The West is won in Downtown Odessa, which not only makes for a great 24-hour intermission during a road-trip trek to Big Bend National Park, but also holds it own as a main destination.
Get it on an event
Time your trip right to catch one of the 10 annual events hosted by downtown Odessa, or groups that call the city home, including the West Texas Radio Group’s Tacos and Tequila Festival and the Lowriders Against Bullying Car Show, which brings in participants from all over the country.
In June is the 56th annual West Texas Jazz Party, the oldest jazz party in the world and it features performances from 20 leading jazz musicians.
The 25th Firecracker Fandango is July 2, and it’s a family-friendly day of live music, car shows, food trucks, and an incredible fireworks finale.
Later in the year, Downtown Odessa’s annual Parade of Lights is the first Saturday of December and is the largest Christmas parade in the region, with more than 50,000 people lining the parade route each year.
Stay, see, and shop
While you’re in town, book a stay at the Odessa Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, which has elevated West Texas style along with all the modern comforts you could want, including a resort-style pool, a fully curated art collection, and bold food and drink flavors at Barrel and Derrick and the White Buffalo Bar.
The hotel is also connected to the newly renovated, historic Ector Theatre, so world-class entertainment, concerts, and performances are literally right next door.
Makers and entrepreneurs also have amazing shops nearby, including La Catrina & Co. western apparel and Isy’s Fine Jewelry, along with Simplee Posh, Gifts R Us, and Copper Key Gifts for unique finds.
Eat like a local
Odessa has a number of mom-and-pop-style restaurants downtown to love. Across from City Hall, dine on a fusion of Hispanic and Asian cuisine inside a restored bungalow at Rooster's Diner.
If you're craving an old-fashioned hamburger, visit the downtown institution that is the Permian Basin Hamburger Company and get the chili cheeseburger — a local tradition.
Side Bar and Grill has a great patio along with weekly live music, and The House Downtown Bar also serves up chill vibes.
Find south-of-the-border flavors at a whole list of places, including Cafe San Blas, Casa Ortiz, El Sinaloense Mariscos and Bar, and Delicias. And be sure not to miss Fountainville for scratch-made ice cream.
For more information and to plan your next trip, visit Downtown Odessa.