Top 15 Things To Do In Odessa, Texas

things to do in odessa texas
Babitha
Babitha
Updated

A western Texas city, Odessa is a great choice for spending some quality time with your dear ones. There’s a lot to explore and watch in this beautiful city. Known for its cowboy culture, this modern city has something to offer everyone. The art scene is quite vivacious, with a world-class performing arts center. The highlights of the city include the world’s largest statue of Jackrabbit and a replica of The Globe Theatre, where the annual Shakespeare Festival is held. The Permian Basin Stonehenge and Odessa Meteor Crater are other must-visit spots in the city. The colorful festivals, live performances, and cultural attractions add up to its vibrant ambiance. Coming to the cuisine part, there are many famous restaurants and eateries you should try once you are here. Read on about the top things to do in Odessa, Texas, and find out what more you can discover here.

1. Enjoy a day out with the kids at Floyd Gwin Park

Soccer Field, Kelly Park West
Source: Photo by Flickr user Rusty Clark ~ 100... used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Kids and families will love this 52-acre (21-hectare) park that features a kids’ playing area and equipment including swings and toys. A huge playground and a great place to play basketball, soccer, volleyball, and baseball, Floyd Gwin Park has something for everyone. Elders can rest in the shade or relax at the picnic pavilion while the kids can just run around. The park is neat and well-maintained. So, now you know where to spend some quality time with your kids in Odessa.

Floyd Gwin Park

Address: 1015 N County Rd W, Odessa, TX 79763, USA

Website: Floyd Gwin Park

Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)

2. Spend some time at the White-Pool House

White-Pool House in Odessa, TX Picture 1849
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Spare some time to visit the historic White-Pool House, one of the oldest structures in Odessa. Check out the wooden Eclipse windmill, farm outbuildings, and the barn replica. You will also be surprised to find some unique family items restored at the house. The barn is used as a space for various ceremonies and get together functions. Click some pictures in and around the house and treasure the memories.

White-Pool House

Address: 112 E Murphy St, Odessa, TX 79761, USA

Website: White-Pool House

Opening hours: Fri & Sat: 10am - 3pm (closed from Sun - Thu)

3. View artwork at Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin

Ellen Noel Art Museum, Odessa, TX DSCN1235
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Love art and books? Visit Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin and get lost in the 20,000 sq.ft (1858 sq mt) large galleries that are home to world-class art. The museum is comprised of three galleries that showcase old paintings and modern artwork. Spend some time at the sensory garden which features fragrant flowers and plants. This disabled-friendly garden has wheelchair ramps, railings and many artworks by well-known artists/ sculptors. You can also spend some time in the library and read a few thought-provoking and awe-inspiring books on art.

Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin

Address: 4909 E University Blvd, Odessa, TX 79762, USA

Website: Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin

Opening hours: Tue - Wed & Fri - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Thu: 10am - 8pm; Sun: 2pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

4. Enjoy a live performance at the Permian Playhouse

Theater play
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you want to experience an amazing theatrical performance, visit the Permian Playhouse. From musicals to plays and comedies, the theatre acts as a platform for various shows. You can enjoy yourself with your family, as the playhouse is well-known for staging shows that are a lot of fun. Catch up with one or two programs once you are here. If you are hungry, grab a bite at the nearby burger spots.

Permian Playhouse

Address: 310 W 42nd St, Odessa, TX 79764, USA

Website: Permian Playhouse

5. Check out the meteorite crater at Odessa Meteor Crater

Odessa Meteor Crater 3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fredlyfish4 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Can you imagine a space-iron weighing a thousand tonnes, falling on the earth? That’s absolutely what you get to see at the Odessa Meteor Crater. Though the hole created by the impact measured 550 feet wide and 100 feet deep, today it is mostly covered by dust and silt. You can find a walking trail that has signposts with an explanation on the history of the incident. There is a museum nearby that will help you find out more about the meteorite.

Odessa Meteor Crater

Address: 5599 Meteor Crater Rd, Odessa, TX 79763, USA

Website: Odessa Meteor Crater

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

6. Enjoy a splash at the Woodson Park Aquatic Center

One of the kids' play areas at the Lion's Park Aquatic Center
Source: Photo by Flickr user abbamouse used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

What’s a vacation without some water fun? Check out the Woodson Park Aquatic Center and have a great time with your family or friends. This clean water park and pool is a great place to cool off from the summer heat. Read the rules before you go there. They also offer after-hour pool rentals and amenities. Simple contact YMCA for these services.

Woodson Park Aquatic Center

Address: 1020 E Murphy St, Odessa, TX 79761, USA

Website: Woodson Park Aquatic Center

Opening hours: Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat: 1pm - 7pm; Tue & Thu: 1pm - 8pm

Price: 0 - 11 yrs & over 65s: Free, 1 - 18 yrs: 2.50 USD, 19 - 64 yrs: 4 USD

7. Have unlimited fun at the Altitude Trampoline Park

TBDATrialTwo154638
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dakil Auctioneers used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Don’t feel like spending your day in the hot weather outside? Head straight toward the Altitude Trampoline Park, an indoor trampoline park that promises tonnes of fun. A great activity zone for kids and adults alike, the entertainment zone has an Olympic trampoline. Other highlights include the battle beam, the foam pit, the trapeze swing, extreme dodge ball, and gymnastic tumble tracks. Jump, hop, and swing with your kids and create memories of your happy days.

Altitude Trampoline Park

Address: 5161 E 42nd St, Odessa, TX 79762, USA

Website: Altitude Trampoline Park

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 9pm; Fri: 10am - 11pm; Sat: 9am - 11pm; Sun:11am - 8pm

8. Enjoy a round of golf at Ratliff Ranch Golf Links

Golf course
Source: Piqsels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you are an avid golfer, visit Ratliff Ranch Golf Links, a public golf course in Odessa. From rental clubs to rental carts and in-house professionals, the golf course offers various services. The 18-hole course is a beautiful place to play a few rounds.

Ratliff Ranch Golf Links

Address: 7500 N Grandview Ave, Odessa, TX 79765, USA

Website: Ratliff Ranch Golf Links

Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)

9. Taste the donuts at Southern Maid

Southern Maid Donuts
Source: Photo by Flickr user Steve Snodgrass used under CC BY 2.0

If you love donuts, then Southern Maid is the place to be. The yummy, soft and fresh donuts are absolutely delicious and you will treasure the taste. Try their exquisite cherry donuts and you will know why we recommended it. From lemon to orange and blueberries, vanilla, maple, and chocolate, the variety of donut choices will leave you confused. The other good thing about the melt-in-your-mouth donuts here is that they are not at all expensive. Try buying in bulk and get the taste of all the donuts!

Southern Maid Donuts

Address:721 N Hancock Ave, Odessa, TX 79761, USA

Website: Southern Maid Donuts

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 5am - 7pm; Sun: 5am - 1pm

10. Discover the stunning Stonehenge replica on the UTPB campus

Stonehenge replica No. 2, Odessa, TX Picture 1854
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Do not miss the Permian Basin Stonehenge, placed on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). This is the replica of the original Stonehenge in England. Though the Stonehenge is slightly shorter than the original, this 19-feet tall structure is made of limestone slabs and is a real treat for the eyes. While the original took almost 2000 years to complete, this beautiful replica was done in just six weeks. This was built with an idea to draw Interstate 20 visitors and to add some charm to the cultural environment of the city. Do not forget to take some pictures once you are here. You can also spend some quality time with your dear ones here.

Permian Basin Stonehenge

Address: Preston Smith Rd, Odessa, TX 79762, USA

Website: Permian Basin Stonehenge

11. Pose for a picture in front of the Jack Ben Rabbit statue

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The eight-foot-tall Jack Ben Rabbit statue will definitely pique your interest once you are in Odessa. The famous statue is a historic landmark of the city. This statue was built in 1962 by John Ben Shepperd, the president of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. He named it Jack Ben Rabbit as a tribute to Odessa’s jackrabbit roping competition, held every year at the Odessa Rodeo. The statue has a medallion around its neck with the words, “Odessa” and “Texas”. Do not forget to take some selfies with “Jack Ben.”

Jack Ben Rabbit statue

Address: 4989-4999 E 42nd St, Odessa, TX 79762, USA

12. Watch a football game at Ratliff stadium

Empty stadium
Source: Pexels

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If you are a sports buff, you should not miss visiting Ratliff stadium once in Odessa. Primarily used for American football, the stadium is also the home ground for Odessa and Permian High Schools. From high school graduations to track and field tournaments, the huge stadium has been the subject of the TV series “Friday Night Lights.” Catch a game at the stadium, if you are lucky!

Ratliff Stadium

Address: 1862 E Yukon Rd, Odessa, TX 79765, USA

Website: Ratliff Stadium

13. Enjoy a meal at Rosa's Café & Tortilla Factory

Rosa's Cafe and Tortilla Factory
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Cedorris used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Do you want to taste some yummy, fresh and made-to-serve tortillas? Rosa’s Cafe is your answer. From a variety of fajitas, burritos, tostadas, tacos, nachos, and tamales to scrumptious breakfast items like chorizo and egg taco or ultimate breakfast taco, this is a great place for families. You can also satiate your sweet tooth with sopapillas or carrot cake. This upscale, fast-casual food place has a cozy ambiance and colorful interiors. You will just love it all here!

Rosa's Café & Tortilla Factory

Address: 1701 N County Rd W, Odessa, TX 79763, USA

Website: Rosa’s Café & Tortilla Factory

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 6.30am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 6.30am - 12am

14. Read your favorite book at Ector County Library

Ector County Library in Odessa, TX Picture 1830
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Looking for a cozy place to read a book? Head to the Ector County Library. From a wide collection of books, this is a mini paradise for readers. The library is also a venue for kids’ programs, summer reading clubs, family movie time and game nights.

Ector County Library

Address: 321 W 5th St, Odessa, TX 79761, USA

Website: Ector County Library

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 8.30am - 8.30pm; Wed - Sat: 9am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

15. Have a cup of your favorite coffee at CPL Ray's Coffee

Iced coffee
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Feeling a bit lethargic? All you need is a coffee dose. Visit CPL Ray’s Coffee, a local coffee shop that serves a good variety of coffee and tea. From iced coffee to frozen coffee, espresso and smoothies, hot chocolate, and organic tea, you will love it all here. You can also enjoy some freshly baked goods to complement the coffee experience. A perfect place to sit back and relax, this shop is a great place for meeting up with family, friends, and business clients.

CPL Ray's Coffee

Address: 3111 Faudree Rd A, Odessa, TX 79765, USA

Website: CPL Ray’s Coffee

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 6am - 10pm; Sun: 8am - 10pm

Experience Odessa's charm

Parker Ranch House Museum, Odessa, TX DSCN1231
Source: Photo by user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Odessa in Texas is undoubtedly a great bucket-list destination. From places of historical significance to quirky sites, the annual rodeo to the replica of Anne Hathaway’s house, there are many things you cannot miss here. This family-friendly destination has all the right ingredients to make your vacation a memorable one. Explore and enjoy the myriad kid-friendly places, museums, food joints, theatrical performances, historic structures, theme parks, and various other attractions once you are in Odessa. You can plan your trip with the help of the list above and enjoy a great vacation in the city.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Babitha works as an Editor/Publications Manager for a Canadian-based company. Travelling has always been her passion, and she loves being called a hodophile. Exploring new places, meeting people,...Read more

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