Corpus Christi, or simply Corpus to the locals, is a big Texas city, offering hundreds of things to do, experience, and see for locals and travelers alike. Often called the ideal weekend trip, a visit to Corpus Christi is full of culture, nature, history, and fun. Soak up sunshine and splash in the waves of a gorgeous sea during the day, then hit the inner city of bars, clubs, and thriving nightlife until the wee hours.
Or, if your vacation is geared more towards family entertainment, tour a massive aircraft-carrying ship, see thousands of fascinating animals at the local aquarium, and end your day with a good meal at a fun, family-friendly restaurant. The possibilities for entertainment and fun are near endless in Corpus Christi.
Experience a variety of fun things to do in Corpus Christi!
Corpus Christi is known for being a fun, bold, and loud town, but the city also takes prides in being the hometown of Selena Quintanilla—a beautiful songstress that tragically passed away when she was only 23 in 1995. Since then, her family has taken measures to remember the late singer with The Selena Museum, a tribute that celebrates her life and accomplishments. The museum is filled with memorabilia, including the GRAMMY award that Selena won in 1994, many of the singer’s iconic outfits, and her beloved red Porsche. Corpus Christi loved Selena, so you will see evidence and memorials to the late songstress throughout the city, including a star on the South Texas Walk of Fame, and the Hi-Ho Spanish restaurant that was a favorite of the Quintanilla family.
Located on the southern coast of Texas, Corpus Christi boasts a 70-mile stretch of seashores overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Locals and travelers alike usually find themselves walking seaside on Padre Island, where the Padre Island National Seashore is a beautiful, breezy paradise attraction.
The barrier island is well-preserved, with year-round warm temperatures and lots of things to do and see. For instance, there are several campsites on the island, complete with firepits—so, you and your family can camp under the stars while listening to the waves. Or, rent a 4-wheeler and cruise the tight-packed sands of the seashores at sunset. Be sure to keep your eyes on the horizons for a glimpse of dolphin pods, small whales, and shark fins.
Since Corpus Christi is a seaside city, you can, of course, expect an abundance of great seafood restaurants. Sure, there are a few dozen dynamic restaurants that serve up a plethora of cultural cuisine favorites, but seafood is go-to fare in this booming town.
Snoopy’s Pier on South Padre Island Drive is a local favorite that serves up the best, fresh-caught seafood in heaping portions. This restaurant offers no-frills, as you eat off of plastic plates with plastic silverware, but you do get delicious food and an awesome view. Around for decades, the restaurant has offered the same menu of scrumptious options for years, including the fried oyster sandwich, deviled crab plate, shrimp creole, and classic fish and chips.
Other famed Corpus Christi restaurants include:
- Andy's Kitchen - American Diner, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF options
- Hester's Cafe & Coffee Shop - American Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF options
- Docs Seafood & Steak Restaurant - American, Seafood, Steakhouse, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, GF options
- Blackbeard's on the Beach - Seafood, American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly
- Republic of Texas Bar & Grill - American, Steakhouse, Vegetarian Friendly, GF options
- Water Street Oyster and Sushi Bar - Seafood, Sushi, GF Options
Head to the Aquarium
View Sandbar Sharks, Southern Stingrays, Porcupine Fish and many others up close and personal through the longest acrylic aquarium window in North America — a stunning 68 foot view! The Texas State Aquarium located right in the city boasts a replica habitat like the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (off the east coast of Central America) showcases dolphins, and features an aquatic nursery with moon jellies and brine shrimp. You'll also be see sea otters, bald eagles, flamingos, turtles, and have an opportunity to touch several species in the touch pool. Plus onsite you'll find a 4-D theater, gift shop, and food court, all handicap accessible. Dress accordingly to the weather, as exhibits are both indoors and outdoors. Look for Military, senior and youth discounts as well.
Jump on a docked naval ship and relive the past!
Open year-round for events and pubic touring, visit the USS Lexington on Corpus Christi Bay. Commissioned in 1943 by the US Navy, and finally decommissioned in 1991, the oldest working carrier now shares a wealth of history with tourists.
During WWII, 'Lex' carried a crew of 1,500 women and men and her large flight deck is over 900 feet in length. Come explore at least one of the five self-guided tours, or take on a special hard-hat or flight-operations tour. Be sure to visit the museum, take in a show at the 3-D Mega theater, or slide into the 15-seat flight simulator ($5 bucks extra),
The flight deck also boasts twenty aircraft from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. The Mess Deck Cafe offers snacks, sandwiches, hot food and drinks daily from 10A-4P.
Corpus Christi is a big city with big heart!
There is so much history packed into this Texas town—and, most of it, is up for the seeing. You could learn something new and fascinating wherever you go. That said, there are lots of options for visitors that plan to stay for a weekend or longer.
As a matter of fact, dozens of Corpus Christi hotels have been top-ranked by TripAdvisor as excellent places to stay. Four of those hotels include The Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, Hilton Garden Inn Corpus Christi, and Holiday Inn Express and Suites.
The Residence Inn
The Residence Inn on Blanch Moore is a Corpus Christi must-stay with fair prices, comfortable suites, and an overall pleasant atmosphere. Most notably, past guests have commented that the customer service is excellent, the water pressure is superb, and the rooms are perfectly clean, spacious, and comfy. In other words, everything you could want in a simple, nice hotel. There are 66 rooms, each well-equipped with an AC system, in-room fridge, microwave, clean towels, fresh linens, and extra pillows and blankets. Other amenities include free daily breakfasts, a workout room, a heated indoor swimming pool, self-serve laundry facilities, and dry-cleaning services.
Located on South Padre Island Drive, Springhill Suites is a pleasant and simple hotel, offering basic, homey accommodations to a plethora of travelers. There are 119 suites within the hotel—each well-equipped with a kitchenette, furnished sitting area, super-comfy queen-size bed, and free high-speed internet. Other hotel accommodations include a heated indoor swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness room, an on-site café, bar, and lounge, free parking for guests, and free daily breakfasts of grab-and-go favorites, like bagels, fresh fruits, and muffins.
Antique Lane, less than 2 miles from the hotel, is where many guests love to spend their time shopping and perusing old-fashioned, vintage must-haves.
Hilton Garden Inn
Another local favorite on South Padre Island Drive, the Hilton Garden Inn Corpus Christi touts all of the homey amenities and pleasant accommodations that make a hotel great. For instance, the hotel is notable for their friendly, knowledgeable customer service, spacious and clean suites, and excellent, close proximity to the whole of Padre Island and Corpus Christi entertainment.
Guests also have access to free high-speed internet, an on-site restaurant, 24-hour room service, a well-equipped workout center, and meeting rooms for business professionals. Plus, breakfast is a cooked-to-order affair with favorites like pancakes, bacon, and eggs. For a great dinner, try out the Padre Island Brewing Company for some local craft beer, scrumptious burgers and seafood.
Holiday Inn Express and Suites
The Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Navigation Boulevard is a beautiful, homey hotel, only a few miles from the Corpus Marina. Famed as one of the best hotels in the city, the Holiday Inn Express boasts excellent service, well-maintained and clean rooms, and free daily breakfasts that include homemade cinnamon rolls. Other notable features are an outdoor swimming pool with a lounge area, free high-speed internet, self-serve laundry facilities, a business center with meeting rooms and conference facilities, and free parking for guests. One of the best hotels in Corpus Christi, the property is less than 15 minutes from Upper Padre Island with shopping and dining experiences galore.
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