Corpus Christi, Texas, the seat of Nueces County. It lies on Corpus Christi Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, in the far southern part of the state. Corpus Christi is a manufacturing and commercial center and a seaport for coastal as well as overseas shipping. The processing and distribution of petroleum and grains from nearby areas contribute to the city's economy. A warm climate, sandy beaches, and deep-sea fishing make tourism important. Corpus Christi is served by an Interstate highway, the Intracoastal Waterway, and an international airport.
Notable institutions include the Art Museum of South Texas, Texas State Aquarium, Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi, and Del Mar College. Padre Island, site of a national seashore, and several seaside and inland state parks are nearby.
The city was founded in 1839 as a trading post. It was named for the bay, which had been discovered by the Spanish in 1519 on the feast day of Corpus Christi. The settlement grew as a United States supply port during the Mexican War and was incorporated in 1852. Rapid growth began with the production of gas and oil in the area in the 1920's and the completion of deepwater port facilities in 1926. Corpus Christi has been damaged by hurricanes a number of times.