Guide to Corpus Christi: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The best things to do in Corpus Christi: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, signature entertainment and shopping.
According to toppharmacyschools, Corpus Christi is one of the largest cities in Texas, whose name is translated from Latin as “The Body of Christ.” Other names for Corpus Christi are “Texas Riviera” and “Glittering City by the Sea”. The city is famous for its beaches – by the way, what of the coastal cities of the Gulf of Mexico is not famous for them? What sets Corpus Christi apart from others is that right across the continental coastline, the beautiful protected island of Padre, the longest of the world’s barrier islands, stretches out. And also the fact that the coast here is the windiest in Texas, which is not very popular with bathers, but is great for windsurfers.
With a width of only 3 km, Padre Island stretches for 182 km along the continent, and its northern part is connected by a highway to Mustang Island. The central part of the island is occupied by a national reserve, where the very rare Ridley sea turtles lay their eggs.
How to get to Corpus Christi
The international airport is located within the city and receives flights from Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Some choose to travel via San Antonio Airport or Austin-Bergstrom, which is usually a bit cheaper. Both are located about 2.5 hours from Corpus Christi. In addition, Greyhound buses go here (note that there are two bus stations in the city). Passenger trains do not run in Corpus Christi.
A bit of history
At first, the Karankawa Indians lived here, and this place was a kind of regional center of trade. In the 17th century, the French and Spaniards came here, and in the early 19th century, smugglers set up a base in these places to send goods to Mexico. During the Mexican–American War, the city was in the middle of a contested area; it was bombarded by Federation ships during the Civil War, but it wasn’t even that that did the most damage to Corpus Christi. The city suffered most of all from the hurricane of 1919, so today there is little left of the old buildings.
The city got its name because the Spaniards discovered this territory on the first day of the important Catholic holiday of the same name.
Attractions and attractions in Corpus Christi
The coastal area of the Bayfront stretches along Shoreline Drive in downtown. Concrete steps lead directly to the water. In fact, this is the center of the city and a great place for a family walk in the evening or a morning jog. The Bayfront stretches for about 3 km from Magee Beach, along the marina, past the American Banking Center to the Art Museum of South Texas in the port area. Here they sell cotton candy, you can rent a catamaran or bike cab. Festivals like the celebration of Independence Day or Buccaneers Day with fireworks and other entertainment are also held here. And Corpus Christi’s most famous restaurants are also nearby, a block away on Water Street.
3 things to do in Corpus Christi:
- Ride horses along the seashore.
- Swim to Padre Island.
- Take a cruise around the bay on the paddle steamer Captain Clark.
There are many beautiful churches in Corpus Christi. The most famous of them, of course, is the cathedral, located on top of a hill in downtown. The current building was built in 1940 on a piece of land personally donated to the cause by John F. Kennedy. The cathedral, built in the style of the Spanish Colonial Renaissance, is decorated with two asymmetrical towers: a high southern bell tower (41 m with a cross) and a more squat 30-meter northern one.
Museums in Corpus Christi often surprise tourists. The Museum of Science and History was founded in 1952, and today about 100,000 people visit it every year. The museum houses hundreds of thousands of exhibits; exhibitions of finds from sunken ships and coastal ecosystems, ethnographic expositions, the Kennedy Gallery and the Earth Sciences Gallery are open here. And the Museum of Asian Cultures of Texas with an educational center, although small, nevertheless owns an excellent collection of Japanese dolls, Chinese porcelain and other Asian curiosities. The contemporary K-space gallery occupies the historic Cress Building on Star Street. The gallery is owned by a non-profit organization and organizes exhibitions of works by local and national artists.
The art gallery of Del Mar College on Baldwin Street is also worth a look.
The Corpus Christi Miradores are located along the Bayfront. Each has a small plaque that describes some event from the history of the city or region. Miradores are a great opportunity to rest in the shade and enjoy the view (the word itself comes from the Spanish mirar – “to look”). The most famous is built in memory of Selena Quintanilla Perez, who was killed in 1995: a bronze statue of the famous singer is installed here.
The Texas State Aquarium was opened after almost 20 years of planning and construction in 1990. It features displays of the Amazonian forests with poisonous frogs, boas and tarantulas; marine aquarium with a volume of 1.5 million liters with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins; exposure to birds of prey that have been injured and cannot return to the wild; aquarium of the exhibition “floating phantoms” for 3 thousand liters with different types of jellyfish; a replica of a coral reef with its inhabitants; aquarium with sharks and predatory fish; expositions of coastal fauna; otter houses; poultry house with parrots, falcons and owls; outdoor pool with slopes; alligator swamp and turtle territory. The aquarium also offers those who wish the opportunity to even work with a dolphin trainer (though this is very expensive).
A particularly famous city museum is the ship “Legsington”, moored in the harbor. This is an Essex-class aircraft carrier of the Second World War, nicknamed the Blue Ghost, which was declared a national monument (in 2000 it was even featured in the movie Pearl Harbor). On board you can see a World War II gun battery, which consists of cannons salvaged from damaged ships (mainly from the heavy cruiser Des Moines), and get acquainted with ship everyday life.
The name “Blue Ghost” was given to the Legsington by the Japanese for its dark blue camouflage coloring and for the fact that it was found safe and sound several times after reports of its sinking. According to one of the legends, the ship was indeed sunk, but the Americans immediately launched the same ship under the same name in order to demoralize the enemy.
Corpus Christi has many small parks scattered throughout the city. The most popular among locals is perhaps the Artesian Park. And the city’s largest green oasis is the South Texas Botanical Garden and Nature Center. It began as a 1-acre cottage garden in 1987, but has now grown enormously. Today you can see sections of bromeliads, cacti, succulents and cicadas, a hummingbird garden, a greenhouse with 3,000 orchids, a collection of 100 species of tropical plumeria, a rose garden with a large pavilion and a water garden. The garden also features a mesquite walking trail, home to white-tailed deer, collared peccaries and coyotes.
Yet most tourists come to Corpus Christi not to visit museums. They are interested in beaches, and you can understand them: there are whole kilometers of sand, and even in season there is enough space for everyone. Corpus Christi Beach (also known as North Beach) is connected to Downtown by the Harbor Bridge. It is relatively small, but there are not too many people here. Coal Park Beach is located right behind downtown, from the south, on Ocean Drive; and Magi Beach is close to the marina.
And the most popular small islands off the coast are Mustang Island and Padre Island. Both are less than half an hour from the city. Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world, is home to one of the country’s most famous windsurfing spots. Moreover, there is also a major route of migratory birds, and almost 45% of all bird species in North America can be found here. With a width of only 3 km, the island stretches for 182 km along the continent, and its northern part is connected by a highway to Mustang Island. The central part of the island is occupied by a national reserve, where the very rare Ridley sea turtles lay their eggs. It is a great fortune that today travelers can watch them and admire the sand dunes of the island: Padre Island was one of the eight candidate sites for testing the first American nuclear bomb.