Things to Do in Odessa, Texas

March 9, 2023

things to do in odessa texas

If you’re visiting Odessa, Texas for the first time, there are plenty of exciting things to do. You can attend live performances, see festivals in vibrant colors, and experience a variety of culture.

You can visit the Ellen Noel Art Museum and experience a diverse range of artwork from both Texas and international artists. It also features several cultural programs and a sculpture garden.

The Ellen Noel Art Museum

The Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin, a Smithsonian Affiliate, showcases exhibits of both local and national importance. Its exhibitions, classes and summer camps are a vital part of the region’s culture and arts ecosystem.

The museum’s permanent collection features works by renowned artists. Highlights include Barbara Hepworth’s Sea Form (Porthmeor), 1958, bronze and Robert Adams’ Upright Leaf Forms, 1957, iron.

Exhibits include contemporary and historic artwork from across the country. In addition, the George and Milly Rhodus Sculpture and Sensory Garden blends the west Texas sun and air with a blend of three dimensional works that incorporate sound, texture and fragrance.

The museum hosts an annual Permian Basin Juried Art Exhibition that aims to highlight the talent of local and regional artists. This year, submissions are open until April 18th. The top 3 artworks with the most vote likes will receive People’s Choice Awards. The exhibition is free for the public to view.

Noel Heritage Plaza

Located in downtown Odessa, Noel Heritage Plaza is one of the city's most vibrant spots. It hosts many different events and features several exhibits to give visitors a glimpse into Texas culture.

The Ellen Noel Art Museum is a great place to check out a variety of artworks from both local and international artists. It also offers a Learning Center where visitors can learn about Odessa's history and culture through talks and tours.

Another fascinating attraction near Odessa is the Permian Basin Stonehenge. It is an enchanting monument made of gigantic limestone blocks. It is a relic of a meteor crater that crashed into the Earth over 20,000 years ago, and today it serves as a reminder of nature's power and beauty.

Odessa also has a number of other interesting attractions that you should visit during your trip. Among them is the Million Barrel Museum, which is a unique museum that features an elliptical cement oil tank that can store up to a million barrels of crude oil.

Globe of the Great Southwest

The Globe of the Great Southwest, located on Odessa College's campus, is an exact reconstruction of Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre in London. It seats 441 attendees around an octagonal stage with incredible acoustics that replicate the intimate actor-audience relationship of the Elizabethan era.

The idea to rebuild a Shakespearean theater in Odessa, Texas, originated in 1948 in a high school English class taught by Marjorie Morris. One of her students brought a model of the Globe to class and commented that it would be exciting to have a real, life-sized replica in Odessa.

That casual remark fired her with a zeal to make that dream a reality. She worked tirelessly to raise funds and build the theater.

The Globe Theatre is a non-profit organization that presents classical and contemporary plays on an Elizabethan stage. It also hosts community theater performances, country western shows and other activities. The Globe Theatre is part of a complex that also includes the Anne Hathaway Cottage, a replica of the home where Shakespeare lived and wrote many of his plays.

Permian Basin Stonehenge

Located on the campus of the University of Texas, this stone monument is a replica of one of England's most famous landmarks. About 20 limestone blocks similar in size and shape to the original Stonehenge are used in this replica.

The original took 2,000 years to complete, but this replica was built by students at the university in six weeks! It's made up of limestone slabs that reach 19 feet high and weigh 20,000 pounds each.

It's exact in horizontal scale and astronomically accurate, making it perfect for teaching purposes. It's surrounded by educational markers and is a great place to visit in the morning before the heat kicks in.

The Parker House Ranching Museum gives visitors an insider's look at Odessa's ranching history. Set within the restored home of a prominent family, the museum features period decor and exhibits that showcase different periods in Odessa's history.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram