Courtesy of Visit Corpus Christi

Key Info

2710 N. Shoreline Blvd.

Price & Hours

$36.95 for adults; $19.95 for kids 3 to 12; free for kids 2 and younger
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily


Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

The Texas State Aquarium focuses solely on sea creatures found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It's also devoted to rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, keeping the oceans clean and educating the populace (particularly children) about the sea. At the aquarium, you'll find exhibits featuring sharks, stingrays, fish, octopus and dolphins, as well as birds and, of course, oodles of fish. There's even a special nursery exhibit where patrons can learn more about the birth and early life cycles of moon jellies, bamboo sharks and brine shrimp.

Past visitors raved about the aquarium, appreciating the variety of animals in its care, the informative exhibits and knowledgeable volunteers. One minor pain point for a few patrons was the price, as some travelers thought the entrance fee was too expensive for the experience.

The aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $36.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 3 to 12; kids 2 and younger are granted free admission. Discounts are available for students, seniors and the military. The Texas State Aquarium is located in North Beach, just south of the USS Lexington. Visit its website for up-to-date entry info.

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#1 Padre Island National Seashore

This barrier island stretches along the Texas coast for 113 miles, though it's split into two islands. While its southern section, South Padre Island, is a well-known spring break destination, Padre Island offers a calmer seaside getaway near Corpus Christi. In particular, travelers rave about the island's national seashore, a 70-mile stretch of land protected by the National Park Service, for its pristine beaches, calm atmosphere and space to spread out.

At the national seashore, travelers can build sandcastles on the beach, windsurf on Laguna Madre (a small body of water that is saltier than the ocean) or hop on a four-wheeler and cruise down the sands. If you time your trip for a summer visit, you may even be able to catch a sea turtle hatchling release. Remember that these releases have no set schedule as the baby turtles will hatch when they like. And if you're looking to save on accommodations, you can do so here by camping on the beach. Just know that camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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Courtesy of Visit Corpus Christi
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