The USS Lex was once used in military expeditions throughout the world, but today it functions as a floating museum. It is docked pleasantly on the Corpus Christi Bay, and it's quite impressive to see from any angle. To board, you are whisked away in a free shuttle that takes you right to the ship's hangar entrance. The tour allows visitors to see the flight deck, the control and navigation rooms and even the captain's quarters. There is also a mega-theater on board as well as a flight simulator and an interactive exhibit entitled 'Virtual Battle Stations'.
Meet and greet this magnificent mammal in its natural habitat within the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters. In fact, it is the only place in Texas to see dolphins at such close range, which makes Dolphin Connection worth the 25-minute drive from Corpus Christi. The tours last from between one to two-hours and almost each ride guarantees seeing a few dolphins. The guides simply love what they do, and are as passionate about these wonderful creatures. All in all, an unforgettable encounter.
Quite possibly the most famous musician to come out of Corpus Christi, Selena Quintanilla's life journey can be seen through this museum. Her family built the museum after receiving letters from fans expressing their interest in a museum to commemorate the legendary Tejano singer. On display you will find several of Selena's stage costumes, most of which she designed herself, awards and other memorabilia. The museum even has Selena's red Porsche for visitors to see. All admission revenue goes to the Selena Foundation, which helps to aid children in need and provides scholarships to promising students.
Located in beautiful Bayfront Park, the Harbor Playhouse consists of hundreds of volunteers and actors that perform about four productions each year. Since 1925 it has entertained city dwellers as well as tourists who happen to stumble upon a performance. Some interpretations include contemporary drama, musicals and comedies. Additionally, the theater has special events scheduled throughout the year. One of the most popular is the annual Halloween open house featuring actors dressed as ghosts and goblins.
Founded in 1995 as a cooperative artist's studio, the gallery gets its name from the Kress Five and Dime shop that was the former tenant of the building. Today, this non-profit organization aims to advance and cultivate contemporary art in South Texas. Various special exhibits are organized throughout the year, where guests will see paintings, sculptures and multi-media works on display, everything created by local artists. Be sure to visit the gift shop for one-of-a-kind, hand made souvenirs and small pieces of art.
This nature center in southwest Corpus Christi houses more than 180-acres (72.84 hectares) of exotic and native plants. The site features an Orchid House, Bromeliad Sanctuary, a Rose Garden and many other designated flower areas. Another benefit to the gardens, include the fact that the center works as a conservationist for exotic and abandoned animals. The botanical gardens house reptiles, birds and fish all in their respective exhibits and habitats. Don't forget to take a walk down the Bird & Butterfly Trail which overlooks Gator Lake! Moreover, the gardens often host special events, educational classes and tours.
This unexpected little museum is located in the back of Surf Club Records and it aims to commemorate Texas surfing history. Despite it's diminutive size, the museum showcases everything about the mighty waves of the Gulf of Mexico, where visitors can see vintage surf boards, photographs and other surfing paraphernalia from the beginning of the sport to the present-day. When you're done, check out the selection of tunes in the shop and take a pic in front of the "woody" outside the front door of the museum.
House of Rock fulfills all the requirements for a good night. With a full bar, entertainment venue and a kitchen that churns out better-than-average pizza, you really never have to leave. The main bar allows guests 21+ and the venue allows all ages to listen to live music. Thursday through Saturday is when you can see shows, and in addition to pizzas, House of Rock offers salads and sandwiches while the bar stocks more than 80 beers.
Built in 1849, this mansion was originally the home of Senator Forbes Britton. Constructed with local brick and scored masonry, the house got its name after the estate's 100th anniversary in 1949. At the time it was built the former senator could see the wharf from the house. Marvel at the petticoat tables in the foyer, the odd placement of light switches on the floorboards, and the spellbinding porcelain doll collection upstairs, for the house conveys different stories pertaining to different eras.
The Art Center of Corpus Chrsiti promotes and displays the work of local artists as well as educates the public at-large. Aside from the gallery that is always changing with new temporary exhibitions, the establishment also has meeting halls and classrooms. The gift shop is a great place to find a unique souvenir, all articles are produced by local artists and most items are one-of-a-kind. Moreover, a visit is always free which makes it perfect for the whole family.
One of the main attractions in downtown Corpus Christi is its bustling marina. Here you will find sailboats docked in neat rows, snow cone vendors, restaurants and tour ship cruises. During the day you can walk down the piers and find local fisherman selling the day's catch. During the summer months, it becomess especially busy with families walking up and down the wooden piers and at night, it is particularly stunning when the marina is illuminated.