THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 73 72 THE COASTAL BEND MAGAZINE • January/February 2018 DowntownCorpus Christi&NorthBeach USS Lexington Museum The“Lady Lex”set more combat records than any carrier in U.S. Naval history and today rests in Cor- pus Christi Bay as the U.S.S. Lexington Museum on the Bay, a tribute and memorial to those who served defending America. The sights and sounds are so real and so intense you become a part of the story the second you step foot aboard this World War II era aircraft carrier. 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach (361) 888-4873 • Texas State Aquarium The Texas State Aquarium is one of the Coastal Bend’s top visitor attractions because it delivers the ultimate Gulf of Mexico experience, bringing the undersea world to you, up close and in person! In 2017 the Aquarium more than doubled in size when its new Caribbean Journey exhibit opened to the public, and record crowds experienced a new perspective of the worlds above and below the ocean’s surface. Enjoy dolphin and otter shows, interactive touch tanks, and see divers feed the sharks right before your eyes! 2710 N. Shoreline Blvd. on North Beach (800) 477-GULF • Coastal BendTour Guide Art Museum of South Texas has, for over 40 years, been considered one of the leading museums of fine art in the state of Texas, and in some respects, the entire U.S. Permanent exhibits include work from South Texas, Southwestern and Latin American art- ists in nearly all media. Traveling exhibits from some of the country’s leading museums and private collec- tions regularly visit the Art Museum of South Texas. 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd., Downtown (361) 825-3500 • Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History chronicles over 500 years of South Texas history as well as the archeological and geological profile of the area. The museum’s Paleontology (dinosaur) and History of Guns exhibits are particularly popular. The museum’s brand new, $3 million science education center opens this spring and offer kids hands-on learning experiences. 1900 N. Chaparral St., Downtown (361) 826-4650 • Getting Close to Nature South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is definitiely not your grandmother’s botanical garden! Showcasing a 2,600 sq. ft. screened Butterfly House, Anderson Bromeliad Conserva- tory, landmark Orchid House, majestic Rose Garden and seasonal Plumeria Garden. Admire Sensory Garden‘artscape’and diversity of quaint Hummingbird and desert Arid Gardens. Meet the new Resident Reptiles and colorful exotic parrots. Explore native habi- tat on the shaded Brennecke Nature Trail with its birding tower and bronze wildlife by world-renowned sculptor Kent Ullberg. From the rustic Palapa Grande, enjoy serene views of Gator Lake, and take an educational stroll through vast natural wetlands. 8545 S. Staples St. on South Side of Corpus Christi Open Daily 9‑6 • (361) 852-2100 • Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures is home to an impressive collec- tion of art and artifacts from all corners of Asia. Learn about ancient Asian customs, gaze at the art- istry of Japanese kimonos, porcelains and even a rick- shaw! Artifacts from India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Hmong, Thailand, The Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Laos and Myanmer. 1809 N. Chaparral St. Explore the Lore of Texas Surf The Texas Surf Museum chronicles the 50 year history of surfing on the Texas Gulf Coast, with exhibits that include vintage surf boards, photographs, fins, newspa- per articles, and even a real Ford Woody. Interactive ex- hibits take visitors through the history of Texas surf, and vintage surf films are shown in the museum’s movie theater. See footage and photos of hurricane surfing on the Texas coast, including surfers being arrested! The museum is located in Water Street Market, home to the Executive Surf Club, a Texas surf-themed restaurant and tavern. 309 N. Water St., Downtown • (361) 888-7873 INFO ONLINE Mirador de la Flor The Selena Memorial This beautiful dedication to the memory of Corpus Christi’s beloved Selena is located on North Shoreline Blvd.@People St. T-Head BryanTumlinson Photo Corpus Christi Bay Front and Cole Park Ocean Dr. and Shoreline Blvd. together connect the longest, urban, waterfront route in Texas, and maybe the entire U.S., and certainly the most beauti- ful and accessible to the public. Our seawall was designed by the creator of Mount Rushmore and completed in 1940. It runs from the Emerald Beach Hotel at McGee Beach, north to the Art Museum next to the American Bank Center. Runners, skaters, cyclists and folks walking their dogs take to the seawall daily. Cole Park is located on Ocean Dr. just south of Christus Spohn Hospital and is a beautiful waterfront setting with a mod- ern, padded playground, a pro-level skate park and public amphitheater.