Corpus Christi Travel Guide

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Corpus Christi Travel Guide

Corpus Christi Local History

On the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi, in 1519, Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda discovered a lush semi-tropical bay on the southern coast of Texas. The bay was named after the feast day celebrating the 'Body of Christ'. Corpus Christi began as a frontier trading post in 1938-39.

It remained an obscure settlement until July 1845, when US troops set up a camp up there in preparation for war with Mexico. About a year or two later, the city took the name Corpus Christi because a 'more definite postmark for letters was needed'. A city council and mayor, Benjamin F. Neal, was elected. The city charter was adopted in 1876.

Corpus Christi Attractions

Corpus Christi Shopping

Unusual and interesting shops abound in Corpus Christi for finding anything from surfing and fishing gear to jewelry, paintings and sculptures.

Corpus Christi Trade Center Offers a unique blend of specialty shops and food deli's. You will find what your heart desire and your eyes can not resist.

Padre Staples Mall Shops galore, cozy eateries and a variety of art dealers. You will be able to take home a memory that will fit any budget.

Corpus Christi Activities

Cole Park & Kid's Place Playground This 43-acre park offers free access and you can bring your dog along, as long as it is on a leash. The Park has open and shaded picnic tables and public restrooms. Free outdoor concerts are held at Cole Park Amphitheater on Thursday and Sunday evenings, throughout the summer. Kid's Place Playground is full of activity, and a lighted fishing pier is within walking distance from paved parking, so be sure to take your fishing rod. Remember: there is no alcohol allowed in the park. 1526 Ocean Dr. Tel: 361/561-0253.

The Children's Wharf Exhibition At the Museum of Science and History, is interactive and here you can watch you child's imagination come alive. Learn the history of encounter and exchange beginning with Columbus' 15th century voyage to the New World, while you are there.

The Texas Treasure Casino Cruise Ship The ship has two cruises daily, leaving from nearby Port Aranas, You can enjoy great food and entertainment as the ship sails out. There is a multitude of activities to keep little people occupied. An ideal outing for the entire family.

Corpus Christi Parks & Gardens

Lake Corpus Christ State Park Activities include camping, picnicking, boating, waterskiing, fishing, swimming, bird watching and hiking. Entrance fee: $3 (adult 13 and over), no charge for under 13's. Park Road 25 off State Highway 359. Tel: 361/547-2635.

Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens & Nature Center This 180-acre site entwines nature tourism and eco-education with colourful floral exhibits and local landscape choices. Experience the Orchid House, Sensory Garden, Hibiscus and Water Gardens. It is an excellent spot for bird watching with picnic area. Tours are self guided and there is a gift shop where you can pick out some unusual gifts for everybody back home. Admission: $1.50 - $4.00. Children under 5 are admitted at no fee. 8545 S. Staples. Tel: 361/852-2100.

Corpus Christi Beaches

The beauty of the city's beaches and waterfront is a persistent lure for visitors.

The Marina Located on Corpus Christi Bay, hosts an array of colourful sails, moving in and out of the bay. Show up on a Wednesday night for Sailboat Races and join in on the fun.

Padre Island National Seashore Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Corpus Christi, you will encounter Malaquite Beach. The activities include picnicking, fishing, hiking, xtreme biking, camping and windsurfing. The park conducts children's programs throughout the year. These programs include beach walks, campfire programs and bird-watching walks at Bird Island Basin. Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle. Tel: 361/949-8068 or 361/994-8173.

Bird Island Basin The Basin is about 4 miles from Malaquite Beach. It offers, not only a boat ramp to Laguna Madre, but also a great place to launch a kayak. It is one of the top windsurfing spots and swimming is permitted on all beaches. Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle. Tel: 361/949-8086 or 361/994-8173.

Corpus Christi Beach (North Beach) Three miles from downtown Corpus Christi, just over Harbour Bridge. North Beach offers restrooms, rinse-off showers, cabanas and picnic tables. Restaurants and hotels are within walking distance of the beach, making it a great family beach. This is also a popular kite boarding hot-spot. Entrance is for free and no glass containers are allowed on the beach. Tel: 361/880-3480.

Corpus Christi Restaurants and Bars

Corpus Christi is Texas' largest coastal city and a vast wonderland of sea, sun and seafood cuisine. After a busy day of taking in the sites or just soaking up the sun, you can sit down to a delicious meal of fresh seafood, Tex-Mex, Texas Bar-B-Que, oriental and international flavours, spicy Cajun or a beef lover's steak.

You are guaranteed to find a multitude of fine restaurants along 'restaurant row' on South Padre Island Drive and downtown Corpus Christi is filled with popular first-class eateries. The area is littered with 'taquerias' restaurants that specialize in taquitos (similar to a burrito but folded).

Corpus Christi Restaurants

Republic of Texas Bar & Grill This spot is expensive but worth every penny and just the place to celebrate a special occasion. It is primarily a steakhouse, and all choice beef is hand cut and grilled over a fire of oak and mesquite. Particularly recommended is the 16-ounce New York strip or the 24-ounce porterhouse. The seafood, such as moist and flaky mesquite-grilled Pacific Northwest salmon, surely is a winner. There is an extensive wine list and the service is excellent. Reservations are strongly recommended. Main courses $14 - $35. 900 N. Shoreline Blvd. Tel: 361/886-3515.

Pier 99 Specializing in seafood and steaks, the Pier guarantees good food at reasonable prices and an upbeat atmosphere. The back deck of the restaurant offers a good view of the USS Lexington in the harbour. The menu features fresh seafood plates, for under $8, an all-you-can-eat fish special and entrees such as shrimp scampi, Cajun shrimp and Alaskan snow crab. Also offered are chicken, steak and burgers. At main courses $4.95 - $17, you will not leave Pier 99 hungry. 2822 N. Shoreline Blvd. Tel: 361/887-0764.

Recio's This restaurant specialize in Mexican cuisine, and here you will find the best taquitos in Texas. They also offer tantalizing tacos, enchiladas and other Tex-Mex and Mexican favourites. The d├ęcor is simple and the walls adorned by colourful paintings by local artist. Try Rob's Parillada for Two, a platter of beef and chicken fajitas, topped with bell peppers and onions, served with ranchero beans, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo and salad. Surely a must for any Mexican food lover. Main courses $3.75 - $8.95. 3150 S. Alameda St. Tel: 361/888-4040.

Corpus Christi Bars & Clubs

Wallbanger's serves an impressive collection of beers, wines and tequila. The atmosphere is laid-back and the music local. Snacks are available to still the hunger pangs and the prices are reasonable. 4100 S. Staples. Tel: 361/855-8007.

Cassidy's Irish Pub Not so reasonably priced but definitely worth a visit if beer is your flavour. A wide variety of local and regional beers and ale grace the beverage list and the atmosphere is loud, in typical Irish style. 601 N. Water St. Tel: 361/879-0529.

The Executive Surf Club With a menu that offers delicious fresh seafood and an even wider collection of local wines, the Surf Club is worth a visit for good entertainment at even better prices. 306 N. Chaparral St. Tel: 361/884-7873.

Stingers Close to the Executive Surf Club, this is your best option for live music and a vibey crowd. Beverages are reasonably priced and you are guaranteed a good time. 301 N. Chaparral St. Tel: 361/882-2192.

Corpus Christi children's activities

Cole Park & Kid's Place Playground This 43-acre park offers free access and you can bring your dog along, as long as it is on a leash. The Park has open and shaded picnic tables and public restrooms. Free outdoor concerts are held at Cole Park Amphitheater on Thursday and Sunday evenings, throughout the summer. Kid's Place Playground is full of activity, and a lighted fishing pier is within walking distance from paved parking, so be sure to take your fishing rod. Remember: there is no alcohol allowed in the park. 1526 Ocean Dr. Tel: 361/561-0253.

The Children's Wharf Exhibition At the Museum of Science and History, is interactive and here you can watch you child's imagination come alive. Learn the history of encounter and exchange beginning with Columbus' 15th century voyage to the New World, while you are there.

The Texas Treasure Casino Cruise Ship The ship has two cruises daily, leaving from nearby Port Aranas, You can enjoy great food and entertainment as the ship sails out. There is a multitude of activities to keep little people occupied. An ideal outing for the entire family.

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