World of Discovery : Michelin's recommendations
Comprising a museum and authentic re-creations of Christopher Columbus' fleet, this complex explores everything from dinosaurs to sunken treasure. Highlights of the Museum of Science and History are a 17ft scale model of an offshore oil rig and a multimedia exhibit on Spanish galleons shipwrecked off Padre Island. "Seeds of Change" commemorates the 500th anniversary of the European discovery of America. Outside stand the Ships of Columbus, life-size replicas of the Pinta and Santa María constructed by the Spanish government to commemorate the explorer's 1492 voyage. Knowledgeable docents describe life aboard the surprisingly small ships. A xeriscape demonstration garden highlights water and energy conservation in arid climates.