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.
George Ranch Historical Park, only half an hour southwest of Houston, is more than a representation of Texas history—it’s the hundred-year story of a ranching family who lived their lives on the park’s very soil. The attractions tell their story, beginning with the Jones Stock Farm—a cattle operation circa 1830—where interpreters demonstrate old-fashioned skills amidst a traditional dog-trot log cabin. The Ryon Prairie Home unveils an 1860s image of a Texas Ranch home in the golden age of the cattle drive, and the Davis Mansion contains artifacts from Victorian-era Texas enjoyed by the wealthiest citizens of the 1890s. The final site, the George Ranch Complex, demonstrates ranching life as it happened in the 1930s, including barn structures and daily cattle demonstrations. Guides show off each building and era with historic tours, demonstrations, and living history exhibits such as a working blacksmith shop.
The park’s directors breathe life back into this history with interactive events, as well. They also schedule an array of yearly events such as military reenactments, and holiday-themed history lessons.
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.
Ear-splitting shrieks quicken the pulses of passersby as they approach the Nightmare Factory, a forsaken complex comprised of two distinct, hair-raising attractions. Once they’ve crossed the threshold into the blood-splattered corridors of Insanity51, voyagers tiptoe cautiously past hostile denizens as a narrative begins to emerge. The tormented spirits that haunt these hallways are insane captives subjected to top-secret government experiments that have rendered them even more fearsome and better informed on tax policy. In Nightmare 3D, foolhardy explorers walk through a carnival funhouse that looks more like the scene of a mass murder. Distorted mirrors and shifting floorboards create a skewed, sinister sense of reality, forcing guests to ponder if they have passed into another dimension populated by their worst nightmares.