Corpus Christi Texas

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Corpus Christi known as a resort and sea side city is located just on the southeast side of the Nueces River. Corpus Christi was named in 1519 by Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, claiming Mustang Island and all the land beyond for the nation of Spain.  Thereafter, the Spanish attempted to establish mission but were continually thwarted by the hostility of Karankawa and other Indian bands. Between 1817 and 1821   Jean Lafitte and his pirates lurked in the area and it wasn’t until 1939 that the first permanent settlement was found by Hendry Lawrence Kinney in 1839.  At the time Corpus Christi was on the edge of the territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande still claimed by Mexico and ruled by Mexican law even though Texas had gained its independence three years prior.  The Mexican war settle this dispute and it was during this war the General Zachary Taylor troops built a tent city on the beach and made it their supply base and Corpus Christi began to take on the look of the town in its own right. After the war ended in 1848, Kinney promoted the town as “the Italy of American and military men who had become accustomed to the town returned and made it their home.

Today, Corpus Christi is a major deep water port and one of Texas/s favorite seacoast vacation destinations.  The Corpus Christi Seawall, with steps to the water was built in the late 1930’s as part of a major landfill that created Shoreline Boulevard and the popular “T” head docks for pleasure boats.  Corpus Christi Beach, north of downtown over the bridge, is the site of the USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium.

The Harbor Bridge arches 235 feet above the water.  A pedestrian walkway has spectacular views of the harbor and the city and beneath the bridge, an observation platform offers close up views of ships entering and leaving the port.

Visitors can enjoy free fishing from numerous municipal piers, jetties, miles of beach and seawall and of course there is numerous charter fishing operations mad available through private operators.

Corpus Christi  Attractions:

Texas State Aquarium

The Texas State Aquarium is home to thousands of animals representing more than 250 species which are displayed in entertaining and educational exhibits.   Visitors have the opportunity to experience dive shows, animals feeding training sessions and hands on programs with sharks and stingrays.  One can get up close to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins from above and below the water in Dolphin Bay.  Visit the Islands of Steel exhibit, modeled after an offshore oil platform.  Sharks and sea turtles live among schools of snapper, tarpon, redfish, jacks and grouper.  Encounter colorful exotic birds, poison dart frogs, fresh water stingrays and boa constrictors in the Amazon exhibit.   The Hawn Flight Exhibit featuring birds of prey, including hawks, owls and falcons. Be amazed as you witness hawks and falcons fly right over your head in the Wild flight show.  Tortuga Cay, allows visitors to see rehabilitated sea turtles from above and below the water.  Learn about the various species of turtles, their injuries and what people can do to protect them in the wild.

Open daily 9AM-5PM; Memorial Day-Labor Day 9AM-6PM.  Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.  Admission Fee.   Parking Fee.  Located at 2710 North Shoreline.

Art Center of Corpus Christi

Built in 1932 the Art Center features the works of local and professional artists.  The main gallery features rotating exhibits and also has four individual studios where visitors have the opportunity to view artists at work.    Open Tues-Sun. 10AM-4PM.  Free Admission.  Located at 100 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Art Museum of South Texas

Home to an impressive permanent collection of changing exhibits of a wide variety of art forms including photograph, murals, handcrafted pieces as well as historical paintings. The museum also hosts a continuous program of films, lectures and art classes.  Open Tue-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun. 1-5PM.  Admission Fee.   Located at 1902 Shoreline Blvd.

Asian Cultures Museum & Educational Center

Offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about Far Eastern and Asian cultures and has exhibits on artifacts from India, China, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.  Permanent exhibits include a five foot bronze Amida Buddha, Japanese Hakata figures, lacquer ware and porcelains.  The collection also includes examples of kimonos and other native costumes, utensils, games and toys.  Open Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM.  Admission Fee.  Located at 1809 N. Chaparral.

Capt. Clark’s Flagship

This 4oo passenger paddle wheeler provides narrated cruises of Corpus Christi Bay and the Port of Corpus Christi.  Cruise along the downtown Bayfront, passing close to the USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium.  Departs from Peoples Street T  Head.   Admission fee.

Centennial House

Corpus Christi’s oldest existing home, built in 1848, of the then popular “shellcrete”.   During the Civil War was operated as a hospital.  It has been restored, furnished and opened to the public.  Open the first Sun. of the month Noon-4PM.  Admission Fee.   Located at 411 N. Upper Broadway.

Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

View the famous 1554 Spanish shipwreck and the spectacular Smithsonian Institution exhibit “Seeds of Change:  Discover the elegance of the “Gallery of Cultural Encounters” which features an authentic 16th century carved dome ceiling, originally fro Castille, Spain.  Also tour replicas of the Spanish ships Santa Maria and Pinta on the ships Plaza.  Open Tue.-Sat. 10AM-5PM. Dun Noon—5PM.  Admission fee. Located at 1900 N. Chaparral.

Harbor Ferry

The 65 foot air conditioned vessel, which provides visitors with transportation that connects downtown to Corpus Christi Beach, An upper deck is provided for those who want to experience the ride and by front breeze.  Starts at the top of every hour at Peoples Street T-Head in the Corpus Christi Marina. 20 minutes after the hour at the Texas state Aquarium and half pat the hour at the Solomon P. Ortiz Dock.  Daily Fee $3.00

Harbor Playhouse

Home to Texas’s oldest continually performing theater, in operations since 1952.  Located at 1 Bayfront Park

Heritage Park

This historic district of the city features restored turn of the century home in “Old Irishtown”.  Homes include  Littles –Martin, Lichtenstein, Sidbury- Guggenheim, Jalufka-Govatos, ward-McCampbell, Merriman-Bobbys and Grande- Frossman.  The Galvan House serves the park’s headquarters and houses the Multicultural Center, featuring changing arts exhibits depicting the city’s heritage.  Also included is the Institute of Cultures,  Open Tue.-Sat. 10AM-2PM. Guided tours are conducted Mon, Thu and Fri. 10:30AM  Located at the 1600 block of N, Chaparral st.

Horses on the Beach

Offers 1 and 1.5 hour horseback rides along Mustang Island, Rides are (AM, 11AM, 5PM and 6:30PM.  Call for reservations (361) 949-4944. Located at 16562 Park Road.

Padre Island National Seashore

The 110 mile long island offers one of the last natural seashores in the nation. At each end of the narrow island is developed with parks and retorts. In between, however, is a preserved, unblemished 80 mile stretch. Information about swimming, camping and activities is available at the ranger station.  Open year round 24 hours a day.  Admission Fee

Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Park

This park along Oso Bay features a viewing tower for bird watching, especially flocks of herons, cranes and roseate spoonbills.  Includes a boardwalk, hike and bike trail and jogging trail.  Access by Ocean drive or take south Padre Island Drive, exit at Nile.

John J. Sablatura Park

This park near Banquette offers picnic, barbeque and camping facilities and a small zoo with South Texas animals.

Padre Island Park

This park on Gulf side from Park Road 22 has a sandy swimming beach, bathhouse, overnight camping facilities, fishing pier and small Beachcombers Museum in park office with nautical and unusual items found along the beach.

Selena Museum

This museum built by Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s father, features outfits and dresses worn by Selena to concerts and award shows. Other exhibits include childhood memorabilia, music awards, movie scripts all dedicated to honor her memory.  No cameras allowed.  Open Mon.-Fri. 9Am-Noon; 1Pm-5PM Located at 5410 Leopard St. in the Q Productions recording studio.

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

This dynamic 180 acre site along Oso Creek is a showcase for colorful, exotic floral exhibits blended with vast areas of conserved native habitat and natural wetlands, Includes the Orchid House, exhibit House, Plumeria collection, Hibiscus Garden, Hummingbird Garden, sensory Garden, Rose garden Pavilion, Arid Garden, Bird and Butterfly Trail, Birding Tower, Palapa Grande on Gator Lake and Wetland Awareness Boardwalk.  Also visit the 2500 square foot Butterfly House and the Anderson Bromeliad Conservatory which houses 800 bromeliad and other plants.  Open Mon-Sun 7:30AM-5PM, May 1- Labor Day 7; 30AM-7:30OPM Admission Fee.  Located at 8545 Staples Ave.

Texas Surf Museum

Located in the heart of downtown this museum features the history of surfing with emphasis of surfing along the Texas Gulf Coast.  Exhibits include a huge Gulf Coast Surf Mural, Hollywood Surf memorabilia, a board shaped garage and films and seasonal exhibitions.  Open daily. No admission fee.  Located at 309 N. Water. St.

U.S. Naval Station

Home of the U.S.  Navy Air Training Command.  On peninsula at southeastern edge of city, naval air activities share site with Corpus Christi Army depot, one of the world’s largest helicopter repair facilities.   Tours available.

USS Lexington Museum on the Bay

This aircraft carrier is a National Historic Landmark and offer visitors an interactive experience that takes the participant into the chaos of World War II.  The exhibit includes a flight simulator that launches visitors into combat.  Admission Fee also includes a choice of one large movie format filmed in IMAX and projected in the MEGA theater. Open daily 9AM-5PM.  Memorial Day-Labor Day 9AM-6PM.  Admission Fee.  Located at 2914 Shoreline Blvd.

Whataburger Field

Home of the Corpus Christi Hooks, Double An affiliate of the Houston Astros baseball club. This $21.5 million dollar field features more than 5000 fixed seats, 19 luxury suites, swimming pool, hot tub and kids’ area.  The Hooks play a 140 game schedule from April-September.  Located less than 1 mile from downtown.

Voyage: A Journey through Our Solar System

Take walking tour through our solar system along Shoreline Blvd. starting with the Sun at Peoples Street T-head and proceeding along Corpus Christi Seawall.   The permanent exhibit features a one-to 10 billion scale model consisting of 13 stations representing planets and other stations. Visitors can see and feel how far apart the objects are in the solar system and size ratio.

Yachting Center of Corpus Christi

Offers tours of Corpus Christi Bay and Sunset Dinner Cruises. Call for tour times.  Located at 108 Peoples St. (361)903-2880.

 

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