A city in western Texas is called Odessa. Jack Ben Rabbit, an 8-foot-tall statue of a jackrabbit, is located downtown. The city is home to 37 more Jamboree Jackrabbits. Presidential memorabilia are on display at the Presidential Archives and Leadership Library. Stonehenge at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is an exact duplicate of the well-known English monument.
Odesa was given the name of a region in Ukraine. There are many things to keep you entertained while visiting this city. The city is filled with excellent art and entertainment center as well as artistic settings.
Replicas of the Globe theatre, where the annual Shakespeare Festival is held, and the largest Jack Rabbit sculpture in the world are two of Odessa’s most intriguing attractions. You should not skip visiting the Permian Basin and the Odessa Meteorite Crater while you are there.
Numerous enjoyable activities are planned for tourists to the city, including live performances, festivals with brilliant colors, and cultural events. The city is warm and active.
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List of Things To Do In Odessa TX
Given below is the list of places you can visit and fun things you can do in Odessa TX during your visit. Odessa is a great place to visit if you’re looking for things to do. There are plenty of things to do in and around the city, and you can explore everything from historical landmarks to beautiful beaches.
1. The Presidential Museum and Leadership Library
Because it does not focus its material on the presidents themselves, this presidential museum in Odessa TX differs significantly from most presidential libraries. However, the leadership library focuses on the positions of previous presidents who oversaw the US.
The museum is now located at 4919 East University Boulevard, however, it was formerly in downtown Odessa. This museum is home to a vast collection of campaign-related papers, including signatures, mementos, portraits, and much more.
Here you can also find some really funny political cartoons of Presidents and Vice Presidents. John Ben Shephard, the eldest son of Texas Attorney General John Ben Shephard, has a part of the library devoted to him called the Library of Presidents.
The “We shall overcome” part of the Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy Library centers its objectives on the civil rights movement. The oval office that President Harry S. Truman occupied while in office has a duplicate. The museum is filled with so many fascinating objects.
2. Visit the Odessa Meteor Crater Site
This enormous meteor crater is situated southwest of the city of Odessa TX in the region of Ector County. Odessa Meteor Crater site is one of Texas’s three primary impact crater sites.
The fact that this crater was created by the impact of countless pieces of octahedrite, a significant type of iron metallic rock that fell thousands of years ago, makes it significant from a geographic standpoint.
The National Park Service designated the Odessa Meteor Crater Site as a National Natural Landmark. You are welcome to set off on a self-guided walk over a nature trail from the little information area that is situated here.
3. Sherwood Park Pool
Sherwood Park in Odessa TX offers a fantastic community pool. They even provide a family night that is very reasonably priced. Your younger kids enjoy visiting this place to cool off in the warmer months.
The playground right next door is enjoyable for youngsters. Although it was recently redone, the octopus is still present.
4. I-20 Wildlife Preserve
This location in Odessa TX is a lot of fun for a wildlife preserve. Make this your choice if you’re seeking a wildlife sanctuary you can visit while in Odessa.
This park is situated in a large portion of Midland, Odessa, making it a convenient location for outdoor leisure activities. A tiny marsh, a walking trail, and a butterfly garden are all features of this 87-acre park.
It is an actual, palpable treasure in all of Odessa. The wildlife in the I-20 Wildlife Preserve can also be viewed much later in the day or early in the morning. The easy trails here are perfect for hikers who are eager to get some workouts. There is a 1.2-mile loop trail there. A 1.2-mile partially shaded loop walk circles the wetland marsh there.
5. Floyd Gwin Park
Over 21 hectares of land make up Floyd Gwin Park, which is a sizable area of land. Playgrounds and other active spaces can be found in this neighborhood.
The youngsters will never run out of things to do, including swings and many other exciting things. Additionally, there are basketball, volleyball courts, and soccer courts.
The area and its amenities are well-designed and shaded, allowing adults to unwind while their children have fun-filled time everywhere else. The park is well-kept, and the grass is properly groomed.
6. Ellen Noël Art Museum
The Ellen Noel Art Museum embraces art in various forms and shapes to commemorate the fact that works of art are not always paintings.
For instance, as one of their themes, they once staged a lovely show focused on bridal gowns. Here, themed exhibits like these are common and always fascinating. The fact that admission is free is the nicest part.
The museum itself is broken up into numerous galleries and has both ongoing and seasonal exhibits. Additionally, there is a cute little gift shop where you may buy some trinkets to take back home.
7. The Commemorative Air Force Museum
Visit The Commemorative Air Force Museum if you enjoy learning about history. In Odessa Texas, the Commemorative Air Force Museum is a well-liked tourist destination and combat museum. This museum in Odessa TX features World War II-era aircraft from a variety of foreign nations and military engagements.
Everyone can find something to do while traveling. Every year, they host an air show here that is quite popular with visitors. The Aviation Nose Art Gallery is a must-see every time you visit.
You can take a tour of this exhibit, which is home to the biggest collection of authentic WWII nose art anywhere in the world. It’s also a great spot to take the kids. This museum also offers a lot of interactive elements. In addition, the AIRSHOW, a yearly event at the Midland International Airport, features the CAF aircraft. With more than 80 warbirds flying in each event, the CAF AIRSHOW is by far the biggest warbird air show in the world.
8. Doug Russell Pool
Kids will like Midland’s excellent communal pool. This neighborhood pool, in my opinion, is the best. In comparison to other community pools, it includes larger slides, a separate area for small children, a rock climbing wall, and more.
9. Ratliff Ranch Golf Links
The Ratliff Ranch golf course, which has a length of around 6,849 yards and was created by Jeffrey D. Brauer of ASGCA/R Colligan disc Golf course design, was inaugurated in 2008.
If you enjoy playing golf or are considering it, Ratliff Ranch Golf links is a terrific spot to visit. It is a pleasant attraction for residents and visitors who enjoy golfing.
The grounds are kept up, and the lawns are properly mowed. This course includes 18 holes, making it a fantastic option for amateur golfers. There are also rental cart services available. You can visit the golf shop to look at the equipment and accessories for golf.
10. Odessa’s Stunning Stonehenge Replica
The Stonehenge Replica in Odessa, which lies on the campus of the University of West Texas Permian Basin, is a worthwhile addition to your itinerary. One of the top sites to see in town, according to the majority of visitors and tourists.
Huge monolithic rocks that are reminiscent of the original Stonehenge are used to construct the replica.
Stonehenge replica is a profoundly peaceful experience that leaves you with a sense of admiration and respect for the supposedly primitive people who must have created these enormous works of art.
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11. Cinergy Odessa
This location in Odessa TX will appeal to those who enjoy entertainment and parties. This location is fairly upscale and will appeal to gamers. The Cinergy is a distinctive entertainment facility in Odessa TX that offers dining in theatres, event promotions, state-of-the-art equipment, and a fantastic gaming area.
You may take use of some really enjoyable leisure and gaming opportunities at this facility in Odessa. Cinergy’s comprehensive range of entertainment, which includes a mini-escape room, a bowling alley, and cutting-edge arcades, draws in visitors regularly.
A fantastic night out with friends, family, or coworkers may be had at Cinergy. Its bowling alley is also one of Odessa’s most well-known gaming locations.
12. Altitude Trampoline Park
Finally, Odessa TX has the best indoor altitude trampoline park. Although a little costly, your kids will undoubtedly enjoy it. An Olympic trampoline is available in an indoor trampoline park.
13. George W. Bush Childhood Home
The 1400-square-foot childhood home of George W. Bush is located in west Texas. On the National Register of Historic Places, it is recognized.
Visitation hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. You can take a tour of the residence and see the President’s childhood home for $5.
Two Presidents, two Governors, and a First Lady resided in the mansion. Visitors get the chance to gain a comprehensive understanding of the early years and legacy of the Bush family thanks to the noteworthy house renovation.
14. Midland YMCA
The Midland YMCA is a nonprofit with the mission of helping individuals of all ages develop healthy habits by applying Christian values. Both Body Pump and Zumba classes are available through the organization.
15. Parker House Museum
If you’re interested in learning about ranchers and seeing how they lived, the Parker House Museum is a fascinating location to go.
Rancher Jim Parker resided here in the early 1900s, using it as his home. The house has been transformed into a fantastic museum with a variety of ranching-related items and exhibits.
They are furnished inside with antique furnishings as well. A large number of pictures and other relics have also been on display. You should attempt the experience because it is highly educational and enjoyable.
16. Sibley Nature Center
The expansive 49 acres of land that makeup Midland’s Hogan Park is home to the Sibley Nature Center.
Additionally, the southern Llano Estacado, the Edwards Plateau, and the Transpecos Regions are represented in this nature center. Children can engage in a variety of outdoor leisure activities at the Sibley Nature Center.
Additionally, if you wish to do thrilling trail hikes, this location is a terrific choice. The trails in this area are perfect for running or taking a stroll, there are also biking trails present. Biking is permitted here, therefore you can do it too.
The Sibley Nature Center’s collections of local animals will appeal to kids. Additionally, they allow for engaging toddler activities like story time, gardening, and guided tours.
17. Globe of the Great Southwest
In Odessa, the Great Southwest Globe is a must-see tourist destination. The Shakespeare’s Globe in London is modeled after it.
This well-liked tourist attraction is situated on the south side of the Odessa college campus. It’s interesting to note that the Shakespeare Festival is held here annually and that there are several production plays on exhibit.
Additionally, if you come here, you can see various distinctive movies like Romeo and Juliet and classics like A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
You will also get to watch several modern productions, like August and Beauty and the Beast. If you have the time, you should visit Odessa’s old cinema empire. Almost everything here will be to your taste and be interesting to examine.
18. Museum of the Southwest
The kid-friendly area of the Museum of the Southwest in Midland is great. The Durham Children’s Museum is the name of the children’s section. Children of all ages will enjoy the variety of interactive places found here since they make learning fun.
Come explore our living coral reef and think about marine life. In the kid-sized grocery store, kitchen, and veterinary clinic, they can engage in experiential learning and play while learning. Additionally, the museum hosts civic gatherings.
19. The Petroleum Museum
The Petroleum Museum, commonly known as the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, comprises over 230 million years of history. The 40,000-square-foot structure houses interactive exhibitions and entertainment centers for both young and senior guests.
20. Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
About 15 miles northeast of Odessa, on the campus of the University of West Texas of the Permian Basin, is where you’ll find the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center.
The theatre hosts lectures and performances with both huge country bands and the midland Odessa symphony. This is a fun location to enjoy wonderful songs and live acts. The theatre also provides the neighborhood with music lessons and programs.
21. Delightful Light Display at the McKinney Park
Many individuals travel great distances only to view the renowned light show in McKinney Park. The fairy lights are just stunning.
Try to go at night when the lights fill the entire night dark sky with hues of red, yellow, blue, and other colors. You are invited to bring your four-legged companions with you to McKinney Park because it is pet-friendly.
Your children can play and have fun on the swing sets and slide sets that are all across the playground. Therefore, if you are visiting throughout the day, don’t be discouraged. Baseball and basketball courts are also present.
22. White Pool House
One of Odessa’s oldest buildings is the White Pool House, a historic landmark. A family from Indiana erected this house in 1887, and it now contains displays showing various eras in Odessa’s history.
This historic White Pool House, a two-story red brick house is also equipped with a windmill, a water tank, an eclipse, a dummy barn, and several outbuildings. Additionally, this location is both a Texas Archaeological Landmark and a National Register of Historic Places.
Visitors can also see what ranching was like in the community in the past by visiting this historic home. Come here to enjoy retracing your steps through history.
The tour guides here are quite informed and kind, and they will enjoy showing you around this institution.
23. Permian Playhouse
The Permian Playhouse is a must-see for everyone who enjoys live theatre and performances. The Theatre offers a variety of stage performances, including plays, comedies, and musicals.
Book your tickets now for a thrilling experience if you’re considering where to take the whole family to have a great time and see live acts. When visitors are hungry, there are numerous burger joints around.
This means that if you’re looking for entertaining activities to do in Odessa, Texas, you should add them to your bucket list.
24. Balmorhea State Park
Balmorhea State Park, where the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the world was erected in the 1930s, is one of the top day outings. Camping, geocaching, swimming, scuba diving, and bird watching are all possible here.
The park features a playground, outdoor sports fields, and picnic areas. Every day, more than 15 million gallons of water gush from the San Solomon Springs into the pool. The pool is 1.3 acres in size, up to 25 feet deep, and has a capacity of 3.5 million gallons.
25. Ice Skating
A skating rink is also present in the Odessa mall. You can use their skates or bring your own. Sessions last two hours each. Ice skating in Odessa TX can be a great way to spend an afternoon with the family! There are several rinks in the area that offer both public and private ice skating. Public ice skating is typically free, while private ice skating can cost between $5-10 per person. Ice skaters can also rent skates and helmets from many of the local businesses.
26. A Football Game at Ratliff Stadium
When visiting Odessa, one attraction you should go to is the Ratliff stadium. The stadium had a capacity of 19,302 when it was first put into use in 1982.
The stadium has appeared in films, such as the football scenes in “Friday Night Lights”. For football fans, the Ratliff stadium should be on your list of entertaining things to do in Odessa.
American football is the main sport played at the Stadium, which serves as the home field for Odessa TX, and Permian High Schools. The Ratliff stadium hosts track and field competitions, high school commencements, soccer games, and band competitions.
27. Chris Kyle Memorial
The Chris Kyle Memorial, honoring the decorated former US Navy SEAL and famed military sniper, is a superb tourist attraction in Odessa.
This monument celebrates Kyle’s courage and bravery. The beautifully constructed monument depicts a statue of Chris Kyle clutching a flag.
When you walk around it, you experience an air of respect and awe. Additionally, his family has left a touching and heartfelt note on a plaque. There are so many motivational sayings posted close to the university.
The location will serve as a reminder of the significant sacrifices that the majority of navy and military personnel make for the welfare of others.
28. Rosa’s Cafe and Tortilla Factory
You should include this Mexican delicacy on your list of things to do in Odessa, Texas since you want to sample it when you are there.
The best tortillas in the city are available at the tortilla factory. Nachos, burritos, fajitas, and tortillas are just a few of the items on their menu.
Try the chorizo or other items on the menu if you decide to have breakfast here. The atmosphere is welcoming, making it a location the whole family may enjoy. Additionally, you can sample the sopapillas and cake carrots. You’ll feel calm in these quiet surroundings. It’s a wonderful place full of enjoyment.
29. Southern Maid Donuts
You must taste the amazing donuts at this Odessa establishment; they are delectable.
They provide a wide variety of flavors, including chocolate, blueberries, maple, strawberries, orange, and lemon, all of which have fantastic flavors.
Without a doubt, the fluffy and tasty Cherry doughnuts at Southern Maid Donuts will make you happy when you visit. Additionally, if you’re in the mood for some mouthwatering sweet doughnuts, you try these amazing donuts at this location.
30. Guadalupe Mountains
With 80 miles of hiking routes, the Guadalupe Mountains are a terrific spot to go trekking. The four tallest peaks in Texas, the world’s largest Permian fossil reef, a wide array of flora and fauna, and the accounts of people whose lives were fashioned by struggle, cooperation, and survival may all be found within this national park.
31. Jack Ben Rabbit Statue
The eight-foot-tall Jack Ben Rabbit Statue is a symbol of the city’s history and is well-known for it. When you visit Odessa, you will undoubtedly be interested in this statue.
John Ben Shepperd erected the statue in 1962. He served as the Odessa Chamber of Commerce’s president.
In honor of the Jackrabbit Roping Competition in Odessa, the statue was given the moniker Jack Ben Rabbit. Annually, this occasion takes place at the Odessa Rodeo. Odessa and Texas are written on a medallion that is affixed to the statue’s neck.
32. Anne Hathaway House
This building is a recreation of the cottage where Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare’s wife, stayed. Two distinct portions allow access to the kitchen and a larger gathering area on the second level.
The 2,475 square-foot conference hall in the modest block and steel building known as The Black Box, which is close to the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and the Anne Hathaway House, has a 16-foot ceiling.
The location offers a set up in concert-style seating, tables, and chairs, in an open floor plan, for meetings, seminars, private gatherings, and live performances.
33. Kellus Turner Park
The dog-friendly Kellus Turner Park is a great place to meet other animal visitors to Odessa. In the vicinity, there is a lake where you can feed ducks.
The Park is ideal for children and is jam-packed with enjoyable things to do. Food can be brought for the ducks and other little birds that frolic in the water.
What is Odessa TX famous for?
Answer: The oil rigs that proliferate across the town’s arid plains, the cowboy culture, and the book and movie Friday Night Lights, which is based on one of the town’s high school football teams, are all things that make Odessa famous.
However, this West Texas town community is more complex than first appears.
Is it better to live in Midland or Odessa?
Answer: Midland placed first in 2021 for the best housing markets for growth and stability, with a 257 percent increase in home prices since 1996. Odessa came in at number four with a 227 percent increase in property prices since 1996.
Odessa is a unique location with a variety of attractions that will make your trip worthwhile. It’s quite simple to understand why Odessa, Texas, should be a must-visit location for you, your furry friends, and your entire family given its top attractions and an urban touch of nature.
There are plenty of attractions to keep you pleased and thrilled, including Anne Hathaway’s house, historical structures of national and international significance, museums, and theme parks.