Corpus Christi, Texas is a coastal town in the extreme southern part of the state. Although Corpus Christi can claim four hundred sixty two square miles, only one hundred fifty five of those are on land. The remaining area is water. Over 285,000 people call Corpus Christi home. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and home to the sixth largest port in the country.
Corpus Christi got its name from Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, who discovered the area on the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi in 1519. The area played an important role in trading and sea faring along the primitive Texas coast until the town itself was incorporated in 1852. In 1926, the present day port was opened, leading the way for expansion in Corpus Christi. In 1941, The Corpus Christi Naval Air Station was established.
Being that the accessibility of the port has always been vital to the livelihood of Corpus Christi, some of the city's prominent attractions are located in the vicinity of the port. The Lexington Museum, or “Blue Ghost”, is a floating museum that depicts life aboard a military ship. The USS Lexington was commissioned in 1943. During its twenty one month stint in combat, the USS Lexington sustained damage from kamikaze and torpedo attacks by Japanese forces. The ship was decommissioned in 1991 and opened as a museum in 1992. The ship is 910 feet long and weighs 33,000 tons. Located near the Lexington Museum is the World War Memorial, which was dedicated in 1930.
Given its close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi is a waterfront playground for avid beach goers and water sport enthusiasts. Corpus Christ has one of the highest wind speed averages in the country, which makes it a popular destination for surfers and people who enjoy parasailing. The Texas Surf Museum., located in Corpus Christi, explores the heritage and culture of surfing along the Texas coast. Another popular pastime in Corpus Christi is fishing. Charter fishing guides and companies offer daily excursions into the Gulf and there are ample piers for anglers who wish to go it alone.
There are some popular spots in the city for nature enthusiasts as well. Corpus Christi boasts some of the best bird watching in the world, courtesy of the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge. Pelicans, coots, heron, and seagulls are frequent visitors to the refuge. The Texas State Aquarium is home to a number of unique exhibits that highlight some of the state’s natural wonders in their native habitats. Aside from fish, the museum is also home to birds, reptiles, mammals, and exotic flora.
Perhaps the most visited and the most famous attraction in Corpus Christi is the Mirador de la Flor. It is a memorial dedicated to fallen Tejano star and Corpus Christi native Selena Quintanilla Perez, who was murdered by her assistant in 1995 at the age of 23. The memorial features a life-sized sculpture of the singer and dedication plaque detailing the unveiling of the memorial in 1997.