Corpus Christi, Texas – More Than Just Oil

Numerous oil refineries line I-37 as you approach Corpus Christi, Texas. You might think that is one ugly looking city. Get to the Gulf of Mexico and you will find a totally different city.

People flock to the beaches to swim in the gulf. But Corpus Christi has so much more to offer.

Visit the Texas State Aquarium. Albeit small in size, it is large in quality. Sixteen different venues are located on three levels, including an observation deck on the roof. The docents encourage the touching of the stingrays and the ponds containing urchins, hermit crabs and shells. The aquarium has activities for the entire family every half-hour. These range from talks about stingrays, reptiles, turtles, otters, birds and other animals. Do not miss the dolphin-training program. The fifteen-minute demonstration shows how and why the dolphins are trained. This is different from the dolphin show at Sea World in San Antonio, which is a spectacular show. This is instructional and shows how the trainers interact with each other. The narrator has a person, usually a child, learn some of the hand signals the trainer uses and then uses them with the dolphin. Expect to spend at least three hours here.

One sidebar about the aquarium is that both the landscaping and waterscapes are

beautifully done,

Adjacent to the aquarium across the channel sits the aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington, who was named by Tokyo Rose as “The Blue Ghost”. She named her such because of all the attacks made on her and she never sank. The USS Lexington Museum on the Bay is a National Historical Landmark. Entering the ship you are thrust into the sounds and sights of the War in the Pacific during Would War II. You can see a movie on a large Imax screen on board. This is included with the ticket price. Prepare to walk and climb many flights of stairs. The carrier is a floating city.

Also on the bay sits the Art Museum of South Texas. This modernistic building was designed by Philip Johnson and holds an impressive permanent collection and has also temporary changing exhibits.

Many other sights also attract visitors to Corpus Christi, such as the Botanical Gardens, their Minor League baseball team, boat excursions on the Gulf, etc.

We found a very good restaurant; Tango Tea Room located 505 South Water Street. They serve soup, salads, and sandwiches, besides many varieties of teas. Both vegans and omnivores will go away from the table stuffed. Everything is served with nacho chips and a delicious salsa. It is closed on Sundays.

By Laura