Corpus Christi is 144 miles from San Antonio, Texas (about 2.5 hours)
- Corpus Christi is 208 miles from Houston, Texas (about 3 hours 45 minutes)
- Corpus Christi is 215 miles from Austin, Texas (about 3 hours 15 minutes)
Corpus Christi Weather
The weather is hot year-round in Corpus Chrsiti, but occasional rains and winds cool things down enough to make Corpus Christi’s climate bearable even in the peak of summer.
Winter: The average high temperature between December and February is between 68 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low is between 47 and 51 degrees. Expect most days to be in the 50s or low 60s. January is the coldest month. Winter months see an average of two or fewer inches of rain.
Spring: Temperatures rise in Corpus Christi during spring. In March, the average daily high is about 76 degrees; by May, the average high is 87 degrees. Average daily lows rise from 56 degrees in March to 70 degrees in May. Expect temperatures in the mid-70s during spring.
Summer: It is hot in summer in Corpus Christi. The average daily high temperature is in the low to mid-90s during summer and temperatures occasionally rise into the triple digits. The heat is dry rather than humid. Expect an average of about three inches of rain each month during summer.
Fall: The daily average high in September is 90 degrees, but, by November, the high drops to about 76 degrees. September is the city’s rainiest month, with an average of just under five inches of rainfall.
Recommended Travel Resources
- Travel Insurance: World Nomads.
- Transport: AirfareWatchDog and Skyscanner (Best Sites to Research Flight Prices)
- Accommodation: Hotels.com and Orbitz
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Dan Bagby is passionate about food and travel and enjoys writing about it on his blog, HoneymoonAlways, a couples site dedicated to helping couple travel more to stay in or reconnect to their honeymoon phase.