The Museum is also the repository for hundreds of thousands of artifacts and historically significant items in its massive facility.
Special Exhibit: Bison
Bison return to the Coastal Bend for the first time in centuries! Bison once roamed from Canada to Mexico, in numbers that seemed endless. Entire Indigenous American cultures had depended on bison for centuries for food, shelter, and ceremonial practices. Yet, reckless overhunting, changing climates, and new global industrial markets would drive the drove bison to near extinction in the 19th century. Today, careful management of the species and its habitats have allowed bison have regained a sustainable population and are still being slowly reintroduced into their native plains. Memorable quotes, stunning graphics, and hands on exhibits outline the lessons we’ve learned in caring for a shared resource. Visit these icons of the American prairies this summer with BISON, a traveling exhibit presented by the National Buffalo Foundation. Bison will be on exhibit from May 26 until August 4, 2023.
Dynamic dioramas and stunning shells abound in the Museum’s Coastal Ecology gallery. Compare shells from around the world while learning about local weather and wildlife. This gallery is great place to see familiar species and to learn more about their fascinating behavior.
Corpus Christi History
Meet some of the individuals and learn about the events that continue to influence Corpus Christi today. Visit the office of Dr. Arthur Spohn, bask in the glow of the historic Nueces Hotel sign, and follow the growth of the Corpus Christi Port into one of the largest in the United States.
Explore the stunning varieties and science behind the rocks, gems, and minerals in the Museum’s Geology collection. View a scale model of Southwestern refinery (Now Flint Hills), used by engineers before the age of computers. And be sure to activate the oil pump-jack on your way out of the gallery!
H-E-B Science Center
Learn through interaction in the H-E-B Science Center! With elements for children ages 3 and up, interactives cover topics like chemistry, music, biology, and more! After you finish your hands on learning, be sure to visit the planetarium and outdoor playground as well!
The Kenedy Ranching family had a lasting impact on the Coastal Bend and were strong early supporters of the Museum. This gallery honoring their contributions features objects from the historic Kenedy family home. This gallery hosts programing, rentals, traveling exhibits and collection displays depending on the museum calendar, but remains a stunning space regardless for the reason of your visit.
The La Belle
Discover the story of the shipwreck of the La Belle! Follow the story of the La Belle, one of the ships under the command of the explorer Sieur de La Salle, who’s French expedition ended in tragedy on the Texas coast when his ship wrecked in Matagorda Bay in 1686. Come view the artifacts that bring the La Belle to life, from its birth on the docks of France, through the daily life and possessions of her crew, to the impact the expedition had on local indigenous communities.
John Fredrick “Doc” McGregor was one the most important photographers of Corpus Christi during its time of rapid growth in the 1930s and 1940s. Rediscover stunning images of Corpus Christi through his lens. This gallery also features a display of almost eighty years of evolving camera technology from the museum collections.
Our newest gallery is inspired by the real world Nuecestown before it was absorbed by the growth of Corpus Christi. Visit vignettes that invoke the spirit of life in the Coastal Bend after the Civil War. A combination of museum collections and Museum Live! actors bring visitors to the turbulent years between Corpus Christi’s founding and growth into a city.
Come compare the teeth of a Mosasaur and Megalodon, touch petrified wood with your own hands, and see real life space debris in our Paleontology Hall. Discover what has changed around the Texas coasts in the last 500 million years…and what might have stayed the same.
The Spanish ships San Esteban and Espiritu Santo wrecked off Padre Island in 1554. The story of the reclamation of the ships in the 1960s created much of Texas’s naval archaeology policy. Come see a section of the ship’s wooden keel and verso guns, silver coins and gold bars from their cargo, and walk through an interpretation their lost sister ship, the Santa Maria de Yciar.
Enjoy the beauty of South Texas in the Xeriscape Garden. Visit the Xeriscape 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. Maintained by the City of Corpus Christi Water Department, the Garden is free to the public.