all photos by Visit Corpus Christi
Contrary to popular belief, not all stores in the Coastal Bend have giant shark faces for entrances. Only the best ones! Just kidding... We are loaded to the gills with all sorts of fabulous souvenir-and beach-related retail shops, and they each have their own charms.
Aside from the requisite beach-gear and must-have souvenirs, these iconic shark-face shops also carry lots and lots of sharks. What kinds of sharks are available at a shark-face store? Come along and find out!
Palace Beachwear & Gifts, North Beach
# of teeth = 19
Appx. distance from shark lip to door = 19 feet
Distinguishing characteristics: One of the area’s three full-bodied shark-face entrances; gills are slatted vents; recently repaired teeth
Palace carries all manner of fridge magnet, shark-tooth necklace and shot glass. We’re particularly fond of the squeaky toy sharks and the ominous shark towels (cue Jaws soundtrack).
Destination Beach & Surf, Port Aransas
# of teeth = 68
Appx. distance from shark lip to door = 50 feet
Distinguishing characteristics: One of the area’s three full-bodied shark-face entrances; the longest snout of them all
Destinations carries some terrifically harrowing shark memorabilia. There are custom T-shirt decals that say, “White Death,” plus an entire line in children’s sizes. Don’t miss the little shark babies in jars or the giant shark ride-ons for pool use. If your hotel allows such things, your kiddo can make quite an entrance floating in on one of these beasts.
Bo Jon’s Surf & Gifts, Port Aransas
# of teeth = 52
Appx. distance from shark lip to door = 13 feet
Distinguishing characteristics: Splashing waves, three rows of top teeth and bejeweled eyes
Our favorite shark find at Bo Jon’s is not a shark at all, but a bottle-opening bottle-nosed dolphin key ring with teeth – a shark wannabe, if you will. Also oddly charming: the neoprene Jaws-knockoff bottle koozie and the shark football… Get out there, find a shark and strike up a friendly game of catch.
Third Coast Beach Company, Padre Island
# of teeth = 30
Appx. distance from shark lip to door = 28 feet
Distinguishing characteristics: One of the area’s three full-bodied shark-face entrances; no glamorous red lipstick like his compadres; red eyes
If you miss the opportunity to take a picture of you or your father-in-law inside the shark’s mouth, fret not, Third Coast Beach Company has a number of shark mouth-themed photo frames. And guess what radio station they usually play in the store? Why, Corpus Christi’s Modern Rock 104.5 FM, the Shark, of course!
BONUS! Island Sports, Port Aransas
# of teeth = 24
Appx. distance from shark lip to wall = 4 feet
Distinguishing characteristics: Not an actual entrance; blood-red paint all over the teeth; octopus pal hanging out on the roof
Island Sports may not have a shark face for an entrance, but they have one to pose in for super cute pics and selfies! This island novelty shop stocks a shark boogie board. We know we feel safer on the waves with a shark under us. But our favorite item (perhaps of all the items in all the stores) is the child’s arm’s-length shark plushy, because nothing says “cuddle” like a dorsal fin and five rows of teeth.
As you plan your Corpus Christi visit, make time for a land-shark hunt! Some people like to return from vacation loaded with fish tales. Why fib when you can bring home your very own shark (even if it is fluffy or holding your beer bottle)?
(DISCLAIMER: Items in stock at the time of your visit may vary… wildly.)