Since the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the present, five “seeds” have changed the Americas- corn, potatoes, diseases, horses, and sugar. This Smithsonian designed exhibit explores how these “seeds” were exchanged between the Old World and the New, forever changing the Western Hemisphere.
Explore the evolving city of Corpus Christi and explore its many cultures, from the Karankawa tribe to today’s residents. See the transformation through time, from Colonel Kinney’s trading post to a modern city boasting the 5th largest port in America. Discover the diverse past of our great city and explore the history of some of Corpus Christi’s oldest families and those who have made our city what it is today.
Examine the creatures that roamed the Earth alongside the dinosaurs and the mammals that filled the void when dinos disappeared. Explore the giants you didn’t know existed and learn more about the ones you’ve come to know and love. Find out how you measure up next to dinosaurs, raptors, and marine giants like Megalodon – some of the largest creatures ever to have lived!
Cultural Encounters tells the story of the famous explorer Sieur de La Salle and the Karankawa Indians of South Texas. The exhibit showcases artifacts from La Salle’s ship La Belle, which wrecked in Matagorda Bay in 1686. See artifacts recovered from the wreck, from pieces of the ship to the personal items of the sailors! The display also includes artifacts recovered from local Native American settlements, including items salvaged from La Belle, showing how cultures mixed in South Texas.
See artifacts from the oldest scientifically excavated shipwreck in the Western Hemisphere! The Spanish ships San Esteban and Espíritu Santo wrecked off Padre Island in 1554. The exhibit includes a section of the ship’s wooden keel and verso guns as well as silver coins and gold bars from its cargo.
Enjoy the beauty of South Texas in the Xeriscape Garden. Maintained by the City of Corpus Christi Water Department, the Garden is free to the public. Visit the Garden and learn water saving landscape principles that will help your backyard grow. Exhibits show how rainwater is harvested in South Texas and which plants are the hardiest.
The Xeriscape Garden has received the Beauty Spot Award of the Beautify Corpus Christi Association and has been designated a Texas Grown Area by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Discover the rocks and minerals that make up the Texas landscape as well as the meteorites that fall from space! This hall presents a stunning variety including crystals, gems, and polished stones.
The hall also exhibits the importance of geology to the South Texas economy, displaying how man has learned to use earth’s resources. The centerpiece is a construction model for Southwest Refineries, used by engineers before the age of computers. See the scale model’s amazing details and learn about the oil refining process. When you visit, also be sure to activate the moving oil pump jack!
Take a glimpse into the changing landscape of the Coastal Bend and the animals that call the coast their home. See birds that travel through the region and also those that depend on local wetlands for survival. Discover shells from around the world! Shells in this exhibit are natural works of art, from the tiny dove shell to the giant clam. The exhibit includes beautiful dioramas and rare, endangered species.
New technology in the late 1800’s completely transformed the way of life in Corpus Christi. These developments changed the way we connect to the world, industry, our community, and our family.
The period from 1876 to 1893 saw great growth across the United States. The hardships of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period quickly ended as industry boomed. Factories mass-produced goods for a growing consumer economy. Railroads connected communities enabling once isolated communities like Corpus Christi to grow.
The rich culture, new technological inventions, and societal changes of the period helped shape the lives of residents and visitors, laying a foundation for modern Corpus Christi.
Exploring the NANOverse!
Dive into the NANOverse! Get up close and personal with the world around you, where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. With spectacular views of objects magnified 500 times with an scanning electron microscope, explore the world in a way you’ve never seen before!
Kids will have hours of fun learning through play in the Children’s Wharf! Designed for children ages 3-7, activities include touch tables, two-story lighthouse, a shadow wall, a giant set of imagination blocks, and more.
Kids can also play outside on the playground while parents relax nearby in areas set up with benches and picnic tables.