If you’ve never been to Corpus Christi, Texas, you may want to keep it that way.
This coastal city is known for its vibrant marine life, sandy islands, and public beaches. Great food and culture are also a big draw for tourists. For RV travelers, it might seem like the perfect spot for an easy summer getaway.
But this unassuming Texas city isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. Read on to learn why you might want to avoid Corpus Christi altogether.
Let’s jump in!
About Corpus Christi, Texas
Corpus Christi is a mid-sized city on the southeast tip of Texas. The Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda named it after discovering the area in the 16th century. He found it on the Christian feast day of Corpus Christi. The city was established in the 1800s and has been a popular vacation destination for Texans for decades.
Corpus Christi is close to Mustang Island and South Padre Island, also popular tourist destinations. The area is known for its well-maintained beaches as well as its wildlife. Game fish are plentiful, and the city’s shallow bay draws hundreds of species of birds, earning the title of “America’s birdiest place” from the San Diego Audubon Society.
Like many coastal cities in Texas, Corpus Christi also boasts excellent dining options for seafood lovers. Gulf shrimp and oysters are especially popular at local restaurants. Proximity to the ocean means seafood can be made fresh rather than frozen.
Corpus Christi is an ideal vacation spot for families. The city is home to the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Texas State Aquarium, as well as water parks like Hurricane Alley and Schlitterbahn.
Visitors can also explore the decommissioned USS Lexington, a perfect activity for kids interested in ocean adventure. Older kids and adults of all ages can enjoy live music on the beach every weekend or visit the Art Museum of South Texas.
It’s clear that Corpus Christi has quite a bit to offer as a vacation destination. But there are some downsides you’ll want to consider before making the trek. Let’s look at why you may not want to choose this coastal city for your next getaway.
#1 Bad Drivers
Corpus Christi is a notoriously dangerous place for drivers. The YouTube channel 601 Travels ranks the city among the worst places in the country where highway and street safety are concerned.
Drunk driving is a big issue in the area. According to local news affiliate 3News, 25 Corpus Christi families suffered fatalities due to drunk driving crashes in 2020. More than 75 people in the area were severely injured in drunk driving crashes during the same period.
The city reported a whopping 276 alcohol-related crashes in 2020, accounting for more than 2.5% of the total alcohol-related crashes in the state.
These statistics would be troubling for any driver. But for an RV driver, the stakes are even higher. A trip to this coastal city might not be worth risking your safety or the safety of your vehicle.
Due to population growth, Corpus Christi’s various bridges and highways require expansion and reconstruction. Because of the city’s layout, construction has become a real headache for residents and visitors alike.
According to the Engineering News-Record, they halted a project to replace the existing Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge in August 2022 after engineers raised concerns over the new bridge’s design. The Harbor Bridge connects the city to the northern coast and also facilitates traffic from two different highways.
The bridge is one of the biggest throughways in the city, and these issues are nowhere near being resolved. Add new construction on existing highways and service roads to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Construction doesn’t only affect drive time. It’s also just unsightly! Corpus Christi isn’t the place for you if you’re looking for a scenic view and traffic-free drive.
As if the roads and bridges weren’t bad enough, Corpus Christi’s crime rate is enough to make your toes curl. CrimeGrade.com gives the city a D+ rating for crime within city limits. While the suburbs remain relatively safe, the downtown and inner city areas carry an F rating.
In 2019 the FBI ranked Corpus Christi the 43rd most dangerous city for violent crime. According to VanLifeWanderer.com, the average violent crime rate in U.S. cities is about 366 incidents per 100,000 people. Corpus Christi’s rate was 794 incidents for every 100,000 people. That’s more than twice the national average!
Corpus Christi’s residents will tell you the city has an issue with drug-related violence and murder. Tourists who may not know which areas are safe can be more obvious targets for criminals. Think twice before visiting a place where you’re twice as likely to be a victim of a crime than in an average U.S. city.
#4 Spring Break
If you’re planning a trip to Corpus Christi, residents agree there’s one week to avoid at all costs: Spring Break. College students from across the state flock to this coastal city each year to pack the beaches, restaurants, and tourist destinations.
Spring breakers don’t just love crowding public spaces. They also love drinking. According to 3News, alcohol intoxication is the number one cause of emergency room visits in the Corpus Christi area during this time. And spending hours on a warm, sunny beach can worsen dehydration and intoxication problems.
Huge crowds can make even the best destinations miserable. And the party vibe isn’t exactly ideal for families with kids. If weaving through crowds of drunk college students isn’t your thing, don’t spend Spring Break in Corpus Christi.
#5 The Weather
The Gulf Coast is susceptible to severe weather year-round, but summer and fall are especially dangerous seasons for Texas’s coastal cities. Corpus Christi is no stranger to hurricanes and tropical storms. Recent hurricanes Harvey and Hanna caused extensive property damage and severe flooding.
Weather extremes aside, however, even the day-to-day weather conditions in this area can get you down. Being right on the ocean means drastic weather changes are the norm. An article on RoamingTexas.com says it’s common to go from clear sunny skies to a torrential downpour of rain in a matter of hours.
Corpus Christi is also famous for its wind. The area’s wind speeds are so impressive that kitesurfing has become a thriving local industry. If you’re not into kitesurfing, that kind of wind doesn’t exactly sound fun.
Of course, RV drivers need to consider the weather when making a trip. Unfortunately, Corpus Christi is always going to be a somewhat risky destination.
Is Corpus Christi Worth a Trip?
Corpus Christi does have a lot to offer visitors. From nature to food to art and culture, this city has a rich, vibrant history and background worth appreciating.
But the risks are there and shouldn’t be ignored. From traffic and construction to violent crime and party animals, Corpus Christi isn’t the laid-back beach town some might imagine. Before you visit, ask yourself, “Do I really need to experience Corpus Christi, or should I just avoid it entirely?”
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