One of the best parts about the Texas Gulf Coast is the year-round sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Throw on your swimsuit and head for the beach! Here are five great activities to kick off your winter retreat. Each is sure to leave your friends and family jealous every time they check your Instagram.

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1. Throw a Bonfire

While the Gulf Coast enjoys some of the milder winters in the Lone Star State, nighttime can still get a little chilly. What better way to ward off the cold and to relax after a long day exploring Corpus Christi than to snuggle up in the glow of a good, old-fashioned bonfire?

Head down to your favorite Corpus Christi beach with friends and family and indulge in this time-honored tradition. Just make sure you adhere to local ordinances (fires can be no higher or wider than 3 feet). You can get your fire going by digging a pit right in the sand or bringing down your personal barbecue.

However you choose to do it, you’ll soon warm right up with loved ones while you sing camp songs, roast marshmallows or simply listen to waves crashing on the beach!

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2. Fishing

Colder temperatures don’t seem to bother the fish much. In fact, they’re biting just as much in winter as they are the rest of the year. With so many great locales for both fresh and saltwater fishing, every angler in your party will be spoiled for choice. Whether you cast off right from the beach or pier, or want to charter a boat, there are plenty of ways to reel in the big one. Make sure to check out the weekly fishing report from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to see what’s in season.

If you’re looking for a fishing day with a little more novelty, try a kayak fishing adventure. You’ll not only avoid crowded boat ramps or piers, but also have the opportunity to paddle your way into some truly beautiful locations too shallow for heavier fishing boats. That means you’ll have access to a whole group of fish others won’t!

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3. Beach Games

There’s nothing better for warming up than a little exercise. Keep your heart rate up by bringing the old football or frisbee down to the sand. Other than the exercise and family fun, it’s totally free! Check out some more great ways to stay active along the shoreline here.

If a day at the beach doesn’t do enough to satisfy your hankering for sports, take a trip Downtown to catch a Corpus Christi IceRays game. A member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), the IceRays offer affordable home games all winter long.

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4. Shell Hunting

You can find shells along the shore any time of year, so why are we featuring it in a winter beach article? One simple reason: competition. Think about it, shell hunting is an extremely popular activity for most families. But during winter, there are fewer folks vying for the best shells, meaning your chances of finding a pristine shell are even better!

What kind of shells can you find along Corpus Christi beaches? Given Corpus Christi’s location along the Texas Gulf Coast, we find shells from as far away as the Caribbean! Pro tip: The best shells are found an hour before and an hour after low tide. Make sure to check the tide charts for optimal shell-finding times.

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5. Check Out Some of our Feathered Friends

Did you know Corpus Christi is America’s Birdiest City? Many birds (over 305 different species!) live and migrate along the Gulf Coast. Heading down to the beach during the winter months gives you a unique opportunity to see birds you won’t see in other parts of the state or country, or at other times of the year.

New to the world of birding? No problem! Check out our guide, Birding for the Non-Birder. With just a pair of binoculars and the right destination, you’ll be an expert in no time! With plenty of different habitats in and surrounding Corpus Christi, you can combine your new love of birdwatching with other activities all winter long.

Check Out the Rest Corpus Christi Has to Offer

From daily and weekly events throughout the city to special wintertime attractions, you’re sure to keep busy in Corpus Christi all season long. While you can enjoy these activities any time of the year, hitting the beach during the winter months provides a special opportunity for you and your family. Learn more about exciting Corpus Christi events and activities here.