How to Travel From Corpus Christi to Galveston by Bus, Car, and Plane

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Galveston is the gateway to several of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast, and it’s a charming town in its own right. Luckily for Corpus Christi travelers, the city is just under four hours away by car, making it a great weekend getaway spot. The journey is 253 miles long (one-way), or 407 kilometers. You can opt to make the trip by car, or you can fly to Houston and take a bus or shuttle the remainder of the way to Galveston. It’s technically possible to go by bus, but this does involve taking a rideshare or taxi to the airport in order to catch a shuttle. (This area isn’t exactly known for its awesome public transit options, just FYI.)

Here's what you need to know about traveling between Corpus Christi and Galveston.

How to Get From Corpus Christi to Galveston
   Time  Cost Best For
Plane (to Houston)  1 hour, 2 minutes from $150 Those with airline miles to use.
Bus  5 hours, 15 minutes Varies If you're traveling in a group and want to make a pit stop in Houston.
Car  3 hours, 55 minutes 253 miles (407 kilometers) Travelers on a time crunch.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Corpus Christi to Galveston?

The journey by car from Corpus Christi to Galveston is the fastest, most efficient way to make the trip. If you travel via US-77 and US-59, the trip usually takes just under four hours.

Driving can also be the cheapest way to travel between the two cities, especially if you're traveling in a group. For those in need of a rental car, we found options for as little as $40 a day.

How Long Is the Flight?

Although it’s not possible to fly directly to Galveston, you can fly from Corpus to Houston and then take a shuttle the rest of the way. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of options for direct flights between the two cities, with United currently offering the only route. Flight time is a little over an hour, and a round-trip ticket costs anywhere from $150 to $300, depending on when you book. If you have airline miles to use and don’t mind shuttling the rest of the way (Island Breeze Shuttle, Galveston Express, and Galveston Limousine offer services from the airport to Galveston), this could be an option.

However, this is not the most straightforward route by any means. Located about an hour from Galveston, the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston is a gigantic web of five terminals and 25 airlines offering daily service, with over 700 departures per day. As such, it’s crucial to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to get through security and on to your gate. It’s not a difficult airport to navigate, but it does take a while to get from place to place. A good rule of thumb: It’s always best to err on the side of caution and give yourself extra time when flying in and out of Houston. 

Is There a Bus That Goes From Corpus Christi to Galveston?

There are no direct bus routes from Corpus to Galveston, but you can take the Greyhound from Corpus to Houston, catch a rideshare or taxi to the airport, and pick up a shuttle bus from there. Yes, it’s fairly convoluted and time-consuming. 

Greyhound operates a bus from downtown Corpus Christi (602 N Staples St.) to downtown Houston (2121 Main St.) twice per day; a one-way ticket costs anywhere between $15 and $30. From the Houston Greyhound station, it’s a 30-minute taxi or rideshare drive to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, where you can take your pick from various shuttle services, including (but not limited to) the previously mentioned Galveston Express, Island Breeze, and Galveston Limousine. Booking online ahead of time will save you money with each of these operators; otherwise, you can expect to pay roughly $70 to $100 per person. If you’re traveling with a group, contact the shuttle service beforehand for a discounted rate. Note that a shuttle from IAH to Galveston can take between 1 to 1.5 hours.

What's the Most Scenic Route to Galveston?

If you’re in the mood for a day trip (or multi-day trip, if you plan on spending time at any of the nature areas or small towns along the way), driving along the coastline from Corpus to Galveston via TX-35 (with several detours onto small highways and backcountry roads) is a pleasant, scenic way to experience this part of the Gulf. Make time for the marvels of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Goose Island State Park, the beaches in and around Matagorda, and the relative isolation of Follets Island.  

What Is There to Do in Galveston?

Galveston is known for being a prime family destination, thanks to its Gulf-adjacent location, proximity to Houston, and collection of parks and museums. The city’s layout also makes it easy to explore—it’s on a small island, and most of the main attractions are in the Strand District. Some of the most popular cultural attractions and places to visit in Galveston include Moody Gardens, the Historic Pleasure Pier, the Seawall, and Schlitterbahn.