Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Corpus Christi, a city guide written for meeting professionals. Corpus Christi is ideally positioned as a South Texas meeting site, bursting with Texas hospitality, off-site venues and a strong entertainment and dining scene. Each year, it welcomes thousands of delegates at its two major convention venues, offering these visitors a thriving city center, more than 100 miles of natural beaches and a variety of special event venues that range from an aircraft carrier to an aquarium.
Corpus Christi is situated within a four-hour drive of more than 50 percent of the Texas population, as well as within a three-hour drive of San Antonio, Houston and Austin. Corpus Christi International Airport, which serves Corpus Christi and its surrounding area, offers regular flights to Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Situated within a 20-minute drive of the downtown area, the airport offers meeting space, free Wi-Fi and restaurant options. Once in Corpus Christi, visitors can access the city's downtown hotels, attractions and convention venues via the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority bus system, which is also known as the B Trolley.
Situated within a 10-minute drive of the Corpus Christi International Airport and offering views of the Port of Corpus Christi ship channel, the Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center features 73,000 square feet of meeting space. Guests can gather in outdoor and indoor spaces, including a 16,500-square-foot ballroom and seven meeting rooms. A second convention venue option, the city's American Bank Center is a 500,000-square-foot complex housing a historic 2,526-seat auditorium, convention center and a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena. The convention center houses 22 meeting rooms, two ballrooms, a 76,500-square-foot exhibit hall and a pre-function hall with bay views.
Many of Corpus Christi's off-site venues center on its beloved Corpus Christi Bay and celebrate the city's natural beauty and heritage. Groups can gather in outdoor and indoor spaces at the sprawling South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, a 180-acre site that features everything from a Butterfly House and Bromeliad Conservatory to a Wetland Awareness Boardwalk. The USS Lexington Museum welcomes groups to tour the World War II Essex Class aircraft carrier, as well as participate in a flight simulator and virtual battle stations; in fact, the museum can accommodate private events for up to 2,600 guests. Showcasing Gulf of Mexico aquatic habitats and residents, the Texas State Aquarium enables groups to gather in such spaces as its Dolphin Bay Underwater Room, next to its Dolphin Bay exhibit, as well as participate in animal shows and interactive experiences.
Other Corpus Christi attractions that double as off-site venues celebrate the city's arts and culture scene. Dedicated to local and regional arts and operating as a cultural destination for all ages, the Art Center of Corpus Christi presents art walks, receptions, concerts and film screenings, as well as features private event spaces. Perched along Corpus Christi Bay, the Art Museum of South Texas focuses in fine art and craft of the Americas and features such architectural highlights as 13 rooftop pyramids and a catwalk that leads visitors to gallery space. Groups can rent out the museum's meeting rooms, as well as take over the entire museum after hours.