25 Best Things to Do in Odessa, TX

Odessa, TX

Set in the heart of West Texas, Odessa beckons with a blend of southern charm, modern flair, and a rich tapestry of history.

While the city's origins are deeply rooted in the oil industry, it has evolved to offer a diverse range of cultural, recreational, and artistic experiences.

Odessa's vibrant streets, iconic landmarks, and friendly community provide a backdrop for an array of memorable activities.

Whether you're drawn to its historic sites, contemporary attractions, or natural beauty, there's something in Odessa for every traveler's taste.

Join us as we journey through the city's offerings, highlighting the 25 must-visit spots and activities that showcase the essence of Odessa, TX.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Clarence Fischer, Richard Barnett, Jean Grill, Roger Bussiere, Bernard Crawford, Ricardo Gray and David Armstrong.

Pay Tribute to Valor at the Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza

Bronze statue of Chris Kyle holding the flag at Chris Kyle Memorial
Cowsthatfloat, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walking out of my front door every morning, I'm greeted by the towering statue of Chris Kyle just a few blocks away.

It stands as a constant reminder of the valor, sacrifice, and bravery of one of our nation's most decorated Navy SEAL veterans.

I often find myself pausing before it, lost in thought, as I take in the magnificence of this memorial.

From dawn till dusk and beyond, the Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza is a sight to behold.

It is a beautifully constructed site, maintained with utmost care and respect.

The statue, the centerpiece of the memorial, stands tall against the sky, drawing your eyes to his powerful pose.

If you look closely at the statue's feet, you'll see the personal messages etched by his loving family - an emotional and heartfelt tribute that often brings a lump to my throat.

Chris Kyle Memorial Plaza is not just a spectacle during the day.

It is an enchanting sight at night when it is beautifully lit, casting long shadows and bathing the plaza in a soft, warm glow.

The lighting brilliantly emphasizes the silhouette of Chris Kyle, making the statue look even more majestic.

The entire scene fills me with a sense of pride and gratitude.

Situated along the 191, the memorial is hard to miss.

Catch a Performance at the Basin Theatre Works

If you haven't heard of the Basin Theatre Works in the heart of Odessa, you're missing out on a hidden gem.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Permian Playhouse for the first time recently, the experience was nothing short of extraordinary.

To begin with, the warm reception from Jon, the new executive director, set a welcoming tone.

His evident passion for the arts and his engaging personality made me feel right at home from the moment I stepped through the door.

If you happen to visit, don't hesitate to strike up a conversation with him, you won't regret it.

That evening, I was enthralled by the astonishing performance of "Annie".

The talent exhibited by both the adults and children in the cast was remarkable, they put their hearts and souls into every scene.

The production standards were high above what I had anticipated for a community theatre.

Everything from the acting to the singing, even the costumes, was top-notch.

The only tiny detail that could do with some improvement is the lighting before the show.

A little more brightness could set the mood better for the upcoming performance.

But that's just a minor note in an otherwise fantastic experience.

In all, I'm eager to see what the next season holds at the Basin Theatre Works.

It's truly a jewel in the Odessa community, offering a platform for local talents to shine and a place for residents to enjoy top-class performances right in our backyard.

Have a Family Time at Progressive Park

One sunny afternoon, I decided to take my kids to Progressive Park.

A great spot for them to play and burn off that seemingly endless energy while I enjoy some peace and quiet.

Despite needing a little updating on some of the playground equipment, this park has proven to be a wonderful place to spend quality time with the family.

You see, on days when I have errands to run or appointments to keep, Progressive Park has been my go-to.

I simply pack a picnic, grab the kids, and head out.

The many activities the park offers keep the children entertained and happy.

Even the foam park, despite being a bit dated and showing some wear and tear, brings joy to my little ones.

A highlight of Progressive Park is the ample seating and shade it provides.

It's perfect for those hot days when you want the kids to play outside but also need to ensure they stay cool and sun-safe.

While it may be a smaller park, it's ideal for children under the age of 5.

My 3-year-old, for instance, absolutely adores the little house installed there.

It's his own little fortress, a place where his imagination runs wild.

Unravel History at the Odessa Texas State Historical Marker

Sometimes, I find myself drawn to the heart of Odessa, where the Texas State Historical Marker stands.

This monument is so much more than a mere piece of stone; it's a chronicle of our city's vibrant history and a testament to the enduring spirit of its early settlers.

My favorite spot in the entire city, the Texas State Historical Marker provides a glimpse into the past.

The story of Odessa's early settlement is etched onto this marker.

It tells the tale of brave pioneers who faced trials and tribulations to make this sprawling land their home.

From the first cattle drives to the boom brought by the discovery of oil, the narrative unfolds right before your eyes, providing a deep appreciation for the city's rich past.

The marker also records the momentous occasion of Odessa's incorporation as a city.

This is the point in time when Odessa ceased being just a settlement of pioneers and transformed into a bustling city, vibrant and full of life.

While standing there, I often imagine the joy and excitement that must have filled the air as the decree was announced.

Oil, as we all know, has played a significant role in shaping Odessa.

It's fascinating to learn about how this 'black gold' brought prosperity to the region and how it has woven its way into the fabric of our city's identity.

It's easy to lose track of time while standing before the historical marker, engrossed in the city's captivating history.

Discover Art and Culture at the Ellen Noël Art Museum

Front view of Ellen Noël Art Museum
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you're in Odessa and you're craving a cultural immersion, let me tell you, the Ellen Noël Art Museum is the place to go.

Imagine walking into a realm where fine arts charm your senses, where every corner reveals a new discovery.

This is where I go when I need a break from the routine.

Every visit feels different, as there's always some new exhibit stirring my curiosity.

Once, it was the mesmerizing art of Salvador Dali that had my mind running wild.

On another occasion, it was the powerful Texas photography exhibit that moved me deeply.

For art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike, this oasis of creativity is bound to captivate.

Then there's the outdoor sculpture garden, a sensory feast that engages the eyes, ears, and touch.

Listening to birds chirping and admiring the blend of nature and art, one might just forget about the hustle and bustle of city life.

This tranquil garden is my little slice of serenity amidst a busy day.

The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, always ready to lend a helping hand.

I remember one time when they organized a tour for me, which was a delightful educational experience.

Ellen Noël Art Museum also offers monthly educational activities and summer programs that are a treasure trove of learning.

Not to forget, there's a gift shop that both kids and adults, including myself, absolutely adore.

It’s filled with charming little keepsakes and mementos.

The best part?

Entry is absolutely free!

This is more than just a museum—it’s a center for art and culture that is accessible to everyone.

And it's right here, in our very own Odessa.

Have a Picnic at Noël Heritage Plaza

Every morning, I lace up my sneakers and set off for a jog at Noël Heritage Plaza.

The green grass beneath my feet, the chorus of chirping birds, and the gentle rustling of leaves give the morning a serene start.

With plenty of trees for shade, it's always a refreshing experience, irrespective of the season.

Parking is never an issue here, thanks to its strategic location between two buildings.

Though it's the heart of the city, the Plaza gives you a feeling of being in a quiet, peaceful park.

It's a great place to bring my kids over the weekend for a picnic or even just to let them run free.

The sculptures scattered around the plaza never fail to capture their imagination, keeping them entertained for hours.

And oh, the summer concerts!

They are something we all look forward to every year.

There's something magical about sitting under the starlit sky, with the melodies floating in the air.

The running fountains add a beautiful backdrop to these concerts, making the experience unforgettable.

Noël Heritage Plaza is also right next to the public library, which is an added advantage for a bookworm like me.

I often grab a book from the library and find a comfortable spot in the columned patio.

With the library's WiFi, I can even get some work done if I need to.

Play Ball at McKinney Park

"Remember, the best things in life are free."

This phrase perfectly ties up with my experience visiting McKinney Park, a charming green haven in the heart of Odessa.

Offering a picturesque children's water play area, sports courts, and picnic facilities, this park is an ideal spot for some family fun.

Now, let's be honest, the water play area has seen better days.

I recall bringing my little ones here a few summers ago when the splash pads were crammed with different water toys and the bucket feature was always reliably working.

These days, you'd be considered lucky if the water is even on, and the spray toys have sadly been reduced to a few.

But, it's not all doom and gloom.

The essential joy of water splashing on a hot, sunny day is still very much alive and is more than enough to keep the kids entertained.

Occasionally, some of the water features may not function, but hey, it's still a great place to let the little ones run around and cool off.

And yes, the porta potties - they can be quite a sensory challenge.

The smell does linger a bit longer than you'd like, so I advise taking a quick detour to a nearby gas station or restaurant if nature calls.

Seating can be a bit tricky as well.

With just a few tables positioned under the giant umbrellas and others scattered around, it's best to carry your own folding chairs or a picnic blanket.

But remember, it's completely free to enter!

The lack of a few amenities barely dims the cheer of spending a day at McKinney Park.

Around the holiday season, the park turns into a sight to behold.

The animated Christmas light show is an absolute must-see.

The lights are sequenced to perfection, casting a magical glow over the park.

The wait time can stretch up to 25 minutes, but trust me, it's worth every second.

Just a friendly tip - make sure everyone makes a bathroom pitstop before you dive into the light show.

It's just not as much fun with shaking legs!

Delight in the Sweet Treats of Southern Maid Donuts

You know those days when the sun is shining just right, and you desire to start your day off with a little taste of sweet delight?

On such mornings, my go-to destination is none other than Southern Maid Donuts.

Every bite of these donuts is a mouthful of joy that takes me back to my childhood.

The array of pastries is wide and varied, each with its distinct flavor.

But what sets Southern Maid apart is its freshness.

The feel of a warm donut in your hand, the softness as your teeth sink into it, and the burst of flavors as you taste it - nothing quite beats that!

The cherry on top?

They even cater to custom orders!

I've had the pleasure of getting a few specially baked items, and each time they've nailed it.

Plus, the prices aren’t burdensome on the wallet, which makes the experience even more enjoyable.

One of my fondest memories involves me heading back home after a long trip, and stopping by Southern Maid on my way.

Although it was crowded, the aroma of freshly baked donuts filling the air and the anticipation of tasting my favorite treat made the wait worthwhile.

I purchased more than enough to share the joy with my friends back home.

Unearth History at UTPB's Stonehenge Replica

Stonehenge replica in University of Texas, Odessa
Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Whenever I feel like I need to break free from the monotony of daily life and soak in some history, I always find myself gravitating towards the majestic University of Texas of the Permian Basin Stonehenge Replica.

This monument, a striking replica of the original Stonehenge in England, is nestled right at the entrance of the university.

The convenience of the location is a huge plus - parking is a breeze, even on busy days.

Every time I visit, I'm struck by the sheer size of the stones.

They're huge and imposing, almost an exact mirror of their millennia-old counterparts across the Atlantic.

What's even more exciting is the plethora of facts scattered around the exhibit, each one telling us more about the mysterious history of the original Stonehenge.

I remember one Thursday when I had the entire place to myself.

There was something incredibly peaceful about being alone with these massive relics, wandering freely amongst the stones.

Different stone formantions at Odessa's Stonehenge Replica
Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

However, I've also visited on weekends and during the warmer months, which tend to draw in more visitors.

The atmosphere then is just as exhilarating, buzzing with people's curiosity and awe.

What I love most about the Stonehenge Replica is it’s not just a mere tourist attraction. It's a learning experience.

Whether you're there by yourself, with a group of friends, or taking a trip down with your kids like my neighbor did, the aura of the place is sure to awaken the curiosity in you.

It brings up thoughts and questions about the real Stonehenge, its origin, its purpose, and its place in history.

Stroll through Lawndale Park

There's something serene about spending a sunny afternoon at Lawndale Park.

Its pristine landscape and family-friendly ambiance make it a favorite spot of mine in Odessa.

The park is always kept clean, with lush greenery that brings a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of city life.

I often set out for a leisurely walk along the trail, appreciating the tranquility and open landscape that the park has to offer.

The park's wide walking area is ideal not just for a quick stroll, but also for those long, contemplative walks that you need every now and then.

But it's not just for the peace-seekers.

Lawndale Park is a favorite amongst families with young children.

Have Some Bouncin' Fun at Altitude Trampoline Park

There's nothing quite as invigorating as the sensation of soaring through the air at Altitude Trampoline Park.

I've spent countless afternoons bouncing away on their trampolines, the echo of laughter from my children filling the spacious area.

More than just a trampoline park, it has become an integral part of our family's recreational routine, a place where fun and exhilaration collide.

Summers in our city can get scorching.

But the heat has never been a match for the thrill and excitement Altitude offers.

The moment we step into the park, the outside world, with its sweltering heat, fades away.

The indoor temperature-controlled environment is an oasis, ensuring that the only thing breaking a sweat is the fun we're having.

The staff at Altitude Trampoline Park deserve a special mention.

They're not just employees to us; they're more like our extended family.

Always eager to help, they make every visit memorable - from answering our questions to ensuring our safety and comfort.

Once, on an out-of-town family visit, they even gave my niece's Mario doll a wristband, a small act that left her delighted.

Dine with Your Loved Ones at Cork & Pig Tavern

Walking into Cork & Pig Tavern is like walking into my own personal slice of gastronomic heaven.

The atmosphere is always relaxed and inviting, and they somehow manage to make even the most casual diner feel like a VIP.

And the food? Just sensational.

Cork & Pig Tavern, which you can find at their website, truly offers something for everyone.

Whether I am hosting out-of-town guests, treating myself to a solo meal, or am out for a night with the local crew, this place never disappoints.

Their staff has this knack for seamlessly handling large groups, and the service is always swift and efficient - a rarity, I must say.

As for the food, I struggle to pick a favorite dish, but the Brick Chicken with Mushroom Bourbon sauce is a standout.

That sauce, I tell you, is a culinary masterpiece.

I like to pair it with the roasted cauliflower, and oh, what a delight!

And let's not forget the desserts.

Cork & Pig Tavern's key lime pie and tres leches are to die for, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the tres leches.

While I love all their locations, I am partial to the Odessa one.

Maybe it's the proximity or the nostalgia, but either way, it's my preferred haunt.

However, the Midland location is equally impressive and worth a visit.

Their breakfast menu is equally fantastic.

I particularly enjoy their French toast with its unique taste, and the steak and eggs are always cooked to perfection.

Step back in Time at the White-Pool House

Brick building of White-Pool House
Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

You know that feeling you get when you stumble upon a hidden treasure in your own backyard?

That's how I felt when I first discovered the White-Pool House.

Nestled in the heart of the city, this two-story brick Victorian house, built all the way back in 1887, is a charming time capsule that bursts with historical exhibits and an old-world charm.

I'm always on the lookout for unique gems in the city, and this place certainly checks all the boxes.

Stepping into the White-Pool House is like stepping into a different era altogether.

You practically feel the echoes of the past reverberating in each meticulously preserved room.

One thing that took me by surprise was the fact that the White-Pool House is also a popular venue for weddings!

Musical instrument at White-Pool House
Billy Hathorn, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

I can see why though - the bridal suite is breathtakingly beautiful, and the architecture - it's like something straight out of a storybook.

Although I must admit, I felt a pang of disappointment when I found the place closed on random weekdays.

But just strolling around the well-maintained grounds, with the house standing tall as a testament to its time, is an experience in itself.

The surrounding neighborhood might be a touch rough around the edges, but it doesn't take away from the charm of the place.

A lady examining the exhibits at White-Pool House
Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Let Your Kids at Burn Off Energy Experience at 4Kidz Fun Park

When you step inside 4Kidz Fun Park, you step into a world of fun and laughter.

There's something about this place that immediately puts a smile on your face.

Maybe it's the eager shrieks of children playing or the vibrant colors popping out from every corner.

One Sunday evening, I decided to try this place out and let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

It wasn't too packed, which was a pleasant surprise.

The kids had so much space to roam and play, exploring every nook and cranny of the Park.

It was a delight to see them revel in the joy of unhindered play.

A few weeks later, it was my daughter's 9th birthday.

Where better to celebrate than at 4Kidz Fun Park, right?

They provided us with our own room, complete with a TV to play her favorite cartoons.

And the icing on the cake was a personal attendant who took care of everything from start to finish.

My little girl was over the moon, and that's an understatement.

Nowadays, we've made 4Kidz Fun Park a part of our weekend routine.

It's the perfect family outing.

The atmosphere is always welcoming, the staff is friendly, and the equipment is clean.

But most importantly, it's a whole lot of fun.

In fact, I just wish they could build one in Midland, it would be even more convenient!

Have a Down Time at Floyd Gwin Park

It's not often that you find a place that brings together the joy of outdoor sports and the calmness of a picnic spot.

But the Floyd Gwin Park manages to do just that and so much more, making it one of my go-to places in Odessa.

Nestled amid the hustle and bustle of the city, this 52-acre park is truly a hidden gem.

The park boasts an impressive range of attractions.

The most popular feature has to be the playground.

My kids simply adore the variety of slides, the thrilling zip line, and the climbing frames.

There's even a clubhouse that provides a nice, secluded space for them to play around in.

I've noticed that the park is cleaner than most, a fact that only adds to its charm.

But Floyd Gwin Park isn't just for kids.

I often see enthusiastic groups playing basketball and volleyball on the courts.

On hot summer days, the park's pool is a godsend.

It's a great spot to cool off or simply relax by the water's edge.

For those who prefer a quieter day out, the picnic pavilion is an ideal spot.

I often see families and friends gathered here, enjoying a meal in the open air.

Catch a Football Game at Night Lights at Ratliff Stadium

Exterior of Ratliff Stadium
Zorin09, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every year, as the leaves start to change and the cool fall air settles in, I find myself under the dazzling lights of Ratliff Stadium.

There's something about the aroma of popcorn in the air, the roaring cheers of the crowd, and the anticipation of a new game that can't be beaten.

It's a local tradition that I wouldn't miss for the world.

Nestled in the heart of Texas, Ratliff Stadium is more than just a stadium - it's a monument to our love for football.

Its history is palpable with each step you take on its grounds.

You can practically hear the echoes of past victories and defeats, each one a piece of the story that makes our city what it is today.

Every Friday night, you'll find us huddled in the bleachers, our eyes glued to the match, our hearts beating with every pass and tackle.

And if you're feeling peckish during the game, there's always Chick-fil-A along with many other concession options.

But Ratliff isn't just for football.

We've celebrated graduations here, watched our kids running in the West Texas Relays, and even enjoyed some concerts.

It's a place for community gatherings, a place where memories are made.

For safety's sake, they've implemented a clear bag policy, so make sure to leave your bags and purses at home.

That said, there is one downside that comes with the territory - the restrooms.

They're notoriously foul-smelling, a problem that's been persistent for years.

And forget about bringing in your own water.

I've had mine confiscated at the entrance more than once, all because the water fountains weren't operational.

Little things like this can put a damper on the experience, but hey, no place is perfect.

Wash Away Your Worries at Sherwood Park

Have you ever felt the need to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life without actually leaving the city?

Well, I found such a sanctuary right here in Odessa, Texas - Sherwood Park.

Every summer, my family and I make it a tradition to visit the park's outdoor aquatic center.

On hot, sweltering days, there's nothing more refreshing than a splash in the cool, blue water.

Remember, though, Tuesdays are cleaning days so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.

Now, I've been to a fair share of public places, and let me tell you, the staff at Sherwood Park are exceptional.

They manage the crowd with such ease and calmness, it's admirable.

Despite how busy it can get, they never lose their cool, and they're always ready to help.

But it's not just about the pool. Sherwood Park is much more than that.

The lush, green, grassy areas are perfect for lounging around during breaks.

In fact, my family often rents the party area to celebrate birthdays and whatnot.

As a heads up, no food is allowed inside the park proper, but it's all good if you're renting the party area.

And let's not forget about the kids.

With plenty of room to run around and lots of cool toys to play with, they're always entertained.

Not to mention, the skate park is a favorite spot for the older ones.

Taste Authentic Mexico at Taqueria Guadalajara

Oh, the joy that is Taqueria Guadalajara!

Nestled in the heart of Odessa, this unassuming drive-in is a mainstay in my gastronomic journey.

It's the kind of place you’d drive past if you didn’t know what culinary gems it held within.

But trust me, when it comes to Mexican staples, they've got it all – burritos, burgers, tortas, and tacos.

Their Chile Verde burrito with home cooked beans is an absolute delight, while the tacos Al pastor is an explosion of flavors that leaves you yearning for more.

The Fajitas bean, coupled with their homemade salsa, is a treat not to be missed!

Their menu is diverse and caters to every palate, but the standout for me is the tacos de alambre.

The beef meat, onions, jalapeños, bacon, and cheese combo is enough to make my mouth water just thinking about it.

The Mexican hamburger and tortas deserve a mention too, especially the torta de estofado and ham.

And let's not forget their Carne Asada cheese fries.

Oh, those are simply awesome!

The breakfast menu is equally enticing and a perfect way to kick-start my day.

But what sets Taqueria Guadalajara apart for me is their outstanding customer service.

Exercise at Murry H. Fly Park

Growing up, Murry H. Fly Park was merely a barren landscape in our community.

The windswept ground echoed with solitude, a vast emptiness that was a stark contrast to the buzzing city of Odessa.

I can still recall the days when my footsteps were the only sounds to break the silence.

But those days are long gone.

Today, the park is teeming with life.

The once desolate ground is now a sprawling open area, adorned with shade trees and a concrete pathway that goes around the park - a perfect track for casual strolls or a vigorous run.

It's approximately a third of a mile loop, perfect for tracking your exercise progress.

It's always a pleasure to see the park bustling with activity.

The court is often filled with the energetic slam of basketballs and the rhythmic thud of tennis balls.

Kids squeal with delight as they play on the newly updated playground equipment, their laughter resonating through the park.

It's not unusual to come across birthday parties and other celebrations.

The joyous clamor has become a familiar soundtrack in the park, a testament to its transformation.

Attend a Concert at Ector County Coliseum

Exterior of Ector County Coliseum
Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I've made some outstanding memories at the Ector County Coliseum.

Their events never fail to entertain, there's always something for everyone.

Just last weekend, I took my kids to the Disney show at Ector County Coliseum.

The excitement in their eyes, watching their favorite characters come to life was priceless.

Even though our front-row seats were just foldable chairs, costing $300, the smiles on my children's faces made every penny worth it.

Next up on our family calendar was the carnival.

It's a delightful place to spend a day, with an assortment of rides and games that light up the whole Coliseum.

Now, the wristbands are a little pricey, $35 each, but they offer unlimited rides which kind of makes it worthwhile.

Indulge in Hearty Dishes at Rosa's Café & Tortilla Factory

Let me tell you about my favorite local joint - Rosa's Café & Tortilla Factory.

This place has consistently hit the right spot with its traditional, hearty Mexican dishes.

I find myself heading there for a quick meal after a long and eventful day.

The portion size is generous, and the food is always satisfying - a good bang for your buck.

Rosa's is the epitome of great fast-food - the service is always friendly and speedy.

The lively atmosphere at Rosa's is what I adore the most.

I find it impossible not to be charmed by the vibrant murals on the walls and the cheerful music filling up the surroundings.

It's like a mini Mexican fiesta, a happy place that never fails to lift my spirits.

Now, coming to the food, if you're ever at Rosa's, you've got to try their breakfast bowl.

They somehow manage to balance the scrambled eggs - not too runny, not too dry, just the right texture, and the tamales - although a bit more masa heavy, are still absolutely delectable.

The tortillas are not homemade but trust me, they beat any store-bought ones hands down.

Being from South Texas, I know a thing or two about Mexican food.

And I can vouch that the food at Rosa’s captures the traditional flavors quite convincingly.

Oh, and the coffee - it's perfectly brewed, strong and fresh.

A perfect cup to kickstart your day with a scrumptious breakfast.

Skate to the Rhythm at Music City Mall

Growing up right here, it was almost a ritual for us to latch onto our skates and hit the ice rink at the Music City Mall.

The place has been around since 1980 and always had a charm of its own.

It was our very own old-school mall with a food court, movie theater, and kids' play areas but the indoor ice rink was where we spent most of our time.

The rink opens at 12pm on weekends, and it was the highlight of our week.

For just $10, including skates, it was a bargain.

I still remember how the music would play as we circled the rink, the rhythm seeping into our movements.

I'm so glad they keep the playlist hip and the place still alive.

The staff at Music City Mall have always been wonderful, and the prices are still reasonable.

Take a Glimpse of the Universe at Odessa Meteor Crater

Landscape of Odessa meteor crater
Fredlyfish4 / Shutterstock.com

In the quiet plains of West Texas, a fascinating piece of cosmic history is nestled within a stone's throw from the bustling freeway.

This is the Odessa Meteor Crater, a testament to the profoundly humbling power of the universe.

In those moments of solitude, when I stand on the edge of the now six-foot depression, I am reminded of the sheer force that once carved a 100-foot-deep hole into our earth.

The crater, with its detailed models showing the upturned layers caused by the meteor impact and subsequent filling over time, really brings home the science behind such natural phenomena.

It's a place that never gets old, no matter how many times I walk around the concrete path that encircles the crater.

There's always a new insight to be had, a new perspective to consider.

Odessa Meteor Crater Museum
Leaflet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whenever my young nieces and nephews come to visit, I make it a point to bring them here.

It's a fantastic opportunity to pry them away from their screens, let them burn off some energy, and hopefully instill in them a sense of wonder about the universe we inhabit.

Watching their faces light up with curiosity as they try to wrap their minds around the concept of a meteor impact is a sight I wouldn't trade for anything.

The Odessa Meteor Crater also boasts a visitor's center, where the super friendly staff are always eager to answer any queries and help visitors fully appreciate the significance of what they're standing on.

It's a grounding experience in every sense of the word. Again, this isn't a Hollywood set. It's so much better because it's the real deal.

Narrow dusty trail at Odessa Meteor Crater Site
James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Read Your Favorite Book at Kellus Turner Park

My morning routine often starts with a peaceful stroll down the walking trails of Kellus Turner Park.

The calmness of the park provides a refreshing start to the day, with the quiet hum of drones and RC cars serving as a soothing background noise.

There's a certain tranquility to it that's hard to find anywhere else.

There's a running game trail that's a popular spot with local joggers.

It also has tennis courts.

For small gatherings or parties, there's a small venue within the park that can be used.

It's not extravagant, but it does the job.

I find comfort in coming to Kellus Turner Park.

It provides a sense of community and familiarity that's hard to find elsewhere.

Take Pictures with the World's Largest Jack Rabbit

Do you remember the thrill of stumbling upon something unexpected, something that sparks a sense of childlike wonder?

Well, that's precisely what I felt when I discovered the World's Largest Jack Rabbit- Former in my hometown of Odessa.

Living in Odessa, it is impossible to escape the allure of this freestanding, larger-than-life jackrabbit.

It's like a beacon of whimsy amidst the everyday hustle.

Over the years, this jackrabbit has become more than just a tourist attraction to me, it's a part of my daily life, a familiar sight that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

I usually stop by for a brief moment on my way to work, and on some days, I even sit there, just soaking in the unconventional beauty of this place.

But the World's Largest Jack Rabbit is not just about size or novelty; it's also a silent storyteller of Odessa's interesting history.

Every time I read the plaques, I learn something new about my hometown.

It's as if the jackrabbit serves as a fun history teacher, always ready to share an intriguing slice of Odessa's past.

Final Thoughts

I can confidently say that there's never a dull moment in Odessa, Texas.

Odessa's unique attractions, like the Stonehenge Replica and the Odessa Meteor Crater, add a touch of mystery and adventure that you won't find anywhere else. And let's not forget the joy of shopping at the Music City Mall or just relaxing in one of our beautiful parks.

It's this eclectic mix that makes our city the gem that it is.

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