With easy access to nature from every area of the city, Corpus Christi is the ultimate place to appreciate the outdoors and natural habitats of the coast. From beach cleanups to birding and yoga on the bay, there are many ways to embrace our piece of the planet!
Tour Marine Habitats by Kayak
From the bird and wildlife-filled marshes of Mustang Island to the uninhabited islands of the Laguna Madre, there are several areas to discover by kayak in Corpus Christi. Gather your friends or family and take a tour of these natural wonders with Nature Trails Kayaking. This kayaking service provides everything you need for an incredible kayaking trip including the kayak, paddle, life jacket, and seat. Nature Trails Kayaking offers several tours both on the gulf side and on the bay side. If you're near North Beach in the bay area, join their kayaking tours along a WWII-era battleship and a stone lighthouse. No matter which tour you choose, you're bound to see a variety of wildlife like birds and dolphins.
Looking for a unique nighttime paddle? GlowRow is an incredible way to experience the Gulf Coast Capital by night in clear, glowing kayaks. Choose from 7 different colors as you paddle through landmarks and see wildlife beneath your clear kayak. And did we also mention the experience is BYOB? This is the perfect experience for a family outing, bachelorette party, or date night! There are two options to choose from in Corpus Christi. The first is at Sunset Island, a hub for boats and tasty restaurants. The route starts here and is a 1-mile round trip through the Laguna Madre. The second location is the Harbor Marina Del Sol, where you will have the opportunity to take a tour of a sunken ship!
Find Inner Peace Through Floating Yoga
Located on a houseboat in the downtown Marina, Water Dog is Corpus Christi's first floating yoga and fitness studio. Unwind on the water with a calming sunset yoga session or energize your day with a sunrise class. Water Dog offers a variety of classes for beginners and experts as well as private classes and events. Along with floating yoga, they also host beach barre classes, yoga on the deck, themed paddles during the holidays, and even beer yoga at Nueces Brewing! They also occasionally host a pup paddle that allows you to get on the water with your four-legged friend. Check out their website for booking info and unique sessions.
Learn About Sea Turtle Conservation at Texas Sealife Center
This hidden gem on Padre Island is worth the stop and your support! Situated next to Packery Channel Park (a popular bird-watching, kayaking, and fishing spot) is a rescue center dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of coastal and aquatic wildlife. See rescued turtle patients, learn about the stories behind the rescued animals, and gain a deeper understanding of conservation efforts in the Gulf Coast Capital. Be sure to stop by the gift shop and take a walk through their nature trail! And fun fact: the property is a certified butterfly habitat and is filled with butterfly-attracting plants.
Visit Top Birding Spots
It's not too hard spotting birds in the Birdiest City in America. Coast over to a 162-acre nature preserve and explore 4 miles of nature viewing trails on protected wetlands at Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center. The center provides guided nature walks, classes, and even a playscape for the little ones. Another attraction that is a must-see for birders is the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Here, you will find tons of migratory birds and native flora and fauna! And during the month of April, the botanical garden attracts birders from around the country for the Birdiest Festival in America.
Another popular place to find specialty birds (especially during the summer) is Hazel Bazemore Park thanks to our warm, tropical climate. If you're hoping to spot a Roseate spoonbill, the only pink bird native to North America, coast over to the grassy marshes and woodlands of Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge.
Do a Beach Clean Up
There's no easier way to show some love for the planet and the beaches than by hosting a beach cleanup. Gather a group of friends and turn it into an adventure! Free beach trash bags can be found at each access road to the beach in large bins. Beach trash bags can also be picked up for free at the Visitor Info Center, where you'll also find more trip ideas, local gifts, and deals/specials on local experiences!
See Rescued Animals at the Texas State Aquarium
This nationally-recognized aquarium is a great place to learn about the area's main marine ecosystems and get up close and personal with rehabilitated wildlife. See endangered animals like the ocelot and explore the aquatic nursery of baby seahorses and moon jellies before heading over to the touch pools to touch sharks, sting rays, starfish, and hermit crabs. Get up close and personal with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins at Dolphin Bay. Here, dolphins play with Environmental Enrichment Devices that encourage their natural behaviors and improve their social, cognitive, and psychological well-being.
If you're looking for a thrilling experience, try snorkeling with sharks! This allows you to swim safely among sharks and see aquatic life in a more intimate setting. And while you're at the aquarium, don't miss out on a visit to their Wildlife Rescue Center next door. Here, you can see rehabilitation happen in real-time, learn about the patients in their care, and explore the only center in Texas permitted to treat marine mammals, raptors, turtles, and even manatees. Admission to the Wildlife Rescue Center is free!
Cook Your Own Catch
One of the most sustainable ways to consume fish is via rod & reel fishing. It also ensures you're getting local catch that doesn't damage local habitats or contribute to CO2 emissions from fish exports worldwide. And did you know you can cook your catch at local restaurants? Check out this guide to cooking your catch in Corpus Christi and let the chefs do the work for you! Another way to ensure your fishing trip doesn't impact wildlife is by purchasing biodegradable fishing lines.
If you want to consume local catch without the work of fishing, support a local seafood market! For over 40 years, Paul's Seafood has been the ultimate stop for fresh catch right off the boat and straight to the market. Here, you can learn more about where your fish directly comes from and choose from a fresh selection of oysters, shrimp, crab, crawfish, and more—all sourced locally in the Coastal Bend!
Be One With Nature at the National Seashore
If you're looking to get away from larger crowds on the beach, coast down to the Padre Island National Seashore! This is an untouched paradise of federally-protected land in Corpus Christi. This national park offers more than 130,000 acres of dunes, grasslands, and beaches. Check out the Grasslands Nature Trail, which offers a glimpse of animals that live inland, including coyotes, deer, kangaroo rats, ghost crabs, and many others. And be sure to call the Hatchling Hotline before your trip to see if any baby sea turtle hatchlings are taking place at the park during your visit!
Apart from the actual sands of Malaquite Beach, Padre Island holds a breathtaking observation deck for wildlife viewing. On the deck, you'll also find the Malaquite Visitor Center where you can shop for souvenirs, ask the park rangers questions, and inquire about beach wheelchairs. Stay into the evening and night for some epic stargazing!