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Odessa Culture

In the heart of West Texas, this growing gem of a city is packed with activities, adventure and almost constant sunshine. You may have heard of Odessa from the popular book and movie Friday Night Lights, but there is much more to discover and enjoy within our neighborhoods. With a population of 117,000+ this city is growing rapidly. If you love culture and arts, good food, history, sports or shopping… you’ll feel right at home here.


Whether you love dancing, good music or simply enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with great entertainment, you’ll soon find there’s much to discover in West Texas. With the amount of concerts, shows, and fine dining available, there is a variety to suit all tastes.


In the mood for delicious Italian cuisine? Tex-Mex? Gluten-free or vegetarian options? A juicy steak? This city has it all, from quaint cafes and pizza shops, to upscale fine dining restaurants.


One of the premier shopping destinations is Music City Mall, Odessa’s main shopping mall, which features major department store anchors, a popular food court, and an indoor skating rink and playgrounds for kids.


If you love warm weather and sunshine, you’ll feel right at home in Odessa. Temperatures can reach into the high 90s on many days of the summer months. With very little rain (only 14 inches annually), Odessa can be quite dry. Winters are fairly mild and short-lived but can get cold with overnight temperatures dipping down to 29 ºF. Snowfall in the winter months is rare, but does happen from time to time.

Arts & Culture

For the artists, musicians, and culturally savvy, you will be very excited to learn there is a booming art scene in the city. Including a symphony and choir, a theater production company stages plays and musicals annually, and an incredible art museum which holds a wide collection of sculptures, paintings and other works by more than 400 artists, there is plenty to enjoy. Whether you are interested in dance, live music, art or touring Broadway plays, there is something for you in this great city scene.

The Globe Theatre

Are you a Shakespeare fan? If so, you will adore The Globe of the Great Southwest, which hosts several of The Bard’s plays every year, as well as many other classics. Located on Odessa College Campus, this theater holds 410 guests and is an exact replica of the famous London theatre associated with William Shakespeare himself. You will be charmed and entertained by the productions of this world class theater.

Ellen Noel Art Museum

This little art museum has been called “a treasure in Odessa.” The gallery is constantly rotating its works, featuring local artists that wow visitors and offer fresh inspiration. The museum offers many family activities, public events and movie screenings, so be sure to check their weekly schedule before venturing out for a visit. A favorite aspect of this gallery is the outdoor sensory garden with its beautiful sculptures on display. This museum is a special place, and will have you eager to make a return time and again.

The Permian Playhouse

In the mood for a good show? The Permian Playhouse prides itself in offering a diverse array of high quality educational and theatrical experiences for all. By providing family-friendly performances, such as Winnie the Pooh, Annie, The Giver, Aladdin, and more, this community playhouse provides a fun experience for the whole family.

Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale

The Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale program seeks to enrich the lives of the people in the Permian Basin through music. Within this program there is a symphony orchestra, a chorale with 70 talented singers, and a youth choir for ages 8-14. If you enjoy music, take advantage of the program’s public event schedule.

Odessa Housing

Cost of living in Odessa is quite affordable at six percent below the national average. Many neighborhoods feature new developments, including single-family homes, apartments and townhomes. Some of these locations include Warfield, Andres Highway/East Hillman Road, State Loop, Gardendale, Deering Road and a few others. Many of of these newer properties are associated with a low crime rate and better school districts for children.

Houston Education

Education for Children

Many families with school-aged children find Bounce/Warfield school district to be among the best and safest options. If you are looking for a private school education, there are many faith-based and college preparatory private school options in Odessa.


Odessa is home to three college universities, including Odessa College, which is a two-year community college, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, which is a four-year university offering bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral degrees.

Odessa Travel & Highlights

Stonehenge Replica

If you are looking for a fun free outing with friends or family, stop by the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to view a stunning replica of one of England’s most famous sites: Stonehenge. The huge stones are fun to walk around, very beautiful, and make for an interesting, historically enriching day! There is a walking/biking trail that passes by this sight, so if you decide to take a stroll, feel free to snap a few photos as you go by. This is one of Odessa’s most photographed spots.

Chris Kyle “American Sniper” Memorial

A stunning memorial erected in honor of “American Sniper” and Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, was unveiled in Odessa in 2016 to pay tribute to his service to the United States. Kyle’s autobiography was the inspiration for the film American Sniper (2014). This beautiful statue is a must-see in Odessa.

Surf the Sand Dunes at Monahans Sandhills State Park

That’s right! Surfing on the sand is a big deal in Odessa. Take a visit to Monahans Sandhills State Park and be amazed by the breathtaking 3,800 acres of sand, as it bends into the horizon. Just 40 miles southwest of the city, this park is the perfect day trip for the whole family. With sand-boarding, camping and hiking trails, there is much to do!

McKinney Park

If you need a convenient place to exercise or walk your dog, McKinney Park might be the place for you. With a few ball parks and sporting fields, walking trails and even a water splash playground for the kids to escape hot summer days, this is a very enjoyable place for the whole family. Public events, such as Starbright Village (which features over 300,000 holiday-themed lights), make this place extra special at various times throughout the year.

Odessa Sports

For the sports lovers in Odessa, there are a few hometown favorites. High school football is popular with the locals. As you may know, our very own Ratliff Stadium was the featured stadium in the popular movie, Friday Night Lights. Ratliff Stadium is also home to the Permian Panthers and the Odessa Bronchos. Finally, don’t miss the Ector County Coliseum, where the Odessa Jackalopes Junior A Ice Hockey teams play home games.

Building for the Future

With the development of various hotels and retail centers, this city has been experiencing significant growth in recent years. With affordable housing and a low unemployment rate, people are flocking to Odessa, which was named the nation’s third fastest-growing smaller city by Forbes in 2014.