This waterfront town of just over 307,000 can be an affordable alternative for retirees seeking to settle in a beachfront destination. Corpus Christi has a cost of living more than 12 percent below the national average, and the median home price is a mere $81,450.
The town has been coined the “Sparkling City by the Sea” for good reason; there’s no shortage of water-based and beach activities here, from fishing, sunbathing, kayaking, boating and beachcombing. Corpus Christi also lies just inland from South Padre Island and its famous seashore, as well as the haven of Mustang Island. Both islands are home to a number of municipal, state national parks and shores.
On popular North Beach, retirees can explore the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, which served as part of the set for the movie Pearl Harbor.
Con: High crime rate, Spring Break destination
Best For: Beach lovers
Cost of Living: 12.2% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $81,450
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax
Crime Rate: 30% above national average
Head away from the beach and into downtown to check out the Texas Surf Museum, which focuses on the history of surfing along the Texas coast. The town boasts a museum district, where retirees will find the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History and the South Texas Museum of Art. There’s even an interesting botanical gardens and nature center, as well as a wildlife refuge.
It’s no surprise that the town’s waterfront and marina are a hub of local activity, where many locals converge to enjoy the many shops and restaurants.
Corpus Christi also offers retirees relocating to the area all manner of residences to choose from, including restored houses in Heritage Park, a number of 55+ plus communities, apartments and condos. A number of medical facilities serve the region.
Perhaps the greatest downside to Corpus Christi is its high crime rate: 30 percent above the national average. Another consideration is that Corpus Christi is a popular tourist destination, particularly during Spring Break. Not all residents are pleased by the resulting crowds.