Find Deals Around the Coastal Capital of Texas
From discounts to some of our mosts popular attractions to special promotions, you are bound to discover a few great offers and enhance your trip!
One bright facet of diversity that colors the Gulf Coast Capital is our LGBTQ+ community and the many cultural scenes they make up. We hold pride and care for all members of our community, including those in need of spaces where they can coast their own way freely and fully.
In coalition with local writer Vanessa Perez, Corpus Christi’s PRIDE Board, and PRIDE Center, we identified several destinations that keep inclusivity and safety for all patrons as top priorities, including some who underwent Safe Zone Certification training with the PRIDE Center.
Whether you’re a local still looking for regular spaces to call home or just visiting for some needed relaxation, the places mentioned below have something special for everyone.
The Art Center of Corpus Christi provides an array of community engagement opportunities through craft workshops, markets, and exhibits that are friendly for all folks. Their community-focused staff ensures an inclusive experience for all who pass through to enjoy the center’s myriad educational services and events, whether it’s for Grow Local Farmers’ Market every Wednesday or for those looking to hone their craft in the workshop. As per tradition, Corpus Christi’s annual Pride Parade kicks off at the Art Center! 100 N Shoreline Blvd.
A Safe Zone Certified destination for all art lovers, the Art Museum of South Texas has a long history dedicated to exhibiting artists of diverse backgrounds, even having been honored with a visit by gay art icon Andy Warhol in 1972 for the museum’s opening exhibition Johns, Stella, Warhol: Works in Series. Visitors can expect a traditional but exceptional museum experience within the walls of the incredible seaside premises— designed by the postmodern architectural titan, Philip Johnson. Third Thursdays, hosted at the museum, showcase local businesses and artists for a small but special market experience that strives for inclusivity. For those lucky enough to visit on the first Friday of the month, admission is free! 1902 N Shoreline Blvd.
K Space, as it’s called by local art-goers, is a well-loved community staple for those getting in touch with the local scene. Located in downtown Corpus Christi, the gallery has provided a platform for many local LGBTQ+ artists and curates with a diverse audience in mind. The gallery itself focuses on contemporary installations by diverse artists, and the gift shop features goods by local artists and makers. Any visitors passing through downtown in search of a smaller gallery experience would be remiss to skip this one. 623 N Chaparral St.
A family and LGBTQ+ friendly attraction, the Museum of Science and History is a safe space for all looking to expand their knowledge of the world we share. “Education goes beyond the classroom” in these exhibits, where visitors can explore the realms of coastal ecology, local history, geology, paleontology, and much more. Hands-on learning experiences also await little learners in their H-E-B Science Center with topics like chemistry, music, and biology. The Xeriscape garden offers the unique opportunity for visitors to learn water-conservation methods for landscaping through methods like rainwater collection. 1900 N Chaparral St.
Marine life lovers need to look no further than the Texas State Aquarium for a family-friendly and Safe Zone Certified experience with the many creatures that call the Gulf of Mexico home. Since 2017, the aquarium has expanded to include species from the Caribbean seas and nearly doubled the size of their original exhibits including sharks, dolphins, ocelots, a diversity of birds, otters, and many more. Every visit to this non-profit conservation destination is a step towards fostering support for species of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. 2710 N Shoreline Blvd.
A well-loved cornerstone of the Coastal Bend, The Hidden Door has paved the way for the LGBTQ+ bar scene since 1980. This is a must-stop destination for anyone in search of anything from a good old-fashioned drag show, unbeatable drink specials, and even Sunday brunch. The Hidden Door partners often with local nonprofits and organizations to throw events in support of various services for the community, from public health to local animal shelters. Keep your calendars clear and visit this historic gem! 802 S Staples St
Curating a quality cocktail experience in the shell of the old Greyhound station, Bar Under the Sun provides a Safe Zone Certified drinking experience for all folks. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a ranch water to start off the weekend bar crawl or to sip the house Frosé and shop around the local market day, BUS is a one-size-fits-all bar for everyone to experience. For those choosing to dine in, their new kitchen located on the back patio features a mix of traditional favorites like burgers and fries, as well as others with a gastronomic twist like ahi tuna tostadas and spicy grilled quail. Patrons can also enjoy local live music acts throughout the week in a family and pet-friendly environment. 702 N Chaparral St
The yesteryear feel of Cassidy’s provides the charm and vibe of a traditional Irish pub, from its dark wood to the close-quartered seating designed for friendly chatter. Located on Water Street and a short walk from the seawall (hyperlink seawall), Cassidy’s plays host to a diverse crowd and serves as a safe space for LGBTQ+ bargoers in search of a lively drinking experience, complete with live music and Guinness on tap. In addition to their expansive beer options, Cassidy’s also features a rotating menu of fun seasonal cocktails, such as their pumpkin spiced martini and pumpkin cider. Pro-tip: Irish car bombs are $5 on Thursdays! 601 N Water St
Located in the heart of Mesquite Street, The Gold Fish offers a locally inspired list of cocktails for those on the weekend bar crawl, stopping in for some weeknight respite, and everything in between. Visitors can expect a diverse crowd and overall friendly drinking experience for all, with patrons stemming anywhere from professionals to local artists to university students looking to expand their palates beyond Pabst Blue Ribbon. For those in search of dining options, The Gold Fish plays host to downtown favorite Full Send Barbecue, located adjacent to the bar’s patio. Knowledgeable and friendly bartenders elevate this bar experience through great service and quality crafted cocktails. 724 N Mesquite St
PRODUCE Bar Co. — the brainchild of multi-hyphenates John “Johnny Hotcakes” Garcia, lawyer and local dj, and Carlos Villarreal, local artist and university professor— has become a fast favorite amongst downtown bargoers. With its inclusive mission to provide an expansive bar and art gallery experience, Produce nixes the typical bar experience in favor of one that has its patrons in mind by providing a slew of attractions such as LGBTQIA+ and Chicanx art shows featuring local artists, as well as DJ nights with a diverse cast of local talent. Those in search of a good vibe, friendly staff, and great selfie lighting need look no further than this People’s Street staple. 419 Peoples St
Few things speak to the classic going-out experience of the Coastal Bend like a night at House of Rock. A Safe Zone Certified staple of the downtown scene and of our city overall, House of Rock has served as a cornerstone of music culture in the city since being established in 2005 by music veteran Casey Lain. House of Rock aims to support local artists inclusively while also hosting an expansive ticket of artists from across Texas and the U.S. in our newly dubbed Music Friendly town. If you’re in need of a slice of pizza, an ice-cold Coors Banquet, or a live music fix, House of Rock is an absolute must for downtown and the overall Corpus Christi experience. 511 Starr St
A speak-easy adjacent bar just across the way from The Hidden Door, El Catrin pairs well for those either looking to wind down for an old fashioned or to keep the night going at a local drag show. They offer a classic lounge experience for patrons interested in an intimate date night complete with dine-in options, offering dishes inspired by the cuisine of Monterrey. El Catrin bodes well for a higher-end drinking experience as well as for those in search of a deal, touting a myriad of shot and cocktail specials throughout the week. DJ sets can also be found at the back patio for those looking to dance the night away under the stars. 805 S Staples St Suite B
A gem of the Southside neighborhood, The Nest is a safe option for those looking to have a good time any night of the week. There’s a little something for everyone at this hidden favorite located off of Yorktown Road. Drag shows, live music, sports, you name it: The Nest has it. Food and drink specials rotate throughout the week, but no need to remember as friendly staff will be certain to remind you. 6534 Yorktown Blvd
A newcomer to the downtown bar scene, The Annex has quickly become part of the seasoned local bar-goers rotation. A sister-owned venture of native downtown Corpus Christians Caitlin and Callia Shook, The Annex offers a setting that is very easy on the eye and a cast of curated cocktails that feature a twist on their classic renditions, such as their Tu Madre Margarita and the Amelia Island Ritz (the fun cousin of a French 75.) The warmth of a family-owned spot is present at The Annex, from their friendly staff to their dedication to offering a little something for every patron via weekly events and specials. If you haven’t already added it to your weekly drinking plans, reconsider if only for Chicken Shiz Bingo nights! (hyperlink chicken shizo bingo event) 312 S Chaparral St
Located in the heart of downtown, Mesquite St. Pizza and Pasta Co. brings a fun, family friendly vibe to the scene that strives to have every patron in mind. The foremost comedy spot in town, Mesquite St. features a weekly cast of local comedy talent as well as open-mic opportunities for those working on their tight fifteen. Patrons can expect dinner, a show, and a full bar with rotating daily specials. 617 N Mesquite St and 4535 S Padre Island Dr Suite #1
Anyone in search of a welcoming place to enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up need not to look further than the Pride flag flying about the register at Lucy’s Snackbar. The cozy, vintage-inspired coffee shop settled in the heart of Chaparral is the long-envisioned dream of siblings Jessica Gignac and Justin Ganin, who opened up shop in 2019. Cultivating a friendly neighborhood coffee shop vibe, Lucy’s also caters to those in search of bodega-style snacks, quality home goods, and an expansive selection of beer, wine, and other spirits. Spacious bars and tabletops handcrafted by Ganin make up a space friendly for remote work and a cappuccino, as well as leisure time off the clock to enjoy some Prosecco— on tap! 312 N Chaparral St Suite A
A new Southside favorite owned and operated by local, beloved multifaceted artist and drag queen Frankie Reyna, Milky opened in 2022 with the intention of being a safe space for all in the community to enjoy a part of their daily routine. The menu at Milky offers a mix of coffee classics and specialty drinks with a bit of a cultural twist, featuring favorites like the Mexican Vanilla Cold Brew and Strawberry Horchata. Milky’s cool, white interiors give a hip and refreshing cafe vibe that makes for the perfect backdrop to afternoon coffee with a dash of chisme. 312 N Chaparral St Suite A
Sandi’s Diner owner and operator Sandra Clark launched drag shows at the restaurant with the intent of putting inclusivity at the forefront for the community, which is exactly what visitors can expect from their time at this diner. Sandi’s is located in the former and much beloved Hamlin Pharmacy, filling its shoes with great compassion and care for patrons. The comfort of a good meal is not lost on the staff at Sandi’s, who provide quality, friendly service to all patrons. Serving a menu of traditional American fare like burgers, fries, and shakes, Sandi’s also features breakfast plates, biscuits and gravy, waffles, and other breakfast classics. 3801 S Staples St
Chef Natalie Treviño serves a twist of South Texas cuisine with French-inspired flair at The Roughian, located on South Alameda. The Roughian provides an option for gastrophiles looking for an intentional twist on eating out, with reservations for their set-menu dinners booked sometimes months ahead of time. Patrons can expect all trappings of a fine dining experience to remember, “from brisket tartine to gulf shrimp in beurre blanc.” The several-course meal is produced on a rotating basis by Chef Natalie and her kitchen, allowing The Roughian to bring fresh takes on classics to the community every month. Run— don’t walk— and book your next special occasion dinner with The Roughian. 4705 S Alameda St
The art of the French pastry is alive in Corpus Christi, and it lives at Bien Merite. The pastry shop and cafe, located off Elizabeth Street and South Staples, brings fresh, quality ingredients to their goods, baked fresh in-house every day. From croissants to macarons, to beignets and mille-feuille, Bien Merite offers pastry classics as well as sandwiches, assorted chocolates, and a full coffee and espresso menu with options for all coffee drinkers. Not feeling coffee? It’s always tea time at Bien Merite, and if you’re feeling fancy, their High Team time experience is available for reservation online! 1336 S Staples St
The unmatched feeling of finding new love in an old gem is one 20/20 Vintage understands well. Since opening in 2019, owner Monica Ellison and her team of friendly associates have crafted a tasteful and accessible vintage experience with all folks in mind. A Safe Zone Certified favorite of downtown and cornerstone of vintage resale culture in Corpus Christi, 20/20 offers a thrifting experience of curated classics from every decade. 423 Lomax St Suite A
The premier vinyl shopping experience is one owner Carlos Cooper invests wholeheartedly in for customers at Hybrid Records. Since opening their doors in 2015, Cooper and his team at Hybrid quickly became patrons in the community for creating a space friendly for all looking to discuss, experience, and invest in their love for music. Hybrid offers a curated selection of records spanning from decades past to new releases, as well as turntables, speakers, band merch, posters, and other items to support the listening experience. News on artists, album releases, listening parties, and other events can be found across their socials. 417 Peoples St
The joy and craft of properly loving a plant begins at Planted. Owner and operator Tina Turman has crafted a plant shopping experience fostered on sharing her love for plants and the myriad of benefits they offer to all who care for them through education, curation, and ethical plant sourcing. This nursery and plant boutique in Village Square offers a full-scale experience for every plant lover in need of a new leafy friend, modern and charming plant pots, and workshops on how to be a great plant parent. Friendly staff invested in giving kind, helpful insight along with an incredible selection make this the perfect plant shopping experience. 3847 S Alameda St
Established in 2020 by local creative, curandera, and Tejano witch Ema Rodriguez, Skeleton Key Curios is a spiritual bodega of sorts, as well as a safe and welcome space for all in need of a cleansing, card reading, or spiritual self-care items. A frequent collaborator and contributor to the LGBTQ+ events scene in Corpus Christi, Rodriguez is no stranger to making a place safe and inclusive for all. SKC is part reading room, part oddities gallery, home to Rodriguez’s underground culture zine Weird Corpus, and overall a place for anyone looking to get in touch with Tejano magic and their “other” side, so to speak. SKC can be found at their secret location in the heart of Chaparral Street, just beside the “Born to Fly” mural. 410 Peoples St #13
A splash of cultural color on the coast, Sew Bonita is the must-stop shop for anyone looking to get in touch with Mexican-American border culture in a fun way. Owner and operator Elena Flores brings her life experience of border culture to the Coastal Bend, offering a massive gift shop full of pinnacles of two cultures, from authentic Mexican jarritos to mugs, stickers, and home goods featuring Latina icons like Selena and more. Sew Bonita is a welcome destination for all looking to connect with the beauty of cultural appreciation. 4719 S Alameda St Suite B
Since their shift from a clothing and goods store to the go-to downtown snack shack, El Dusty's Produce Micro Bodega has become a watering hole of sorts as well as a noted safe space for those coming through People’s Street. Produce offers a diverse selection of international snacks, drinks, in addition to their original collection of attire and home goods— including pride-themed Corpus tees! Hungry customers can expect a selection of anything from Japanese-style egg salad to spam musubi, breakfast tacos, dessert conchas, and more. 415 Peoples St
One of the premier gift shop experiences awaits both visitors and locals at Made in Corpus Christi. Owner and operator Nikki Riojas’s works toward a mission of bolstering local pride and economy by enabling local designers, makers, printers, and more to contribute their work to create Corpus-centered designs, logos, and locally made goods. A purchase from this business means direct support of many small local businesses and talent of all backgrounds. 1526 S Staples St
Fueled by a desire to contribute to local tourism and a quality shopping experience with all in mind, Terrie Moore’s Wildflowers was born. Moore’s vision for Wildflowers is one that envelops shoppers in coastal splendor through charming antiques as well as goods from a cast of diverse local makers. Wildflowers hosts locally made pottery, jewelry, leather works, cosmetics, and more among their expansive collection. Shoppers can also pay a visit upstairs to Samantha Thurman’s jewelry front, Lavender + Lee, for unique pieces made by Thurman herself. 309 N Water St Suite C
All dressed up and no place to go? The Corpus Christi Visitor Information Center has your back! This Safe Zone Certified center is a first-stop destination for anyone getting to know our community and what it has to offer. Friendly Gulf Coaster staff can assist with discount coupons, souvenirs, gifts, maps, travel literature, and general tips for those looking for an experience curated to their taste and needs. Located in the heart of downtown between Water Street Oyster Bar and Lazy Beach Brewing Co., the Visitor Info Center is a short walk away from many of the experiences on this list. 309 N Water St Suite D
At St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, the mission is that all feel welcome in their place of worship. St. Paul’s rich history makes it an institution in our community, and as such the church and its congregation have proudly championed fostering an inclusive space for all looking to practice their faith safely and with acceptance. “As a church, we’re more than just LGBTQIA+ friendly; we’re affirming, celebrating, and standing side by side with our LGBTQIA+ siblings in their journey of faith and self-expression.” 5525 Lipes Blvd
As a theologically diverse congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi commits to the mission of welcoming “people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, races, ethnicities and abilities,” unconditionally and with open arms. The church’s vision of “radical inclusion, justice, and lovingkindness” drives them to support one another in their spiritual and moral journeys. 6901 Holly Rd
The Coastal Bend Pride Center serves as a welcoming and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies in the Coastal Bend region that offers support, resources, and community-building activities to foster acceptance, awareness, and pride.
This annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community brings together individuals from all walks of life to promote equality, diversity, and love with a vibrant parade, live entertainment, and educational activities to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ+ rights.