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Corpus Christi Explore Local With RVshare

Why We Love Travel

Suggest a Local Tip

From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.

Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.

Benefits of Traveling Locally

While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:

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More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.

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Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.

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Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.

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Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.

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More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.

Explore Local: Corpus Christi, Texas

While most tourists drive straight through Corpus Christi on their way to the beaches of South Padre Island, locals will tell you that this coastal city has miles of its own spectacular sandy beaches. And beaches are the only attraction in Corpus Christi. It has a beautiful bayfront, well-maintained city parks, award-winning restaurants, and popular attractions like the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington.

Ready to get into what makes Corpus Christi so great? We are too! Let's get started!*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.

Parks in Corpus Christi, Texas

Lake Corpus Christi State Park

For more than 80 years, families have flocked to Lake Corpus Christi State Park for fun in the sun. The lake itself is perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing. Back on land, you can go hiking, biking, and geocaching. The ranger program for kids introduces young visitors to the park’s plants and animals through activity books, special tours, and other events.

Mustang Island State Park

The wind and waves at Mustang Island State Park make it an ideal spot for surfing. If you prefer to paddle placidly, you can put in at Fish Pass or Wilson’s Cut and follow the shoreline past miles of wetlands and sand dunes. There’s plenty to do on land as well. The park is a popular place to go bird watching, geocaching, and mountain biking.

Padre Island National Seashore

While South Padre Island is a well-developed resort area, the northern part of the island is a 70-mile stretch of undeveloped coastline where all kinds of animals live in protected habitats. You can observe the animals in their natural habitats through guided ranger programs or exploring on your own using maps and field guides available at the Malaquite Visitor Center & Pavilion. The bay side of the island is a well-known windsurfing spot. Other activities include kayaking, off-roading, boating, swimming, and beachcombing.

Choke Canyon State Park

Located about an hour northwest of downtown Corpus Christi, Choke Canyon State Park is known for its world-class catfish and largemouth bass fishing! You can fish right from the shore or launch your boat if you want to fish in deeper waters. The park also has a basketball court, tennis court, and baseball field as well as hiking and nature trails.

Goose Island State Park

This bayfront state park northeast of Corpus Christi is home to one of the largest living oak trees in the United States. The “Big Tree” is several centuries old and provides shade for many varieties of wildlife who live in the park, including white-tailed deer, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, and more than 300 kinds of birds. You can launch your canoe, kayak, or fishing boat if you want to get out in the water. A tackle loaner program is available for visitors who want to fish from a boat, the shore, or off the pier. 

Padre Island National Seashore

Hiking in Corpus Christi, Texas

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Hike & Bike Trail

This multi-use trail on the east side of Texas A&M is a lighted, paved path with rest stops at several points along the way. Used by students, residents, and visitors, the trail is a great place to explore Ward Island and the campus itself. 

Schanen Hike and Bike Trail

The Schanen Hike and Bike Trail is a flat, paved trail that extends for 1.3 miles between the trailheads located near the parking lots in Breckenridge and Snead Parks. Appropriate for all skill levels, this family-friendly trail has plenty of places to pause, picnic, and play along the path.

Corpus Christi Bay Trail

If you want to see the sights of Corpus Christi, this bayfront trail is the one for you. The Corpus Christi Bay Trail winds past some of the city’s most popular attractions including the marina, the Museum of Science and History, the Watergarden, the Selena Memorial Statue, and the Art Museum of South Texas. It also passes through six city parks where you can stop to fill your water bottle or use the restrooms. 

Pollywog Pond Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary Loop

This moderate 2-mile loop is in a heavily wooded nature preserve known for birdwatching and wildlife viewing. You can start your hike at the east entrance off Up River Road or the west entrance off Sharpsburg Road. 

Oso Loop

The Oso Loop trail in Oso Creek Park is popular with hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and nature enthusiasts. The trail is dog-friendly, too, so you can take your four-legged friend out for a walk with you on this easy 1.6 mile loop.

Restaurants in Corpus Christi, Texas

Black Diamond Oyster Bar

This family-owned restaurant is a Corpus Christi classic dating back to 1968. The Black Diamond Oyster Bar serves oysters, of course, but it also has Tex-Mex favorites, southern staples, and All-American burgers on the menu. The bar has local draft beer from Lorelei Brewing and Lazy Beach Brewery along with a selection of wine and cocktails. Black Diamond is open six days a week for lunch and dinner and closed on Mondays.

Republic of Texas Bar & Grill

If you want to or celebrate a special occasion or impress an important client, make a reservation at the Republic of Texas Bar & Grill. Located on the 20th floor of the Omni Hotel, the menu at this upscale restaurant is rivaled only by its spectacular view of the bay. Executive Chef Daniel Rosa and his experienced culinary team treat your tastebuds to dishes made with fresh local ingredients paired perfectly with wines from around the world.

Bellino Ristorante

Don’t let its inconspicuous location in a nondescript strip mall fool you. Bellino Ristorante has been voted “Best Italian Restaurant” two years in a row by readers of The Bend. Open 7 days a week for dinner, this local favorite has a menu filled with appetizers, salad, pizza, pasta, and other delectable dishes. For the perfect accompaniment to your meal, try a glass of beer from Corpus Christi’s Lorelei Brewing Company or a bottle of wine imported from Italy.

Ginger Café & Grill

The team at Ginger Café & Grill serves up authentic Mediterranean food made with fresh hand-picked ingredients. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices share the menu with meat and seafood dishes. After lunch or dinner, it’s tradition to linger over a plate of baklava and a cup of Turkish coffee. 

Hoegemeyer’s BBQ Barn

This former warehouse lures a local lunch crowd in with the smoky scent of mesquite. Hoegemeyer’s BBQ Barn is open on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until the daily supply of barbecue sauce is gone. Don’t forget to try their homemade cobbler and sweet tea, too! The restaurant’s Instagram-worthy interior looks like a barn dance is about to break out. Decked out in western decor, it certainly suits the South Texas staples served there.

Activities in Corpus Christi, Texas

Best Things To Do With Kids in Corpus Christi

Learn Something New at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Head to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History to see art and artifacts that tell the story of South Texas. Educational programs, hand-on exhibits, and special events create an interactive learning environment that is both interesting and informative. The museum is open daily until 5 p.m. Reduced ticket prices are available for children under the age of 12, military personnel, and seniors.

Visit the Texas State Aquarium

This accredited aquarium is keen on conservation. They partner with like-minded organizations, practice sustainability, and fund research that supports the species you see in the aquarium. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the animals and their habitats through engaging exhibits, exclusive encounters, and exciting events. The Texas State Aquarium is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Sail the Seas with Red Dragon Pirate Cruises

Arrrgghh you ready to sail the seas with Red Dragon Pirate Cruises? Board the ship at its berth in Port Aransas for a 2.5-hour cruise down the Lydia Ann Channel with a band of buccaneers! Be on the lookout for hidden treasure and have some grog and grub while you listen to the roar of the cannons. The ship sets sail daily at 11:30 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be booked online or by calling 361-749-AHOY. 

Things to Do at Night in Corpus Christi

Listen to Live Music at the Brewster Street Ice House

Brewster Street Ice House is the city’s premier place for live music. Local and touring musicians take the stage at its downtown location to perform for audiences that raise the rafters in this historic building. Dance the night away while drinking ice cold glasses of draft beer or creative cocktails at the bar, or order “some of the best food in Corpus Christi” from their menu of Tex-Mex favorites, classic burgers and sandwiches, and fresh seafood.

Belly Up to the Bar at the Lorelei Brewing Company

This craft brewery is just as enchanting as the legend for which its named. In addition to the variety of locally brewed craft beers on tap, there are also food trucks on Fridays and Saturdays, live music, appearances by mermaids, and games galore! Bring the whole family by for a friendly game of Jenga, corn hole, Connect Four, or a card game of your choice. They also have a tabletop arcade with more than 400 games and both classic and Super Nintendo consoles. The brewery and tap room are open every day of the week except Sunday.

Saddle Up for a Sunset Horseback Ride

What could be more romantic than a horseback ride along the beach at sunset? This 1.5-hour equestrian experience is rated as the #1 outdoor activity in Corpus Christi by reviewers on TripAdvisor! You can book your ride online and saddle up at their location on South Padre Island Drive for a ride along the soft sands of the Gulf Coast shoreline.

Cheap Things to Do in Corpus Christi

Catch a Minor League Baseball game at Whataburger Field

Whataburger Field is the home to the Corpus Christi Hooks, a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the Houston Astros. You can buy tickets by phone, at the gate, or on the Minor League Baseball website. If you want to get an autograph from your favorite player or one of the team mascots, hang out near the third-base tunnel before or after the game. 

Enjoy a Community Theatre Performance at the Harbor Playhouse

This community theatre has been entertaining audiences for close to a century! Located in Corpus Christi’s S.E.A. (Sports, Entertainment, and Arts) district, the theatre puts on weekend performances of classic and contemporary plays. You can get tickets to individual shows online or at their box office on North Chaparral Street.

Visit the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

This popular attraction has 182 acres of gardens, conservatories, water features, nature trails, and animal exhibits. The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is also part of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and birdwatchers can observe native species from a designated tower near Gator Lake. 

Free Things to Do in Corpus Christi

Admire the Art at the Art Center of Corpus Christi

The Art Center of Corpus Christi is located in a historic building on North Shoreline Boulevard. In addition to exhibits featuring regional artists, the center holds art classes and workshops for adults as well as family art time where kids can create their own masterpiece for free using supplies from the center.

Visit the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center

Learn how to help preserve the natural resources of the Gulf Coast during a visit to the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center. Free guided nature walks, educational programs, and special events share the story of the flora and fauna of the Oso Bay wetlands.

See Stars Along the South Texas Music Walk of Fame

This free attraction honors the local and regional musicians who made the coastal region their home. See their stars along the South Texas Music Walk of Fame in the Water Street Market or nominate your favorites on their website. 

Wellness in Corpus Christi, Texas

Spas in Corpus Christi

Relax and rejuvenate at these locally owned day spas and boutiques:

The Woodhouse Day Spa

Unwind at the Woodhouse Day Spa where a full menu of signature services, including hydrating facials, reflexology massages, conditioning manicures, and exfoliating pedicures, is offered to clients every day of the week. For an even more indulgent experience, book one of their “Spend A Day With Us” packages for up to five hours and fifteen minutes of pampering in a soothing setting.

The Beach House Day Spa

This seaside spa on North Padre Island is open six days a week for clients who come to enjoy one of their specialty massages, seaweed wraps, body scrubs, or sauna sessions. All of their individual treatments and pampering packages are performed by specialists who are trained in the art of relaxation. 

Skincare Butik

Soothe your skin and your senses at this Bay Area spa where the best European skincare and makeup brands are used in restorative treatments. Experienced aestheticians perform facials, massages, body scrubs, makeup and tanning applications, waxing services, and chemical peels.

Best Gyms and Yoga Studios in Corpus Christi

Feel fit and fabulous when you work out at these Corpus Christi area gyms and yoga studios:

Freedom Fitness

Billed as the best gym in Corpus Christi, Freedom Fitness has a full range of amazing amenities including cardio and circuit training equipment, free weights, hydromassage and tanning beds, and women’s only facilities. They also offer personal training sessions and boot camps. Want to try them out? Get a free pass when you fill out the online form on their home page.

Corpus Christi Athletic Club

The Corpus Christi Athletic Club has the distinction of being the top fitness facility in South Texas. More than just an average gym, the club boasts a full-service fitness center, lap and recreational pools, saunas, a hot tub, an indoor track, and tennis, basketball, and racquetball courts! Personal training sessions can help you achieve your fitness goals while the people in your group exercise class can help motivate and inspire you on your journey.

Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi

Sign up for individual sessions or group classes with the team of certified instructors at the Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi. In an environment that promotes inner peace and understanding, you’ll build strength, increase your flexibility, align your chakras, and relieve physical and emotional stress. 

Day Trips near Corpus Christi, Texas

South Padre Island

When you want to explore the rest of the region, head out of town for a day trip to these nearby locations:

South Padre Island

South Padre Island is a popular vacation destination, but why should out-of-towners have all the fun? Book an inexpensive staycation at one of the RV resorts and enjoy the same waterfront views seen from the windows of the luxury hotels and rental properties nearby. While you’re there, make memories with your friends and family as you build sand castles, relax on the beach, go golfing, admire the art, visit the local museums, indulge in a spa treatment, charter a deep-sea fishing cruise, or take a tour of the island.

San José Island

When you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take the ferry from Port Aransas over to this peaceful barrier island off the coast of Corpus Christi. San José Island is rich in history. Local legend has it that the shipwrecks offshore still house piles of gold doubloons. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find one washed up on the beach. Besides combing the beach for buried treasure, you can spend the day fishing or surfing, or just enjoying the unspoiled nature of this secluded sanctuary.

As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Corpus Christi that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Corpus Christi? Send them our [email protected] tagging us on Instagram @rvshareand using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.

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