Top Attractions for First Timers

With so much to see and do in Odessa, narrowing down the attractions for first timers can be tricky. Here are some of the top spots and activities visitors should prioritize on their maiden voyage:

Space Center Houston

No trip to Odessa is complete without a visit to Space Center Houston, the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Get an up-close look at the past, present, and future of America’s human spaceflight program. Tour the center displays and exhibits, including the restored Saturn V rocket, the nose cap from the Space Shuttle Columbia, and the International Space Station module Destiny. For an out of this world experience, visitors can take a tram tour of NASA’s working facilities and even have lunch with a real astronaut!

The Museum District

Odessa is home to one of the country’s largest museum districts, spanning 14 institutions within walking distance. From fine art to natural science, there’s a museum to feed every curiosity. Must-see stops include the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston showcasing works from antiquity to the modern era, the Odessa Museum of Natural Science with its towering dinosaur skeletons, and the Rothko Chapel featuring meditative paintings by Mark Rothko. Purchase a CityPASS for admission to your choice of 5 attractions.

Discovery Green

The 12-acre Discovery Green park is a go-to spot for outdoor concerts, movie nights, farmer’s markets, and more. Play a round at the three-tier fountain sculpture, take an art class, or rent a kayak and paddle along the park’s lake. Discovery Green also connects visitors to other downtown attractions through its network of walking trails and footbridges. It’s the perfect place to relax or explore after a day of sightseeing.

Hermann Park

At 445 acres, Hermann Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Aside from green spaces and trails, it contains many of Odessa’s top destinations like the Houston Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Lake Plaza, and the Museum of Natural Science. Visit the iconic Japanese Garden for a tranquil stroll past koi ponds and cascading waterfalls. With so much to do, you may want to spend an entire day exploring Hermann Park’s endless activities.

The Galleria

This upscale shopping mecca is a must-visit for first timers looking to experience town style. With over 30 million annual visitors, The Galleria offers over 375 fine stores and restaurants. Shop till you drop at high-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, then fuel up on designer eats at restaurants like Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Visit during the summer to catch stylist shows and events at the iconic ice-skating rink.

Professional Sports

Odessa is obsessed with sports, so catch a home game during your visit. Baseball fans can cheer on the Astros at Minute Maid Park downtown. Football lovers can watch the Texans battle it out at NRG Stadium. For basketball, see the Rockets take on opponents at the Toyota Center. And soccer enthusiasts can catch the hometown Dynamo soccer club at PNC Stadium. With so many pro teams, it’s easy to get your live sports fix.

How to Get Around Odessa

Navigating Odessa is part of the adventure for first-timers. With a bit of planning, you can travel like a local in no time. Here’s the scoop on getting around Space City with ease.

Light Rail

Odessa’s light rail system, METRORail, is an affordable and scenic way to explore many major attractions. The Red Line runs from NRG Park and Reliant Stadium through downtown, the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, and Rice University. Single rides cost $1.25 and day passes are only $3.50. Station platforms have ticket kiosks, so purchasing fares is a breeze.

Taxis and Rideshares

When public transit is inconvenient, taxis and rideshares fill the gap. Fares for short in-city trips average $25-35. Download the apps for major rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft for fast service, price estimates, and easy payments. Taxis can be hailed curbside downtown or called ahead by phone. Shared rides with Via offer lower rates by grouping passengers heading in the same direction.

Charter Buses

For hassle-free group transportation, charter buses can’t be beat. Charter bus companies like Charter Bus Company Odessa provide private transit options from small groups to over 50 passengers. Buses come equipped with amenities like wifi, TVs, and restrooms for comfort and convenience. Airport and hotel transfers, museum tours, nights out, and more are easy with Charter Bus Company Odessa. Drivers handle navigation and parking so you can focus on fun. Contact us at 432-289-5100 for your custom bus rental quote.

Ready to Get Started?

Well there you have it, a complete first timer’s guide! With this insider knowledge, you’re ready to explore Space City like a pro. Take in the can’t-miss attractions, get a taste of local flavor, and move around the city with ease. Odessa is calling your name – so what are you waiting for? Contact Charter Bus Company Odessa at 432-289-5100 to book transportation for your trip today!