The Best in Arts and Entertainment in Corpus Christi 2024

The Local’s List 2024: Arts, Culture & Entertainment

The Local's List 2024 readers' choice poll winners for categories such as annual festival, family attraction, cover band, live music venue and much more.

Chicas Rock performs at Dia de Los Muertos in Corpus Christi, Texas - arts and entertainment near me

Best Annual Festival: Dia de Los Muertos | Photo by Debbie Noble

The Local’s List 2024 readers’ choice poll winners for Arts, Culture & Entertainment include categories such as annual festival, family attraction, cover band, live music venue and much more.

Annual Festival

Dia de los Muertos Festival

This festival has beautifully intertwined life, music and culture into one incredible community event since 2008. Recognized as one of the top Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in the country, the event celebrates and honors the rich cultural heritage of Mexico and South Texas with live music, ofrendas, art exhibitions, food trucks, vendors and more. 

Second place: Buc Days

Third place: Texas Jazz Festival

Annual Fundraiser

Fiesta de los Niños

Benefiting Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Fiesta de los Niños raises funds to provide thousands of children with life-saving care. As Driscoll’s largest fundraising event, 100% of the funds raised directly benefit the hospital and its young patients. 1901 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: South Texas Botanical Gardens Moonlight in the Gardens

Third place: ARTball- Art Museum of South Texas

A woman walks past art in the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi.
Art Museum of South Texas | Photo by Rachel Benavides

Art Gallery/Center

Art Museum of South Texas

With regularly rotating exhibitions and a robust permanent collection, the Art Museum of South Texas serves as the preeminent fine arts institution for the Coastal Bend region. The original complex, designed by world-renowned architect Philip Johnson, sits on the water’s edge overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, making the views just as beautiful as the artwork in the galleries. A perpetual favorite among locals and visitors, the museum offers fun for the whole family. 1902 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: Art Center of Corpus Christi

Third place: K Space Contemporary

Band (Original Music)

Raul Ayala Band

Led by charismatic frontman Raul Ayala and his electric guitar, the local band’s music pairs killer riffs with intimate lyrics about life, love and the pains of growing up. Though its music might get categorized as rock at surface level, the Raul Ayala Band seamlessly fuses funk, psychedelic and hip-hop influences into each song, and its energetic live performances will undoubtedly keep you dancing.

Second place: Triptonite

Third place: The East & The Crow

Comedian Tina La Cochina poses for a photo with a microphone in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Tina La Cochina | Photo by Rachel Benavides


Tina La Cochina

With five Local’s List wins under her belt, there is no denying Tina La Cochina’s comedic genius. Drawing crowds wherever she performs, Tina’s stand-up performances may leave your abs sore from laughing so hard. In an effort to continuously nurture the local comedy scene, she consistently hosts open mic nights and comedy shows around the Coastal Bend. 

Second place: Michael White

Third place: Javi Luna

Dance Studio

Munro Ballet Studios

The official school of the Corpus Christi Ballet, Munro Ballet Studios has a respected reputation for excellence. The studio offers classes for 3-year-olds through adults in classic ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, pointe, pas de deux and lyrical. The staff is filled with experienced instructors dedicated to spreading the joy of dancing to the Coastal Bend community. 5610 Everhart Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Second place: House of Hip Hop Dance Studio

Third place: Alcorta’s Compania de Danza Folkorica

Date Night

Bellino Ristorante Italiano

Nothing says date night like an intimate dinner at Bellino Ristorante Italiano. Sitting at a cozy, candlelit table, you and your date can converse over a glass of imported Italian wine, share a few Sicilian-influenced dishes and indulge in the delectable dessert menu. Just don’t forget to make a reservation! 3815 S Alameda St, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Second place: Nueces Whiskey Library

Third place: The Annex

Digital Artist/Illustrator

Savannah Garza

A beloved local creative with an eye for visually appealing illustrations and typography, Savannah Garza is leaving her (brand)mark in every corner of the Coastal Bend. Her playful designs range from Corpus Christi iconography and marketing materials for local businesses to a digitally created mural at the Corpus Christi International Airport. 

Second place: Rick Gallegos

Third place: Ashton Clouds

Texas State Aquarium | Photo by Brynn Osborn

Family Attraction

Texas State Aquarium

A perfect outing for the whole family, the Texas State Aquarium is one of Corpus Christi’s rock-star attractions. As the largest aquarium in the state of Texas, here you’ll find over 300 animal species across a wide range of exhibits. From the enchanting aquatic nursery filled with jellyfish and seahorses to a captivating Caribbean journey with birds and reptiles, visitors have plenty of ways to interact with and learn about wildlife. 2710 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402

Second place: Whataburger Field

Third place: South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center


Cris Olvera

A longtime, active participant in the local filmmaking community, Cris Olvera can often be found behind the scenes. With a passion for visual storytelling, Olvera’s talents range from screenwriting and directing to producing and acting. Be it through his creative network Basic Cable Productions or collaborating with other local filmmakers, Olvera’s work fosters a unique sense of creative exploration. 

Second place: Jake Gonzalez

Third place: Chris Ambriz

Painter Gilbert Cantu works on a piece in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Gilbert Cantu | Photo by Rachel Benavides

Fine Arts Painter

Gilbert Cantu

Gilbert Cantu’s interest in visual arts was sparked when his first grade teacher told him art was just a hobby. Though his career is largely based in graphic design, Cantu’s realist paintings are transformative. Working predominantly with oil on canvas, his work almost feels alive and pulls in onlookers to sit and stay a while. 

Second place: Jillian Black

Third place: Hope Love’s Art


Monica Garcia, CC Bucketlist 

Over 10,000 followers and counting look to Monica Garcia, a.k.a. CC Bucketlist, for the best food, drinks, shopping and entertainment in Corpus Christi. Her infectious smile and diehard support of all things local combine to create content ideal for influencing your next outing. 

Second place: Haily Wilson- @localtxfoodie

Third place: Christie Marie- @texasfoodexplorer

Live Music Venue

Brewster Street Icehouse Downtown

Located in Downtown Corpus Christi and housed in a building originally built in 1932, Brewster Street Icehouse serves as one of the city’s top venues. Every week, you can catch a variety of local and touring acts performing on the outdoor stage—ranging from Texas country to rock ‘n roll and everything in between. 1724 N Tancahua St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: House of Rock

Third place: Executive Surf Club

photo of Corpus Christi artist, Leticia Gomez
Leticia Gomez  | Photo by Matthew Meza

Multimedia Artist

Leticia Gomez

Self-described as a hyper-focused “uncreator” and dreamer,” Leticia Gomez’s artwork explores surrealist concepts exploring Indigenous creation stories, myths and reflections from dream work readings. From thought-provoking zines with original writings and installation pieces to drawings and large-scale paintings, Gomez’s art is in a league of its own. 

Second place: Becky Smith

Third place: Cassie Normandy White


“Greetings from Corpus Christi,” Jeremy Flores

Painted in the style of a vintage postcard, the mural titled “Greetings from Corpus Christi” combines classic images that resonate with anyone familiar with the city. Created by Jeremy Flores of Cre8ive Culture, scenes of the Harbor Bridge, miradors along Shoreline Blvd., the U.S.S. Lexington and Selena paint the perfect picture, encapsulating pieces of our culture. The mural is located on the side of Richline Technical Services at 114 N. Mesquite St. 

Second place: City by the Sea- Kaleigh Glover and John Olvey

Third place: I Saw Diego at the Washateria- Jimmy Pena, Mayra Zamora and Monica Marie Garcia

Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History | Photo by Rachel Benavides


Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History

Understand the past, explore the present and imagine the future at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. Dedicated to preserving objects, sharing the stories of our history and educating visitors, the museum hosts hundreds of thousands of artifacts and historically significant items. Exhibits range from the Ecology Hall and Corpus Christi History to the McGregor Gallery and a Paleontology Hall. 1900 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: Art Museum of South Texas

Third place: USS Lexington

Nature/Landscape Photographer

Padre Island Madre, Nicole Scofield

You can’t help falling even more in love with the Coastal Bend’s natural beauty when looking through the work of Nicole Scofield, a.k.a. Padre Island Madre. One scroll through her Instagram feed—filled with dreamlike sunsets, candid wildlife moments and serene beachscapes—will leave you breathless. 

Second place: J. Morris 683 Photography

Third place: A Moment Captured by Michelle Walters

Performing Arts Theatre/Venue

Harbor Playhouse

The Harbor Playhouse is a mecca for live theatre in the Coastal Bend. As the oldest continually operating community theatre in Texas, the Playhouse provides a year-round schedule of classic and contemporary musicals and plays rivaling off-Broadway productions in both talent and quality. Remaining productions in the 2024 season include Rock of Ages, Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium and A Christmas Carol. 1802 N Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: Aurora Arts Theatre

Third place: TAMUCC Performing Arts Center


B*tches Who Brunch

An unfiltered podcast hosted by Yvonne Ascension and Marlene Pineda, B*tches Who Brunch dives into the taboo topics we all love. Whether it’s sharing dating app experiences, playing Never Have I Ever with a guest or discussing long-distance relationships, listening to this podcast is like chatting about life with your best girlfriends. 


Third place: Corpus Christi Songwriters Podcast

Local music group in Corpus Christi called The Trojanettes pose for a photo.
Portrait photo featuring The Trojanettes by Shoocha Photography

Portrait Photographer

Shoocha Photography Studio & Gallery

The team at Shoocha Photography is committed to capturing the perfect image for you to cherish forever. Specializing in a wide range of styles, these talented professionals not only go above and beyond to get the shot, but make each client feel comfortable and confident every frame along the way. 4650 Everhart Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Second place: Sweetest Snaps Photography

Third place: Megan Pena Photography

Radio Personality/DJ

Big Frank, K-99 Country 

Having been on Corpus Christi radio for over 25 years, Big Frank is a voice most will recognize. Host of K-99 Country’s morning show, you can catch his on-air interviews and various segments every morning from 5-10 a.m. Find special after-the-show conversations and features you might have missed on the Big Frank Show 2GO podcast. 

Second place: Rex Gabriel (C-101)

Third place: Jay Vibez (Planet 102.3)

Screen Printer

Elevated Screen Printing

Creative meets quality at Elevated Screen Printing. Owned by power couple Rick Gallegos and Jessica Mullan, this shop specializes in modern techniques such as DTF printing to help bring your designs to life. Chances are your favorite local business’ apparel and accessories were printed here, and for good reason. 4922 Bush St Ste 121, Corpus Christi, TX 78417

Second place: Sunkissed Graphics

Third place: David Ramirez T-Shirt Gallery and Sports

Moonstone’d Pottery | Photo by Levi Guzman


Alex Chapa, Moonstone’d Pottery

Alex Chapa of Moonstone’d Pottery is a symphonist with her hands as she creates functional, handmade pieces. This one-woman shop produces small-batch ceramics with modern touches—from planters with hand-glazed designs and vases with abstract patterns to kitchen essentials such as spoon rests or mugs. You can learn from the master herself at the Art Center of Corpus Christi’s Wheel Throwing 101 workshop running until July 18. 100 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: Kent Ullberg

Third place: Steve Russell

Solo Musician

Clarissa Serna

Clarissa Serna has been honing her voice and gracing the world with her talents since the age of 7. Her vocal range is out of this world, and when backed by her band made up of phenomenal musicians, her innate rock star abilities really shine. Releasing her first new song in quite some time, the artist put out a country song earlier this summer, making her initial step into the genre. 

Second place: Eric Graham

Third place: David Martinez

Sports Team

Corpus Christi Hooks

Some might say the Corpus Christi Hooks essentially won the Astros the 2017 World Series … and we are those some. The Coastal Bend has the opportunity to watch young talent grow as the CC Hooks take the diamond at Whataburger Field. Watching a baseball game on a hot summer night, hot dog in hand, is truly one of the best pastimes. 734 E Port Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Second place: Corpus Christi Ice Rays

Third place: Islanders Volleyball

Beach scene with umbrellas and chairs from Cinnamon Shore.
Cinnamon Shore | Photo by Lillian Reitz

Staycation Location

Cinnamon Shore

Living on the coast means having a ready-made vacation in your own backyard, and Cinnamon Shore is the perfect staycation destination. One of the most popular luxury resort communities in Port Aransas, this beachside haven is designed to help families relax, spend time together and make new memories. 5009 TX-361, Port Aransas, TX 78373

Second place: The Tarpon Inn

Third place: Palmilla Golf & Beach Resort

Tattoo Artist

Chris Lain, Pinnacle Tattoo

Tattooing colorful, clean and evocative designs since 1994, Chris Lain—owner of Pinnacle Tattoo—has a phenomenal portfolio. Picking up inspiration and education from around the world and alongside other great artists, Lain is a seasoned professional bringing his clients’ tattoo dreams to an even better reality. 

Second place: Cindy Saenz- Axis Tattoo

Third place: Brian McDermott- La Promesa Tattoo

Chris Lain tattoos a leg inside Pinnacle Tattoo in Corpus Christi.
Chris Lain, Pinnacle Tattoo | Photo by Rachel Benavides

Tattoo Shop

Pinnacle Tattoo

Founded by Chris and Tina Lain, Pinnacle Tattoo opened its doors in 2007 and is home to six talented artists. Here, individual creativity is celebrated and collaborative artistic efforts are encouraged. The work done by these professionals shows immense care for both the craft and the client experience. 1041 Airline Rd, Corpus Christi, TX 78412

Second place: Axis Tattoo

Third place: Black Lantern Tattoo

TV/News Personality

Alan Holt – KIII

Alan Holt is everyone’s favorite neighborhood meteorologist. For years, Holt has been serving the Coastal Bend, providing insight into the region’s weather and keeping citizens informed on possible threats. His friendly smile, sometimes-silly Facebook presence and top-notch knowledge keep him winning this category, year after year. 

Second place: Clarissa Serna – Coastal Living

Third place: Leslie Adami – KIII News

Videographer (non-wedding)

Alpha Film Creative

With a passion for helping local businesses share their brand’s message, Alpha Film Creative produces powerful visuals that tell a story with creative flair. Whether you’re looking for elevated social media content, an eye-catching commercial or somewhere in between, you can trust Alpha Film Creative to deliver a visual masterpiece. 

Second place: Twins Videography

Third place: WavyFilms

Website Designer

Darklab Media

Committed to helping you tell your story, Darklab Media specializes in a wide range of creative communication services. Working closely with its roster of professional clients, this team of passionate and experienced web designers aims to help your digital presence stand out to garner the attention it deserves. 10201 S Padre Island Dr Suite 208, Corpus Christi, TX 78418

Second place: Yellowfin Digital

Third place: Sara Antonetz- MDR Advertising

Now that you’ve seen the Arts, Culture & Entertainment winners in The Local’s List 2024 readers’ choice poll, check out the Food & Drink categories.