Get ready for a road trip through Corpus Christi and immerse yourself in the coastal vibe of this Texas gem. Whether it's the sun-kissed beaches, charming neighborhoods, or the welcoming locals, every moment on this road trip will provide relaxation and seaside charm. The best part? Navigating around Corpus Christi will be a breeze whether you’re taking a leisurely drive or you’re on a mission to explore. Hop in your car and coast on over!

Laid-Back Road Vibes 

Corpus Christi is known for that laid-back vibe so you definitely won’t encounter a lot of traffic! Big city drivers will be pleasantly surprised at the easy-going and always-moving traffic. it takes roughly 20-30 minutes to get anywhere in Corpus Christi.

Three Major Highways 

Don’t expect spaghetti roads here – there are three major highways to follow: Hwy 358, Hwy 286, and Interstate 37. Highway 358, also known as SPID, leads you right through the middle of the city and out to the Gulf Beaches.

Interstate 37 ends right in the middle of Downtown Corpus Christi and Highway 286, also known as Crosstown, connects Highway 358 and Interstate 37. 


Scenic Drive Options 

Take the scenic Ocean Drive from Downtown Corpus Christi to the Island for a nine-mile stretch of road that offers the best views of the Corpus Christi Bay and features walking trails, parks, and stunning homes. Take a right at Ennis Joslin Road to hit Highway and go directly from Bayside to Beachside!  

Bridge Cruises 

Cruise over the Harbor Bridge during the daytime for great views of Downtown and the Port of Corpus Christi, and at nighttime, enjoy the scenery as the entire city lights up, creating a picturesque cityscape. For another scenic bridge drive, head over the JFK Causeway for a 4.5-mile-long drive over the Laguna Madre. The views of the water provide stunning backdrop for views that can’t be beaten.


Drive on the Beach 

Most beaches are packed hard enough for smooth driving, but there are a few exceptions. Pack your bag for a beach day, pick a spot, and enjoy some fun in the sun after a mini drive with your windows open to take in the gulf breeze. Make sure to buy a Beach Parking Permit at the Visitor Information Center.


Feel like driving a little longer?  

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to venture a little further out, consider exploring the surrounding coastal areas for a journey beyond city limits to experience the landscape and unique attractions that make this coastal town a memorable road trip destination.  

Padre Island National Seashore 

Enjoy a 30-minute drive via Highway 358 and Park Rd 22 to Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) for some fun in the sun, and find over 130,000 acres of dunes, grasslands, and beaches. The park is an untouched paradise of federally protected wildlife that's also the largest undeveloped barrier island in the world. Situated 30 miles south of Mustang Island State Park, it is the prime location for soaking up the abundant sunshine and taking in the gulf’s breeze. Afterward, be sure to grab a bite at one of the many restaurants that call the Island home.  

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge 

Take a relaxing 1 hour and 40-minute drive via I-37 to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy stunning scenery, diverse wildlife, and a variety of recreational opportunities. It’s worth the drive to take the auto tour, walk the trails, stop by the Visitor Center, walk up the observation tower, wander along a boardwalk through a marsh, and relax overlooking San Antonio Bay. 

King Ranch 

Hop on Highway 286 and head to the legendary King Ranch. Sitting on 825,000 acres of land, King Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world today. It’s larger than the state of Rhode Island.  A quick day trip creates an opportunity for a variety of activities.  Book a tour of the ranch, visit the museum, and experience the history of its past, its horses, and learn about its namesake, Captain King. Check out the Saddle Shop and sign up for a hunting trip. The best part? You’ll be back in the comfort of your hotel by sundown.  


Drive times to Corpus Christi from: 

  • San Antonio: 2 hours, 143 miles 
  • Austin: 3 hours, 217 miles 
  • Houston: 3 hours, 212 miles 
  • Dallas: 6 hours, 411 miles 

Getting Here Map