Cynthia's Guidebook

Cynthia
Cynthia's Guidebook

Beaches

11 Best Beaches in Corpus Christi As one of Texas’ most beloved Gulf Coast cities, there are plenty of beautiful beaches in Corpus Christi to enjoy. There are so many great spots near the bay that can entertain a variety of interests. Some places have horseback riding, some are secluded and private, some are great for families. We’ve included beaches both in Corpus Christi proper and within a short drive of the city. No matter what your interests are, one of the best beaches in Corpus Christi is no doubt right for you!
As you can probably tell from the name, Whitecap Beach is a white sand beach stretching for 1.5 miles near the Padre Island SeaWall. Similar to McGee Beach this beach is more so dedicated to those that are looking for a spot to layout and relax. This tends to be a much more secluded beach than North Beach. If you’re only planning for a quick afternoon trip this is also the best place to bring a small picnic lunch. There are areas to walk or ride a bike as well as set up a small campfire. Please make sure you pay attention to any posted notices in relation to campfires! If you’d like to park your car on site you will need to get a parking permit.
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Whitecap Beach
14802 Whitecap Blvd
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As you can probably tell from the name, Whitecap Beach is a white sand beach stretching for 1.5 miles near the Padre Island SeaWall. Similar to McGee Beach this beach is more so dedicated to those that are looking for a spot to layout and relax. This tends to be a much more secluded beach than North Beach. If you’re only planning for a quick afternoon trip this is also the best place to bring a small picnic lunch. There are areas to walk or ride a bike as well as set up a small campfire. Please make sure you pay attention to any posted notices in relation to campfires! If you’d like to park your car on site you will need to get a parking permit.
When most people think of Corpus Christi beaches, they’re thinking of North Beach! This beach is 1.5 miles of walkable coastline, there are no vehicles allowed in this stretch. The two largest tourist attractions in Corpus are on this beach: the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier turned into a museum. There is a cute Ferris wheel nearby to see the full skyline, and it has a boardwalk as well, to stroll along the water. You’ll get a chance to have some of the freshest seafood in Texas, or catch it yourself at one of the fishing piers on-site.
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North Beach
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When most people think of Corpus Christi beaches, they’re thinking of North Beach! This beach is 1.5 miles of walkable coastline, there are no vehicles allowed in this stretch. The two largest tourist attractions in Corpus are on this beach: the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier turned into a museum. There is a cute Ferris wheel nearby to see the full skyline, and it has a boardwalk as well, to stroll along the water. You’ll get a chance to have some of the freshest seafood in Texas, or catch it yourself at one of the fishing piers on-site.
McGee Beach is one of the most family-friendly beaches in Corpus Christi. If you’re nervous about little (or big!) ones in the water for the first time this is a good place to go as the water is much calmer. The beach is fairly close to downtown, making it a great place to stake out a spot for the day. This beach is much more laid back and it’s more catered to families. Similar to North Beach there is no vehicle traffic on the beach so there is less to worry about in terms of traffic. It is fully loaded with public restrooms and equipment rental for a myriad of aquatic activities!
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McGee Beach
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McGee Beach is one of the most family-friendly beaches in Corpus Christi. If you’re nervous about little (or big!) ones in the water for the first time this is a good place to go as the water is much calmer. The beach is fairly close to downtown, making it a great place to stake out a spot for the day. This beach is much more laid back and it’s more catered to families. Similar to North Beach there is no vehicle traffic on the beach so there is less to worry about in terms of traffic. It is fully loaded with public restrooms and equipment rental for a myriad of aquatic activities!
With over 5 miles of coastline, you can spend the whole day in this beautiful Texas state park and never get bored. In addition to the beach, there are also hiking trails and fishing piers. Sometimes during the spring and fall, you can also catch the semi- annual bird migrations. You can also camp here through their many electric and water campsites, or if you’re more daring you can camp out at the primitive sites. There is a small $5 fee to enter which helps keep the parks clean and functional throughout the year!
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Mustang Island State Park
9394 Texas 361
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With over 5 miles of coastline, you can spend the whole day in this beautiful Texas state park and never get bored. In addition to the beach, there are also hiking trails and fishing piers. Sometimes during the spring and fall, you can also catch the semi- annual bird migrations. You can also camp here through their many electric and water campsites, or if you’re more daring you can camp out at the primitive sites. There is a small $5 fee to enter which helps keep the parks clean and functional throughout the year!
While Port Aransas is technically not part of Corpus Christi, it is only a short 15-minute drive away from the city. Port Aransas is located just across the bay from downtown and encompasses all of the same facilities and beachside activities. The beach is quite open and spacious, it is also extremely convenient as several of the local resorts in Port Aransas are on the beach. There are some free parking spots, as well as some that require a permit. For $12 you can get a yearly beach parking pass. Additionally, there are permits available for small campfires. The beach is monitored by lifeguards which makes it a great place for families with young children!
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Port Aransas Beach
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While Port Aransas is technically not part of Corpus Christi, it is only a short 15-minute drive away from the city. Port Aransas is located just across the bay from downtown and encompasses all of the same facilities and beachside activities. The beach is quite open and spacious, it is also extremely convenient as several of the local resorts in Port Aransas are on the beach. There are some free parking spots, as well as some that require a permit. For $12 you can get a yearly beach parking pass. Additionally, there are permits available for small campfires. The beach is monitored by lifeguards which makes it a great place for families with young children!
South Packery Jetty Beach separates Mustang Island from Padre Island. It is the more laid back beach comparative to its northern twin. You can go fishing off of the piers or you can spend time on the sand building sandcastles. There is also fishing equipment available for rental near the water. There is only one entrance onto the beach, you can park there with a permit. Because the beach is a little more private, feel free to bring lawn chairs or extra towels to spread out!
South Packery Channel Jetty
South Packery Jetty Beach separates Mustang Island from Padre Island. It is the more laid back beach comparative to its northern twin. You can go fishing off of the piers or you can spend time on the sand building sandcastles. There is also fishing equipment available for rental near the water. There is only one entrance onto the beach, you can park there with a permit. Because the beach is a little more private, feel free to bring lawn chairs or extra towels to spread out!
For a more popular beach destination, Michael J. Ellis Beach is just the ticket. This beach is just a mile from the Padre Island Seawall and it has plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sun and sand. Lifeguards are present to man swimmers and surfers, and additionally, it is closed off from vehicular traffic making it a great, safe option. There are fun seasonal vendors located around the beach, and you can even take your bike out for a sunset ride. There are restrooms and showers on site which make it a convenient choice for families.
Michael J. Ellis Beach and Seawall
14926 Windward Drive
For a more popular beach destination, Michael J. Ellis Beach is just the ticket. This beach is just a mile from the Padre Island Seawall and it has plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sun and sand. Lifeguards are present to man swimmers and surfers, and additionally, it is closed off from vehicular traffic making it a great, safe option. There are fun seasonal vendors located around the beach, and you can even take your bike out for a sunset ride. There are restrooms and showers on site which make it a convenient choice for families.
As we mentioned earlier, South Packery Beach is a really calm and tranquil place to enjoy the beach but if you want something a little more active, the northern side is the way to be! This Corpus Christi beach is very popular for surfers, in fact, it is locally known as the J.P. Luby Surf Park. The park stays fairly busy, especially during the spring and summer holidays. You can go surfing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, and more! There are plenty of vendors who have equipment available for rental and if you plan a fun outing you can even have a cookout off of a ground fire!
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North Packery Channel Jetty
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As we mentioned earlier, South Packery Beach is a really calm and tranquil place to enjoy the beach but if you want something a little more active, the northern side is the way to be! This Corpus Christi beach is very popular for surfers, in fact, it is locally known as the J.P. Luby Surf Park. The park stays fairly busy, especially during the spring and summer holidays. You can go surfing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, and more! There are plenty of vendors who have equipment available for rental and if you plan a fun outing you can even have a cookout off of a ground fire!
Malaquite Beach is the perfect spot for a getaway with family and friends. It is a part of the Padre Island National Seashore, not to be confused with South Padre Island. Padre Island National Seashore is actually a protected national park! There is a visitors center that is quite popular which has all of the necessary information about the beach as well as several public facilities for use. This stretch of beach is vehicle free and after a long day of surfing or swimming, there are restrooms and showers to clean up in before you head out again. This area is regularly referred to as one of the cleanest beaches in Corpus Christi, it is well worth the $10 per vehicle entrance fee!
Malaquite Campground
20420 Park Road 22
Malaquite Beach is the perfect spot for a getaway with family and friends. It is a part of the Padre Island National Seashore, not to be confused with South Padre Island. Padre Island National Seashore is actually a protected national park! There is a visitors center that is quite popular which has all of the necessary information about the beach as well as several public facilities for use. This stretch of beach is vehicle free and after a long day of surfing or swimming, there are restrooms and showers to clean up in before you head out again. This area is regularly referred to as one of the cleanest beaches in Corpus Christi, it is well worth the $10 per vehicle entrance fee!
Padre Island Seawall Beach stretches from Whitecap Beach to South Packery Beach. The beach is blocked off from vehicular traffic making it a great choice for families. The seawall is about 14 feet above the water if you wanted to go rollerblading or biking near the water. It also provides great sprawling views of the gulf. Nearby parking is available for free without a permit, however, parking on the beach requires a parking permit and these can be purchased online or in person.
North Padre Sea Wall
Padre Island Seawall Beach stretches from Whitecap Beach to South Packery Beach. The beach is blocked off from vehicular traffic making it a great choice for families. The seawall is about 14 feet above the water if you wanted to go rollerblading or biking near the water. It also provides great sprawling views of the gulf. Nearby parking is available for free without a permit, however, parking on the beach requires a parking permit and these can be purchased online or in person.
Saint Joseph Island, otherwise known as San Jose Island, is a relatively remote location with nothing but beaches near Corpus Christi. You can only get there by ferry ride but there is so much rich history to the place that it would be a shame not to check it out! The first- ever American flag was planted on San Jose Island as a mark of French and Spaniard defeat. To this day there are said to be remnants of the Spaniards strewn throughout the beaches in the form of coins and ornaments. Additionally, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was said to have loved fishing here. He took a trip out on the water in the USS Potomac despite being in a wheelchair at the time! While much of the land continues to be privately owned the beaches are still public. If you have a free afternoon I definitely suggest checking this location out!
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San Jose Island
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Saint Joseph Island, otherwise known as San Jose Island, is a relatively remote location with nothing but beaches near Corpus Christi. You can only get there by ferry ride but there is so much rich history to the place that it would be a shame not to check it out! The first- ever American flag was planted on San Jose Island as a mark of French and Spaniard defeat. To this day there are said to be remnants of the Spaniards strewn throughout the beaches in the form of coins and ornaments. Additionally, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was said to have loved fishing here. He took a trip out on the water in the USS Potomac despite being in a wheelchair at the time! While much of the land continues to be privately owned the beaches are still public. If you have a free afternoon I definitely suggest checking this location out!
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop among the best beaches in Corpus Christi, Padre Balli Surf Park is it! This location is great for kids because there is no vehicular traffic. Additionally, there are restaurants nearby to grab a quick bite. There are public restrooms and showers available at the headquarters. This is typically a very popular camping spot due to its water and electrical campsites. There are also cabanas and picnic tables in the park. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The entrance to the beach is free but you will need a parking permit to park on the beach.
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Padre Balli Park
15820 S Padre Island Dr
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If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop among the best beaches in Corpus Christi, Padre Balli Surf Park is it! This location is great for kids because there is no vehicular traffic. Additionally, there are restaurants nearby to grab a quick bite. There are public restrooms and showers available at the headquarters. This is typically a very popular camping spot due to its water and electrical campsites. There are also cabanas and picnic tables in the park. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The entrance to the beach is free but you will need a parking permit to park on the beach.

Food scene

Surfside Sandwich Shoppe opened in 2009 and is located on The Island, just down the road from JP Luby Beach and Mustang Island. With a dog friendly patio and a chilled BYOB atmosphere, you can relax when you’re here. Take a load off… you’re on Island Time now! Our three most popular menu items: The Reuben 🥪 Baja Shrimp Tacos 🦐 Cuban Press 🥩 Yeah, our sandwiches are the bomb… but we have waaaaay more than just sandwiches. Tacos, quesadillas, desserts, and even homemade PB&J for the kiddos. We cook with LOVE, no matter what you order!
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Surfside Sandwich Shoppe
15113 S Padre Island Dr
19 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Surfside Sandwich Shoppe opened in 2009 and is located on The Island, just down the road from JP Luby Beach and Mustang Island. With a dog friendly patio and a chilled BYOB atmosphere, you can relax when you’re here. Take a load off… you’re on Island Time now! Our three most popular menu items: The Reuben 🥪 Baja Shrimp Tacos 🦐 Cuban Press 🥩 Yeah, our sandwiches are the bomb… but we have waaaaay more than just sandwiches. Tacos, quesadillas, desserts, and even homemade PB&J for the kiddos. We cook with LOVE, no matter what you order!
Opened by Tag and Joyce Tagliaferro in early 1987 using their family recipes and continuing on the same traditions today.
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Island Italian Restaurant
15370 South Padre Island Drive
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Opened by Tag and Joyce Tagliaferro in early 1987 using their family recipes and continuing on the same traditions today.
Serving up fresh Burgers and fresh Booze, follow us, we will follow you! We are #BCO, we like to eat, drink, and party. Also love our families and the beach.
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Padre Island Burger Company
11878 Texas 361
41 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Serving up fresh Burgers and fresh Booze, follow us, we will follow you! We are #BCO, we like to eat, drink, and party. Also love our families and the beach.
100% Authentic our dishes are made with traditional recipes and contain 500 years of history and tradition
Guajillo's On The Island
15037 South Padre Island Drive
100% Authentic our dishes are made with traditional recipes and contain 500 years of history and tradition
Ask about our DAILY DINNER SPECIALS GIVE US A CALL OR CHECK OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TO SEE WHAT WE HAVE ON SPECIAL FOR DINNER... ANYTHING FROM BOUDIN STUFFED PORK CHOP TOPPED WITH CRAWFISH ÉTOUFFÉE TO BLACKENED MAHI TOPPED WITH LEMON CREAM CRAB SAUCE.
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Black Diamond Oyster Bar
418 N. A. S. Drive
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Ask about our DAILY DINNER SPECIALS GIVE US A CALL OR CHECK OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TO SEE WHAT WE HAVE ON SPECIAL FOR DINNER... ANYTHING FROM BOUDIN STUFFED PORK CHOP TOPPED WITH CRAWFISH ÉTOUFFÉE TO BLACKENED MAHI TOPPED WITH LEMON CREAM CRAB SAUCE.
A local favorite for sushi
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Island Time
14225 South Padre Island Drive
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A local favorite for sushi
Padre Pizzeria always uses locally farm sourced for the freshest and best quality ingredients. We serve whole pizzas, calzones, lasagna, spicy wings, sandwiches, salads, desserts, and more. All available for dine-in, take-out, or delivery. We pride ourselves in offering hand-tossed pizzas made with the freshest ingredients including daily, made-from-scratch dough and sauce. ​ Padre Pizzeria is located on North Padre Island and has served Corpus Christi and island locals since 1996.
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Padre Pizzeria
14993 S Padre Island Dr
22 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Padre Pizzeria always uses locally farm sourced for the freshest and best quality ingredients. We serve whole pizzas, calzones, lasagna, spicy wings, sandwiches, salads, desserts, and more. All available for dine-in, take-out, or delivery. We pride ourselves in offering hand-tossed pizzas made with the freshest ingredients including daily, made-from-scratch dough and sauce. ​ Padre Pizzeria is located on North Padre Island and has served Corpus Christi and island locals since 1996.
Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar has Peruvian Fusion Cuisine and a Full Bar! Kitchen closes at 10 and Bar stays open till 2:00am!! Closed Sunday
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Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar
15113 S Padre Island Dr
14 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Costa Sur Wok & Ceviche Bar has Peruvian Fusion Cuisine and a Full Bar! Kitchen closes at 10 and Bar stays open till 2:00am!! Closed Sunday
Available for both take-out and dining
Nom's Kitchen
13923 South Padre Island Drive
Available for both take-out and dining

Sightseeing

USS Lexington is a valuable national treasure having played a significant role in the nation’s defense for nearly 50 years. Her World War II record is second to none and as a place where Americans died in defense of freedom, she is a memorial worth preserving. She continues to serve today as a museum and educational facility.
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USS Lexington
2914 North Shoreline Boulevard
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USS Lexington is a valuable national treasure having played a significant role in the nation’s defense for nearly 50 years. Her World War II record is second to none and as a place where Americans died in defense of freedom, she is a memorial worth preserving. She continues to serve today as a museum and educational facility.
Selena Quintanilla Perez, the Queen of Tejano Music, holds a special place in the story of Corpus Christi! The Selena Museum was built by the Quintanilla family to celebrate the life and achievements of their beloved daughter for Selena fans. The Selena Museum admission includes a tour of Selena's stage costumes, collections and memorabilia including her red Porsche, GRAMMY award and so much more. Guests may even catch a glimpse of Selena's family because Q Productions is still a working studio and office!
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Selena Museum
5410 Leopard St
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Selena Quintanilla Perez, the Queen of Tejano Music, holds a special place in the story of Corpus Christi! The Selena Museum was built by the Quintanilla family to celebrate the life and achievements of their beloved daughter for Selena fans. The Selena Museum admission includes a tour of Selena's stage costumes, collections and memorabilia including her red Porsche, GRAMMY award and so much more. Guests may even catch a glimpse of Selena's family because Q Productions is still a working studio and office!
The idea for the Texas State Aquarium was conceptualized by its founders early on to focus on the species in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The exhibits would contain representatives of the area’s main marine ecosystems. The Gulf of Mexico opened in 1990 with a commencement from former President Bush speaking to a front lawn packed full of supporting visitors. After years in the making, the Caribbean Journey, part of the original vision, opened its doors in 2017. The Caribbean Journey doubles the size of the aquarium and provides homes to an exciting collection of sea and land creatures. It is here that you can break into the mesmerizing secrets of the underwater and jungle world. For those wishing to spend time in an extraordinary place, a promising unforgettable experience awaits. The Texas State Aquarium is the perfect platform for people and families to learn, bond and discover together. Visit us when you are considering things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas. Our Vision is to be a global leader in fostering support for the conservation of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The mission of the Texas State Aquarium is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for our seas, and support wildlife conservation.
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Texas State Aquarium
2710 North Shoreline Boulevard
107 місцеві жителі рекомендують
The idea for the Texas State Aquarium was conceptualized by its founders early on to focus on the species in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The exhibits would contain representatives of the area’s main marine ecosystems. The Gulf of Mexico opened in 1990 with a commencement from former President Bush speaking to a front lawn packed full of supporting visitors. After years in the making, the Caribbean Journey, part of the original vision, opened its doors in 2017. The Caribbean Journey doubles the size of the aquarium and provides homes to an exciting collection of sea and land creatures. It is here that you can break into the mesmerizing secrets of the underwater and jungle world. For those wishing to spend time in an extraordinary place, a promising unforgettable experience awaits. The Texas State Aquarium is the perfect platform for people and families to learn, bond and discover together. Visit us when you are considering things to do in Corpus Christi, Texas. Our Vision is to be a global leader in fostering support for the conservation of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The mission of the Texas State Aquarium is to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for our seas, and support wildlife conservation.
Beach Horseback Riding Ages 8 and Up Enjoy a memorable beach experience when you join us for a horseback ride on the beach in Corpus Christi! Horses On The Beach in Corpus Christi is focused is on offering the unique experience of riding horseback on the beach to both young and old, beginner and advanced, and anyone in between. It is our hope and desire to help you create this memorable experience! Join us for a one hour ride or a sunset ride!
24 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Horses on the Beach
16499 South Padre Island Drive
24 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Beach Horseback Riding Ages 8 and Up Enjoy a memorable beach experience when you join us for a horseback ride on the beach in Corpus Christi! Horses On The Beach in Corpus Christi is focused is on offering the unique experience of riding horseback on the beach to both young and old, beginner and advanced, and anyone in between. It is our hope and desire to help you create this memorable experience! Join us for a one hour ride or a sunset ride!
6 місцеві жителі рекомендують
Chute 'Em Up Parasailing/ Port A Parasail
136 W Cotter Ave
6 місцеві жителі рекомендують

Golf Cart Rentals

Experience the Island in Style! Enjoy the freedom of being on Island time as you cruise the beach or around town in one of our 4 or 6 passenger beach carts. Easy access to the beach from our location Hourly, Daily and Weekly rates available. Affordable fun for everyone!
Beach Bum Cart Rentals Padre Island
15715 S Padre Island Dr
Experience the Island in Style! Enjoy the freedom of being on Island time as you cruise the beach or around town in one of our 4 or 6 passenger beach carts. Easy access to the beach from our location Hourly, Daily and Weekly rates available. Affordable fun for everyone!