Also known as the Sparkling City by the Sea, Corpus Christi is a popular tourist destination in southern Texas. Scenic beaches, fascinating history, and cultural experiences draw visitors and new residents. It’s home to the USS Lexington, a renowned WWII aircraft carrier, as well as the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, and the Art Museum of South Texas. Beyond the tourist attractions, residents of Corpus Christi enjoy mild winters, breathtaking coastlines, family-friendly neighborhoods, and low living costs. If the beach life is your dream life, this town is one of the most affordable ways to make it happen. Even waterfront homes are surprisingly well-priced, so you can enjoy the sun and sand without stretching your wallet.
If Corpus Christi, Texas, sounds appealing, learn more important information about this Gulf Coast city by reading more. We’ve provided what you need to know about the city’s economy, what you can expect from the weather, the best schools in the area, and so much more. We also offer free quotes from top-rated Corpus Christi moving companies that can make your short or long-distance relocation fast and easy.
Living in Corpus Christi, TX: What to Know Before Moving to Corpus Christi
When a Spanish explorer discovered Corpus Christi in 1519, he named it after the Roman Catholic Feast Day known as Corpus Christi, or “Body of Christ.” Corpus Christi isn’t only notable for its name, however. This city of 325,733 is renowned for its sunny beach parks, island escapes, strong port economy, and excellent public education. Spreading out to the north, the greater metropolitan area’s population is around 442,600.
Pros and Cons of Living in Corpus Christi
Pros of living in Corpus Christi:
- No income taxes: Texas is one of the lucky states that enjoy 0% income tax.
- Abundant modern amenities: Corpus Christi features everything from shopping malls to some amazing and unique museums.
- Year-round outdoor activities: The city is sunny year-round so that you can get out and fish, bike, walk, sail, or surf just about any day of the year.
- Beach life: Wake up to ocean views in your front yard.
Cons of living in Corpus Christi:
- Billowing winds: The city of Corpus Christi is surprisingly windy throughout the year.
- Constant heat: Never-ending sunshine, heat waves, and humidity aren’t for everyone.
- Pockets of crime: There are some low-income areas with gang violence and high crime rates, although this is true of most cities.
- Hurricane threat: Corpus Christi has a history of hurricanes; it’s important to stay alert.
- Property Tax: According to Smart Asset, the average county tax rate in Nueces County, Texas (home to Corpus Christi) is 1.928%. On a $250,000 home, annual property taxes would be $4,820 – significantly higher than the national average of $3,028.
- Sales Tax: Avalara states that Corpus Christi’s combined sales tax rate is 8.25%. According to USA Today, Americans pay an average 7.25% sales tax, making Corpus Christi’s sales tax a little higher than the U.S. average.
- State Income Tax: According to org, there are seven states with no income taxes, including Texas. You, too, can benefit from zero state income tax when you move to Corpus Christi.
Zillow reveals that the median home cost in the city is $147,200, with the average home being 37 years old, according to Best Places. This median home price is a very affordablegiven that the US median home price is $226,800. The Norada Real Estate site explains that the Corpus Christi real estate market is expected to rise by 1.8% in 2019. The housing market has been appreciating in recent years, and both investors and homeowners should take advantage.
Bestplaces.net states that renters make up 38.8% of the Corpus Christi population. The median rent price in the city is currently $1,575, just slightly pricier than the US median rent of $1,500 per month in 2018, according to PR Newswire. Rent Café analyzes rent market trends in Corpus Christi to determine the cheapest places to rent in the area. A few of the cheapest neighborhoods include:
- North Padre Island, average rent of $812 per month
- Mustang Island, average rent of $812 per month
- Flour Bluff, average rent of $812 per month
- Chapman Ranch, average rent of $830 per month
- Central City, average rent $865 per month
Cost of Living
As previously mentioned, housing costs in Corpus Christi are lower than the US average, and so is the overall cost of living. When it comes to US beachfront property, it’s tough to beat the prices in Corpus Christi.
Bestplaces.net uses an average US cost of living index, comparing individual US cities to average costs across the US. The number 100 represents the average US cost. The Corpus Christi cost of living is 90.1/100, making it a less expensive place to live than the US average of 100. Groceries are significantly lower at 87.5/100, and so is housing at 78.3/100. Transportation and miscellaneous costs also fall in the 90/100 range. The only higher costs are health care, at 102.8/100, and utilities at 101.1/100.
Best Places lists the median income of a Corpus Christi resident at $49,675. The Family Budget Calculator estimates that a family consisting of two adults and two children would have to make $5,885 per month to achieve a basic standard of living in the Corpus Christi Metro area or an annual total of $70,621.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops – there’s no doubt about it, Corpus Christi is warm and sunny most of the year. The two hottest months are July and August. July highs run about 93 degrees Fahrenheit and cool to 75 degrees overnight, while August highs average 94 degrees Fahrenheit, with lows of 75. The humidity tends to make it feel hotter than it is.
You may need to grab a sweatshirt now and then, but winter days are usually mild and comfortable. The two coolest months of the year are December, with an average 68-degree high and a low of 49 degrees, while January highs average 67 with a low of 47 degrees.
Average annual rainfall in Corpus Christi is 31.7 inches, higher than the US yearly average of 30.21 inches. The months that receive the most rain include May, June, and September with averages close to 4 inches each month. Snow bunnies and avid skiers will need to book tickets to Vail when they want snow because they won’t see any in Corpus Christi. The only thing you’ll be shoveling is sand for your sandcastles.
Hurricanes are the most common natural disaster threat in Corpus Christi. Due to high winds and storms, Best Places rates Corpus Christi as #3 “most at risk from natural disasters.” USA.com reports that Corpus Christi natural disasters include thunderstorms, winds, tropical storms, floods, hail, wildfires, drought, and extreme winter weather. According to the Corpus Christi natural disaster preparedness page, these disasters can cause loss of energy systems and communications, as well as debris in streets and destruction of property. Do your homework before moving to Corpus Christi by referring to this natural preparedness page. This page will help you stock the necessary supplies and create a plan in case of an emergency.
Economy & Job Market
Some of the major industries, according to the South Texas Economic Development Center, include tourism and port activities. Corpus Christi’s beautiful beaches attract thousands of tourists each year, and the Port of Corpus Christi is the nation’s fourth-largest seaport based on tonnage. This area is one of the best places for Hispanic entrepreneurs, according to a study completed by WalletHub. Economic growth is looking good, with a positive outlook for local businesses and upcoming improvements to the ship channel.
The oil and gas industries also account for much of the economic growth within and surrounding Corpus Christi. The coastal location makes it a great place for job seekers to find employment, according to Livability. Top employers in Corpus Christi include:
- Naval Air Station
- Corpus Christi ISD
- CHRISTUS Spohn Health Systems
- Corpus Christi Army Depot
- City of Corpus Christi
- Del Mar College
- First Data
Cornerstonestaffing.com recommends a few tips when looking for a job in Texas. First, settle on the location where you want to live, or at least a few areas. Make sure you know why you want to live in a given place and start laying the groundwork, such as looking for homes, etc., so your potential employers believe you when you say you are committed to moving.
You may also consider reaching out to acquaintances in the area, looking for jobs online, or partnering with a staffing agency. Texas has a strong record in job location, according to Smart Asset, so you should be able to find the career of your dreams in Corpus Christi.
Traffic and Transportation
The Corpus Christi Transportation Authority site provides helpful information when you want to plan your public transport routes. Public transportation is limited because buses are the only option. However, 24 local trolley bus routes, transect the city. The site offers:
- Alerts when routes close
- Bus routes and times
- Bus tracking
- Phone apps
- Info on how to ride
- Info on bike & ride
Some of the major thoroughfares, according to AA Roads, include:
- Interstate 37 runs west of US 181, parallel to the Nueces River. It begins at Waco Street and heads west through Corpus Christi.
- Interstate 69 runs south from Corpus Christi to Brownsville.
- US 77 branches off from Interstate 37 in Calallen and runs south into Kingsville and Brownsville.
- US 181 begins where the 37 ends. It heads north across the Corpus Christi ship channel, and shifts northwest around Sinton, running up to San Antonio.
Construction teams repairing aging water pipes sometimes obstruct roadways. However, the commute is far from frustrating. WalletHub’s report “2018’s Best & Worst Cities to Drive In,” ranked Corpus Christi the #2 BEST city to drive in. If you’re searching for a shorter commute, Corpus Christi is right for you.
Walkscore gives Corpus Christi below-average ratings for walking, biking, and transit. The walking and biking scores are 41/100. Transit receives a score of 30/100. The most walkable neighborhoods, according to Walkscore, include Central City, Bay Area, and South Side.
What to Do
Corpus Christi is heavy on history and outdoor activities. The city lies on the Gulf of Mexico with barrier islands sheltering its beautiful beaches. Some of the best activities in Corpus Christi include:
Beach Parks: Many cities take pride in well-kept grassy parks, but the beaches are the heart and soul of Corpus Christi. This city features stunning shorelines, including Padre Island National Seashore, which extends along 70 miles of the Gulf. You’ll love exploring the beautiful sand bars.
Sports: The Corpus Christi Hooks are a minor league baseball team. Visit Whataburger Field, Corpus Christi’s much-loved and unique baseball stadium. Corpus Christi offers lots of youth sports opportunities.
Activities and Attractions:
- USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that served the US Navy during WWII and now is home to a naval aviation museum. You can explore the ship’s 11 decks on five self-guided tours. The museum offers educational programs and even has overnight camping experiences – on the ship!
- The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is another great place to explore and learn more about the city’s history. The museum offers workshops, summer camps, and educational programs.
- At The Texas State Aquarium, you’ll learn fascinating details about aquatic life in the Gulf.
- Bird watching on Padre and Mustang Islands, and watching the endangered sea turtles migrating, are activities nature enthusiasts love.
- The South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center features an orchid house, hummingbird garden, modern Exhibit House, landscape demonstrations, a sensory garden, and a water garden.
- The Art Center of Corpus Christi promotes all forms of community art plus hosts a Farmers Market, Art Walk, Art Auction, and Wednesday Art Market.
- The South Texas Institute for the Arts offers lectures, programs, workshops, art classes, and theatrical performances.
Schools and Universities
Corpus Christi is served by Flour Bluff Independent School District, Corpus Christi Independent School District, and Calallen Independent School District, among others. Flour Bluff Independent School District is considered the #1 district in the area, according to Niche. Some of the top-rated schools, according to Great Schools, include Windsor Park rated 10/10, Faye Webb Elementary School, and Rise Academy both rated 9/10.
Are you looking into higher education opportunities? Corpus Christi is home to a Texas A & M satellite campus. Other college opportunities include Del Mar College and Coastline College. You might also be interested in South Texas Vocational Technical Institute or Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend.
Crime is above average in Corpus Christi. The city is one of the highest crime pockets in South Texas, but not the worst in the state. Best Places rates violent crime in Corpus Christi at 35, compared to the US average of 22.7. Property crime is rated 56, compared to the US average of 35.4.
Looking for the best utility providers for your new Corpus Christi home?
- Gas service: Establish natural gas service with Corpus Christi’s service website. To file for a new gas tap, contact Development Services at (361) 826-3240.
- Electric service: AEP Texas offers apps, ideas to save energy, and power usage monitoring. You can start electric service at AEP Texas’ website or by contacting a Retail Electric Provider. Use this site or call toll-free 1-866-797-4839 to learn more.
- Water service: The City of Corpus Christi will provide your water service. They manage the water supply and distribution system and provide safe drinking water. For new services, call the call center at (361) 826-2489.
- Trash pick-up and recycling services: The city can get you started on this page. Contact Solid Waste Services at (361) 826-2489, or visit them at 2525 Hygeia Street, Corpus Christi 78415.
- Internet and cable services: AT&T Fiber is the #1 provider with the most extensive coverage in Corpus Christi. To set up services with AT&T, visit their website by clicking here.
Best Neighborhoods in Corpus Christi, TX
- Population: 27,087
- Median home value: $174,500
- Median rental price: $1,650
Calallen, located about 20 minutes northwest of downtown, is a thriving Corpus Christi neighborhood that’s ideal for young families. The majority of residents are middle-class families with school-age children. Calallen sits in the northwest part of the city, known to be a peaceful and quiet place away from tourists and central hubbub. The boundaries are jagged, but for the most part, it’s north of State Highway 48, south of the Nueces River, west of Violet, and east of Wright Moravek.
Approximately 70% of residents own their homes, and home styles include one-story brick traditional, Tuscan villas, custom-built luxury homes, one-story ranch, and two-story wood-sided homes. Developers built these 4-5 bedroom homes with families in mind. Crime in this neighborhood is 47% lower than the US average.
Calallen Independent School District serves approximately 4,000 students. Calallen Wood River Elementary rates 9/10, Calallen Middle rates 7/10 and Calallen High School rates 7/10 on Great Schools.
Residents love the dining and nightlife options including Charros De Jalisco Sports Bar or Fruit Creations. Five Points Shopping Center offers handy grocery shopping and the opportunity to complete many of your errands. Fishing fans can throw a line in at Labonte Park while the kids and family dog can play in the greenspaces.
- Population: 9,554
- Median home value: $155,000
- Median rental price: $1,016
Ingleside is inhabited by married couples who want a quick commute to the downtown area. Not only do they enjoy the convenience of downtown amenities, but they can also quickly escape to the bay, so they have the best of both worlds. Small families who love the water also gravitate towards Ingleside.
Ingleside is on the southeast tip of a jutting arm of land known as Ingleside Point, in San Patricio County. Plan on a 12.5-mile drive from Ingleside to downtown. Ingleside residents enjoy country style homes with large, open floor plans, as well as fresh and modern apartment homes.
Ingleside Independent School District receives a B- on Niche, and schools include Leon Taylor Junior High School 7/10 and Blaschke/Sheldon Elementary School 5/10. State test scores indicate that 80% of students are at least proficient in math and 72% in reading.
Cole Park is a great area to enjoy outside interests, with picnic spots, outdoor concerts, and water activities.
- Population: 41,280
- Median home value: $154,700
- Median rental price: $1,400
Bay Area is a relatively upscale area due to options for beachside living. If you’re looking for stunning views of the shoreline, tourist attractions, and year-round water fun, consider Bay Area.
Bay Area straddles both Patricio and Nueces counties. It’s separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Mustang Island and extends to Del Mar Boulevard and the downtown area, so even the most distant end is only about a fifteen-minute drive north to downtown.
You can find elegant Mediterranean-style homes, traditional one-story homes, and updated apartment homes.
Corpus Christi Independent School District serves the area, with schools like Woodlawn Elementary, which receives a 7/10 on Great Schools. Students show above average year-over-year academic improvement, and the school demonstrates above average results in how well it serves disadvantaged students. Cullen Middle (4/10) and Ray High School (5/10) also serve Bay Area.
When Bay Area residents aren’t enjoying the sand and surf, they might be at Sunrise Mall, the Texas Surf Museum, or the Funtrackers Family Fun Center.
It’s difficult to separate downtown’s population, median home value, and median rental price stats from Corpus Christi’s general numbers. We’ve included Corpus Christi’s general stats below.
- Median home value: $147,800
- Median rental price: $1,575
Downtown Corpus Christi is a lively and youthful part of the city, with plenty of exciting things to do. As far as downtown areas go, Corpus Christi is affordable. It offers the thrill of the city with a lower price tag and more of a laid-back attitude. You’ll find an eclectic mix of buildings, from small Spanish bungalows, Victorians, and modern steel and glass structures.
The Corpus Christi Bayfront and Port of Corpus Christi both border the downtown area. This beautiful location features Mediterranean-style homes looking out over the water.
The Corpus Christi School District serves the downtown area, and it gets a 4/5 star rating from niche.com. Some schools in the area include W.B. Ray High School (9/10 on Great Schools), School of Science and Technology Corpus Christi (not rated), Mary Carroll High School (4/10), and Kaffie Middle School (7/10).
Downtown is considered a relatively peaceful area, but there is still plenty to do. Check out Dr. Rockit’s Blues Bar, the Art Museum of South Texas, the Selena Memorial Statue, or the Cole Park Amphitheater to get started.
- Population: 77,050
- Median home value: $110,000
- Median rental price: $1,250
Central City is excellent for young families who want to live somewhere friendly, sunny, and budget-friendly. This area does have more of a rural feel than many of Corpus Christi’s neighborhoods, but there are still plenty of accessible modern amenities.
Central City is a quick 10-minute northeast drive into the downtown area. I-37 binds the neighborhood on the north, TX-358 on the west, TX-286 south, and South Port Ave on the west.
Homes in Central City are mostly detached single-story residences, modest on the inside with spacious yards outside. However, some are two-bedroom two-bathroom two-story duplexes. Around 55% of residents own their homes.
West Oso Independent School District serves the area. Some of the most highly-rated schools in the area include Koda Elementary, Adkins Middle, and Veterans Memorial High. The Central City high school graduation rate is dismal, with only 58% of students graduating.
Some popular spots in Central City include Frank’s Spaghetti House, the Selena Museum, and Hurricane Alley Waterpark.
- Population: 17,800
- Median home value: $164,500
- Median rental price: $1,290
If you’re interested in maintaining proximity to Mustang Island, and education is a major factor for you, it’s time to explore Flour Bluff. Flour Bluff is home to the second-best school district in Corpus Christi, as well as wonderful golf courses, parks, and amenities.
According to kwcoastalbend.com, Flour Bluff is located on the Encinal Peninsula, bordering Corpus Christi Bay on the north, Oso Bay on the West, and Laguna Madre on the east. South Padre Island Drive divides this neighborhood into North Bluff and South Bluff. Plan on about a 20-minute drive to downtown, via the TX-358 W.
Flour Bluff’s homes boast spacious lots and four to five bedrooms. You can find Mediterranean and Transitional style homes with breathtaking water views.
Some of Flour Bluff’s schools from the renowned Flour Bluff Independent School District include Flour Bluff Elementary School (5/10), Flour Bluff Intermediate School (7/10), and Flour Bluff High School (7/10). The graduation rate is 77%, and test scores are 61% higher than the US average.
Things to do in Flour Bluff include visiting Mustang Island, dining at Laguna Reef Restaurant, or windsurfing or wind sailing with Wind and Wave rentals.
- Population: 4,301
- Median home value: $259,200
- Median rental price: $1,900
Mustang-Padre Island is a dream location for nature and ocean lovers. Find a fantastic waterfront or canal home, visit weekly farmers’ markets, and meet friendly neighbors. Enjoy the peaceful water views in this dog-friendly, well-kept, and quiet Corpus Christi neighborhood.
Mustang Island is a barrier island with the Gulf of Mexico on its east and south sides, and Corpus Christi Bay on the north and west ends. The island is a 30-minute drive from downtown Corpus Christi, going west on Ocean Drive.
Homes vary in style from condos, Mediterranean two-stories, contemporary one-stories, to clapboard southern beach style cottages. Many homes are built on canals, but you can find beachfront homes too. Homes, condos, and apartment complexes often have boat docks and decks overlooking the water. Approximately 65% of residents own their homes.
Port Aransas Independent School District serves Mustang-Padre Island. You can send your kids to Seashore Learning Center Charter School (6/10), Olson Elementary School (7/10), Brundrett Middle School (8/10), or Port Aransas High School (8/10). The graduation rate is 94%, 14% higher than the US average, and test scores are 93%.
Visit Sea Turtle Inc to learn about sea turtle conservation, or check out Red Dragon Pirate Cruises. Of course, you can also enjoy some of the best beaches in Texas whenever you please. Tourists and locals love exploring Mustang Island State Park and then head over to Padre Island Burger Company for a bite and some live music, or Island Time for yummy seafood plates and sushi.
- Population: 97,827
- Median home value: $183,300
- Median rental price: $1,113
South Side is a great place for growing families. The neighborhood has seen significant expansion over recent years and is a great location to move your career and settle down.
The Bay and Flour Bluff neighborhoods border the South Side neighborhood. Major boundaries include Hwy 358 on the northeast and Hwy 236 on the southwest. The commute to the downtown area is about 17 minutes via TX-358 W and TX-286 N.
South Side schools have an 86% graduation rate, which is slightly higher than both Texas and US averages. Neighborhood schools include Mireles Elementary (9/10), Kaffie Middle School (7/10), and Yorktown Christian Academy (unrated).
South Side offers modern apartments with a variety of amenities, or one-of-a-kind custom homes. There’s plenty to do in South Side Corpus Christi – visit the beach and marina, snorkel, swim, fish, and dine on the bay.
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