Celebrate the Queen of Tejano in her hometown by crossing off all the things Selena throughout your trip!
Since she was a child, Selena Quintanilla radiated energy, loved life, and could sing her way into people’s hearts, which led her to become one of the most iconic Latina singers in the world. She broke barriers in the male-dominated Tejano music industry and earned the title of “Queen of Tejano.”
Breaking these barriers allowed Selena to expand the audience for Tejano music and contributed to a rise in Latin music popularity across the United States. She would eventually win a Grammy in 1994, making her the first Tejano artist to achieve this. She also was the first female Tejano artist to achieve gold record status.
Encounters with Selena were always memorable. On stage, she was stunning with a powerful voice, iconic costumes, and signature dance moves, but off stage, she was down to earth, had a smile that lit up the room, infectious laughter, and a personality that made anyone feel comfortable around her.
Now, 25+ years after her untimely death, her music continues to resonate in the hearts of many, her style continues to be imitated, and Corpus Christi continues to be a tourist attraction for all things Selena. Fans continue to celebrate her birthday, mourn her loss, and visit many of the locations representative of her life and legacy. Here is a look at Corpus Christi’s favorite spots that truly embody who Selena was and what she meant to the community.
Mirador de la Flor (Overlook of the Flower)
Located by the entrance to the People’s Street T-head is the popular “Mirador de la Flor,” a life-size bronze statue of Selena, by H.W. “Buddy” Tatum. The bronze likeness was sculpted with one of her many iconic stage costumes, signature hairstyle, bedazzled accessories and leans against a concrete pillar, overlooking the Corpus Christi Bay. The memorial also features Selena’s favorite white rose, and a plaque facing Shoreline Blvd.
The walkway below the memorial, known as Paseo de la Flor (The Flower Walk), is adorned with beautiful tiles, bearing hand-painted whimsical flowers and music notes that were created by South Texas schoolchildren and senior citizens.
The statue attracts thousands of tourists each year, and is a popular spot for selfies, listening to music, and sharing memories of Selena. If you visit at night, small colored lights above the statue create an ambiance mimicking a concert stage but reminding visitors that although she is gone, she still shines brightly over the Coastal Bend.
Location: 600 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Selena Star at the Texas Walk of Fame
In 2004, Corpus Christi got its very own Walk of Fame which honors different musical artists from South Texas, including our beloved Selena! Each artist that is honored, receives a single, custom-made star with musical notes bearing the Texas flag, immortalizing their artistry. The walk begins in front of Water Street Oyster Bar and circles the fountain in front of the Executive Surf Club, which is where Selena’s star is situated.
Location: 300 N. Water Street
Molina Neighborhood and Mural
Selena lived in Corpus Christi’s Molina neighborhood, on the city’s West Side of town at 705 Bloomington Street, with her husband, Chris Perez. The gate surrounding the home was quickly filled to the brim with flowers, stuffed animals, photos, and other fan-made tributes after her death, and continues to be a destination for tourists and locals alike.
The neighborhood is also known for the mural outside the Times Market at the corner of Bloomington and Elvira, featuring three watercolor portraits of Selena, her signature, and the words, “The goal isn’t to live forever...the goal is to create something that will.” The mural was painted by New York artist San Singuenza and is meaningful to neighbors with memories of Selena.
Location: 4621 Elvira Dr.
If you’ve seen the Selena movie, released in 1997, you might remember the flashback scene where young Selena (Rebecca Lee Meza) learns cumbia dancing, especially the “washing machine” from her mother, Marcella (Constance Marie). The beautiful area where this scene took place is Corpus Christi’s very own Swantner Park!
The scene begins with the portrayal of the Quintanilla family sitting on the Corpus Christi Bay Seawall, enjoying the fresh breeze as they share an intimate family moment, and turns into a dancing lesson for Selena. The park, with its paved walkway, which is perfect for family outings, jogging, biking, and the perfect view of the ocean, served as a significant backdrop for the film, and is now a popular tourist site.
Location: 5426 Ocean Dr.
The museum, located at Q-Productions, the family’s music studio, brings to life the most important moments of Selena’s life and career. Guests can visit Monday – Friday, from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, and will find an array of original photographs of Selena’s childhood and throughout her career, her red Porsche convertible, her famous stage outfits, which she designed, gold and platinum records, and more. There is also merchandise available for purchase both in-store and via the website.
Location: 5410 Leopard St.
In the late 1970s, the Bayfront Auditorium was a popular destination for entertainment in downtown Corpus Christi. It was part of the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center, which is now the American Bank Center. In 1996, one year after Selena’s death, the Bayfront Auditorium was renamed the Selena Auditorium and continues to be one of the most attended venues for entertainment. Equipped with seating for over 2,500, modern sound and light technology, it’s the perfect place for live shows, the Corpus Christi Ballet, comedy acts, and so much more.
Location: 1901 North Shoreline Blvd., American Bank Center
At some point on your trip, you’re bound to get hungry! A great place to stop by is the Hi-Ho Restaurant. This restaurant has been a staple in the Coastal Bend for over 45 years. With its delicious line-up of Tex-Mex cuisine, it’s a popular restaurant among the locals, but it also attracts many celebrities. It just so happened to be one of Selena’s favorite places to eat, specifically the Carne Guisada plate. The restaurant décor pays homage to Selena with never-before-seen photos and her artwork on the walls. This is a must-see destination, but don’t wait too long. Their parking lot gets filled quickly and they close their doors at 2:30 PM.
Location: 3703 Morgan Ave.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History features a small exhibit with a large significance to our community. The exhibit, called “Selena Remembered: Mirador de la Flor,” features a small bronze statue, the original molds design, and a brief history of the memorial located on Shoreline Blvd. Swing by and see the early concepts and work for the creation of the Mirador de la Flor, only at the CCMSH, while exploring the rich culture that made Corpus Christi what it is today.
Location: 1900 N. Chaparral Street