In conjunction with Midland and Andrews, Odessa forms the West Texas Tri-Cities. The Odessa, Texas high school, Permian, (nicknamed Mojo), became nationally famous with the production of the book and subsequent film "Friday Night Lights". The story chronicles the road followed by the 1988 Permian football team to the state finals in one of the most heart-stopping games in the history of Texas football.
This is a West Texas sports town and local fans fanatically follow the fortunes of their Odessa, Texas high school team. In addition the Ector County Coliseum also plays host to ice hockey competition and the annual rodeo, one of the favorite local events. (The rodeo is formally known as the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo).
Ten miles west, visitors to Odessa, Texas can view the second largest meteor crater in the United States. Tours of the crater, which is five hundred and fifty feet in diameter, are self-guided. The Thomas Rodman Museum and Visitor Center is the on-site facility at this interesting natural feature.
Visitors to Odessa, Texas can also view a life-size replica of Stonehenge erected as a learning tool on the campus of the local branch of the University of Texas. Historic walking tours of downtown are available and the Parker House Museum profiles the lifestyle of a prominent local ranching family.
The arts community includes The Permian Playhouse, a part of the community for more than forty years and the renovated, seven hundred seat, Ector Theatre, which is home to screenings of classic movies as well as a venue for live performances. (The Ector Theatre was built in 1951.) Odessa also hosts a Shakespeare Festival the Globe Theatre of the Great Southwest. (At other times of the year the Globe is host to a variety of live offerings including Broadway productions, country music shows, and gospel reviews.)
Culture has been kind to Odessa, Texas, gifting the community with the superb Midland-Odessa Symphony and Choral. The symphony draws international performers to its programs and offers a full card of classical and pop offerings throughout the year. In addition to regular musical performances, the group also hosts educational offerings year round.
Oil and gas production take up much of the local real estate. Odessa, Texas, with its sister city of Midland, sits at the heart of the state's oil and gas industry. Many is the buyer who hoped to strike oil under his real estate. Odessa, Texas has plenty of stories of that very thing happening and it was in the Midland-Odessa region that President George H.W. Bush got his start in the industry.
While visitors to Odessa, Texas have to cross one of the most barren portions of the state of Texas, both Odessa and its neighboring city of Midland are bright spots in that desert landscape. Although tourists may not flock to Odessa, Texas, those who do find themselves in this West Texas town will not lack for interesting activities, comfortable accommodations, and pleasing cuisine - all offered up with a hearty dose of West Texas friendliness and hospitality.