Jump aboard the USS Lexington Museum and discover the history of her role in WWII while engaging in hours of fun for the whole family. Read on for information to know before you go. 

1. History of the USS Lexington 

The USS Lexington was an Essex Class aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943. It served in the Pacific theater for about 21 months during World War II, earning numerous combat records. After a brief decommissioning in 1947, it was reactivated in 1955 primarily for Navy training. By the 1980s, it became clear that maintaining this World War II-era vessel was costly, leading to its replacement by the USS Forrestal as a training carrier in 1990. Corpus Christi secured the USS Lexington as a museum through community support and a bond sale, and it has been open to the public since November 14, 1992, becoming a significant attraction in the Coastal Bend area.  



2. The Blue Ghost 

The USS Lexington is famous for its resident ghost, Charlie, a well-mannered sailor with piercing blue eyes, wearing a vintage white Navy uniform no longer used by the ship’s staff. It is believed that Charlie was killed during a Japanese kamikaze attack in 1944, and he is known to dazzle visitors with his intimate knowledge of the ship and its engines. 

Both visitors and staff have reported hearing ghostly sounds like chains dragging, elevator movements, as well as encounters with other spirits. The ship earned its nickname "Blue Ghost" from Japanese folklore due to its legendary World War II history, during which it survived numerous attacks.  



3. Escape Rooms 

Try one of the ultimate escape rooms exclusively aboard the ship, if you dare! The USS Lexington is full of stories, and with Lockdown on the Lex, enjoy an escape room experience that messes with the mind, shocks the senses, and baffles even the most experienced escape room enthusiast. Whether your group is small or large, this is the perfect high-tech and high-intensity outing that everyone will enjoy.


4. Joe Jessel 3D Mega Theater 

Enjoy the stadium seat theater with 3D shows projected on three-story-tall screens using a flagship laser projector, and thundering digital sound. Get up close and personal with each show including sight, sound, and an educational view into the real action with aviation, flight, and history, creating an unparalleled 3D experience.  

Admission to the Mega Theater is free with your paid admission to the Ship! The theater is wheelchair accessible and closed captioned with CaptiView for visitors with hearing impairment. 



5. Flight Simulator 

Do you have what it takes to be an F/18 pilot? If so, jump in the 15-seat simulator and join the men and women in the training exercise, “Screaming Eagles” and be prepared to launch off the aircraft carrier, hit every target, complete your air to air mission, and land safely. The Flight Simulator is located on the Hangar Deck during regular operating hours and there is a $5.00 admission fee per person.  


6. Take a Tour of the Ship 

Take a tour aboard the ship! If you prefer to go it alone, there are five different routes, covering 100,000 square feet, eleven decks, and interactive displays that you can explore at your own pace and discover the many stories behind the ship’s history. If you have questions along the way, look for their “yellow shirt” volunteers (many of whom served on USS Lexington!) They know all the ins and outs of the ship and will be happy to assist you. 

If you prefer a guided tour, try one of three guided group tour: Flight Operations, Hard Hat, or Paranormal Investigations. These special, behind-the-scenes experiences are guided by volunteers and are scheduled upon request. Please note that guided tours should be booked at least 2-3 business days in advance to allow for scheduling a guide and payment processing.  


7. Visit the Mess Deck Café  

You’re probably hungry by now, and the Mess Deck Café is a great option to stop and recharge during your visit aboard the USS Lexington. Dine on one of the selections from their full lunch menu or grab a drink and a snack to power through your adventure. The café is located at the aft end of the hangar deck and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 



8. Located on North Beach  

While you’re over the bridge, you can spend some time enjoying the relaxed vibe of North Beach with plentiful souvenir shops, hotels, condos, and restaurants near a fantastic bayfront view. The beach itself features just over a mile of unruffled sand and a concrete beach walk ideal for cycling and skating or strollers. Jetty fishing is also available from its north and south end jetties. If you get hungry, swing by Pier 99 Restaurant for a family and pet-friendly location with delicious seafood and a "Canine Menu” or head to Blackbeard’s on the Beach for a wide-ranging menu of seafood, steaks, and comfort food, and live music every night.

9. Admission Cost 

The USS Lexington Museum is open between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and admission rates are as follows: 

  • Adults (18 +) - $20.95 
  • Seniors (60 +) - $17.95 
  • Military - $15.95 
  • Youth (13-17) - $17.95 
  • Children (4-12) - $14.95 

10. Parking 

Convenient all-day parking is available for $5.00 (FREE for Members).