Corpus Christi is a popular tourist destination both for Texans and travelers from all corners of the United States. Although most visitors stick to the beaches and other water-based activities, there are quite a few spectacular yet overlooked sights and attractions located around town. For anyone wanting to get off the beaten path and experience the best offbeat Corpus Christi sights and activities, look no further than the following:
Strange, Unique & Offbeat Corpus Christi Sights & Activities
The Demon of Corpus Christi
Located near the heart of Corpus Christi is a three-story tall statue of a devil, affectionately known as the Demon of Corpus Christi. The irony of a gigantic devil statue in a city named after the body of Christ cannot be overlooked, and neither can the statue itself. Originally part of an amusement park ride in Pennsylvania, after the ride was shut down the statue was purchased by a local resident and relocated to Texas.
The Selena Memorial
Selena, also know as the “Queen of Tejano,” was an amazing singer who was tragically murdered in 1995 at the age of 23 by the original president of her fan club. A couple years later the Selena memorial opened, complete with a bronze statue of the Queen herself. It wasn’t long before rubbing the statue’s butt became known for bringing good luck. Whether or not this is true is still debatable, however this act has become fiercely popular among visitors of the memorial, both male and female.
Life-Size Replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria
Back in 1492 Colombus’ three ships famously discovered of the land that would become the United States. In 1992 full-size replicas of these ships were built and briefly toured around a few American ports before settling into their home in Corpus Christi in 1993. There they still reside, two at the Museum for Science and History and the third in the Corpus Christi Marina.
Texas Surf Museum
The quaint Texas Surf Museum museum is a must-visit for any surfing enthusiast. It covers the history of surfing in Texas through photos and articles, and of course has a bunch of surfboards on display and information on famous surfers from the state. It may not be the most entertaining to young kids but is a neat little stop for dad. As an added bonus, it is always free.
The USS Lexington
The USS Lexington is a retired aircraft carrier with a long and rich history. Although it is not exactly offbeat, it is definitely unique — where else in the world can you stay overnight in an aircraft carrier?!?! The ship has become one of the most popular museums in all of Texas. Just imagine wandering through a decommissioned battleship that still looks ready for battle – complete with two dozen real aircraft perched on her decks – instead of a dusty old traditional museum and it is easy to see why.
The ship is stocked full with hundreds of exhibits scattered across 11 floors and is an easy way to kill an entire day. Perhaps that is why their Overnight Campout tours are so popular among families and youth recreational groups. Live the life of a soldier at sea, complete with authentic bunks and meals in one of the mess halls. I did this several summers as a kid and was pleasantly surprised to see they are still offering them.
The South Texas Walk of Music Fame
Everyone knows that Austin is the “Live Music Capital Of The World” but few realize just how many amazing musicians came from Texas. Thankfully the up-and-coming South Texas Walk of Music Fame is paying tribute to some of the greats with ceramic tile statues. Notables include Selena, Reverend Horton Heat, George Straight and Vallejo, among dozens of others. Although it was founded ten years ago it still remains a rather small sight. However it is growing every year with the inauguration of six new musicians on the last Friday of June.
Whataburger Founder Statue
Every Texan knows the beloved burger chain Whataburger, a Texas original. For those who have never heard of Whataburger, the next time you pass one on a Texas highway be sure to stop in and find out what all the excitement is about. Sure, it may be fast food, but it is leaps and bounds above all those stereotypical chains whose product is lab-created instead of farm-grown. Few realize that the statue of Harmon Dobson, founder of Whataburger, is located in Corpus Christi.
Padre Island National Seashore
At 70 miles long, the Padre Island National Seashore is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the world and serves as the perfect year-round escape close to the city. From fishing and swimming to camping, the sheer size of this island can almost make you feel like you have it all to yourself. It is recommended as day-trip or refreshing weekend getaway.
Eat Something Besides Seafood
There are no shortage of great restaurants in Corpus Christi, but sometimes eating it every meal is repetitive. I know, usually fresh seafood is one of the best parts about visiting a coastal city, but we all have our limits. For anyone craving mouth-watering food that wasn’t swimming in the Gulf this morning, head on over to one of the following eatable establishments:
B & J’s Pizza The only thing that beats a delicious pizza is a delicious pizza served alongside an ice cold craft beer. Thankfully that is what B & J’s Pizza has become known for. With a history that dates back four decades, B & J’s has long since been a favorite of both Corpus Christi residents and visitors in town on vacation. They now have two restaurants in town and are ranked high on the top 100 list of best independent pizza restaurants in all of the United States.
Wallbanger’s Gourmet Hamburgers Does the thought of a proper gourmet burger without the gourmet price make you drool? Forget all those burger chains scattered around town and head on over to Wallbanger’s Gourmet Hamburgers. Although they serve more than just burgers, these are what really impress most. They don’t have a set burger menu but rather provide you with a list of possible toppings and let you go wild. Have a Texas-sized appetite? Try one of their stuffed burgers or attempt to eat your way through The Banger, a monstrous three-pound burger that will leave you begging for mercy — or assistance from your friends.