Written by Mike McCann
January 2016

Corpus Christi — Better known as the Sparkling City by the Sea — is a gorgeous Southeast Texas city close to the Gulf Coast, and year-round, it plays host to many activities and events. The city dates back to 1830, when Col. Henry Lawrence Kinney set up a small trading post to sell supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army. In 1845, the U.S. established a camp there in preparation for war with Mexico, and Corpus Christi was incorporated in 1852.

The city is built around a large natural bay, accessed by water via the Gulf and a 20-plus-mile channel. Downtown, there are many entertainment and cultural venues and restaurants. The Art Museum of South Texas offers free admission the first Friday of every month to its permanent collections and special exhibits. The Texas Surf Museum is also popular, showing the Lone Star State’s unique contributions to surfing history. Catch a Corpus Christi IceRays hockey game at American Bank Center Arena or a play at the Harbor Playhouse. A 10-minute drive across the ship channel — with great views from the high bridge — is the USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium.

Padre Island National Seashore is a popular beach destination about 20 miles from downtown, ideal for the entire family. Swim, fish or build sandcastles along the shore. The Beach Loop is a 70-mile drive that goes from downtown to Padre island — check out the new Schlitterbahn Waterpark before turning onto Mustang Island — then to Port Aransas and back to downtown Corpus Christi.

Some of the area’s don’t-miss events include the Festival of the Arts the last week in March and the Aransas Pass Shrimporee each June.


  • Corpus Christi Yacht Club is on the downtown L-Head with 6-foot depths and two transient slips accommodating boats up to 60 feet.
  • Corpus Christi Municipal Marina is on the downtown L-Head and T-Head, with more than 600 slips, 40 of which are transient, accommodating yachts up to 150 feet. There is a dock depth of 10 feet. The marina is protected by a breakwater barrier, has many modern amenities and is located in the Marina Arts District.


  • Executive Surf Club located at Water Street Market, is a favorite happy-hour spot with numerous beers on tap and live music.
  • Harrison’s Landing is a casual spot for lunch and dinner near the municipal marina and has a great Sunday champagne brunch.
  • Shoreline Sandwich Company is open for breakfast and lunch and is perfect for a to-go meal.
  • Landry’s Seafood House offers fresh Gulf seafood, succulent steaks and picturesque views of the waterfront.

Mike McCann enjoys boating on the Texas Gulf Coast and produces event newsletters twice monthly covering the Gulf Coast for OnTheWaterLifestyle.com