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Experience Marine Life in The Coastal Bend

by Visit Corpus Christi Texas

Corpus Christi is an ideal vacation destination for all things underwater considering some of the most fascinating forms of marine life can be found right here on the Coastal Bend. Make sure these three stops are on your list for your next aquatic exploration.

Start at the Texas State Aquarium

Texas State Aquarium - Corpus Christi Image

You can plan an entire day around the Texas State Aquarium, which houses over 360 species of marine life with numerous compelling exhibits and programs. Come experience a diving show, or a live feeding session with sharks, or hands-on interactions with stingrays, otters, starfish, sea urchins and more. You’ll never run out of things to do!

Notable exhibits include:

  • H-E-B Caribbean Sea: A thrilling and immersive look behind a 68-foot long acrylic window.
  • Islands of Steel: The Gulf of Mexico’s largest indoor exhibit gives a breathtaking view of an underwater habitat formed around a decommissioned oil platform.
  • The Jungle: A captivating exhibit showcasing the unique wildlife and geography of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico’s Eastern Yucatan peninsula.
  • Blue Hole: A look into the unique and often unseen habitat of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.

Don’t forget to save the turtles! The Aquarium strives to raise awareness for marine life preservation. Each year, more than 77,000 children participate in educational programs, while the Second Chances Wildlife Rehabilitation initiative treats injured animals and places them back into their natural habitats. Tickets can be purchased online up to 60 days in advance.

Go deep at the CCA Marine Development Center

Itching to learn about marine life preservation from behind the scenes? Take a tour of the CCA Marine Development Center, the first state-operated hatchery that releases millions of Red Fish and Speckled Trout into Texas bays each year. Founded in 1982, the overall mission of the center is to stock quality sport-fish species and manage effects from environmental changes and natural catastrophes like Hurricane Harvey.

Your day would begin by exploring eight saltwater aquariums depicting different habitats along the Texas coast before moving along to the “spawning” tanks, which provide guests with an inside look into the entire hatchery process. Tours are free of charge and are held Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Set sail on Archimedes Educational Cruises

All aboard the floating classroom! Archimedes Educational Cruises through the Corpus Christi Bay immerse passengers into the hands-on world of marine life. A trained specialist will conduct interactive demonstrations during the 90-minute excursion while the Archimedes, a 57-foot vessel equipped with scientific equipment for marine study, sails alongside dolphins and other ships crossing the Bay. You and 30 other passengers will learn about everything from microscopic plankton to adult fish, shrimp and crabs while taking in the sights and sounds of the Gulf of Mexico.

Archimedes Educational Cruises – established in 2014 – offer a variety of trips for marine biology exploration, private parties/events and fishing tours. Schedule a tour and spend an afternoon on the water!


You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn by taking a day to explore the diverse marine life of the Coastal Bend. Dive in headfirst and start planning your trip to Corpus Christi today at visitcorpuschristi.org.


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