The Texas State Aquarium is a nonprofit organization devoted to wildlife conservation, educating visitors about the fish and other sea life—including dolphins, sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles—that are native to the Gulf of Mexico. The Corpus Christi attraction is the largest aquarium in Texas and one of the biggest in the United States.
With 20 different exhibits, the Texas State Aquarium provides a full day’s worth of ocean exploration. Among the most famous aquarium residents are the bottlenose dolphins, Shadow and Kai, who live and play together in a 400,000-gallon (1.5-million-liter) tank. There’s a jellyfish touch tank, a Living Shores exhibit with more touch pools stocked with pencil urchins and horseshoe crabs, Wild Flight Theater featuring birds of prey, and a 4-D theater with films that provide thrilling sensory experiences. Check the aquarium’s schedule for animal encounters, feedings, talks, dolphin and turtle presentations, and more.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Texas State Aquarium is ideal for families with kids of all ages.
- Tickets are discounted for military members, senior citizens, students, and children.
- The aquarium has an on-site restaurant.
- Strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent for $5.
How to Get There
The Texas State Aquarium is located on North Beach, about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from downtown Corpus Christi and about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Houston. To get there from Corpus Christi, take the Harbor Bridge exit from Highway 181 North. There is free on-site parking.
When to Get There
The aquarium is open daily from 9am or 10am to 5pm or 6pm, depending on the day and season. Summer draws peak crowds, and weekdays are often quieter than weekends. Typically the busiest times are 11am to 3pm, and many school groups visit on April and May weekday mornings.
Make a Splash
The HEB Splash Park at the Texas State Aquarium is the first zero-depth splash park in the Texas Coastal Bend, and the popular attraction is included in the price of your aquarium ticket. Open late June through September, the park includes water cannons, spray jets, and other features. Plus, nearby is Owen’s Paleo Park, a place where kids can dig for fossils. Bring swimsuits or a change of clothes, sunscreen, and towels.