BROOKS's new Corpus Christi Page
(Not my best photo by far!) great memories though...
This coastal city sits at the convergence of geographical and cultural regions, creating a distinctive and diverse atmosphere. The humid central coast meets the arid southern coast giving a distinctly tropical feel to Corpus Christi. This "Sparkling City by the Sea" has a cosmopolitan "feel" larger than its quarter million population would suggest. Driving into the city over the Harbor Bridge a visitor encounters a breathtaking view of downtown skyscrapers edging a marina dotted with sailboat masts. First explored by Spanish explorer Alonso Alverez de Pineda in 1519, who sailed into the bay on the day of the feast of the "body of Christ", Corpus Christi retains a strong and vibrant Hispanic influence. The city sits nestled along Corpus Christi Bay with the Laguna Madre separating it from Mustang and North Padre Islands, two of the chain of barrier islands stretching across the South from the Carolinas to Texas.
The city offers numerous attractions. The downtown area features a two-mile long seawall designed by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borgium. The seawall runs alongside Shoreline Boulevard and has a walkway, benches, and gazebos at the top with wide steps leading down to the shell laden bay beaches. The Corpus Christi Marina sits at the heart of downtown and consists of two "T' heads and one "L" head. The Peoples Street T-Head is reserved for charter and cruise boats, and sailboat, paddleboat, sailboard, and jet ski rental. The Lawrence Street T-Head and Cooper's Alley L-Head provide docking for privately owned pleasure boats. Both T-Heads have restaurants open to the public and the thriving downtown area provides numerous dining, lodging, and shopping options. As Shoreline Boulevard continues westward, it becomes Ocean Drive, lined with some of Corpus Christi's largest, most historic homes.
Other central city attractions include the Texas State Aquarium, allowing viewing of Gulf marine habitats through a glass enclosed underwater tunnel, and Centennial House, an 1848 "shellcrete" structure which served as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War. The home, the city's oldest existing, is now restored, furnished, and open to the public. Also downtown is the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center , home of the Corpus Christi Symphony, community concerts, road shows, and musicals. The Art Center of Corpus Christi exhibits works by local artists and includes hands-on teaching, a gift shop, and a tearoom. The Art Museum of South Texas, in a distinctively designed building facing the bay, houses changing exhibits of a wide variety of art forms. Other notable attractions include the Harbor Playhouse, Texas' oldest continually performing theater, Heritage Park, a collection of restored turn-of-the-century homes in "Old Irishtown", the seaside Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, featuring hands-on exhibits and a recreation of the famous vessels of Christopher Columbus, and the USS Lexington Floating Naval Museum, with its tours of the hangar deck, admiral's quarters, sick bay, galley, flight deck, and bridge. There is also a flight simulator, a fully restored F-14 jet fighter and a Huey Cobra Helicopter.
For those preferring more outdoor activities, Corpus Christi won't disappoint. Fishing is available from numerous city piers, jetties, the seawall, and miles of beaches, plus deep-sea fishing may be arranged with any of the numerous charter boats available in the city marina, and bait and tackle are readily available. The Dolphin Connection boat ride provides a first hand look at dolphins in the wild, and the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens features wild and domesticated birdlife in a 290 acre natural setting. If you're in a sporting mood, don't miss the Corpus Christi Greyhound Race Track. The 60 acre facility offers year round racing as well as simulcast races from other tracks. The track has full service restaurants an a food court. Captain Clark's Flagship, offers hour-long narrated cruises of Corpus Christi Bay and Harbor, complete with a live band.
Other attractions include the Pirates of the Gulf family theme park and its 18-hole championship miniature golf course, Playland at the Beach, an outdoor family park featuring Grand-Prix go-cart races, bumper boats and cars, and a children's playground, Cole Park, a municipal bayfront park with a pier, playground,and amphitheater with summer concerts, and public Corpus Christi Beach to the north of the Harbor Bridge.
The Port of Corpus Christi is the nation's sixth largest. Its major cargoes include oil, grain, cotton, and chemicals. The Harbor Bridge, built in 1959, is a 620 feet long, 250 feet high cantilever bridge with a pedestrian walkway providing great views of Corpus Christi Beach, the marina, and the city skyline. An observation platform beneath the bridge offers close-up views of ships entering and leaving the port. Corpus Christi is the home of a U.S. Naval Air Station which is located on a peninsula at the southeastern edge of the city. It is the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Air Training Command. The Corpus Christi Army Depot is located on the grounds of the Air Station. It is one of the largest helicopter repair facilities in the world. Tours of both the Air Station and the Army Depot are available.
The two barrier islands surrounding Corpus Christi Bay provide for a range of recreational and nature activities. Mustang Island State Park is located on Mustang Island about ten miles east of downtown Corpus Christi. It includes 3.474 acres of sand dunes, sea oats, and beach morning glories along a five mile section of Gulf-facing beach. The park offers seaside camping, surfing, fishing, and swimming. It includes picnic pavilions, restrooms, showers, and a nature trail. Padre Island offers both fully developed resort areas and one of the last natural seashores in the United States. The Padre Island National Seashore preserves an undeveloped eighty mile stretch of the Island. The ranger station can provide information about available swimming beaches, primitive camping sites, and nature trails. A visitor center provides gifts, concessions, a bath house, and picnic areas.
The City offers accommodations of every description and price range. Hotels, motels and rental beach condominiums are available. These tend to be located in the downtown area near the marina, in the airport area, near Corpus Christi Beach, and on North Padre Island. The city offers shopping ranging from quaint downtown shops to large regional shopping malls. Dining of all types is available. Corpus Christi is known as many things, "sparkling city by the sea", "Texas with a tropical twist", "the Texas Riviera"... Whichever you are looking for, Corpus Christi will delight you.