The first European to have visited the area is believed to have been Spanish explorer Alonzo de Piñeda in 1519. The first settlement was a frontier trading post founded in 1839 by Col. Henry Lawrence Kinney. It was an obscure settlement until about 1845. Institutions of higher learning are Del Mar College and Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.
The Corpus Christi Seawall, with steps to the water, was built in the late 1930s as part of a major landfill that created Shoreline Boulevard and the popular "T" head docks. The Harbor Bridge (U.S. 181) arches 235 feet above the water. Its pedestrian walkway and observation platform offer spectacular views. Near the bridge, Corpus Christi Beach offers park areas with picnic facilities. From the Corpus Christi Marina, watch the colorful sailboat regatta Wednesday evenings.
In keeping with the city's image of glistening waterways, Corpus Christi's Water Garden in the S.E.A. District sparkles for visitors to see, hear and touch.
Free fishing is available from numerous municipal piers, jetties, miles of beach and seawall. Bait and tackle shops are abundant. Arrangements and reservations for group-boat fishing may be made at Corpus Christi Marina or through private operators.