Corpus Christi Better known as the Sparkling City by the Sea is a gorgeous Southeast Texas city close to the Gulf Coast, and year-round, it plays host to many activities and events. The city dates back to 1830, when Col. Henry Lawrence Kinney set up a small trading post to sell supplies to a Mexican revolutionary army. In 1845, the U.S. established a camp there in preparation for war with Mexico, and Corpus Christi was incorporated in 1852.The city is built around a large natural bay, accessed by water via the Gulf and a 20-plus-mile channel. Downtown, there are many entertainment and cultural venues and restaurants. The Art Museum of South Texas offers free admission the first Friday of every month to its permanent collections and special exhibits. The Texas Surf Museum is also popular, showing the Lone Star State's unique contributions to surfing history. Catch a Corpus Christi IceRays hockey game at American Bank Center Arena or a play at the Harbor Playhouse. A 10-minute drive across the ship channel with great views from the high bridge is the USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium.Padre Island National Seashore is a popular beach destination about 20 miles from downtown, ideal for the entire family. Swim, fish or build sandcastles along the shore. The Beach Loop is a 70-mile drive that goes from downtown to Padre island check out the new Schlitterbahn Waterpark before turning onto Mustang Island then to Port Aransas and back to downtown Corpus Christi.Some of the area's don't-miss events include the Festival of the Arts the last week in March and the Aransas Pass Shrimporee each June.
WHERE TO DOCK
Corpus Christi Yacht Club is on the downtown L-Head with 6-foot depths and two transient slips accommodating boats up to 60 feet.
Corpus Christi Municipal Marina is on the downtown L-Head and T-Head, with more than 600 slips, 40 of which are transient, accommodating yachts up to 150 feet. There is a dock depth of 10 feet. The marina is protected by a breakwater barrier, has many modern amenities and is located in the Marina Arts District.
WHERE TO DINE
Executive Surf Club located at Water Street Market, is a favorite happy-hour spot with numerous beers on tap and live music.
Harrison's Landing is a casual spot for lunch and dinner near the municipal marina and has a great Sunday champagne brunch.
Shoreline Sandwich Company is open for breakfast and lunch and is perfect for a to-go meal.
Landry's Seafood House offers fresh Gulf seafood, succulent steaks and picturesque views of the waterfront.
Mike McCann enjoys boating on the Texas Gulf Coast and produces event newsletters twice monthly covering the Gulf Coast for OnTheWaterLifestyle.com
The buzz of construction at the docks of Camden, ME, is finished, and it’s been replaced with an air of excitement among residents and visitors who watched a beautiful new development emerge along the waterfront.
The rebirth of Camden’s harbor started in 2015 when Lyman-Morse bought Wayfarer Marine. Based in nearby Thomaston, Lyman-Morse has run a successful boat-building business since the 1970s. More than 120 vessels have been constructed in the yard, located in the same site where Malabar schooners, Friendship sloops and other fine vessels have been built for nearly two centuries. Lyman-Morse has expanded beyond custom sailing and motor yachts, now offering high-quality refits, and other services.
Lyman-Morse’s boatyard and nine-acre facility enjoy a long maritime tradition on Camden’s shoreline, ranging from building schooners in the 19th century to U.S. minesweepers and troop transports in World War II, and servicing vessels from high-end yachts to recreational boats.
The location of this acquisition is idyllic. Nestled in a lovely cove on Penobscot Bay, Camden has been a bastion of seafaring activity and a world- wide nautical travel destination for centuries. The scenery is dramatic, with forested mountains that meet the ocean and offshore islands that are an explorer’s paradise. The 1830s Curtis Island Lighthouse near the harbor keeps watch over the town’s quaint homes, shops, restaurants, opera house and galleries.
Inspired by the area’s natural beauty, the new development’s designers also understood Camden’s historic role in the region and wanted to carry that forward in modern form. They studied vintage photos, matched the style and created 33,000 square feet of new buildings for marine services and mixed-use commercial space.
Lyman-Morse’s Camden boatyard attracts maritime professionals and boaters with essential services for carpentry, mechanics, electronics, rigging and more, and brings the general public back to the working waterfront with amenities such as restaurants, a distillery, a few overnight accommodations, and a boardwalk big enough for a morning stroll or brisk dog walk.
Added bonus: Sensitivity to the environment was not overlooked in construction. Engineers took a sustainable approach when they elevated all structures above the flood plain, installed LED lights and upgraded all systems to today’s energy-efficient levels.
True boaters say the real Maine coast doesn’t start until you reach Penobscot Bay. This is “Down East” from Kennebunkport and Portland. The dramatic stretch of coastline from Camden to Mount Desert Island sparkles with granite shores, dotted with archipelagos of pine-tree covered islands and mountains cascading into the sea. This region offers some of the best cruising ground in the world.
Camden is a magical little seaside town in the heart of Maine’s mid-coast. It’s historic but hip. “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea” is their moniker, as Camden Hills and 780-foot Mount Battie stretch down toward the bustling waterfront where this 1769 New England village sits, creating a postcard scene.
Camden is super foot-traffic friendly, starting at Harbor Park and the beautiful brick Public Library that graces the top of the bay by the Town Docks. Enjoy a picnic on the sprawling park lawn; there’s often a craft festival or free concert at the outdoor amphitheater. From the waterfront, stroll the quaint sidewalks leading to cafés, boutiques, craft stores and art galleries, pubs, and surprisingly trendy restaurants.
You can hike, bike or drive the toll road up Mount Battie in Camden Hill State Park, which encompasses 5,500 acres and 30 miles of trails. Your reward is spectacular panoramic views of the harbor and Penobscot Bay below.
Eaton Point, at the eastern entrance to the harbor, is home to a new Lyman-Morse yacht facility. Camden remains a working harbor with lobster fishermen, boat builders, ferries and tall-masted schooners taking folks out for scenic sails.
Camden hosts festivals throughout the summer season of jazz, film and its trademark Windjammers. In winter, the U.S. National Tobogganing Champion-ships are held at Camden’s namesake Snow Bowl – our country’s only ski area with views of the Atlantic.
Camden is an ideal boater’s gateway with all the services and shops you need in walking distance from the waterfront. Excursions from this protected harbor are countless and legendary. A quick cruise brings you to quiet Lasell Island for a sunset anchorage. Farther on you reach Maine’s Maritime Academy home in beautiful Castine, and the rustic islands of North Haven, Vinalhaven and Deer Isle. Ultimately you can cruise north and east through beautiful Merchants Row, or the more protected Eggemoggin Reach, to Mount Desert Island, home to famed Acadia National Park, Northeast, Southwest and Bar Harbors.
WHERE TO DOCK
Camden Public Landing Town Docks 207-691-4314
Contact the harbormaster for overnight slips, limited but in town, and moorings throughout the harbor.
Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine 207-236-7108
Across the harbor on Camden’s east shores, this revamped marina is a half-mile walk to town, with new docks and a marina facility, home of Lyman-Morse Boatyard and 30 slips plus moorings.
WHERE TO DINE
40 Paper 207-230-0111
Relish artful cuisine locally sourced from farmers, fishermen and “foragers.” In an historic wool mill in downtown Camden, it’s comfy but chic. Savor octopus, lamb, mussels, salmon and more with fresh produce and creative sides. Save room for dessert made from scratch.
Peter Otts on the Water 207-236-4032
Get your chowder and Maine lobster fix from Chef Peter. This classic setting overlooking the harbor is a Camden staple you “ott” not miss. Open for lunch or dinner.
Franny’s Bistro 207-230-8199
With a neighborhood feel, Franny’s serves up lobster fritters, crab cakes, shrimp dumplings and land-lubber faves, too. A fun menu in a cozy setting.
Bagel Café 207-236–2661
For fresh-brewed morning coffee and daily “boiled then baked” bagels or breakfast sammies served all day.
Located on Conanicut Island, Gould Island and Dutch Island, Jamestown welcomes boaters to Narragansett Bay. Its southernmost point is on Gould Island and marked by Beavertail Lighthouse and State Park. The northernmost point is marked by Conanicut Island Lighthouse. While Conanicut Island is the second largest island on Narragansett Bay, it is near the western mainland in Kingston, and Newport lies to the east on Aquidneck Island. Hop on the Jamestown Newport Ferry to get the lay of the land and sea.
Jamestown was settled early in colonial history and was named for James, Duke of York, who became King James II in 1685. By 1710, many of Jamestown’s current roads were already in place and a lot of its early architecture is well preserved. Soak up some local history at the Jamestown Fire Memorial Museum, Beavertail Lighthouse Museum and Park, Jamestown Windmill, Watson Farm, Conanicut Island Sanctuary, Fort Wetherill State Park, and the Jamestown Settlement museum.
The main town, shops and restaurants are located on the eastern shore of Conanicut Island. But even from the western side, Dutch Harbor and other attractions are easily accessed with a one-mile walk.
This full-service marina has a ships store/chandlery, gift shop, extensive dockage and a large mooring field. It’s located in the heart of town overlooking Newport and the Pell Bridge, but bring your fishing poles for the kids.
Located on the west passage of Narragansett Bay, this small, local marina has good moorings, launch service and facilities. At times, the harbor can be rolly from a SW wind up the West Passage. The holding ground is excellent for anchoring, but the dinghy dock is by seasonal permit only.
This lively, year-round restaurant specializes in classic American cuisine and local seafood dishes such as New England clam chowder, lobster tail and seared yellowfin tuna while accommodating meat eaters with wings, burgers and steak tacos.
Take a seat inside this rustic eatery or outside on the patio to enjoy wood-fired bread, pizzas and pastries with a cool beer or wine. To start your day with a smile, order a cup of the eco-friendly coffee.