Situated on the Western side of the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi, TX is a beautiful town with a uniquely charming atmosphere. 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 the city. Living in Austin, I’ve been to Corpus several times, but knowing what I know now, this is how I would spend a perfect day in Corpus Christi.

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.

Go Fishing

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.

The Blue Ghost

Liveon001 ©Travis Witt [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

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.

Time For Lunch

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 cheese steaks, 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 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.

Surf’s Up

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.

Dinner’s Ready

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 which 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.