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We Love This Community

And our community partners are at the top of our list!


American Cancer Society
American Diabetes Association
American GI Forum
American Heart Association
Art Museum of South Texas
Beautify Corpus Christi
Bethune Day Care
Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Blackburn Center, P.C.
Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Bend
Buccaneer Commission
Camp Aranzazu
Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department
Corpus Christi Metro Ministries
CCISD & Corpus Christi Education Foundation
Charlies Place Recovery Center
Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program
Coastal Bend Blood Center
Communities in Schools
Corpus Christi Community Advisory Council
Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau
Corpus Christi Downtown Management District
Corpus Christi Hooks
Corpus Christi IceRays
Corpus Christi Literacy Council
Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development
Corporation
Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend
Del Mar College Foundation
Diocese of Corpus Christi
Dr. Hector P Garcia Memorial Foundation
Driscoll Childrens Hospital
Food Bank of Corpus Christi
Foster Angels of South Texas
George Evans Elementary School
Habitat for Humanity
HALO-Flight

Instituto De Cultura Hispanica De Corpus Christi


Its Your Life Foundation
Laura Bush Initiative
LULAC Council #1
March of Dimes
Muscular Dystrophy Association
Miracle League of Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi NAACP
Nueces County Junior Livestock & San Patricio
Livestock Show
South Texas Academic Rising Scholars
Ocean Exploration Trust
Oso Bays
Palmer Drug Abuse Program
Corpus Christi Police Ofcers Association
Something Magical, Inc.
South Texas Botanical Gardens
Special Olympics Texas
Texas Jazz Festival
Texas State Aquarium
United Way of the Coastal Bend
USS Lexington Museum
YWCA Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University Kingsville
CITGO Innovation Academy
K Space Contemporary
Hi-Fairnessee Girls Club
Cotton Community Partnership
Corpus Christi Juneteenth Coalition
Hispanic Womens Network of Texas
First in Family Scholarship
Coastal Bend Community Foundation
Citizens for Educational Excellence
Annapolis Christian Academy
Incarnate Word Academy
Fraternal Order of Police

Cathedral Concert Series


Coastal Bend Bays Foundation
Saltwater-sheries Enhancement Association
Corpus Christi Community Foundation
(The Rotary Club of Corpus Christi) -Harvey
Weil Sportsman Conservationism
John Paul II High School
KEDT South Texas Public Broadcasting
KLUX
Leadership Corpus Christi
Westside Business Association
Joe A. Gonzalez Education is our Freedom
Catholic Charities
Jackie Black Brain Cancer Ready or Not
Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Rise School of Corpus Christi
South Texas Substance Abuse Recovery
Womens Shelter of Corpus Christi
South Texas Council Boy Scouts
Corpus Christi Roadrunners
Dress for Success

To learn more about how CITG


CITGO
TGO
fuels good in the commun
community,
unity,
visit www.FuelingGood.co
www.FuelingGood.com
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book.
or find us on Facebook.
CITGOCorpusChristi.com |  CITGO Petroleum Corporation
CC-1384268

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 3

Contents
VivaCC is your source
for connecting with
upcoming events,
nightlife, live music,
dining selections and
options for family fun.
Published every Friday, the
sections also share moments readers captured and posted with us on
social media. Be sure to show us how
you #VivaCC and what your Top 50
reasons are to love Corpus Christi.
Project editors: Mary Ann Cavazos

Stephanie Jordan
Designer: Joel Torres

Cole Park
4
Tejano Music
6
Conquer the Coast
7
Art Museum of South Texas
8
Fiesta de la Flor
9
Military 9
The Port
10
Breakfast Tacos
12
Ocean Drive
13
Dia de los Muertos
14
Texas State Aquarium
15
USS Lexington Museum by the Bay
16
Symphony, Ballet, Theater
18
Community Senerosity
19
Art Walk
20
Buc Days
21
Fishing 22-23
Padre Island National Seashore
22-23
Birding 22-23
Weather and Wind
22-23
Beaches 22-23
Sea Turtles
22-23
Whooping Cranes
22-23
Industry 24
Spring Break
24

Hooks/Whataburger Field
25
Harbor Bridge
26
IceRays 27
Mexican Baked Goods
28
Home Sweet Home
29
Hunting 30
American Bank Center
31
Texas Jazz Fest
31
Downtown Art
32
Live Music
33
Botanical Gardens
34
Portland 35
Beach to Bay
35
Rockport 36
Port Aransas
36
Waterparks 37
Farmers Market
38
Buying Shimp off the Boat
38
Restaurants 39
Shopping at the Mall
40
Art Center
40
Winter Texans
41
Higher Education
41
Hospitals 42
High School Baseball
42

4 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Cole Park

hether youre needing an escape from a mundane office environment or youre looking at
setting a personal jogging record, Cole Parks
43 acres of lush open space has everything you need with a
gorgeous view to boot.
Regardless of the season, theres always something to
do at the bayfront adjacent park. From free live music and
movie showings in the summer at the amphitheater, seeing
the latest tricks at the skate park, or dropping a line in the
water at the fishing pier, visitors will find ample reason to
enjoy being outdoors.
With a serene view of Corpus Christi Bay its the ideal
spot for hunts for legendary Pokmon, barbecues with the
family, or letting the kids loose on the playground.
Staff reports

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 5

love where you bank

navyarmyccu.com
CC-1379315

6 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Tejano Music

orpus Christi isnt just the hometown of the late Selena


Quintanilla Perez, the Queen of Tejano music. Its quickly
becoming a major hub for Tejano music in Texas.
Artists signed to local record company Freddie Records such
as Siggno, Elida Reyna, and Lucky Joe not only grow in popularity every year but also have become mainstays at the annual
Tejano Music Awards.
While many folks have specific tastes for their brand of
Tejano, the Sparkling City by the Sea has got you covered. From
Fiesta de la Flor, a two-day festival honoring Selena, to El Veterano Conjunto Festival, the many genres within Tejano music are
both well represented and easily accessible to local fans all year
round.
We also know how to pay our respects to the Tejano legends
of the past with the Selena memorial statue along Shoreline Boulevard, the Selena Museum at her family-owned Q Productions
and La Musica del Sur de Tejas exhibit located in Ben F. McDonald Public Library.

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 7

Conquer the Coast

eve selected 50 reasons to love Corpus


Christi and the Coastal Bend, but for
cyclists who take on Conquer the Coast
there are at least 65 one for every mile that makes
up the annual bike ride.
Each year, sunshine glistens off racers and their
bicycles as they travel along the Corpus Christi Bay.
The ride, traditionally held in September, offers
three options for cyclists of various skill levels to
enjoy exploring the Coastal Bend with 10-, 25- and
65-mile routes. The riders overlook the sunrise on
the bay at the starting line in front of the American
Bank Center.
The 10- and 21-mile riders travel down the bayfront, with round trips from Doddridge Park and
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Those who are looking for the extra challenge
will loop travel across the Harbor Bridge to Ingleside before ferrying to Port Aransas and turning
the corner at Padre Island, navigating through the
Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and crossing the
finish line on Ocean Drive.
Esther Hackleman

SEPT16 2017

8 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Art Museum of South Texas

he Art Museum of South Texas educates and enlightens with educational


programming and art exhibits of all types. The building itself is art, sitting as it does on the Corpus Christi Bayfront adjacent to the ship channel
and built by architects Philip Johnson with a 2007 expansion by Ricardo Legorreta, both internationally renowned.
Exhibits in 2017 feature modern art, landscapes, portraiture and digital photography. The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Art Faculty Biennial also runs
from April through September. Sculptures by Kent Ullberg and a dazzling Dale
Chihuly blown glass chandelier are part of the museums permanent collection.
Art classes, lectures, films and receptions extend the museums educational

mission. Family days and summer art camps hone the talents of the budding
artists and give an outlet for those tiny finger painters. Art-themed educational
activities are also a part of the offerings at the Antonio E. Garcia Arts and Education Center, which is an outreach venue of the museum.
The art is sometimes merely the backdrop to a fantastic event, as the museum
is available for parties large and small. And it has the tasty Hesters Caf tucked
inside. (Museum entrance not needed to eat, but make an afternoon and see the
art after lunch.)
Staff reports

Fiesta de la Flor

Military

orpus Christi, like much of the Coastal Bend, is


steeped in military tradition.
The city itself is home to the head of the U.S.
Navys flight training program. Some Naval aviators in
the primary phase of training, and all Naval aviators who
have been selected to fly larger planes, call Naval Air Station Corpus Christi home for anywhere from a few months
to more than a year. Some of those primary students will
graduate to jet training, which could send them a short
drive down the road to Naval Air Station Kingsville.
In the past, Naval Station Ingleside was just across
Corpus Christi Bay, and Beeville was also once home to a
military base.
The U.S. Coast Guard has a presence in the region,
and is often involved in rescuing stranded boaters and
swimmers.
Just offshore from North Beach is the Blue Ghost,
better known as the Lexington Museum on the Bay. The
retired aircraft carrier, which was used to film portions of
the 2001 blockbuster Pearl Harbor, serves as a museum
of military history.
Matt Woolbright

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 9

he music festival honoring Selena Quintanilla Perez, the


Queen of Tejano, has it all.
If you want to Bidi, Bidi, Bom, Bom until you cant
anymore, you better head down to the Corpus Christi Bay in
the Spring. And make sure you buy tickets early because this
annual event sells out.
Theres no better place to share the love for the late singer
than at Fiesta De La Flor and thats why for the past two years,
thousands of fans have flocked from all over the world to Corpus Christi.
The two-day event brings music, food, art and of course
all-things-Selena in one place.
And if youre lucky you might even get a chance to snap a
selfie with her family.
Natalia Contreras

The Port of Corpus Christi


10 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

ust as the location and strength of trading posts of the


Old West could make or break the surrounding towns,
the port of Corpus Christi has been a strong stimulus in
the Coastal Bend. It gives life to the industry that is the mainstay of Coastal Bend economy.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2016, the ports strength
lies in its straight and deep channel to the Gulf of Mexico and
its location near railways and highways that allow for easy
transportation channels for all the cargo coming in and going
out. And its a lot of cargo. Corpus Christis port is the fifth
largest in the United States in total tonnage.
The channel is undergoing expansion to make it wider and
deeper. Match that with a new, taller Harbor Bridge, and the
port will be able to accommodate taller ships being built today
maybe even cruise ships.
Port Corpus Christi, the official operating agency of the
port, employs a staff of engineers, executives and environmental compliance professionals. It is governed by a seven-member
board of directors who are appointed by local governments.
Port Corpus Christi manages bulk terminals and cargo
docks along the inner harbor. It also leases land to other industry, including near-channel storage space. Its developing a
multipurpose facility and a wind farm.
Staff reports

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 11

The CONGRESSMAN SOLOMON P. ORTIZ CENTER&


RICHARD M. BORCHARD REGIONAL
Fairgrounds
The Ortiz Center and Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, professionally
managed by Spectra, are unique venues that host a wide variety of events. From
weddings and private parties, to business meetings, trade shows, fundraisers
and sporting events, we can accommodate it all. Our on-site full service catering
offers a variety of menu options that are sure to impress your guests!

GREAT FOR

Meetings
Trainings + Seminars
Tradeshows + Job Fairs
Fundraisers
Luncheons
Galas
Weddings
Quinceaneras
Holiday Parties
Sporting Events
Concerts
Fairs + Festivals
Reunions
Graduations
Proms

Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds- www.rmbfairgrounds.com 361-387-9000 Robstown, TX


The Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz Center - www.ortizcenter.com 361-879-0125 Corpus Christi, TX
PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED BY

12 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Breakfast Tacos

orpus Christi wasnt included in


the Austin vs. San Antonio taco
feud last year but we dont need
to win a feud inadvertently started by a
New York food critic to know we have
the best breakfast tacos in South Texas.
How many of us have received or sent
that urgent bring tacos text or phone
call.
Barbacoa tacos, chorizo, potato, egg
and bean; bacon, egg and cheese or
simply bean and cheese breakfast tacos
come in so many mouthwatering options.
As an added bonus, it doesnt have to
be early morning to enjoy one (or two).
Any time of the day, any way we want
them, we can find them at the taquerias
in almost every corner of the city.
Natalia Contreras

Serving three generations of families.

Locally owned and operated


since 1952.
Breakfast served all day!
4228 S. Alameda 361-992-0360

CC-1432258

Hours: 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 13

Ocean Drive

o matter how long you live in


Corpus Christi, traveling along
Ocean Drive will make you feel
like a tourist (in a good way).
Drivers cant help but gaze at the bay
views and admire the rows of high end
homes. Its not uncommon for commuters from downtown to take the long way
home just to soak in the sunset view
over the sparkling water.
Theres also a sense of neighborly
accord. Runners and bikers high five
or salute each other as they pass one
another. Dog walkers give a friendly
nod or smile.
Krista M. Torralva

14 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Dia de los Muertos Festival

ou are more likely to get stares if youre not emulating


the dead while roaming downtown Corpus Christi
during the Da de los Muertos Street Festival.
Mexican traditions are embraced with festive face painting
and impeccable line work. The annual gathering has become
a much loved staple among Corpus Christis diverse array of
festivals.
The event pays tribute to the Da de los Muertos Latin
American holiday, during which family and friends gather to
pray and remember loved ones who have died.
The block party-style festival once took up one block but,
since its inception in 2008, has expanded to take up almost the
whole Marina Arts District - from Schatzell to Twigg streets
and from Lower Broadway to Water streets. It has grown from
about 500 attendees to more than 30,000.
Also, its free to attend.
Beatriz Alvarado

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 15

Texas State Aquarium

he Texas State Aquarium will


amp up awareness of conservation and marine life with its newest expansion: Caribbean Journey. The
project adds 71,000 square feet, and will
guide visitors through a Yucatan jungle,
makeshift Mayan ruins and the freshwater and saltwater wildlife exhibits.
Of those exhibits, there will be a
118-foot tunnel aquarium, a 4-D theater
and shark and stingray touch pools.
The expansion is scheduled to open
May 2017.
The aquarium offers fun, educational entertainment with live shows,
interactive exhibits and interesting marine life. The birds of prey, dolphin and
otter shows teach visitors more about
the environment and character traits
of the many creatures that call it home.
The latest informative exhibits Saving
Sharks and Tentacles stress conservation and knowledge of coastal animals.
Esther Hackleman

CC-1432184

16 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

USS Lexington Museum on the Bay

heres a World War II ship right


in Corpus Christis backyard.
City leaders fought hard to
bring the USS Lexington, also known as
the Blue Ghost, to the city when the
Navy retired the carrier.
The Lexington Museum On the Bay
first opened in October 1992 and has attracted more than 5.5 million visitors since
then, according to the museums website.
The museum serves as a way to showcase history and honors the areas deep
military ties. The vessel also been outfitted with some modern attractions too.
Visitors can enhance their experience
in the museums 3D Mega Theater, built
with a three story screen and a 12,000watt sound system.
If youre lucky, you might run into
a former USS Lexington crewman.
Crewmen have been known to stop by
when the museum hosts veteran-friendly
events or an annual service to those who
were lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Fares Sabawi

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 17

N at i o n a l l a n d m a r k

Ships Store

voted #1

Overnight Campouts

attraction on

Mess Deck

New Feature

SMART PHONE TOURS

Event Rental

New Movie

3d mega theater

New Games

virtual battle stations

Exhibits come to life with


video & photos.
Look for
f QR ccodes around the ship.
TIP: Download a QR
reader app before
you board the ship.

Open Daily On NORTH BEACH 1- 800 - LADY- LEX USSLEXINGTON.COM


CC-1432236

18 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Symphony, Theaters and Ballets

night of top-drawer artistic entertainment in Corpus


Christi doesnt have to mean a tux and tails.
The citys theaters offer a lot of fun for fans of
stage performance, and even those who are simply curious.
The Harbor Playhouse and Aurora Arts Theater routinely
bring art to life on the stage, using local and traveling talents
for such performances as the musical Chicago and fan-favorite The Rocky Horror Show.
The sounds of Beethoven, J.S. Bach, Tchaikovsky and
Mozart are celebrated each year by the Corpus Christi Chamber Music Society and Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra.
And Corpus Christi Live also organizes a myriad of performances that include a cappella groups and Irish music and
dance, serving as proof positive the area isnt at a loss for the
performing arts.
The Nutcracker is performed annually by the citys two
ballet companies in the winter and theres Pops in the Park
by the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra in the spring.
Chris Ramirez

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 19

Community Generosity
C

orpus Christi is a caring place.


How do you know? Its philanthropic
organizations and nonprofits do not disappoint when it comes to helping those in need.
Unemployment in the city has begun to drop
since hitting 6.2 percent during last summer, its
highest since 2009. And the average price of a
house continues to climb, making the dream of
home ownership out of reach for many.
Those numbers may be staggering, even
disheartening to some, but it only seemed to
embolden the regions nonprofit community.
From the American Red Cross and the Childrens Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend to
the Good Samaritan Rescue Mission and the
YMCA and YWCA, nonprofits in the Coastal
Bend have long shown residents willingness to
open their hearts and wallets to lend a hand.
The annual Day of Giving, a 24-hour online
donation drive for local charities, last raised
$2.1 million for nonprofits to continue their
humanitarian work. Expect another round of
goodwill this year.
Chris Ramirez

Improving the quality of life


for over 35 years!
Since 1981,
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residents is one of the "50 Reasons to Love Corpus Christi!"

20 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Art Walk

ant to paint the town red? What about blue, purple,


yellow or green? The Marina Arts District keeps Corpus Christi colorful by blending creativity and local
talent at Art Walk.
The monthly downtown street festival and art appreciation night
is perfect for residents and visitors who want to explore the talent
hidden in plain sight. Visitors can jam out to live music by local
bands, filter through the decorated wares of vendors, munch on
food truck innovations and browse the galleries of local museums.
The free festivities return for the first Friday of every month,
providing new sights and adventures for art lovers.
Esther Hackleman

MESQUITE GRILLED
SEAFOOD & STEAKS
U & I Restaurant is conveniently
located in Downtown Corpus Christi.
We are proud to present our valued
guests with a wide selection of
Seafood, Steak and International
Dishes made fresh daily.
We take pride in our food and strive
to provide you with the nest quality
USDA certied beef available.
As a family owned and operated
restaurant, we are proud to serve Corpus
Christi and South Texas since 1971!

Banquet room is available


for private parties.
International Wines & Full Bar

309 S Water St.

361-883-3492
uandirestaurant.com

Buc Days

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 21

orpus Christi residents have loved Buc


Days for a long time, eight decades to
be exact.
Organizers are gearing up for the 80th
annual Buc Days Festival, slated for May. The
event pays homage to pirates, who ceremonially force the mayor to walk the plank before offering up a host of fun activities along
the bay.
The event has evolved and grown since
the inaugural Buc Days in 1938. In 1996, the
Buccaneer Foundation began awarding college
scholarships to local high school students.
The event still promises its classic cornerstones, including the Buc Days Pageant, the Illuminated Night Parade and a bunch of good eats.
But organizers have a few new tricks up
their sleeves this year. Wade Shows, a carnival
company, will be helping host the event for
the first time. Buc Days President and CEO
Johnny Philipello said the company will bring
bigger and better rides and teased theres also
new changes planned for the big rodeo.
Fares Sabawi

APRIL 27 - 30, 2017


BucDays.com

MAY 4 - 14, 2017


BucDays.com

Weather and Wind Sea Turtles


Padre Island
B
C
National Seashore

22 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Fishing

suspects pelicans, ibises, hummingbirds and hawks since the


beaches, bays, rivers, plains, lakes
and marshes make the Coastal Bend
among the richest birding areas in
the nation.
But youll also be able to catch a
glimpse of the rare whooping crane,
which uses the area as one of its nesting
sites. Whoopers, as theyre locally
known, were placed on the endangered

David Sikes

Whooping Cranes

Tim Archuleta

ew Coastal Bend badges of honor stand taller


than the iconic endangered whooping crane,
which winters just north of Corpus Christi at
the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
The stark white bird with the crimson crown
stands five feet tall, with a 7-foot wingspan, making
it the largest bird in North American.
Thousands of tourists, conservationists and
birders visit to see and photograph the flock that has
grown to more than 300 survivors. This flock, which
travels 2,500 miles from Canada to South Texas annually, represent the only wild migratory offspring
of about 16 birds that existed on the planet in 1941.
Several outfits in Rockport offer tours to see the
whoopers from November into March. And each

David Sikes

rab your binoculars, some sunscreen and a copy of The Sibley


Guide to Birds because if youre
in the Coastal Bend, youre bound to see
some beauties.
Youll get the usual feathered

etween Corpus Christis sand-blasting gusts and coastal


humidity, good hair days are rare.
Semiarid Corpus Christi actually is windier than the
so-called Windy City of Chicago and among the sweatiest in Texas
based on its relative humidity. But its nowhere near the hottest
Texas city, thanks to a nearly constant gulf breeze that has helped
make Corpus Christi the windsurfing capital of the nation.
Shorts, flip-flops and surfboards are seen year round here,
thanks to the citys moderate conditions, which annually dip
below freezing an average of seven days.
Snow tires. Whats that?
Snow hasnt fallen here since 2004. And even on that historic
white Christmas Eve, the sky was sunny and bright, as it is 223
days a year on average.

he Padre Island National Seashore was part of a national celebration in 2016, but dont worry there
is still lots of fun to enjoy on the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world.
As part of the U.S. National Park Service, the seashore celebrated the park services 100th birthday last year with lots of activities, including free admission at the 412 parks in late August.
The seashore is among the jewels in the nations park system. It offers 70 miles of coastline, dunes and
prairies for dozens of recreational activities. The park also is active in protecting nesting grounds for the
Kemps ridley sea turtles. Hundreds of bird species spend time in the park.
The seashore joined the national park system about 50 years ago. It remains a pristine place to relax,
swim, windsurf, collect seashells, fish and camp in the magnificence of the Gulf of Mexico.
The park is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. There is a $10 per vehicle fee for a seven-day pass.

angled lines, rusty tackle and smelly bait cannot


discourage anglers seeking the thrill of catching a lifetime trophy or a meal from Corpus Christis near shore
and offshore waters.
The Coastal Bend has earned its reputation as a worldclass fishing destination, where anglers can ply the regions
shallow bays or enjoy an offshore adventure in the Gulf of
Mexico.
Area bays and beaches are famous for their abundant
speckled trout, redfish, black drum and flounder. Thousands
access protected bays by small skiffs, while larger vessels
travel miles offshore for red snapper, dorado, tuna and larger
species.
For the less adventurous, area piers and jetties provide
foot access to the casual angler looking for a family outing
or relaxing time. Rods and reels are available for rent at some
venues.
And for those who find success, many area restaurants will
cook your catch for a modest fee.

Birding

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 23

species list in 1970 and for several


weeks each year the tallest bird in
North America makes the wetlands of
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge its
winter home.
Corpus Christi has long been called
the Birdiest City in America and has
no problem living up to the reputation
each year.
Jen Killin-Guadarrama

Beaches
T
he Coastal Bends miles of beaches
arent just for summer or sunbathing.
Year-round, Corpus Christi and other
area beaches offer far more than the relaxation of dog-days lounging.
Some such as North Beach and Magee

orpus Christi may be known as the birdiest


city but its also home to several species of sea
turtles, and is considered among the favorite
nesting grounds for the endangered Kemps ridley.
The Kemps ridley sea turtle is the best known
of the bunch, standing out from the others for its
protected status and
summertime hatchling
releases at Padre Island
National Seashore.
Come sunup on humid mornings, hundreds
of people congregate on
the beaches to witness
new life and the first
steps of baby Kemps
ridley turtles. The
turtles are released on
land, where they make
their way toward the
water a process that
takes between 20 to 45
minutes, according to
the seashores website leaving tiny tracks in the sand
as they crawl toward the foam of incoming waves.
Others also reside in the warm gulf waters off
Corpus Christis coastline. Those include the green,
loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles.
Catching a glimpse of some of the citys sea turtles
isnt hard: on days when the waves are clear, they can
sometimes be spotted in their natural habitat, swimming in the surf.
Kirsten Crow

February, Port Aransas celebrates their triumphant


story during the Whooping Crane Festival.
David Sikes

Beach line the crescent of the citys bay,


near restaurants and popular attractions.
Others along the gulf are well-known
sites for everything from barbecuing and
camping to fishing, swimming and surfing.
Not ready yet to surf? Catch a wave by
boogie board.
Nature lovers can spot coquina
small, colorfully shelled bivalves wriggle out of the sand as a wave approaches and wriggle back when the water

recedes. These ecologically rich areas


are also inviting for Great Blue Herons,
pelicans, sanderlings, willets and terns,
among many other birds.
Cooler months draw fewer people,
but the sandy expanses still boast tropical sunsets, sparkling sunrises and temperatures just right for a jog along the
shoreline or a bonfire under the stars.
Kirsten Crow

24 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Industry

Spring Break

staycation and a destination, Spring Break is most definitely an event in the


Coastal Bend. Whether its local students heading to the beaches, or out-of-town
visitors exploring the area with family and friends, March is a high-time of activity at the beaches, bayfront and smaller town main streets across the area.
Local knowledge points out that Port Aransas beaches are a more family-friendly
destination and that partying crowds gather around Bob Hall Pier on North Padre
Island in Corpus Christi. Each year can see some variance in that.
Concert venues, restaurants and bars and retail stores all get in on the action, offering shows and specials catering to the partying crowds.
Local law enforcement help keep Spring Break on the things-we-love-list instead of
things-we-dread-list with clear rules for on-the-beach traffic flow and strict enforcement
to control underage drinking, driving while intoxicated and disorderly conduct.
Coastal Bend students are also getting in on alternative spring breaks that focus on
serving instead of partying. This works in the reverse, too, with students from other
parts of the country coming here to serve the areas needy.
For the younger set, spring break camps are part of the fun. Local venues and latchkey
programs often offer something educational for the kids to do during the week off of school.
Whatever the activity, theres much to love about a break in the everyday routine
even if it rains.
Staff reports

ndustry is an economic engine for the Coastal Bend and that means jobs
for Coastal Bend families.
Port Industries of Corpus Christi reports direct employment of 8,000 people. That represents annual wages and salaries of about $740 million. The industries also supports our community through taxes and fees of about $75 million.
But more than that, refineries and plants also dedicate time and financial
support of about $4 million for community projects and many employees
serve the community in leadership roles and through volunteerism.
The state has suffered a downturn related to reduced activity in Eagle
Ford Shale production, but the Coastal Bend has diversified its industry
and reports appear steady for the future. More than $28 billion in new
projects are under construction or in final permitting, according to a report
by the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center.
The area has seen recent additions to the industrial scene with Cheniere
Energy, a liquid natural gas export operation; TPCO America, a pipe processing plant; M&G Resins, producing PET chemical used to make plastics;
and Voestalpine Texas, a specialty steel production plant, all located in San
Patricio County.
As this industry is located in and near cities, Port Industries and local leaders promote safety of not only the workers, but residents and the environment.
Staff reports

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 25

Hooks/Whataburger Field

inor league baseball


experienced a building boom in the last
decade and part of that boom was
Whataburger Field. The field located on the ship channel next to
the Port of Corpus Christi offers
one of minor league baseballs
best and most unique views.
With the Harbor Bridge in
the background and the ships
passing by heading into the
port, Whataburger Field is consistently one of minor league
baseballs top venues.
Oh, and they play some pretty good baseball, too at the park.
The Hooks affiliation with the Houston Astros has allowed baseball
fans in Corpus Christi to see some of the best young talent Major
League Baseball has to offer, most recently shortstop Alex Bregman.
Bregman started the 2016 season in Corpus Christi before making
his way to becoming a bright young star for the Astros.
Seeing those future stars one of the areas favorite baseball
teams has kept fans coming back year after year.
Len Hayward

CC-1430031

26 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Harbor Bridge

ts probably the one bit of Corpus


Christis history from which you can
actually catch a glimpse of the future.
The six lane-wide metal Harbor
Bridge, with its distinct wavy design,
has become the very calling card of the
Coastal Bend.
Motorists drive across it. People jog it.
The span offers an unobstructed
view, even on foggy winter days, of
all points between Corpus Christis
Northside and the industrial growth
of Gregory, Portland and Ingleside in
neighboring San Patricio County.
Its also a magnet for photographers
from pros to smartphone shutterbugs alike
who want to either snap a picture from
atop one of the highest points in the region
or are looking for an image that captures
the iconic span looming in the background.
Thousands of ships, carrying millions
of tons of cargo, sail beneath the metal
Napoleon hat-shaped span each year,
connecting Corpus Christi to the growing global economy.
Chris Ramirez

IceRays

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 27

ts strange to think that hockey in


the tropics works but the IceRays
continue to be among the North
American Hockey Leagues best-attended franchises. The Corpus Christi
franchise led the NAHL in attendance last season, averaging more
than 2,500 fans a game.
And those fans are passionate
about hockey. The franchise has gone
through the transition of once being a
professional minor league franchise to
a junior team, but the fans have continued to support an organization that
is an active part of the community.
Most IceRays players come from
points well north of Texas and in the
NAHL their main goal is to get a college scholarship, but once players get
to Corpus Christi they understand
that even in the tropics there are still
passionate hockey fans.
Len Hayward

28 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Mexican Baked Goods

eeing the tray of sweet baked treats pan dulce means


we are home.
The variety of pan dulce is most of what we love. Is
this morning going to be one for a pumpkin empanada? Maybe its the puffy cinnamon twists? Or the big pink and yellow
conchas? No matter. Its all delicious.
Its even better getting involved in choosing the treats. This
means a trip to the bakery, la panadera. The satisfying aroma of so
many different kinds of bread, not to mention jellies and frostings,
invites happy feelings. This South Texas tradition is an experience
that cant be duplicated in doughnut and kolache shops.

Everyone has their favorite. Sometimes its the creamy


filling of the empanadas. Other kinds will have you sweeping
the crumbs off your shirt for hours. Best to go with a friend to
help you make the proper selections.
If you are taking the sweet treats to the office, be sure to
get a second box for home. And if you are taking one home,
win the day and take one to the office, too. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pan dulce is a perfect treat almost any
time of day. Sharing is caring, mi amigos.
Staff reports

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 29

Home Sweet Home

rom Ocean Drive to Oso Creek. From Padre


Island to Calallen. In every neighborhood in
between and in every community around us,
our homes are where the heart is and the best part
about our Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend.
Its not the buildings themselves, although they
come in every size and style. Its not the locale, be it
downtown or southside, westside or North Beach.
Its whats inside our homes that make them so
wonderful: Families. Love. Memories. Future.
The Census says there are nearly 115,000 households in Corpus Christi. Just more than half, at 56
percent, own their own homes, and an average of
2.69 people live in each household.
Its not the numbers that matter. Its the mom
and dad and grandparents. Its how we put up our
holiday decor, plant trees and flowers and greet
our neighbors. Its the kids gathering to play. Its
the family of five, with two dogs, a cat and a turtle,
living each day to the fullest.
However our homes are put together, wherever
they stand, and whomever we share them with,
they remain the heart of Corpus Christi.
Staff reports

LIVE DOWNTOWN.
FOR REAL.

NOW LEASING!

401 N. CHAPARRAL
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78401
CC-1409373

361.887.0000

TheCosmopolitanApts.com

30 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Hunting

s Thanksgiving
and the holiday
season draws near,
many Texans begin checking on their hunting gear
and making sure licenses
are up-to-date.
Thats especially true in
Corpus Christi and the rest
of the Costal Bend, which is
a popular area particularly
for duck hunting in the
colder months.
While most greet cold,
overcast days with frustration, duck hunters call
their friends and hurry to
the coastal waterways to wait for the perfect flight of redhead or pintail ducks
to fly overhead. The claps of distant shotgun discharges excite hunters and
theres always a beaming smile even if chasing down the fallen duck means
wading more than 100 yards.
Corpus Christi residents willing to travel a bit are also not far from famous South
Texas deer and hog hunts, and turkey hunting is also an option for the adventurous.
Matt Woolbright

          

For more information, email kaferanches@gmail.com


Like us on Facebook
CAL881763

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 31

American Bank Center

ationally touring concerts, high school graduations, monster truck shows and entertainment
on ice. All of it can be found at the American
Bank Center on the Corpus Christi bayfront.
Also, home shows, garden shows, shows with hot
tubs and RVs, wrestling and boxing, too.
And dont forget your own wedding, party or a VIP
luncheon.
The center, owned by the City of Corpus Christi and
operated by SMG, has an arena, an auditorium and a
convention center. Thats plenty of space for every kind
of entertainment.
Elmo Makes Music, a live show with the Sesame Street
favorite, comedian Gabriel Iglesias and classic 80s band
Chicago are already scheduled for this spring. Recent shows
included Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Elton John.
The American Bank Center is also home to the Corpus
Christi IceRays hockey team and the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Islanders basketball team.
The variety of offerings means theres nearly always
something going on and it translates into steady stream
of visitors, both locals and those coming in for conventions, shows and parties.

Texas Jazz Festival


Staff reports

ntertainers serenade jazz


enthusiasts and music lovers
who come from far and wide
to the annual Texas Jazz Festival
each October. The Texas Jazz Festival Society, a nonprofit dedicated
to sharing music for civic and educational purposes, works to expand
the footprint of the annual festival.
In 2017, the festival will celebrate 57 years of the citys largest tribute to jazz music. Bands,
groups and artists flock from across
the nation to perform at the threeday festival, which highlights
music from blues, gospel, big band,
Dixieland, smooth jazz and Latin
jazz.

Esther Hackleman

32 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Downtown Art

orpus Christi residents are proud of the array of


public art downtown and if its done by local artists
even better.
One of the most recognizable pieces of city art is Loteria! The Mural, organized by K Space Contemporary, a
downtown art studio. It includes traditional Loteria cards,
such as La Sirena (mermaid), El Corazon (heart) and La
Mano (hand), along with newer additions like La Raspa
(snow cone), Galleta de Mar (sand dollar) and La Medusa
(jelly fish).
South Texas artist Sandra Gonzalez also created a massive downtown mural on the side of the Caller-Times building. Endless Sunset: The Colors of Our City shows the
vibrant culture of Corpus Christi and pays tribute to the
birding, fishing and vast beauty of the area. Dont forget to
snap a selfie and post it to social media with #VivaCC.
Even downtown electrical boxes get an artists touch. A
wrestling luchador, koi fish, mermaids, dragons and floral
masterpieces are among the vibrantly painted images that
adorn the boxes.
Portland artist Jeremy Flores also contributed his artistic talents to a number of local murals last year, including
the Corpus Christi skyline at the historic Ritz Theatre.
Julie Garcia

Live Music

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 33

heres nothing quite like sharing in music, listening together,


seeing a favorite band live with other superfans, soaking in all
the experience that comes with live music.
No matter the genre or the venue, music is better when shared.
In a day and age where playlists download to devices equipped
to pipe music straight to our ear drums 24/7, the need to see it live is
even more urgent.
Blessings to the Coastal Bend; there are plenty of live music spots
to communally enjoy.
A few highlights:
American Bank Center, specializing in nationally touring shows
Concrete Street Amphitheater, an outdoor venue that hosts a
variety of shows
Executive Surf Club, featuring an outdoor stage and local beers on tap
Brewster Street Ice House, bringing Texas Country musicians
each Thursday
House of Rock, offering a full schedule of live music including
open mic nites and songwriter showcases
There are also many Coastal Bend bars and clubs feature local
bands, so do check the entertainment listing and social media for the
best live music out there.
Live music is also the highlight of several annual events including
Texas Jazz Fest in October and Fiesta de la Flor, honoring legacy of
Tejano star Selena and set for March 24-25.
Staff reports

34 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Botanical Gardens

ature isnt only beaches and bayfront in


Corpus Christi. The South Texas Botanical
Gardens and Nature Center is a destination
filled with flowers, butterflies, and even parrots in the
182 acres off Oso Creek on South Staples Street.
The flora is extensive and varied. Youll find 2,000
orchids in Orchid and Bromeliad Conservatories, a
huge variety of roses, a seasonal plumeria garden, sensory garden artscapes, an arid and a tropical garden.
Its an enjoyable visit for gardeners and those without green thumbs.
Spreading out from the parking lot and Visitors
Center, nature trails and overlooks allow visitors to
enjoy the landscape at their own pace. Guided walks
are offered on weekdays and can accommodate large
groups, perfect for a school field trip. Birding classes and summer camps are part of the educational
programming. Special events and plant sales are held
regularly. The gardens are also a site for parties and
weddings, too.
No visit is complete without a peek at the resident
reptiles and exotic parrots and a trip to the newly
remodeled Natures Boutique for a souvenir to remind
us nature really is all around us.
Staff reports

5417 S. Staples St.

Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Sat 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sun Noon to 5 p.m.

Blossomshopcc.com

Portland

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 35

ortland is a short drive over the Harbor Bridge from Corpus


Christi, making the town the ideal bedroom community, especially with its reputation for excellent schools.
The town has seen wonderful growth over the last several years
with chain restaurants and other popular businesses popping up
along the main thoroughfare of Highway 181. While the landscape
of Portland is changing with more hotels and industry rising up as
neighbors, the town remains true to its community and family vibe.
The many sports fields are always full of action with several teams
bringing families to the sidelines to cheer on the players, mostly kids
but sometimes adults, too. The Aquatic Center, which is open year
round, is a highlight for kids and for lap swimmers. The Community
Center has a gym and is the site of many special events, including a
father-daughter masquerade dance this spring.
The towns signature event is Windfest, held in April, which
features a carnival and a parade. The under-five crowd (and their
parents) love story time Thursday mornings at the library with the
always colorful Mr. Kippy.
The towns surrounding nature areas provide residents plenty of access
to birding, hiking, kayaking, windsurfing or windsailing and wade fishing.
You can see why the citys adopted the tagline of Portland: Land of
Possibilities.

Beach to Bay
Staff reports

ew things say camaraderie in


Corpus Christi like the annual relay
marathon that stretches from Padre
Balli Park to downtown.
Touted as Americas largest relay
marathon, the race draws runners from
across the 50 states. Sometimes youll
even find a few teams that came from
other countries to participate.
The event also brings out Ocean Drive
residents, who step outside their homes
to applaud runners and offer a splash of
refreshing water from their yard hoses.
Whether motivated by fitness or free
beer and pizza at the end, everyone feels
a sense of accomplishment. The 42nd
annual race will be on Armed Forces Day
- May 20 - this year.
Krista M. Torralva

Rockport

36 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Port Aransas

ort Aransas may be the only town on Mustang Island, but it is no


sleepy fishing village.
Home to University of Texas Marine Science Institute and the Marlins of Port Aransas Independent School District, the island town has come
a long way since its early days as Wild Horse Island and what early settlers
called the town of Tarpon. Legend says a treasure chest of Pirate Jean Lafitte
is buried somewhere along the beaches.
But its not treasure hunting that brings families to Port As beaches. The
towns nearly 4,000 residents see a steady influx of tourists. The family-friendly atmosphere during spring break (a rowdy time at some other
beaches) makes it a prime destination for locals and tourists. You can drive
right to the best beach spot, set up your grill and your shade tent and enjoy.
The main drag of Port Aransas, Alister Street, has access to all the provisions one would need, candy, home decor, fantastic restaurants, plus shops
with kites and swim suits and golf carts are on every corner. And no trip is
complete without a photo in from inside the sharks mouth at Destination
Beach & Surf at South Alister and West Avenue G.
The ferry ride takes less than 10 minutes to cross the channel, but the drive is
worth it to see the dolphins leap, and enjoy the sites of neighboring Aransas Pass.
Staff reports

ockport is a coastal town with an art community vibe.


Rockport Center for the Arts acts as the hub, with its
gallery, classrooms and sculpture garden. Austin Street,
the citys main drag, also features several shops and artists
venues.
The Rockport Art Festival, held in July, offers artists of all
kinds a chance to sell their wares and for art appreciators to find
their next favorite piece. Film, too, is a part of the Rockport art
scene, with the Rockport Film Festival held in November.
The states maritime history is on display at the Texas Maritime Museum. The Aquarium at Rockport Harbor and the Bay
Education Center highlight natural areas with programming
for children and fun facts for adults. Active shrimp and oyster
boats come and go from the docks along Navigation Circle and
Fulton Beach Road.
Birders from across the world come to Rockport to see the
only remaining wild flock of whooping cranes, the tall white
birds who winter in family units of three throughout the coastal
lands around the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. A boat ride
is likely to get you close enough to see a few through binoculars. The land around the Big Tree, on the Lamar Peninsula, is
also prime whooper habitat.
Staff reports

Water Parks

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 37

othing beats the heat like the coolness of a


water park. Fortunately for those living and
visiting the Coastal Bend, there are excellent
parks to visit when temps rise. Water parks are open
for spring break in March, every day in the summer and weekends from April through September,
weather permitting. Check out the season passes,
making it more affordable to laze your days along the
river or burn off energy climbing to slide or surfing.
Hurricane Alley in the SEA District off the Corpus Christi Bayfront offer participants the chance to
surf, slide, tube and splash on attractions for every
age and thrill level, including high-rise slides, kids
zone, surf simulator, wave pool, lazy river and a
swim-up bar.
Schlitterbahn Riverpark and Resort Corpus
Christi on North Padre Island opened last year and
2017 is expected to bring even more fun to the
venue. Attractions continue to be added, and 2017 is
expected to see the opening of the Shoot the Chute
ride, a part of the tubing river. The river winds all
the way through the park; a feature so unique that
its trademarked Transportainment - transportation
+ sport + entertainment = transportainment.
The park includes resort-style lodging, which is
open year round, and a full restaurant and bar.

Open in April 2017!


Introducing a new ride!

CC-1424256

38 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Farmers Markets
E

ating fresh is more than a fad and the farmers


markets located downtown, on the Southside and
on Padre Island show that.
With warm year-round weather, farmers have a longer growing season compared to the rest of the country.
Every Wednesday at 5 p.m., the Corpus Christi Downtown Farmers Market offers fresh produce grown within
200 miles. Local roasted coffee, pastries, eggs, meat, preserves and more are often for sale at the market, which is
now located at the Art Center of Corpus Christi.
The Island Farmers Market, located in the 14000
block of Fortuna Bay Drive, is every other Thursday
evening at 4 p.m. Launched in March 2016, the aim of
the market is to provide the Island community, including many Winter Texas, with fresh produce and artisan
goods to support small business and local farmers.
Every Saturday, the Corpus Christi Southside Farmers Market, located at 5800 Everhart Road, starts at
9 a.m. At the beginning of the week, the hosts detail
what will be available at the market and recommends
that everyone come early because supplies run out.

Buying Shrimp off the Boat


Julie Garcia

here is fresh seafood and then there is seafood


straight from the folks who caught it.
Corpus Christis area bays and nearby Gulf
of Mexico offer shrimp year round.
The most convenient spot to purchase these sweet
crustaceans is the Corpus Christi Bayfront, where
trawlers sell from their boats at the municipal marina.
Bay shrimping is nearly always open.
The bigger gulf trawlers run offshore most months
except from mid-May into July to allow shrimp time
to grow. These boats sell their jumbo shrimp at the
Dennis Dryer Municipal Harbor in Port Aransas.
Look for signs and lines of people carrying ice
chests. Sellers offer three shrimp sizes, at prices better
than local markets offer.
At the harbors Roberts Point Pavilion, the Polly
Anna sells a pound for $6, with a mix of large and
medium shrimp. She docks by 9:30 a.m. and sells out
before noon.
David Sikes

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 39

Restaurants

estaurants from fancy to fast fill


the Coastal Bend. Whatever mood
your belly is in, theres a restaurant
for that. Take your sweetheart to feast on
steaks with wine and a view of Corpus
Christi Bay or take your family for breakfast
tacos at your neighborhood taqueria. Either
style is celebrated in Corpus Christi and the
Coastal Bend.
Youll find endless buffets, gourmet
foods, fusion flavors and classic eats
throughout the area. Theres a restaurant for
every taste, every budget, every time.
Whether its a major chain found across
the land, or locally owned, theres plenty of
favorite dishes on the menu... from barbecue, pizza, sandwiches, soups, salads, steaks,
seafood. And dont forget the dessert.
Its more than the food that we love about
Coastal Bend restaurants. Its the chance to
get out with family and friends, enjoy a meal
together, and let someone else do the dishes!
(Remember to tip your wait staff!)
Staff reports

Your Hometown Pizza Parlor

Panjos Old Tyme Pizza


Piz
izza
za Parlor
Par
arlo
lorr opened
lo
open
op
ened
en
ed its
its doors
doors
rs Sept.
Sep
ept.
t. 1,
1, 1964,
1964
19
64, before
befo
be
fore
fo
re the business
bus
usiness boom
om
on Corpus Christis south side. Today Panjos Pizza remains in the same location on
n
Airline Road in Gulfway Shopping Center, though there have been many changes overr
the past ve decades. In 1991 the Garrett family purchased the business, and that familyy
helps the business ourish. Jimmie and Christy Garrett, along with their eight daughters,
s,
strive to make the restaurant a great place for families and fun gatherings. Over thee
years Panjos Pizza has seen many entertaining events from weekend sing-a-longs with
th
Bubba and The Boys to car shows and mariachi bands. There is always something
spontaneous and family-friendly going on.
What has stayed the same is the pizza, made from the same dough from 50 years ago,
and the same ovens. For generations customers have come in with
stories of old times and applause for the pizza theyve grown
to love. Our consistency is what our customers love. Hot.
Fresh. Just like they remember it.

PANJOS PIZZA PARLOR

1320 Airline Road in Gulfway Shopping Center 361-991-1539


Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

40 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Shopping at the Mall

hatever sparks the shopper in you the


search for the perfect gift, a desire to access
the latest fashion trends or the lure of people
watching there are plenty of options to explore in the
Corpus Christi area.
La Palmera Mall, at the intersection of South Padre Island
Drive and Staples Street, features many favorite department
stores and restaurants inside and around the mall. New
stores joined the adjacent Shops at La Palmera, across Staples Street, for even more shopping and eating options.
Theres also Sunrise Mall at South Padre Island Drive
and Airline Road, with places to shop, work out, or catch
a movie. And dont dismiss Moore Plaza, which offers
national retailers and restaurants, as well as locally-owned
places in which to shop and eat.
Also on the shopping scene in the Coastal Bend is the
soon-to-open Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay, to be located
near the county fairgrounds. The stores are slated to open
in March and expected to bring in travelers from all over
Texas and Mexico.

Art Center
Staff reports

he Art Center of Corpus Christi is a place to both see and


do art.
The venue provides mostly free rotating exhibits of
regional artists and a plethora of art classes for artists of all
ages and stages. It is also a hub of recurring community events,
including family art time on Saturdays, the new Arts Alive festival set for the fall and now in its second year and the weekly
Wednesday evening Downtown Farmers Market.
It is a popular wedding location, too, giving brides a cascading staircase, delicately lit plaza for dancing and a stellar view
overlooking the marina.
The center got its start in 1972 as the Art Community Center,
spurred to be a meeting place for regional artists. Its current location,
in the heart of the bayfront district, came in the 80s and was remodeled and expanded in 2000. It maintains its for-artists-by-artists vibe
and commitment to creative endeavors that make a life worth living.
Inside the Center theres the Studio C Gallery that offers art for
sale for walls and for wearing from Texas artists; the Barry Brown
Clay Studio that offers classes and studio space for members and
Citrus Bistro that serves weekday lunch and Saturday brunch.
Staff reports

January 22, 2017 Caller-Times | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | 41

Winter Texans

he culture of the Coastal Bend would not be the


same without Winter Texans.
From December to about March, Northerners arrive in the coastal communities of South Texas to escape hard
winter temperatures and enjoy its year round sunny skies.
You can pick Winter Texans out in a crowd. Theyre
usually wearing shorts, flip-flops and a light jacket in
30 degree weather. Sometimes they come down in their
recreational vehicles and park on the island, but many
of them own their second homes in Corpus Christi and
surrounding areas.
The Yankee influx helps the local economy and brings
an extra jolt of positivity to the area. While the rest of us
pray for anything remotely close to a winter wonderland,
this clan of temporary residents is just happy to not have
to shovel the snow off their driveways.
Julie Garcia

Higher Education
N

ever stop learning, the saying goes. Fortunately, the Coastal Bend has
several opportunities for higher education. These institutions can
teach skills needed to enter the workforce, provide new knowledge
for career advancement and set the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Coastal Bends offerings are designed both for traditional students, so-called
because they enter straight from high school, and those life-long learners seeking a career shift or professional development.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M University-Kingsville offer degree programs at their respective campuses with the full spectrum
of student activities from on-site housing and clubs and sports. Both are growing in degrees offered and student populations. Several construction projects
are underway at each site.
The area has two community colleges that provide wide-ranging educational programs from two-year programs earning associates degrees to certificate
programs for learning new skills or for professional development. Del Mar
College is in Corpus Christi and Coastal Bend Community College has locations
in Beeville, Alice, Kingsville and Pleasanton.
Del Mar College recently announced approval of an expansion plan for a new
campus on the southside of Corpus Christi. The new campus will include programs
in culinary arts, architecture, engineering technology, biotechnology and agriculture.
Staff reports

42 | 50 Reasons to Corpus Christi | January 22, 2017 Caller-Times

Hospitals
C

orpus Christi is the hub for the Coastal Bends healthcare


and hospitals. Patient care is top priority and thousands
of employees work to ensure quality treatment is given
with care and often with amazing technological advances.
Corpus Christis main hospital networks are the Christus
Spohn system with multiple locations throughout the Coastal
Bend and Driscoll Childrens Hospital and the Corpus Christi
Medical Center, both located on Alameda Street.
The area has also seen an influx of freestanding emergency
services throughout the area.
Most of us would rather spend a day at the beach or almost
anywhere other than a hospital, but hospital services are vital
and needed for a healthy and safe city and region. Services include everything from delivering babies to providing treatments
that save and improve patients lives. And yes, many times, hospitals and the caring staff who work there, usher our loved ones
to the other side when there is nothing more that can be done.
As the American population ages and, more locally, as residents continue to tackle health problems stemming from diabetes, obesity and heart disease, access to these services is critical
for a healthy Coastal Bend.

High School Baseball


Staff reports

ts no secret that football is king in Texas


but in Corpus Christi high school baseball reigns.
Coastal Bend teams have made appearances at the state tournament on a yearly
basis for more than a decade, giving it a
reputation statewide and nationwide as one
of the best regions for amateur baseball.
There is a passion for baseball that does
not exist in other parts of Texas. Teams such
as Calallen, Moody, King, Robstown and
Carroll have brought state championship
hardware back to the Coastal Bend, but
those teams just scratch the surface.
Baseball is a way of life in the area where
children begin playing the game as soon
as they can walk and play with a passion
unmatched across the state.
Len Hayward

We think Corpus Christi is full of stars.

Whether its people or places, Corpus Christi is full of stars


that shine brightly every day. Flint Hills Resources is proud to
be a part of the vibrant Corpus Christi community.
www.fhr.com
CC-1431188

Town & Country


breakfasts

Gymnastics at the
CC Athletic Club

Smell of salt air on Ocean Dr.


during trips home
Kikos hot sauce

Kolaches from
My Favorite
Muffin

Harbor
Playhouse

Family, family, family

Swimming with
Dad and sliding
at the park

Friendly people
& beautiful water

10 Reasons We Love CoRpus ChRisti

CORPUS CHRISTI

TOP TEN

All ten of us love Corpus Christi for our own reasons, big and small.
The Hilliard Family Foundation of South Texas shares the love by working
to make our hometown healthier, happier and growing strong.

Driveway Basketball
all year round