Corpus Christi is one of Texas most popular tourist destination and for good reason -- it is home to a pair of the state's top attractions. In addition to the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, both of which are family-friendly attractions, Corpus Christi offers miles of great beaches, a minor league baseball team that plays in one of nation's top minor league ballparks, great restaurants, and much, much more.
Kids of all ages love the beach and Corpus Christi is home to some of the best beaches in Texas. Since the city lies both on the mainland and on Padre Island, visitors have the opportunity to choose between bay and Gulf beaches. Those looking for a relaxing way to spend the day while wading, swimming or floating in calm waters should choose the bay beaches. Those looking to "catch a wave" with a surf or body board will prefer the Gulf beaches. Among the most popular stretch of Gulf beach accessible from Corpus is the Padre Island National Seashore. And, what a stretch it is -- 75 miles of undeveloped beachfront that offers a variety of outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing, camping, beachcombing, birding and more. Mustang Island State Park is another great beach.
As the largest aquarium in the Lone Star State, the Texas State Aquarium attracts over 500,000 visitors each year. Additionally, the Texas State Aquarium educates over 60,000 children each year through a variety of educational camps and programs. Designated as the “Official Aquarium of Texas,” the Texas State Aquarium provides both educational and entertaining experiences and is a great way to stay out of the summer heat during the middle of the day during a visit to Corpus Christi. The Aquarium has a vast array of displays housing fish which are indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a few exotic species. There is a full slate of daily programs, including: Dolphin Presentations; Dive Encounters; Birds of Prey; and much more.
Following many years of "active duty," the WWII-era USS Lexington "retired" to Corpus Christi. This massive aircraft carrier now serves as a floating museum, complete with a theater, flight simulator, cafe and more. Additionally, the Lexington offers a variety of educational programs, including summer camps and overnight stays. Although the Lexington is an unbelievably entertaining way to spend the day, visitors need to be aware a lot of walking is required to see the ship in its entirity, so it is imperative to dress cool and comfortably. But, that said, it is impossible to bea the views of Corpus Christi Bay from the flight deck of the Lexington.
The Corpus Christi Hooks, a minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros, play their home games at the beautiful waterfront Whataburger Field. Seeing this Double-A team in action is a great way to see the future stars of MLB, as well as a fun way for the family to spend an evening in Corpus Christi. In addition to all the fun and excitement of the game itself, there are usually a variety of themed promotions the Hooks stage throughout the summer months.
The Corpus Christi Marina houses a large number of sailboats and recreational watercraft. Taking a stroll along one of the Marina's three t-head piers makes for a pleasant diversion - not to mention grabbing a bite to eat at one of the fine restaurants at the end of the piers. There are also vendors available to rent paddle boats, kayaks, jet skiis and other watercraft.