In Corpus Christi’s downtown marina and entertainment district is this popular oasis. The square is home to numerous specialty stores and many excellent restaurants, and one of Corpus Christi’s best coffee shops. Enjoy a lovely area with benches and tables at which you can relax and people watch. Also home to the Texas Surf Museum. Wander through the area to view the South Texas Music Walk of Fame. In close walking distance from downtown hotels. For more info visit them online at www.waterstreetmarketcc.com.
Put some wind in your sails and view the beautiful Corpus Christi Shoreline from the water! Crew or relax! Dinner Cruises, Daytime & Sunset Cruises, One Hour Bayfront Tours, Captained and Bareboat Charters, ASA Sailing Courses, Gift Shop, Rental Space for Business Meetings, Social Events & Celebrations! 108 Peoples Street T-Head. www.yachtingcc.com 361-881-8503
Research facility with Visitor Center, includes aquarium with Gulf marine life, self-guided tours and educational movies. Displays feature typical Texas coastal habitats and the organisms that live in them, including Spartina, black mangrove marsh, oyster reef, open bay bottom, rock jetty and offshore artificial reefs. Mon-Fri. 8sm-5pm. 750 Channel View Drive. Port Aransas. 361-749-6711
Not since the Battle of the Philippine Sea has the LEX come to life quite like this. The new Virtual Battle Stations are a truly interactive experience that thrusts you into the chaos and grit that was World War II. Harrowing challenges and climactic battles require your sharpest reflexes. It takes cunning tactics and nerves of steel to survive a day on the LEX. And these new Battle Stations are just a taste of what’s in store on the LEX. The Flight Simulator launches you into real combat, the MEGA Theater turns your seat into a cockpit and the control room… well… you’ll just have to see for yourself. Around every corner and down every tunnel, an adventure unfolds. The sights and sounds are so real… and so intense you become a part of the story the moment you climb aboard the USS LEXINGTON. It’s a complete interactive experience for the entire family. LEX is open daily at 9am with all areas except flight and hangar decks air-conditioned. Available for private functions as well as over-night youth camp-outs. 800-LADY-LEX, www.usslexington.com LEX. Go there.
Devoted to surf music and culture. Exhibits on Texas surfers, board makers and the birth of surfing along the Texas Coast. Home to an extensive collection of surfing memorabilia. Over 35 classic boards from the 30’s to mid 70’s. WaterStreet Market, Corpus Christi. Mon-Wed 10-7pm, Thurs-Sat 10-10pm, Sun 12-6pm. Free. 361-888-7873
Come. Sea. Discover the amazing world of the Texas State Aquarium. Take an aquatic journey to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. Experience dive shows, animal feedings, and “hands on” programs. Thousands of animals (over 250 species) are ready to entertain and inspire you. Get up close and personal with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in Dolphin Bay. Look to the skies as hawks, owls and falcons soar through the Hawn Wild Flight Theater. Visit the Islands of Steel, where sharks and sea turtles live among schools of snapper, tarpon, redfish, and grouper. Enter the mysterious Amazon as you encounter poison-dart frogs, fresh-water stingrays and boa constrictors. Watch sea turtles glide in the waters of Tortuga Cay and see North American river otters play in Otter Creek. Spend time in the Living Shores, where you can really get your hands wet! With so much to see and do, what are you waiting for? Open daily. 800-477-GULF, www.texasstateaquarium.org
The Aquarium, featuring Dolphin Bay, is the number one visitor attraction in the Coastal Bend. Thousands of animals, over 250 species, most common to the Gulf, are displayed in entertaining and educational exhibits. Dive shows, touch pools, food court, playground and gift shops. Admission is $15.50: $13.95 for seniors and active military: $10.50 for ages 3-12, 2 and under free. Parking: $4.00 Open daily 9am-6pm. 361-881-1200
Discover rich maritime history of the Lone Star Coast! Shipbuilding, fishing, sub chasers, Spanish gold, French adventures, lighthouses, and more. Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children 6-12 $3, 5 and under free. Tues-Sat 10-4pm, Sun 1-4pm. 1202 Navigation Circle, Rockport. 866-729-2469
One of the Coastal Bend’s major visitor destinations and leading nature tourism facilities, the 180-acre South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center showcases 11 uniquely-designed floral exhibits and gardens, including the new Butterfly House and 800-plant Bromeliad Conservatory, acclaimed Orchid House and Plumeria Garden, plus Rose Garden and massive Rose Pavilion, Hummingbird, Arid and Sensory Gardens. Tranquil Gator Lake, shaded trails, birding tower, Palapa Grande and wetlands boardwalk make this a key site on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail for both shore birds and woodland song birds. Delightful Garden Shoppe in Visitors Center. Open daily, 7:30am to 5:30pm. $6 adults; $5 age 60+/active military/college students; $3 ages 5-12; under 5 & members free. 8545 S. Staples. 361-852-2100 www.stxbot.org
Painters, sculptors and photographers flock here to record seascapes, birds and windswept live oaks. Downtown is lined with shops and galleries. Many great dining choices. Located about 35 minutes from downtown Corpus Christi, on TX 35-BS.