Water sports, wild Gulf beaches, and salty lagoons—Corpus Christi belongs on any bucket list.
Let the waves lull you to sleep in Corpus Christi. Bays, barrier islands, and sandy Gulf shores surround this little slice of Texas paradise. Whether you pull into an RV park or camp on the beach, the surf and sand are always just steps away. Fishing, boating, and kayaking are big here. The water is also great for windsurfing and kitesurfing—wind speeds often reach 25+ miles per hour. If you want to see the wild side of Corpus Christi, head to Padre Island National Seashore. It's the world's longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island. With its trove of beaches, dunes, and tidal flats, the park is teeming with wildlife. You might even spot a rare Kemp's Ridley sea turtle. Choose from several year-round campgrounds with tent and RV sites (sans hookups). Once you're settled in, nothing beats a bonfire by the beach. Just remember to BYOW—bring your own wood. Want to pitch a tent right on the beach? Take the Port Aransas ferry (it's a free ride) to Mustang Island State Park. Get stoked about beach camping along 1.5 miles of pristine sandy shoreline. While hiking or canoeing the paddling trails, keep an eye out for dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. Good news for birders: Mustang Island is also home to more than 400 bird species. Between Corpus Christi's barrier island and the Texas mainland, you have the Laguna Madre. A shallow oasis with an average depth of 3.3 feet, the lagoon is a paradise for fishing, birding, and kayaking. Plus, the super salty water makes it easy to float—just don't get the water your mouth (bleh!) The warm Gulf breezes keep Corpus Christi, TX perfectly balmy year round. However, it can be tough to nab a beach site in the summer. December tends to be a little cooler, but there's no better time to beat the crowds.