Corpus Christi is a port on Corpus Christi Bay about 230 miles southwest of Galveston in Nueces County. A 21-mile channel links the city with the Gulf of Mexico.
The first European to visit the area was Spanish explorer Alonzo de Pineda in 1519. Corpus Christi began as Kinney's Trading Post, founded in 1838-39 by the adventurer and impresario Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney. A seawall, with steps to the water, was built in the late 1930s as part of a major landfill that created Shoreline Boulevard.
Today, Corpus Christi is a major deep-water port and one of Texas' most popular seacoast playground cities; the Corpus Bay area temperature average is 71.2 degrees. Padre Island National Seashore boasts more than 130 miles of beaches. The Water Garden at Bayfront Arts and Science Park consists of approximately 150 fountains that are illuminated at night. The USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium also are major attractions. Texas A&M University has a campus at Corpus Christi.