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Area Guide

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The city of Odessa is home to unsurpassed beauty of the West Texas sunsets and a climate that is warm and inviting. Odessa is located in Ector and Midland counties in Texas, but since Odessa lies mainly in Ector County, it was chosen as the county seat. Odessa is a paradise with a diverse history, rich with beautiful parks and attractions which draw more people each year. As of the 2000 census, Odessa was estimated to have a population of approximately 91,000. Odessa is also well known for its hospitality and people with deep appreciation of colorful past and enthusiasm for a future rich with possibilities. This is a city where cowboys, culture, oil and everything in between bring visitors a flavor so delicious it can only be described as A City of Contrasts.

Odessa History

Two Texas Cowboys

Odessa lies in an area called the Permian Basin after the Permian Period when the basin was formed and was covered with a shallow sea. When the water dried up, all the decaying plants and animals eventually formed gigantic pools of oil and gas that are still being used today. Also, three of the states major land resources, the High Plains, Trans Pecos, and Edwards Plateau all meet here.

The Odessa we know was established in 1881 as a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroads. The availability of cheap land encouraged settlers to the area from 1879 to 1885. The first ranchers arrived in 1885, but it was the railroad that made Odessa vital to the cattle industry. By the mid 1890’s Odessa was established as a cattle shipping center.

Silhouette of Farm Windmill at Sunset

When oil was discovered in 1926, the destiny of the community took a different course. This discovery brought people of varied interests and occupations to the area, and the local economy began to change from a ranching base into an industrial one. Due to this, Odessa is considered one of the major oil field technology centers in the world.

Today, Odessa is alive and thriving. Oil and gas has remained the largest industry, although the city has begun to diversify. Odessa is quickly being recognized as a major health industry hub with two hospitals, a cancer center and several medical specialists in the area. Family Dollar Distribution Center will serve as one of Odessa’s largest retail employers.

For this and more information on Odessa’s history, please feel free to visit the following site: http://www.odessacvb.com/about-cvb/about-odessa


Odessa Parks and Recreation

Mother and daughters feeding ducks at lake

Odessa is home to a plethora of parks and recreations for people of all ages and all abilities. These beautiful parks are open for residents and visitors alike to wander meandering trails, enjoy a picnic or barbeque lunch at one of the many tables and pavilions available. Each Odessa Park offers something unique for visitors to take part in, for instance, during the month of December at the neighborhood McKinney Park visitors can view the thousands of Christmas lights that make up the Starbright Village.

If you enjoy seasonal color landscaping, Optimist Park offers just that, as well as a picnic pavilion, tennis courts and a baseball field.

Nöel Heritage Plaza

Nöel Heritage Plaza is an oasis in the center of downtown Odessa. Located next to the Ector County Library, it is a popular place for cultural events such as Musical Venus. The landscaping, archways, small stage and life-size statues make this a perfect place for weddings and private parties. During the holidays it is a winter wonderland alive with twinkling lights and decorations.

Comanche Trail Park

Comanche Trail Park encompasses 160 acres and is adjacent to the Monahans Draw. The 3.5 mile paved trail system is a highlight because of the unique concentration of wildlife and foliage. The park has a man-made pond that is stocked with a variety of game fish. Comanche Trail is home to many birds and is a wonderful place for the aviary enthusiast. The playground, soccer and baseball fields provide facilities for kids and adults alike.

Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is Odessa’s most active park site and offers a variety of recreational and sports activities. The 65-acre park has facilities for baseball, soccer, sand volleyball and tennis. The park has a large playground facility and is home to “Prairie Pete”. Children have enjoyed this facility for many years. New features at the park include a family aquatic facility. The new facility includes water slides, lap pools, a water playground, a tots sprayground, and picnic pavilion. The Community Center, located in the northeast corner of the park, is a great place for gatherings and events.

Woodson Park

Woodson Parkhas a total of 13 acres and is the official site for the annual Juneteenth celebrations. The park has softball and tennis facilities, along with a playground. In addition, the park is home to a new family aquatic facility that will include water slides, lap pools, a water playground, a tots sprayground and picnic pavilions. The Community Center will accommodate up to 150 people, and provides a great place for celebrations, church and social gatherings.

Soccer theme

U.T.P.B. Park

U.T.P.B. Parkis a community sports park. The park is home to 8 lighted softball fields; 4 lighted women’s softball fields; 7 soccer fields; 6 lighted tennis courts; 2 little league baseball fields; a playground; covered picnic facilities; courts for sand volleyball, basketball and tennis courts; paved walking trails; a one acre pond; ample parking area; and beautiful landscaping.

Jim Parker Park

Jim Parker Park is a neighborhood park with a picnic pavilion and playground. This popular park is home to baseball, tennis and volleyball facilities. There is a covered picnic area for an enjoyable picnic.

Slator Park

Slator Park is a neighborhood park with playground and softball facilities. This park is home to the area’s most popular community center.

Salinas Park

Salinas Park is a neighborhood park that provides area visitors with playground and baseball fields.

Memorial Gardens

Memorial Gardens, formerly Buffalo Wallow, is a playa lake that formed when buffalo wallowed in the dirt, digging out a large area that later filled with water. It was recently developed as a hike/bike trail that includes a xeriscape garden with a waterfall, bridges, restroom and lights. There is a powerful fountain in the center of the water that adds to the scenic area. Several beautiful sculptures adorn this park.

Floyd Gwinn Park

Floyd Gwinn Park was the first park built in Odessa and has two playground areas, two tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, lighted volleyball courts, and soccer fields. The pool provides fun and recreation for area swimmers in summer months. The Floyd Gwinn Gymnasium gives local groups the opportunity to provide activities for children and adults alike. This park houses the Police Athletic League facilities.

The Barrier Free Progressive Park

The Barrier Free Progressive Park is a park especially designed to meet the needs of disabled children. The park features two play areas for different age groups, a sensory garden for visually challenged children, and talking tubes to communicate around the park. The park is a project sponsored, designed and partially funded by the downtown Lioness Club.

New Baseball in a Glove

Ratliff Stadium Soccer and Softball Complex

Ratliff Stadium Soccer and Softball Complex is one of the newest parks in Odessa. Located next to Ratliff Stadium at Yukon and Grandview, the complex encompasses two lighted fields for fast-pitch and softball and two-lighted soccer fields.


Odessa Attractions

street hockey Odessa is home to many exciting attractions that will keep you and your family busy all year long. Come visit one of the area’s many museums and don’t forget to bring your camera!

The Presidential Museum

The Presidential Museum is one of the few museums in the country dedicated solely to the office of the President. Permanent exhibitions include the Dishong collection of First Lady miniature dolls, campaign trivia, historical documents, and the Leadership Library of the Presidents. Also on site is the former home of two Presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Ellen Noel Art Museum

Located on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, the Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin is an independent art museum that features rotating exhibitions of historical and contemporary art, a permanent sculpture/sensory garden, and programs of art education for all ages. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 5PM and Sunday from 2 to 5PM, Ellen Noel Art Museum offers free admission to the public.

The White-Pool House

The White-Pool House Museum is the oldest structure of importance in Odessa, having been built in 1887. The house was originally built by Charles and Lucy White similar to the home they left behind in Indiana. This museum gives visitors the unique opportunity to view and learn about various periods in Odessa’s history. Free to the public, the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10AM to 3PM.

The Parker House

The Parker House Museum is in honor of the Parker family that moved into this house in 1935. The museum represents the lifestyle of this prominent ranching family and all those they helped to serve in the communities of Andrews and Ector counties since 1907. Open Wednesday-Saturday from 10AM- 3PM, the Parker House Museum represents Odessa’s newest addition to the historical records of Odessa.

Odessa Country Club

golf ball lies just above green

A long and rich tradition of golf excellence has been developed at the Odessa Country Club. This exclusive member owned Country Club is located in East Odessa and is minutes from Midland International Airport and is conveniently located between Midland and Odessa. The Old Course is a traditional design, shaped by tree-lined fairways, and challenging contoured greens, putting an emphasis on shot-making ability. The Links Course is a links style design with rolling mounds, numerous bunkers, large fast greens and intimidating water hazards to test your skill.

Odessa Country Club prides itself on having a very extensive practice facility with a 4 tee driving range with many targets giving you a chance to practice in any wind condition with any club in your bag. They also have 3 short game areas with bunkers and greens to practice pitching, chipping, and bunker play. Each golf course has its own practice putting green to compliment our main 14,000 square feet green outside OCC’s main clubhouse as well.

The Club itself was established in 1939 and boasts 36 holes of championship golf with two very unique courses, The Old Course and The Links Course. Both golf courses offer 18 holes of golf with 5 different sets of tees for all levels and abilities. Odessa Country Club offers our membership an extensive tournament program as well. Mens, Ladies, Couples, and Junior tournaments are scheduled throughout the year for both the extremely competitive golfer, and the golfer looking for a more casual competitive round. Odessa Country Club members a large assortment of the very best and latest in golf apparel, equipment, accessories and services along with non-golf products at fair and competitive prices for their perusal. OCC also employee 6 golf professionals on staff to provide golf instruction with private or group lessons, clinics, playing lessons, and junior golf instruction.
Please click here for information on the facilities:
http://www.odessacc.com/viewCustomPage.aspx?id=1