Odessa is a city of 120,000 people (2018) in West Texas, 20 mi (32 km) west of its sister city, Midland. Much of the major industry in the area is oil- and gas-related. As such, the Midland/Odessa area is colloquially known as the petroplex. Many of the attractions you will find in the area are in Midland, so if you're visiting Odessa, the Midland article deserves a look as well. It's also notable as the fountainhead for the Friday Night Lights media franchise, which began with a 1990 book that explored football at the city's Permian High School, later followed by a movie that was mostly faithful to the book, and then a TV series that was a looser adaptation.
Odessa is at the junction of US Highway 385 and Interstate 20 in West Texas. Heading east on I-20 will take you through cities like Abilene on your way to Dallas/Fort Worth. Heading west on I-20 takes you through some of the most barren parts of Texas at 80 mph (130 km/h) (the fastest speed limit in the U.S.) on your way to El Paso. Going south on 385 will take you to Big Bend National Park, while heading north on US 385 will take you through the Texas Panhandle.
- 1 Midland/Odessa International Airport (MAF IATA), 9506 Laforce Blvd (Ten miles east of Odessa.). Southwest Airlines is the only mainline airline service to the area. It provides direct flights from Dallas-Love, Houston-Hobby, Las Vegas and Albuquerque. United Express provides service from Denver and Houston-Intercontinental, and American Eagle provides service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
- Greyhound Bus Lines, 10300 Younger Rd, Midland, TX (at airport complex), ☏ .
- EZRider, 8007 E Highway 80, ☏ . Odessa and Midland have a shared bus system that does travel between cities. Inter-city routes serving Midland International and both cities are available. There are 6 bus routes that serve Odessa, and each bus route runs once hourly. Fares for adults 19+ are $1.25, children 6-18 and students with a valid ID are $1.00, seniors 60+ and people with disabilities are $0.60 and children 5 and under are Free. Monthly passes and Paratransit are available too. EZRider runs M-F 6:15AM-7:10PM and Sa 6:15AM-6:10PM.
- 1 Ector Theater, 500 N Texas Ave (at 5th St), ☏ . A renovated 1951 classic movie theater that shows classic movies and showcases live music. In downtown Odessa.
- 2 Ellen Noel Art Museum, 4909 E University Blvd (from Interstate 20- Take Exit 121 and head north on Loop 338 to University Ave.; take a left on to University; museum will be on right near next stop light), ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 2-5PM. There is a permanent collection and rotating exhibits. Free, donations accepted.
- 3 Jack Ben Rabbit (World's Largest Jackrabbit), 802 North Sam Houston, ☏ . The largest jackrabbit in the world, a 10-foot-tall statue that is the unofficial mascot of the region. Free.
- Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery, UT Permian Basin Campus, ☏ . Student and Art Faculty shows are presented here on a semi-regular basis. Artwork may be purchased and starving college students will be very appreciative.
- 4 Presidential Museum and Leadership Library, 4919 East University Blvd, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. This museum suffered from its move from downtown. There is a permanent exhibit of memorabilia from each presidency, however it is not nearly as vast as it was. There has also been the addition of George W. Bush's childhood home onto the grounds. Adults $8, students $5.
- Pecos Depot, 2140 Andrews Hwy, ☏ . The old rail depot from Pecos, built in 1892 and moved to Odessa in 1950. The depot is part of the Barn Door Steakhouse.
- 5 Ratliff Stadium. This football stadium, owned by the school district that serves Odessa and surrounding Ector County, has hosted both of the city's (and district's) high schools, Odessa High and Permian High, since it opened in 1982, and became UT Permian Basin's home field in 2015. As Permian's home field, it's basically the wellspring for the Friday Night Lights franchise; the original book was about Permian's 1988 season, and much of the game action in the 2004 film (a fairly close adaptation) was shot at the stadium.
- 6 Stonehenge Odessa, UT Permian Basin Campus. A full-size replica of the original neolithic Stonehenge site.
- 7 White-Pool House, 112 East Murphy St, ☏ . W-Sa 10AM-3PM. Turn-of-the-century home with rotating exhibits on various aspects of West Texas life. Free.
- 1 Globe of the Great Southwest (The Globe Theatre), 2308 Shakespeare Rd, ☏ . Full-sized reproduction of the Globe Theatre of London. Various productions throughout the year. In addition there is a replica of the Anne Hathaway Cottage which Shakespeare built for his love.
- 1 Music City Mall, 4101 E. 42nd St. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. 3 anchor tenants (JC Penney, Dillard's, and Burlington Coat Factory), an 11-screen movie theater, an indoor ice rink, local CBS affiliate, carousel and food court.
- Winwood Town Center, 3801 E. 42nd St.. This is a strip mall at the busiest intersection in Odessa. Stores include H.E.B., Big 5 Sporting Goods, Ross Dress for Less, GameStop, Hastings, Target and Office Depot.
Due to its proximity to Mexico, Odessa has quite a bit of authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex. Most of these authentic restaurants are found off the beaten path, but are usually well worth the trip.
Many chain restaurants have set up shop in Odessa. It's not hard to find a McDonald's or Burger King.
- Filipino Cuisine Odessa- "The House of Sizzlers", 1351 E. 8th St, ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-8PM. Some delightful pancit and lumpia here. $.
- 1 Rosa's Cafe and Tortilla Factory, 4945 E. 42nd Street; 1310 E. 8th.; 1701 West County Road. Su-Th 10AM-11PM F Sa 10AM-midnight. Rosa's is a favorite among locals. The restaurant started in this area before spreading out all over Texas. Try the Fajitas and the tortillas made in the restaurant. There is a window into the kitchen where you can watch the tortillas being made.
- Bush's Chicken, 1627 E. 8th St.; 2701 Andrews Hwy.; 3901 N. Grandview Ave.; 1705 W County Rd.. Daily 10AM-10PM. Bush's Chicken has a strong following amongst locals. Be sure to try their Tender Rolls.
- Fajitas and More, 620 East 8th St, ☏ . Delicious authentic Mexican food.
- El Taco Tako, 718 W. Clements St., ☏ . Yet another local Mexican food restaurant. Very popular amongst locals.
- Keith's Hamburger Station, 4324 Andrews Hwy., ☏ . Much of the menu consists of Southern and Homestyle cooking, such as chicken strips, steak fingers, mashed potatoes, and fried catfish.
- Big Daddy's Catfish and Chicken, 1121 E. 42nd St., ☏ . Southern cuisine.
- Mi Piaci, 2607 N. Grandview Ave., ☏ . Italian cuisine. The owners of the restaurant are from Albania and create an authentic experience when eating at their restaurant. Most plates are around $10, but if you're on a budget, or want something simple, try the pizza. The Mi Piaci pizza is probably some of the best in town, and certainly the best pizza by a locally owned restaurant.
- Ajuua's, 2100 Andrews Hwy, ☏ . Ajuua's serves authentic Tex-Mex in a sit-down atmosphere.
- The Barn Door and Pecos Depot Steakhouse, 2140 Andrews Hwy, ☏ . The Barn Door is probably the most reputable and high-class restaurant in town. The food is typical steakhouse fare.
- Zucchi's Sports Bar & Grill, 1541 John Ben Shepperd Pkwy, ☏ .
- SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western, 110 West I-20, ☏ , fax: . Very bunker-like. $62 (Dec 2021).
- Days Inn, 520 S JBS Pkwy, ☏ . Continental breakfast. $83 (Dec 2021).
- 1 Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites, 3933 JBS Parkway, ☏ , fax: .
- 2 MCM Grande & Fundome, 6201 E. Business Loop-20, ☏ , fax: . Free airport shuttle. Waterslides to go along with indoor pool and miniature golf. $74 (Dec 2021).
- Odessa Meteor Crater - Exit from I-20 10 miles southwest of town (take exit 108 and drive 3 miles south, following the signs). This National Natural Landmark is the third biggest crater in the country and sixth in the world. Self-paced tours available 9AM-5PM daily. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Free.
|Routes through Odessa|
|Jct W E ← Monahans ←||W E||→ Midland → Abilene|
|Hereford ← Brownfield ←||N S||→ Fort Stockton → Big Bend|