Imaginations run wild aboard the USS LEXINGTON. The sights, the sounds are so real and so intense you'll feel like you've been transported back in time. There are thousands of stories within these steel walls and thousands more still to be written. It's time for you to experience this one-of-a-kind experience.
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History offers a chance to interact with everything from geology and biology to sunken ships and American history, all through the lens of South Texas examples. The 100,000-square-foot building contains many standing exhibits, a theater featuring local productions, and the Children's Wharf playscape. Glass cases house artifacts from one of the oldest shipwrecks in the Western hemisphere—the resting place of the San Esteban and Espíritu Santo—which plunged, storm-wracked, into the waters around Padre Island in 1554. The museum even boasts a Smithsonian-designed exhibit that explores the Seeds of Change, the five things brought to America via ship that changed its shape forever, including corn, potatoes, disease, horses, and a competent cartographer.
Fennessey Ranch’s ornithological guides, Nan, Lyndon, and “Famous Shoes” Crofutt, introduce bird watchers to scores of migrating avian species along a 4,000-acre Coastal Bend property. During treks through expansive wetlands, woods, and lakes, up to 40 birders gaze skyward as continuous kettles of hawks and swallow-tailed kites rocket from the Mission River as part of Mother Nature’s routine jet-pack tests. In addition to winged critters, sightseers often encounter deer, alligators, coyotes, and bobcats as they traverse the brush lands and nearby McGuill Lake. Lunch is provided, and guests are encouraged to bring comfortable attire, binoculars, bug repellant, and a sack of beefy worms to snack on.
The accommodating staff at Island Surf Shop and Kayaks rents out a large selection of beach buggies, skillfully coupling wayward beachcombers with a coast-exploring vehicle. Hop into your sand-flecked buggie to discover the dune-hugged beaches of Port Aransas, a town on the northern tip of Mustang Island, replete with brightly hued beach houses, trilling seabirds, and coin-operated sandcastle-building machines. Each one-hour rental outfits sandfaring customers in a shaded, four-seater golf cart fitted with oversized beach-ready tires. Rentals are subject to weather conditions, so plan your adventure on a day with a low chance of raindrops or gumdrops hailstorms.
The paint-wielding professors at The Tipsy Canvas instruct budding Rembrandts and veteran Da Vincis in the joyous practice of applying acrylic pigment. Brush bearers ages 5 to 12 can attempt linear perspective with a two-hour lesson in which they paint guitars, cupcakes, and other kid-friendly subjects. Flocks of friends can migrate to an adult class, bottle of wine and snacks in tow, for a three-hour tutorial on still-life subjects, such as delicate cherry blossoms, breezy lighthouses, or an esoteric revisit of a hand-traced turkey.
The courteous chauffeurs of Corpus Christi Party Bus steer festive groups across illuminated pavement for 90 minutes of Yuletide displays. The tour begins when twosomes board the party bus and recline in comfortable leather seats that fill the expansive interior, which holds up to 15 guests or 45 well-mannered raccoons. Two 19-inch flat-screen TVs join forces with DVD players and multicolored LED lights to compete with the spangled domiciles outside, and Christmas songs blast from the bumping sound system. Duos can sip on two complimentary nonalcoholic beverages during the BYOB jaunt or string popcorn garlands across the hardwood flooring and around the bar area. Guests should call ahead to reserve seats; kid-friendly tours can be arranged upon reservation.