12 Great Things To Do in Corpus Christi, Texas on Vacation

Corpus Christi, Texas, is a beautiful coastal city with plenty of fun activities and attractions. From beautiful beaches to its vibrant downtown district, Corpus Christi has a little something for everyone. This blog post highlights fun things to do in Corpus Christi during your next visit. Corpus Christi, Texas, has you covered whether you are looking for a family-friendly activity or something a little more adventurous.

#1 Texas State Aquarium

The Texas State Aquarium is a world-class facility home to a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, stingrays, and turtles. Visitors can also learn about the importance of conservation through interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Many of the animals on display are rescue animals since the aquarium is committed to rescuing and rehabilitating injured sea creatures. Check out the Whataburger 4-D theater, where you can watch shows that play every 30 minutes. The theater is included in the cost of admission, which is a bonus.

Texas State Aquarium is one of the city’s top tourist attractions and a great day to spend. Tickets are $40 for adults (13 and up) and $30 for kids (3-12).

#2 Padre Island National Seashore

If clean beaches and clear blue water sound good, Padre Island National Seashore is a beautiful place to visit. The beach stretches for about 70 miles on this natural barrier island, giving visitors plenty of space to explore. It’s a trendy spot for folks from San Antonio to vacation. 

The seashore is also home to various wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, and hundreds of bird species. In addition, North Padre Island has the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Laguna Madre on the other, making it an excellent spot for watersports. 

You can enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, and beach camping. In addition, there are plenty of hiking trails that wind through the protected sand dunes.

The best time to visit the seashore is from October to May, when the weather is milder and the crowds are smaller. The $10 entrance fee is very reasonable, and public showers are available to rinse off before you head back to your car. So grab your beach chairs and spend the day relaxing on the seashore.

#3 Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. The museum has exhibits on the region’s natural history and the opportunity to learn about coastal ecology.

Kids will have a lot of fun at the H-E-B Science Center for ages 3+. The new Prehistoric Predators and Prey exhibit gives visitors a glimpse into the past with predators from air, sea, and land.

The museum is closed on Mondays but is open the rest of the week. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for kids 3-12.

#4 South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is beautiful in Corpus Christi. The gardens are located south of downtown, covering 180+ acres, and feature a wide variety of plant life.

The nature center is home to various gardens (butterfly, rose, and hummingbird) and an orchid conservatory, all great places to learn about the local wildlife. You can also meet the resident reptiles in the visitor center.

In addition, the botanical gardens offer various educational programs for adults and children to learn about the local flora. The gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; admission is $9 for adults (13 and up), $7 for seniors (60+), and $5 for kids.

#5 Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors on the Texas Gulf Coast. Plenty of activities will keep you busy, like camping, paddling, fishing, and chilling on the beach. The state park is a short drive from downtown Corpus Christi, along South Padre Island Dr.

Kayaking is popular with 20 miles of paddling trails through shallow water fishing areas. This means you can load up the kayak trailer and take the family for a day of exploring.

In addition, the beach stretches for miles, so there is plenty of opportunities to build a sand castle or enjoy playing in the waves. If you need a break from all the fun, you can always stroll through the park’s nature trails.

Camping is another popular activity. There are campsites with water and electric hookups and primitive campsites for you more adventurous types. Not to worry, no matter which campsite you choose, there are full restrooms and showers available onsite.

The best time to visit is from October to April when the weather is cooler, and the crowds are smaller. The entrance fee for day use is $5, camping is $20, and reservations are highly recommended.

#6 Hurricane Alley Waterpark

Sweltering Texas heat got you down? Hurricane Alley Waterpark is an exciting place to cool off and take a break from the heat. The waterpark has slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool for the whole family to enjoy.

One of the highlights is the Storm Surge, a 12,000-square-foot wave pool. If you want even more adventure, Storm Chaser and Cat 5 slides are uniquely designed for speed and thrills.

But, if you’re looking to relax, you can float down the lazy river or take a break in one of the shaded areas. The waterpark also has a full-service restaurant and bar, so you can refuel after a long day in the sun.

Hurricane Alley is also a great place for birthday parties or corporate events; cabanas are available for rent. The park has seasonal hours, so it’s best to check their hours before you plan your visit.

#7 Texas Surf Museum

Check out the Texas Surf Museum if you want fun places to visit in Corpus Christi. The museum is dedicated to celebrating the history of surfing in South Texas and surf culture in general.

You can catch a surfing film while sitting on a bench made from… You guessed it…surfboards. The museum also showcases some of the state’s most talented surf photographers and artists.

The Texas Surf Museum is an excellent addition to your Corpus Christi bucket list if you are a surfing fanatic.

#8 Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is located near Corpus Christi and is an excellent spot for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the refuge by foot, boat, or car, and there are plenty of bird-watching and fishing opportunities

Hunting is a popular activity at the Wildlife Refuge, including big game like deer and feral hogs, though they can be tricky to find in the thick brush. If hiking is more your speed, you are in luck. There are over 2,000 miles of hiking trails and boardwalks to explore.

In addition, birding and watching wildlife are also popular activities. There is a wide variety of animals to see, including alligators, turtles, and whooping cranes. If you have half a day or more, take a fishing pole, pack a picnic, and enjoy the refuge.

#9 Downtown Corpus Christi

Downtown Corpus Christi is a fantastic place to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. Check out the Marina Arts District for a local brew and a slice of pizza (or two or three). The local shops and restaurants are within walking distance and will definitely keep you busy.

The farmers market is an excellent option for fresh fruits, veggies, and local fare. The Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers’ Market is open every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m.

If you want to get out and stretch your legs, the seawall is an excellent place to jog, walk or ride a bike. The seawall is located along Shoreline Blvd, and you get great water views as you meander along.

Something fun is always going on in downtown Corpus Christi, so take your time and soak it all in.

#10 USS Lexington Museum

The USS Lexington Museum is one of the top Corpus Christi attractions and is conveniently located just across the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge from downtown. The aircraft carrier has been transformed into a floating museum highlighting naval aviation history during World War II.

There are many cool things to experience on the USS Lexington, including overnight camping (think scout trips), operating a flight simulator, smartphone tours, and other exhibits. However, the flight deck is one of the most popular attractions on the aircraft. Here, you can get up close and personal with various aircraft. Check out the anti-aircraft guns see the engines that make these planes unique. And it’s an excellent chance for a selfie.

Finally, there is one more thing that you might not expect to find in an aircraft carrier museum: you can try your hand at unlocking a series of escape rooms. Escape rooms are the latest attraction to the USS Lexington.

The museum opens at 9 a.m. daily and costs $18.95 for adults. Military discounts are available. Escape rooms are $38 and include the price of admission.

#11 The Art Museum of South Texas 

For you art lovers out there, The Art Museum of South Texas is a superb spot to check out. The art center is conveniently located just off Shoreline Blvd (close to Hurrican Alley). The museum has almost 2,000 pieces of artwork in its permanent collection and hosts traveling exhibitions.

Visitors can also take one of the classes offered at the museum, like an intro to ceramics. In addition, art programs are available for kids and adults. The museum is open six days per week, closed on Mondays. Admission is $8 for adults.

#12 North Beach

North Beach is a top-rated beach located on Corpus Christi Bay. The wide, sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. It’s a great spot to let the kiddos play, and the nearby restaurants and bars make it easy to grab a bite or a drink.

The beach is conveniently located north of the USS Lexington Museum and south of Dolphin Park. You can rent jet skis, kayaks, and other water sports equipment nearby.

If you are looking for a place to stay, there are several hotels and vacation rentals. Many of the hotels have swimming pools and offer package deals.

North Beach is also a great place to watch the sunset. Visitors can enjoy incredible views of the sun sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. With its beautiful setting and fun atmosphere, North Beach is the perfect place to relax and have a good time.


Corpus Christi is great for its historical attractions, beautiful beaches, and fun nightlife. There is something for everyone in this coastal city, so get out and explore Corpus Christi on your next trip to South Texas.

This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Featured Photo Credit: [@sepavone/DepositPhotos]

12 Great Things To Do in Corpus Christi, Texas on Vacation
Steve Morrow

Steve is the owner of Paddle About, a blog that's all about helping people get out and enjoy nature. He loves to kayak, camp, hike and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not out exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.