There’s no shortage of lodging options in Corpus Christi , and most have decent views with easy access to the bay and fairly reasonable rates for a vacation destination. For those interested, there are plenty of budget options available in the airport/greyhound racetrack area, but most leisure travelers feel it’s worth dropping the extra cash to stay in a place by the sea.
If you’re looking for a nice spot away from the city, consider a condo (nightly rates available) on alluring Mustang Island  or North Padre Island, about 10–15 miles from downtown directly on the Gulf Coast .
You can do the beach on a bargain, if you consider lodging in the $90s a good deal. Not surprisingly, the more affordable hotels tend to be further down the shoreline, but for many visitors, the key word is “shoreline,” so proximity isn’t a concern. One of the better deals in town is the Knights Inn (3615 Timon Blvd., 361/883-4411, www.knightsinn.com , $89 d), located just a couple blocks off the bay and offering private balconies, several ocean-view rooms, free wireless Internet access, refrigerators, microwaves, and an outdoor pool.
Further south of the main activity is the Econo Lodge (801 S. Shoreline Blvd., 361/884-2485, www.econolodge.com , $94 d), located within walking distance of Cole Park, one of the city’s premier windsurfing spots. The hotel’s amenities include a free continental breakfast, free wireless Internet service, and an outdoor pool and sundeck.
The best deal in the $100 range is Quality Inn & Suites (3202 Surfside Blvd., 361/883-7456, www.qualityinn.com , $99 d), thanks to its prime location on Corpus Christi Beach  in the shadow of the USS Lexington  and Texas State Aquarium . The hotel also features an outdoor beachside pool and hot tub, free continental breakfast, and rooms with microwaves and refrigerators.
A reasonable deal in the heart of downtown is the Bayfront Plaza Hotel (601 N. Water St., 361/882-8100, www.bayfrontplazahotelcc.com , $109 d). The 10-story atrium lobby and interior corridor is pleasant, unless you’re trying to get to sleep while a jazz band is enthusiastically playing in the bar. You can walk to restaurants and nightclubs from here, and even stroll down to the T-head piers or tiny Magee Beach . The hotel’s amenities include a free breakfast, a large outdoor swimming pool, wireless Internet access, and free covered parking.
A bit further up the road in location and price is Days Inn (4302 Surfside Blvd., 361/882-3297, www.daysinn.com , $125 d), a block off Corpus Christi Beach . Amenities include rooms with microwaves, fridges, and free Wi-Fi access along with a complimentary continental breakfast and an outdoor pool.
Another downtown option is the Best Western Marina Grand Hotel (300 N. Shoreline Blvd., 361/883-5111, www.bestwestern.com , $129 d), offering rooms with private balconies and marina views, wireless Internet access, microwaves, refrigerators, a free continental breakfast, and an outdoor pool and exercise facility.
The best choice for those who want to stay directly on the beach is the
Radisson (3200 Surfside Blvd., 361/883-9700, www.radisson.com , $139 d). Step out of the back doors and onto the sand of Corpus Christi Beach , a pleasant stretch of shoreline on the bay that hosts a large number of frolicking families, flotsam and jetsam, and the USS Lexington. Though the interior corridors are somewhat dark, the rooms are bright and cheery, with private balconies, microwaves, refrigerators, and free Internet access. The hotel features a splendid outdoor pool with swim-up bar service, a full-fledged fitness center, and a decent restaurant, the Blue Bay Grill.
Further south along the bayside is Holiday Inn Emerald Beach (1102 S. Shoreline Blvd., 800/465-4329, www.ichotelsgroup.com , $143 d). Also located along a nice stretch of beach, the Holiday Inn contains an indoor pool and fitness center along with an indoor recreation area for the kids (heated pool, ping-pong tables, billiard tables, vending machines, etc.). The hotel offers wireless Internet access and free meals for children.
Looming large in downtown Corpus Christi  are the Omni towers, the Marina and Bayfront (707 and 900 N. Shoreline Blvd., 361/887-1600, www.omnihotels.com , $159 d). Located within a block of each other, the towers are connected by a walkway to form a deluxe complex. They’re similar in price and amenities, although the Bayfront Tower offers additional upscale room options. Both towers provide rooms with wireless Internet access, free meals for kids, a fancy fully equipped health club, an indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, an in-house massage therapist, bike rentals, and free covered parking.