Corpus Christi is called “the Sparkling City by the Sea” and it is definitely a gem in the Texas crown. It’s the summer vacation spot for most Texas families and a lucky few get to call it home all year round.

Before you grab your straw cowboy hat and puka shell necklace, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you live that beach life to the fullest.

1. It’s a small but charming city

Corpus Christi is a great size for those looking to get away from big city life. With a permanent population of just over 326,000 and a laid back atmosphere, it’s a perfect place to slow down. The population growth here is low, with a growth rate of just 6.62% since 2010, but the millions of tourists that swell the population year-round can make the city feel crowded.

Architecture around town features Spanish colonial influences, nautical themes and beachy elements. Fun art installations add to the vacation vibe year-round, adding to the city’s abundant charm.

2. Be prepared to deal with tourists

With 113 miles of beaches and countless attractions, it’s no wonder that 8 million tourists flock to Corpus Christi each year. This is great news for the one billion dollar a year tourism industry, but it means that the locals have to share their sand and sun with out-of-towners.

At spring break time there is an onslaught of raucous revelers. During the hot summer months, you can expect to wait in long lines and have to contend with more traffic and crowded beaches.

3. Corpus is a military town

It may be known for fun and sun, but Corpus Christi is also a large military hub in Texas. It is the home of the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, which has been training Naval, Coast Guard and Marine Corps pilots since 1941. The Corpus Christi Army Depot is also located here.

As with most of Texas, citizens of Corpus Christi are welcoming and supportive of their military neighbors, and many service members stationed here say it’s their favorite duty station.

4. Port Corpus Christi is busy

Port Corpus Christi is the 3rd largest port in the US, based on total revenue tonnage. Thanks to its prime location, deep shipping channel, and easy access to railroads and trucking, it has become a hub of shipping commerce and is now also the 2nd largest exporter of crude oil.

More than 6,000 ships move 80 million tons of cargo through the port each year, including gas and fuel oil, diesel, feedstock, and more.

5. The wind may surprise you

Though Chicago may call itself “The Windy City”, Corpus Christi has it beat for average wind speed. During most of the year, that warm salty sea air blows in at a blustery average 10.8 miles an hour, peaking at over 12 miles an hour during April.

It may be bad for your hairstyle, but it’s great for kite surfing and parasailing and locals take full advantage. It also keeps the humid coastal air from feeling stagnant and muggy.

6. Expect lots of sun, heat and humidity

The weather in Corpus Christi is as beach-friendly as the residents. Each year sees an average of 223 days of sunshine to enjoy the sand and surf. Summers are hot and humid, with highs in the 90s and humidity comfort levels that are described as “oppressive.” As a trade-off, winters are mild and snow-free, with lows rarely dropping below 50 degrees.

As with any coastal town, hurricanes and tropical storms are a threat here. Hurricane season runs June through November and locals are encouraged to remain prepared and vigilant during that time.

7. There’s enough beach for everyone

Corpus Christi is all about beach life, and there is a beach for every taste. For convenience and access, McGee Beach is hard to beat. Located just off downtown on Corpus Christi Bay, it offers a dog park, seasonal beach rentals and easy parking options.

North Beach is a great spot if you want to sandwich your beach time between sightseeing and great food. This pedestrian-only beach is situated close to the USS Lexington, the Texas State Aquarium and a variety of exciting shopping and dining.

If you’re looking to do more than lounge on the beach, visit JP Luby Surf Park at North Packery Beach. Drive your car right down to the water and offload your kiteboard or join the jet-skiers zipping through the waves.

Another vehicle-friendly beach that’s perfect for families is the South Packery Beach. A little calmer than its northern neighbor, it’s the perfect spot to play in the surf and build sandcastles.

Perhaps the most famous of Corpus Christi's beaches can be found at Padre Island National Seashore. Padre Island is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world, encompassing 70 miles of protected coastline, prairie and tidal flats. With a variety of vehicle and pedestrian-only beaches, camping options, sea turtle hatchling releases, great fishing and bird watching, and excellent kayaking spots, Padre Island National Seashore is a must-see.

8. The windsurfing and kayaking are killer

With 11 beaches to choose from and countless warm, windy days, it’s no surprise that Corpus Christians are wild about their water sports. The city boasts some of the best windsurfing, kiteboarding and parasailing around thanks to its windy reputation. Bird Island Basin, on Padre Island National Seashore, is known to be one of the top destinations in the country for windsurfers.

Kayaking is also very popular here. Boaters can take their pick of either the calm waters of Corpus Christi Bay or the more exciting waves of the Gulf of Mexico. There are also opportunities to paddleboard, surf, and even the world’s first floating yoga studio.

9. You can sail away every Wednesday night

If you find yourself at the Lawrence Street T-Head on a Wednesday evening, you’ll be treated by the sight of the sailboats in the Wednesday Night Regatta setting sail against the setting sun. This weekly social race has been breaking up the work week for sailors and onlookers alike since 1995.

The Corpus Christi Midget Ocean Racing Fleet (CCMORF) also hosts a number of exciting yacht races throughout the year. Join a sailing crew to participate in the action or just bring a picnic and enjoy the spectacle from the shore.

10. It’s a world saltwater fishing destination

Experienced anglers and casting newbies alike flock to the waters around Corpus Christi for some of the best fishing in the world. You can cast your line into the Laguna Madre, Corpus Christi Bay or the Gulf of Mexico from the shore, a pier, or a boat deck and try your luck.

Redfish, black drum, flounder, and speckled trout are among the most popular saltwater catches. Those looking to sport fish can head out into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico for Blue Marlin, Dorado, Swordfish and Yellow Fin Tuna.

11. There is freshwater fishing too

Although Corpus is known for salty sea air and beach life, freshwater anglers can dip their line in too, thanks to several lakes and reservoirs in the area.

Lake Corpus Christi covers 18,256 acres and reaches depths of 60 feet, with a lighted fishing pier and bait shops. The Choke Canyon Reservoir is just an hour’s drive away and covers 25,670 acres, reaching depths of 95.5 feet.

The deep waters of both reservoirs make them prime spots for bass and catfish fishing. Other popular species include crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and alligator gar.

No matter where you are fishing, make sure you get your Texas Fishing License before you head out.

12. Corpus Christi is for the birds

Corpus Christi has been named the “birdiest city in America” for the last ten years, thanks to the nearly 500 bird species that can be seen here at various times during the year.

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the seasonal home of North America’s largest winter flock of whooping cranes. These majestic birds make the warm southern waters their home from October through April. The refuge also boasts 404 other documented species of birds, from herons and ibis to warblers and hummingbirds.

The Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture in nearby Port Aransas is another great spot for bird watching, particularly if you enjoy watching the abundant local shorebirds and local waterfowl, including pelicans, spoonbills, herons, ibis and plover.

13. You can take time to smell the roses

The abundant tropical flora that flourishes year-round is on display at the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Stroll the nature trails or the wetland boardwalk to see beautiful native plants and animals or visit one of the eleven special exhibits including a butterfly house, orchid conservatory, rose pavilion, and plumeria garden.

Animal lovers can enjoy the abundant wild bird population seen throughout the 182-acre facility, or visit the reptile room, exotic parrot collection or the tranquil hummingbird garden.

14. Locals love their sea turtles

The beaches of Padre Island National Seashore have long been nesting sites to a variety of sea turtles, including the most endangered sea turtle species, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. The National Park Service, along with local scientists, concerned citizens and the Texas State Aquarium, work year-round to help protect and preserve these majestic creatures.

Sea turtle hatchling releases are an exciting way to take part in the preservation efforts. Every summer, thousands of newly hatched Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles are released on the beach to make their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Releases happen when the hatchlings are ready, so follow the Padre Island National Seashore on Facebook or call the hatchling release hotline (361-949-7163) for information about when the next one will happen.

15. There’s plenty of live music

Fellow Texas city Austin may be known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” but Corpus has its share of great local spots to enjoy live performances.

Head over to the Executive Surf Club to enjoy local musicians and the largest selection of draft beer in town. For the “best in Texas Country music south of Gruene Hall” and some great grub, check out the Brewster Street Ice House.

The Concrete Street Amphitheater is Corpus Christi’s top spot for big concerts and festivals. This open-air amphitheater has two stages and can accommodate 13,000 music fans. From ZZ Top to Bone Thugs ’N’ Harmony to Fall Out Boy, countless artists have graced its stages since it opened in 2001.

Every Thursday night during the summer, locals and tourists alike can enjoy a free live concert at Cole Park Amphitheater, through the Bay Jammin Concert & Cinema Series program. Bring a picnic blanket or a chair and enjoy great music from local artists as you look out over Corpus Christi Bay. Cole Park also has playgrounds and pet areas, so it's a perfect event for the whole family.

16. Locals care about their beaches

Every February for the last 25 years, hundreds of locals have flocked to Padre Island National Seashore to take part in the Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Clean-Up hosted by Friends of Padre. This annual event is aimed at removing trash carelessly left by visitors or washed up onshore.

In 2020, more than1500 volunteers combed 33 miles of beach, picking up 60 tons of trash and making the environment safer for people and animals alike. Friends of Padre like to encourage all visitors to continue the cleanup efforts year-round, so if you see trash at the beach, please pick it up and dispose of it.

17. They have water parks too

If the 11 beaches aren’t providing you with enough waterlogged fun, Corpus Christi also boasts two exciting water parks. Hurricane Alley offers a wave pool, lazy river, 6-story slide complex featuring several different slide options and a stand-up surf simulator, along with lovely views of Corpus Christi Bay and Harbor Bridge.

For a more resort experience, head to Waves Resort Corpus Christi Featuring Schlitterbahn. Stay at the hotel or just come to the park for the day and enjoy exhilarating rides like the up-hill water coaster, white water tubing, and surf simulator, or just float the lazy river and relax.

18. The Harbor Bridge is getting an update

Corpus Christi’s Harbor Bridge is a local landmark and a recognizable part of the skyline, but a high accident rate, no pedestrian access and rising maintenance costs have led the city to begin construction on a new 181 Harbor Bridge. The new bridge will offer a lot more room for traffic to move, including 6 total lanes of traffic, plus a dedicated pedestrian and bike path. The completion of the new bridge is currently slated for 2023.

19. The Texas State Aquarium is a must-see

The Gulf of Mexico truly comes to life at the Texas State Aquarium. One of the largest aquariums in the country, it boasts more than 360 different species of animals and a wide range of engaging exhibits. You can stroll through exhibits representing different gulf habitats, both above and below water, and even touch starfish and feed stingrays.

The aquarium also has a Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation Program, which rehabilitates and then releases injured wildlife of the Texas Gulf Coast.

20. The Beach Loop is the best scenic drive

If you want to ogle stately beachfront homes on Ocean Drive and gorgeous bay views everywhere, take a tour of the Beach Loop. This hour-long drive starts at Corpus Christi Bayfront and circles the bay and most of the most iconic landmarks in the city, with an obligatory ferry ride and plenty of opportunities to turn off onto a beach. It’s a great way to get the lay of the land if you’re new to Corpus or to show off the city to visitors.

21. The Lady Lex is a local landmark

Towering 19 stories over the shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay sits the USS Lexington, a retired aircraft carrier turned museum. Nicknamed “Lady Lex” and the “Blue Ghost”, she was decommissioned in 1991 after 48 years of service and an illustrious battle record during WWII in the Pacific Theater.

The USS Lexington was also the first US AirCraft Carrier to have women on her crew and was used as a filming location for the film Pearl Harbor.

Now a museum, the USS Lexington offers self-guided smartphone tours and guided tours, where you can learn about life on board and the history of naval aviation. They also have a 3-D mega theater to bring the exciting naval history to life, a flight simulator and even two different escape room scenarios you can book.

22. It’s Selena’s Hometown

Corpus Christi native Selena Quintanilla-Perez achieved great musical success in her short 24 years of life. Known as the “Queen of Tejano Music” and the “Tejano Madonna,” she was an icon of the Mexican American community and Corpus Christi is very proud to claim her as their own.

After her tragic death, the city erected a bronze statue in memorial to her, called Mirador De La Flor, along Shoreline Boulevard. Join the more than 30,000 fans that still visit her memorial every year to pay their respects and take a photo with her life-sized statue. You can also visit the Selena Museum to view stage outfits, memorabilia and her beloved red Porsche.

23. They are proud of all their homegrown celebrities

Selena may be the pride of Corpus Christi, but she is not the only celebrity to call this coastal city home. Farrah Fawcett and Eva Longoria were both born and raised in the Corpus Christi area—Longoria was crowned Miss Corpus Christi in 1998.

Country music star Roger Creager also hails from here and used his hometown as inspiration for his “Gulf Coast Time” song. Corpus natives and NASCAR stars Bobby and Terry Labonte have a park named in their honor.

24. Fresh seafood is everywhere

All of the great fishing in the area translates plenty of delicious and fresh Gulf seafood. Locals swear by Snoopy’s Pier for an authentic fish shack experience and great prices. The deck over the water is the perfect place to enjoy your lunch and the beautiful view.

Whether you arrive by car or boat, Doc’s Seafood and Steaks has a place for you to park. With a fun party atmosphere, plenty of outdoor seating and live music, eating here is always an experience to remember.

If you are craving fried shrimp, head to Catfish Charlie’s for classic southern fare and a relaxed cozy atmosphere. If you have any seafood averse people in your group, their chicken fried steak is reportedly the best in town.

Corpus is awash in great seafood served up in casual, locally-owned restaurants. Ask a long time resident for their favorite spot or just explore the many offerings along the bay and beaches.

25. It’s home to one of the best art collections in Texas

The gorgeous and modern design of the Art Museum of South Texas beckons all who pass by to come and experience the art within. Designed by Phillip Johnson and Ricardo Legorreta, it’s filled with light thanks to abundant floor to ceiling windows to let in the sun and stellar views of Corpus Christi Bay.

The museum is run by the South Texas Institute for the Arts and its mission is to educate and inspire public interest in visual art. Tour the more than 1,850 works of art on permanent display or take in the special exhibitions put together periodically. No matter how many times you visit, you are sure to see something new.

26. The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders are actually from an island.

Nicknamed the Island University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is actually located on its own island between Oso Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. This public research university takes full advantage of its gorgeous location with palm tree-lined walkways, hike and bike trails, natural wetland areas and some of the best bay views in the city.

It’s not all beach days though, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is a prestigious university with several nationally recognized schools, including their College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Harte Research Institute.

27. It's the original home of Whataburger

When it comes to fast food, Corpus Christians are loyal to the hometown favorite—Whataburger. The very first Whataburger was opened here in 1950 by Harmon Burton and Paul Dobson, who wanted to make a fast-food burger you had to hold with both hands.

Though Whataburger is popular across Texas, Corpus claims it as their own and proudly celebrates itself as the birthplace of the franchise.

28. The Hooks play at Whataburger field

Corpus Christi may not have any professional sports teams, but residents are passionate about supporting their home team, the Corpus Christi Hooks. This Minor League baseball team is owned by the Houston Astros and plays their home games at Whataburger Field. Enjoy a family atmosphere, lots of Whataburger merch and great views of the ship channel and Harbor Bridge.

29. You can find your zen at the Corpus Christi Watergarden

Relax and decompress, washed over by the sound of 150 fountains splashing and burbling in a circle around you. The brainchild of architect Robert Zion, the Corpus Christi Watergarden is a tranquil oasis in this busy beach town.

The Watergarden is sadly closed for repairs due to hurricane damage, but will hopefully be reopening soon.

30. Piracy is encouraged

Grab your eye patch and bandana and join in the fun at Buccaneer Days Festival, known colloquially as “Buc Days”. Corpus Christians have been kicking off summer with this pirate infused party, named in honor of local pirate Jean Lafitte, since 1938.

The festival is held over ten days and features a wide range of attractions including a rodeo, carnival with roller coasters, musical performances, parades, pig racing, and, of course, pirate acts. Proceeds from Buc Days are used to award collegiate scholarships to 20 local high school students.

31. You can visit the only surf museum in Texas

Corpus Christi may not be known for stellar surfing spots, but that didn’t stop the founders of the Texas Surf Museum from choosing it as the home of the only surf museum in the state of Texas.

This kitschy homage to hanging ten is dedicated to teaching everyone about the unique style of Texas surf culture and to promoting and teaching the sport of surfing. Whether you are a surfing enthusiast or just looking to kill an afternoon, the Texas Surf Museum is definitely worth a visit.

32. Miradores del Mar are the best spots for photo ops

If you’re looking for an Instagram worthy photo spot, find one of the eight white gazebos that line the Corpus Christi Bayfront called the Miradores del Mar.

Reminiscent of seaside architecture found in Mexico, Spain and Morocco, each concrete gazebo is pearly white with a tile roof, setting it in perfect relief against the blue water beyond. They are free for public use on a first-come, first-serve basis.

33. The Sea Wall is a popular hangout

A unique feature of Corpus Christi is the iconic Downtown Sea Wall. While its primary purpose may be to protect the downtown area from the full brunt force of a hurricane, the Sea Wall has become a hot spot in the city.

Grab a seat along the amphitheater bleachers to take in the Wednesday Night Regatta while you nibble on your finds from the Farmers Market. Rent a bike or scooter or just stroll along the 1.5 miles of Sea Wall. There are also lovely gazebos, known as Miradores del Mar, where you can relax and take in the beautiful views of Corpus Christi Bay.

34. Bob Hall Pier is the best pier fishing spot

Though it’s currently closed for construction due to damage caused by Hurricane Hanna, Bob Hall Pier is still worth a mention on this list. This Corpus Christi landmark is situated in Balli Park on Padre Island and extends 1,240 feet into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Novice fishermen can find equipment rentals and expert advice and more advanced fishermen can enjoy some of the best casting spots on the island. Once this historic pier is reopened, you will definitely want to give it a visit.

35. There is a recycling demon and a surfing Jesus

Never let it be said that Corpus Christians don’t have a sense of humor. Lording over the GIS Recycling building is a towering red devil statue, complete with horns and a pitchfork impaling aluminum cans. Called the “Demon of Corpus Christi,” it used to be part of an amusement park ride called Hell Hole and was plopped down in his current location to draw attention to the business.

Across town at the First United Methodist Church stands a statue locals have nicknamed “Surfing Jesus”. The statue’s real title is “It Is I” and depicts Jesus standing in a small boat. But, depending on the angle you view it from, Jesus indeed appears to be surfing and has become a favorite photo op for locals and tourists alike

36. You can go to a Zombie Prom

If you’re a fan of zombie cult horror films or just have a flair for the macabre, be sure to check out the annual Zombie Prom, hosted by local hot spot House of Rock. The ghoulish festivities include live music, dancing, great food, and, of course, the crowning of a Zombie Prom King and Queen.

37. Christmas means the La Posada Boat Parade

There are no white Christmases here, but Corpus Christians still know how to celebrate the season with the annual La Posada Boat Parade on Padre Island. Held annually for the last 50 years, this traditional Christmas Parade is celebrated in a typical island style.

The first weekend of each December, hundreds of Islanders deck out their boats in Christmas lights and decorations and parade them up and down the canals of Padre Island. People line the canals, boat docks and yards along the canals for one of the biggest parties of the year.

The La Posada Boat Parade was created to raise money for Toys for Tots and there are always Marines in attendance to collect toys and donations.

38. Cattle ranching is a proud tradition

A little less than an hour south of Corpus sits one of the largest ranches in the world. Encompassing more land than the entire state of Rhode Island with 825,000 acres, the King Ranch has been running cattle for 160 years.

Visitors to the ranch today can take part in ranch tours and nature tours, visit the King Ranch Museum, or pick up some new riding gear in the saddle shop.

39. Corpus has great day trip options

If you need to get away for a weekend, Corpus Christi is perfectly situated to offer great day trip and weekend getaway options. If you want to keep the beach vibes coming, take a short drive to one of the small coastal towns that dot the area, like Port Aransas.

This adorable beach town is dotted with candy-colored beach houses and fun souvenir shops. Tour the town on a golf cart and stop in at Winton’s Island Candy for some saltwater taffy, then head over to Mustang Island State Park for some beach time.

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, head northwest to the big cities and the beauty of the Hill Country. San Antonio and Austin are both within a 3-hour drive and offer a variety of exciting shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities.

If you crave porch swings and sweet tea, head to Fredericksburg for a quiet weekend getaway. Window shop along historic Main Street or take a drive down Wine Road 290 to find some of the best Wineries in Texas.

40. Make sure you speak like a local

If you want to blend in with the crowd and not stick out like a tourist, you need to learn to speak like a local. When referring to the city, just say “Corpus”, no “Christi” required. If you’re heading out to Padre Island, you are going to “the island”. The South Padre Island Drive, which does not go to South Padre Island, is known as the S-P-I-D, but don’t call it the “Spid”

What Can You Expect: Housing Stats

The housing market in Corpus Christi is stable and appreciating. The inventory of available homes was 4.6 months in August 2019 but now sits at just 2.6 months, resulting in a somewhat competitive market.

Real Estate Housing Market as of August 2020

* Median sales price: $233,000

* Average Days on Market: 101 Days

*. Average Apartment Rent: $989

What Can You Expect: Neighborhoods

Corpus Christi neighborhoods offer a wide array of amenities for the lifestyle you seek. Whether you need space to park your boat, want to walk to the beach or commute easily to the naval base, there is a perfect neighborhood for you.

Here are a few of our favorite Corpus Christi neighborhoods and communities:

Aransas Pass: Aransas Pass is situated on the shore of Redfish Bay, renowned for both fishing and shrimping. The city limits also take in the surrounding islands, meaning Aransas Pass is more than 70% water.

Mustang Island and Port Aransas are a 6-mile drive and a short ferry ride away. Once the “shrimp capital of Texas” this community has become a haven for fishing enthusiasts and those looking for a quieter coastal experience.

Flour Bluff: Located in Corpus Christi on the Encinal Peninsula, Flour Bluff offers convenient access to shopping and dining, as well as recreational opportunities. Largely consisting of residential neighborhoods, Flour Bluff is home to the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station and boasts convenient daily shopping options like H-E-B and Walmart.

Divided by the South Padre Island Drive, it affords easy access to fishing and beach experiences on nearby North Padre Island.

Homes in Flour Bluff are situated on spacious lots in established neighborhoods with four to five bedrooms. Mediterranean and traditional are the predominant architectural styles here.

Ingleside: Situated between Corpus Christi and Port Aransas on Corpus Christi Bay, Ingleside offers a quieter setting away from tourists, but still convenient to amenities.

Due to its relatively small population size and low cost of living, Ingleside made LendEdu’s 2018 list of the Best 100 Towns in Texas for Starting a Small Business. Homes in this growing community typically feature larger treed lots in established neighborhoods.

The community of Ingleside on the Bay offers canal and waterfront properties. For those looking for coastal country living, there are a few properties situated on multiple acre lots, largely on the eastern side of town. Ingleside offers affordable coastal living and a great small-town feel with plenty of parks and several beach options just a 20-minute drive away.

CC Listense:

The Lakes: Located to the east side of Oso Creek, The Lakes boasts accessibility to amenities and the outdoors, with quiet neighborhood streets. Just off of Yorktown Boulevard, this neighborhood features scenic constructed lakes and established homes.

It’s great for walking with many nearby parks and walking trails along Oso Creek. Residents of this community enjoy easy access to schools, shopping, and dining.

The homes in this area are generally one to two-story homes with large floor plans, high ceilings and big yards. With traditional design and well-maintained yards, homes in this area are some of the most well-regarded in the city.

Some homes in The Lakes have backyards that open to one of the seven constructed lakes tucked into the neighborhood. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate that this is another great place to see the many different types of birds that call this area of the coastal bend home.

North Padre Island: The quieter cousin of its more famous southern neighbor, North Padre Island is located just 20 minutes from the heart of Corpus Christi across the convenient and picturesque Hwy 358. This barrier island is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the east and Laguna Madre to the west. Gorgeous water views and miles of open beaches ensure residents truly enjoy island life.

Canal communities, mostly sheltered on the western side of the island between South Padre Island Drive and Sea Pines Drive, offer waterfront living with backyard boat docks and fishing.

These communities also feature neighborhood boat ramps for residents who do not live on the water. Beachfront condominium communities can be found on the gulf side of the island, featuring gulf views and less maintenance for carefree living. No matter where you live on North Padre Island, you are guaranteed to be just a few minutes drive—or walk from a beach.

Rockport: The county seat of Aransas County, Rockport is a colorful coastal town with a booming tourism industry. Located on the Live Oak Peninsula north of Corpus Christi, it boasts access to both Aransas Bay and Copano Bay. The barrier reef of San Jose Island shelters it from the Gulf of Mexico. Due to its peninsular location, residents enjoy an island vibe without having to take ferries or bridges to the mainland.

The nearby town of Fulton is sometimes included in the community name as “Rockport Fulton”. While technically it’s own municipality, Fulton has grown together with Rockport, offering residents even more amenities and housing opportunities.

The daily population of Rockport includes year-round residents, tourists and “winter Texans”, as well as a large population of brown pelicans. A number of artists call this quirky community home, and residents can enjoy numerous public art installations as well as the Rockport Center for the Arts.

Rockport has been named to several award lists, including being listed as #4 on Gulfscape Magazine’s “2011 Readers Choice Best Gulf Coast Towns,” a “Coastal Dream Town” by Coastal Living Magazine, the “long weekend hot spot for bird watching” by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, a “great Gulf Coast Getaway for business meetings” by Texas Meetings and Events, and one of the “Best Places to Live and Visit” by Today in America TV show.

What Can You Expect: Transportation

Corpus Christi, like most Texas towns, scores a low walk score, so having a car is definitely a must here. There are a few areas where you can walk to vital amenities, mainly on the south side and in the bay area, but leaving those areas to visit other parts of town will be difficult without a vehicle.

Traffic here is light and most commuters spend an average of 19.2 minutes driving to work every day. The occasional road construction site will slow you down, but “rush hour” is a breeze here. Corpus Christi was even rated the 3rd Best City to Drive In by WalletHub.

The Corpus Christi Regional Transit Authority provides public transportation to the city via a series of bus routes. The system takes a little getting used to and getting yourself from one place to the other could take some time. Be sure to check their website for the most current routes and departure times before heading out.

What Can You Expect: Schools

The greater Corpus Christi area is served by six different school districts - Calallen ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, Flour Bluff ISD, London ISD, Tuloso-Midway ISD, and West Oso ISD. There are also 25 private schools located within the city. rated 27 local elementary, middle and high schools as above average based on test scores, student progress ratings, and college readiness.

Continuing education is also supported by a number of local schools, including Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Del Mar College, the Craft Training Center and the South Texas Vocational Technical Institute.

Corpus Christi is a charming coastal town with a proud history and a bright future. Whether you are coming to live the beach life, running away from winter snow, or stationed here with the Army or Navy, you are sure to fall in love with this gem of the Texas Gulf Coast. If you’re new to Texas, be sure to also check out our post on moving to Texas for great tips and tricks to navigate your transition with ease.