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Literally named "Body of Christ" by Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez Pineda when he sailed the Texas Gulf Coast in 1519, Corpus Christi is the largest city on the Lone Star State's coastline. Home of the fifth-largest port in the country and a notable petrochemical industry, Corpus Christi also offers plenty for tourists, first and foremost in the form of sun and sand.

Besides the beaches on Corpus Christi Bay within city limits, the JFK Causeway connects the city with Padre Island and its resident national seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. Four-wheel-drive vehicles can drive the 50-mile ...

Literally named "Body of Christ" by Spanish explorer Alonso Alvarez Pineda when he sailed the Texas Gulf Coast in 1519, Corpus Christi is the largest city on the Lone Star State's coastline. Home of the fifth-largest port in the country and a notable petrochemical industry, Corpus Christi also offers plenty for tourists, first and foremost in the form of sun and sand.

Besides the beaches on Corpus Christi Bay within city limits, the JFK Causeway connects the city with Padre Island and its resident national seashore, the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world. Four-wheel-drive vehicles can drive the 50-mile beach's length — there is plenty of solitude to be found. Back in town, the Texas State Aquarium offers a nice lens into the region's aquatic ecosystem, with dolphins, seahorses, and other denizens of the Gulf's waters. Downtown offers a nice collection of museums and a cluster of restaurants and bars at Water Street Market to the south.

North of town and accessible via the causeway or a free ferry is Port Aransas, a beach town known for deep-sea fishing, beach-combing, and terrific bird-watching spots.

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and fall (although the latter is hurricane season), but avoid Spring Break if you don't want crowds; summers are also crowded and hot; winter can be nice if a bit chilly.