Odessa, Texas, is a beautiful city in the southwest corner of the Llano Estacado in Western Texas. Odesa was named after the Ukrainian city of the same name because of the striking resemblance between the two places’ landscapes.
Despite being partly in Ector country and partly in Midland County, Odessa is the seat of Ector County. It is a small and friendly community that has grown from its 1881 beginnings as a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railways to its present-day prominence as the site of numerous oil fields, most notably the Permian Basin.
Let’s check out eight things you must know before moving to Odessa, TX!
1. The city has a thriving oil and gas sector
The Midland-Odessa metropolitan area, to which Odessa belongs, has a population of around 350,000 people and is often referred to by its nickname, the Petroplex. People are attracted to the area because of the abundance of high-paying opportunities in the oil, gas, energy, manufacturing, and transportation industries. The metropolitan area is home to numerous major corporations. These include Halliburton, Champion X, Anthem Oil & Gas, and Chevron.
Because of these career opportunities, Odessa now has a much younger population than the rest of the country, with a median age of just 30.6, compared to 38 for the whole country. In Odessa, the median family income is approximately $66,000 annually.
2. A lower-than-average cost of living
Odessa has a low cost of living, with an index of only about 85. Monthly living expenses for a single person in this city amount to around $2,110. This means that living in Odessa won’t break the bank or take too much of a toll on your pocket.
The average home in this city costs around $194,568. In comparison to the national average of $1,400, the average monthly rent in Odessa is just about $930.
3. The city is home to Odessa College and the University of Texas Permian Basin
Odessa’s many educational options aim to meet the needs of families with divergent priorities and expectations for their children. There are several top-notch options available, including public schools, charter schools, and private universities. The Harmony Science Academy is a charter school that is considered to be among the best in the city. About 35 schools are in the district’s care, and some of them are magnet school options.
Odessa’s educational options are rounded out by a number of private institutions, such as St. Mary’s Central Catholic School and Permian Basin Christian School. Since Odessa is home to both Odessa College and the University of Texas Permian Basin, it is fair to call it a college town.
4. Enjoy the city’s favorable weather
In Odessa, you can enjoy the great outdoors and participate in many exciting pursuits. The climate here is pleasant, so you get to spend a lot of time outside without shivering or getting drenched.
The annual precipitation in the city is about 15 inches, which is significantly less than the national averages of 38 inches for rain and 28 inches for snow. There are over 260 sunny days per year in the city, which is roughly 50 higher than the national average.
5. Get around the city on E-Z Rider
Moving to a city without a car or limited access to one means learning the ins and outs of public transportation.
E-Z Rider, which operates the city’s public bus system, transports people between Odessa and the neighboring city of Midland. The system provides both regular bus service and a paratransit option for older people and the physically challenged. Monday through Friday, the bus schedule is 6:15 a.m. to 6:10 p.m., and Saturday’s schedule is 8:15 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
6. Catch a Show at The Globe of the Great Southwest or The Permian Playhouse
The city is home to a number of exceptional theaters and performance spaces where folks can enjoy the arts.
The Globe of the Great Southwest is an exact replica of Shakespeare’s iconic Globe Theatre, and the Permian Playhouse is where you can see all kinds of thrilling and entertaining acts in comedy, music, drama, and dance. There are many plays performed there, and there is also an annual Shakespeare festival.
7. Catch a game at the Ector County Coliseum or Ratcliff Stadium
Sports lovers, you won’t want to miss out on the thrilling action of a West Texas Roughnecks game or the exciting ice hockey skills of the Odessa Jackalopes Junior team at the Ector County Coliseum!
High school football is huge here as well! Ratcliff Stadium is home to both the legendary Permian Panthers and the well-known Odessa Bronchos. Fun fact: it’s one of the largest high school football fields in the entire state.
8. Visit McKinney Park, Monahans Sandhills State Park, or The Odessa Meteor Crater
There are many different places to have fun at McKinney Park, including baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, a playground, hiking, and biking paths, and more. Wheelchair-friendly rides, attractions, and play areas abound in Progressive Park, making it an ideal destination for kids with disabilities.
About 20 miles southwest of the city, in a natural desert environment with ever-changing dunes, is Monahans Sandhills State Park. The winds are always carving out new peaks and valleys, so each visit will be unique.
Over 30 miles of craters were left when a meteor crashed into the area now known as Odessa 62,000 years ago. The Odessa Meteor Crater and its accompanying museum are open to the public, despite the fact that the crater is now only about 17 feet deep. The location provides an excellent opportunity to show your children local wildlife and is a terrific approach to introduce them to the scientific method.
Odessa’s dynamic economy, low cost of living, favorable weather, and unique blend of modernism and local tradition are just a few of the city’s many positives. If you’re looking for the perfect mix of culture and fun, Odessa is just perfect for you.