A Silhouette of kids excited to watch the dolphin play under water in the Corpus Christi Aquarium; Shutterstock ID 530810227; your: Bridget Brown; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI Image Update

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Texas State Aquarium

Corpus Christi

Learn about Gulf Coast marine life, just across from downtown at the southern end of North Beach. Three large handling tanks let you get close to sharks, jellyfish, stingrays and the like, while further exhibits explore ocean creatures of all kinds. Frequent 30-minute presentations cover everything from stingray feeding and raptor flights to turtles and diving shows.

The aquarium also keeps captive dolphins, which may concern some visitors. Animal-welfare groups argue that keeping such complex animals in enclosed tanks is harmful.

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