Corpus Christi, with an estimated 281,196 people, is the eighth largest city in Texas. The translation from Latin of the city's name is body of Christ, given to the settlement by the Spanish in honor of the Eucharist or Blessed Sacrament. Located along the Texas south coast, the city is also known as "The Sparkling City by the Sea." Since 2003, the city has earned numerous distinctions, including of All-America City 2003, one of the "best cities to stretch your paycheck", one of the "least depressed cities in the nation", and Digital City, due to citywide Wi-Fi access.
The city is home to a number of popular destinations for both tourists and residents, one of which is the Hans A. Suter Wildlife Area, located on the western shore of the Cayo del Oso and considered to be one of the best sea bird watching areas in the world. The nearby Pharaohs Golf Course also serves as a haven for migratory birds. The city has one of the highest average wind speeds in North America. Combined with the Bay Front area along Ocean Drive, this makes Corpus Christi one of the premiere destinations for wind sports such as kite boarding, wind surfing, and kite flying.
North Beach is the location of the Texas State Aquarium and the USS Lexington Museum. History, culture, art and music can be found in Corpus Christi's museum district. Facilities there include the Museum of Asian Cultures, Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the South Texas Museum of Art, the Harbor Playhouse, and Heritage Park, where a number of older restored houses can be found. The downtown area, of which the museum district is part, is home to skyscrapers, companies, various shops, a very popular center of marinas, and Mirador de la Flor. Downtown is also home of the Texas Surf Museum and the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. Directly east of Corpus Christi are Padre Island and Mustang Island, home to various municipal, state, and national parks.