Travel & Outdoors

Where to Experience the New Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi
This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue with the headline “Corpus Christi’s Sea Change.”

I never imagined that I would one day sip a Negroni in the same place where, as a kid, I waited in line to mail my mom’s packages. The neighborhood post office of my childhood in Lamar Park, a quiet development of mostly one-story homes just across from Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi, has become the Post, a buzzy gastropub with an industrial interior and an extensive craft cocktail list. The anchor of a once-sleepy shopping center, the Post is just one of the businesses being opened by a new generation of Corpus natives who are transforming historic buildings into restaurants, bars, and more. With this uptick in restoration, the Sparkling City by the Sea—the hometown of Selena and the birthplace of Whataburger—is starting to live up to its nickname.

Corpus Christi

Eleanor’s Coffee Bar and Market.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Corpus Christi

The C.L.A.S. B cocktail at BUS.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Left:

Eleanor’s Coffee Bar and Market.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Right:

The C.L.A.S. B cocktail at BUS.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Eat & Drink

Start the day on South Alameda Street, with avocado toast and a Chemex brew at my favorite indie coffee shop, Eleanor’s Coffee Bar and Market, opened by Corpus Christi native Jessica Gignac, in 2015. Ben Lomax—son of prominent local restaurateur Brad Lomax—and his wife, Lesley, have transformed a former Greyhound bus station into a new downtown patio bar, BUS, which opened in December. The family-friendly hot spot boasts lawn games, a rotating cast of food trucks, and an impressive list of beer, wine, and cocktails. A block over is another new patio bar, this one in a gas station from the thirties. With arched steel-and-glass doors and German biergarten–style tables, the Gold Fish was opened last year by local developer Robert Cooper, along with partners Jessica Gignac (of Eleanor’s) and Justin Gainan. For dinner, head to Lamar Park, to BKK Thai Kitchen and Bar, where executive chef Ben Hague, who grew up in Thailand and Saudi Arabia before settling in Corpus, makes savory curries and sushi.

Corpus Christi

The Gold Fish.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

See & Do

In Corpus, activities revolve around the water. My kids won’t leave the city without catching a dolphin show at the Texas State Aquarium. There’s still time to see Champ, the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle that was rescued in September and will live in the coral reef exhibit until it’s rehabilitated and released back into the wild. The Corpus Christi Marina serves as the headquarters for Water Dog, which holds floating yoga classes on paddleboards. A popular spot for international windsurfing competitions, Corpus is the best place in Texas to enjoy the sport; try a lesson from Worldwinds Windsurfing.

Corpus Christi

The Caribbean flamingo at the Texas State Aquarium.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Corpus Christi

The front of Villa La Casita.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Left:

The Caribbean flamingo at the Texas State Aquarium.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Right:

The front of Villa La Casita.

Photograph by Wynn Myers

Stay

Until the 1914 former courthouse is restored and reincarnated as a luxury hotel, in 2020, book a room at the renovated Omni Hotel, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Just across from Cole Park is Villa La Casita, a two-bedroom Spanish-style bed-and-breakfast.

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Tags: Travel, BUS, CORPUS CHRISTI, eleanor's, Gold Fish, Texas State Aquarium

Comments

  • Sharon J.

    The Omni overlooks Corpus Christi Bay, not the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Chris Anderson

      If you are on the top floor and stand on your tiptoes…………
      The article must have been written by an Austismite (OOPS, I mean a Waterlooer)…

  • CypressTexas

    We went almost every weekend for decades windsurfing. Amazing that in Texas there is a city on the coast (blue water!) where the humidity is relatively low and there is always a breeze, we never broke out into a sweat like Galveston.

  • Mark Machado

    I visited a couple of years ago on 4th of July. Family gathering on the beach. Firework show the beach was cool but the Town seemed like it had seen better days. Haven’t been back since.

  • Marshall Collins

    That place’s so-called snazzy sites are lipstick on a pig. Worked there several years until I recently escaped. Lamar Park is an upper middle class neighborhood, so the author probably never ventured into the Westside, Flour Bluff and refinery districts. First time after having lived in six states to ever see the common practice of leaving dirty diapers in grocery store parking lots. Just thrown on the pavement. Everywhere. All stores. Everywhere. The interior decorative fountains at the mall have kids swimming in them while in diapers. Place makes no sense. Author must be jaded to believe a place known for its Third World environment and culture of poverty would ever be sparkling. It’s what some have called a S-hole.

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