Corpus Christi is becoming as much a cultural destination as a hotspot for outdoor fun. When you need a break from the sun, immerse yourself in the museums, architecture, galleries, colorful murals, and live music scene before hitting the waves again.
Art Museum of South Texas
The museum’s newest exhibition, ReTooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, runs through late April. The exhibit repurposes and transforms utilitarian tools from a historic Corpus Christi hardware store. Highlights include Arman’s mixed media arrangement of Blue, Red, [and] Brown paint brushes in motion, and items in the museum’s permanent collection range from the Spanish Colonial to Texas modern. Admission is $8 for adults, except on Frost Free First Fridays and Dollar After Dark nights during the monthly Art Walk.
Hosted by the Marina Arts District to highlight the creative community in Corpus Christi, this monthly event transforms downtown into a lively scene for local art, music, and food. Start with happy hour and live music at The Gold Fish before heading to Artesian Park, where you’ll find vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to wood carvings and soaps. The park is one of five stops on the free shuttle that runs between the Exchange and the Art Museum of South Texas during the event. Be sure to pop into smaller galleries like K-Space Contemporary and Tree House Art Collective to explore the work of local artists along the way.
The Ritz Theatre is an important local landmark and one of the last remaining historic buildings in downtown Corpus Christi. Built in 1929 and best known as Ritz Music Hall during the ‘70s, the beautiful Spanish Renaissance-style arena has hosted music legends like Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan but fell into disrepair before the turn of the century. Local groups recently organized fundraising efforts to restore the theater to its original glory, opening the venue as a stop on the monthly Art Walk to raise awareness about its local and cultural significance.
Take in a virtual tour of other historic architecture on the Frontera App, where Doc McGregor’s black-and-white snapshots reveal what the city looked like in 1930. The bells chiming from the nearby cathedral will draw your attention to its beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival style.
Austin may be the Live Music Capital of the World, but you can’t beat the diversity of live music in Corpus Christi. Venues abound between Mesquite Street and Water Street, where you might hear Puerto Rican music on the patio at BUS, Jimmy Buffet covers at the Executive Surf Club, or country, folk, and rock bands at the Exchange and House of Rock. And after raising a glass at the Gold Fish, there’s always the option to provide your own entertainment at Rehab Karaoke.