Moving to Odessa

Are you feeling the stirrings of a Lone Star State adventure tugging at your spirit? Do you dream of moving to a place that's rich with history, oozing with charm, and brimming with opportunities? Dear reader, your compass may just be pointing you towards the sun-kissed landscapes of Odessa, Texas. In this comprehensive Odessa relocation guide, we'll whisk you across this captivating locale, carry you through the vital metrics, and nudge you towards useful tips to navigate this delightful transition. Hang onto your cowboy hat, we're headed off to explore Odessa!

Moving to Odessa, TX landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Odessa

1. It's an Oil Town

Odessa, beloved for its oil history, is a bustling city situated in the heart of the West Texas oil fields. This is a work-hard, play-hard region with an economy that is directly linked to the fortunes of the petroleum industry. If you're thinking about moving for job purposes, you couldn't pick a better spot as the city is home to a range of oil and energy companies that frequently recruit.

2. A Captivating Blend of Cultures

The city is a fascinating blend of American southern charm and rich Mexican culture. This cultural melting pot is evident in Odessa's vibrant food scene. From mouth-watering Texas barbecues to tantalizing Mexican cuisine, you are bound to find recipes that will tickle your taste buds. Embrace the locale, have a churro for breakfast, and make tacos a Tuesday tradition!

3. The City Where Friday Night Lights Set

Football is an integral part of the culture in Odessa. If you ever paid attention to the book, movie or television series "Friday Night Lights," you're already aware that it was inspired by the Permian Panthers about the social and cultural impact of high school football in Odessa. So, if you love football or enjoy spending your Friday nights under the stadium lights, Odessa may just become your dream town.

4. Inspired by Shakespeare's Birthplace

Here's a little unique nugget about Odessa: it has a surprising connection to Stratford-upon-Avon, more famously known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The unique link is manifested in the form of the Globe of the Great Southwest. This theater, a replica of the original Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, hosts authentic Elizabethan-style productions of the Bard's work amidst Texan landscape.

5. Be Ready for a Hot and Dry Climate

As you might expect in West Texas, Odessa offers a semi-arid climate. This means it gets hot, really hot in the summer months, with temperature soaring into triple digits. The city, though, does cool down a bit in the winter. But forget about building a snowman; snow is a rare sight in this part of the country. So, if you're moving here, be prepared for the heat and remember the importance of hydration!

6. It's Home to Stonehenge Replica

Perhaps one of the most unusually delightful aspects of Odessa is its very own Stonehenge. Yes, you read that correctly! The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is home to a near-exact replica of the ancient structure in England, known as Stonehenge. Whether you're an aficionado of historic mysteries or looking for a unique backdrop for a family photo, this has to be one of Odessa's most remarkable stops.

Overall, moving to Odessa, Texas, can be an exciting adventure. Rich in oil history, a love of football, interspersed with intriguing nods to Shakespeare and ancient British history, and a pleasant blend of cultures--it's definitely got its own unique flavor! Just remember to keep sunscreen handy and brace yourself for a warm welcome, literally and metaphorically, to West Texas.

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Pros and Cons of Living in Odessa

Pros of Living in Odessa

Economic Opportunities

Odessa's economy is fueled by the oil and gas industry, which provides an abundance of job opportunities. This sector's strong presence makes it possible for those with the right skill sets and qualifications to find stable employment with competitive wages. Moreover, the city is continually diversifying its economy to create more opportunities.

Low Cost of Living

Living in Odessa is relatively cheaper compared to many other parts of the US. From housing to groceries, prices are generally lower, making it easier for residents to meet their daily needs and save money for other expenditures. The low cost of living can make it an ideal place for individuals or families on a budget.

Outdoor Activities

Odessa offers a variety of outdoor activities for adventure-seekers and nature lovers. There are several parks and recreational areas where residents can enjoy hiking, biking, picnicking or just appreciating the beautiful scenery. The city also hosts several community events that help foster a strong sense of community.

Tight-Knit Community

Many people who live in Odessa appreciate the close-knit community atmosphere. Despite its growing population, the city retains a small-town feel where neighbors know each other and community events like fairs, rodeos, and parades are a big highlight. This can make it easier to form strong bonds and build a strong social network.

Rich History and Culture

Odessa boasts a rich history and culture that residents can explore. The city offers several historical and cultural institutions, including museums, art centers, and theaters. It's also home to a replica of Stonehenge, which always serves as a unique point of attraction for both locals and visitors.

Cons of Living in Odessa


Odessa is located in West Texas, and it can feel isolated from other major cities. This geographical seclusion might not be suitable for everyone, and traveling to see family or for weekend getaways to larger urban centers can be time-consuming and costly.


Odessa experiences a semi-arid climate with hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters. Those not accustomed to such weather conditions may find the high summer temperatures and the occasional dust storms uncomfortable.

Economic Instability due to Oil Dependence

While the oil industry provides many jobs in Odessa, it also exposes the city to boom-and-bust cycles. When the oil industry is doing well, the city thrives, but when oil prices drop, it can lead to job losses and economic downturns.

Limited Entertainment and Dining Options

Compared to larger cities, Odessa has limited options when it comes to fine dining, shopping, and entertainment. However, local efforts to expand these options are ongoing to meet the demands of the growing population.

Crime Rate

The crime rate in Odessa is relatively high compared to some other cities in the US. Despite local efforts to improve safety and the overall living environment, potential residents might want to consider this factor when deciding to move to Odessa.

Modern day picture of Odessa, TX highlighting pros and cons of living in Odessa, TX

Is Odessa a Good Place to Live?

Odessa, TX is a great place to live because of its rich history, warm climate, and thriving economy centered on the oil industry. The city offers various recreational activities with numerous parks, a zoo, and the acclaimed Globe Theatre. Additionally, its friendly community and low cost of living make it an inviting place to settle down.

What Is Odessa Famous For?


Friday Night Lights

Odessa is widely known for inspiring the book, movie, and television series, "Friday Night Lights". The town\'s obsession and passion for high school football, particularly the Permian Panthers football team, has been famously captured in these variations of popular media. The Permian High School football team\'s struggles and victories have made the city a symbol for small-town football enthusiasm across America.

The Meteor Crater

Just outside Odessa, you\'ll find one of the best-preserved meteorite craters in America! This meteor crater is about 550 feet in diameter and is believed to have struck nearly 20,000 years ago. So for those interested in astronomy and history - this is quite a landmark!

The Globe of the Great Southwest

Shakespeare fans, unite! Odessa is home to the Globe of the Great Southwest, a full-scale replica of Shakespeare\'s original Globe Theater in London. Each year, productions of the Bard\'s greatest hits come alive, taking visitors on a journey back to Elizabethan times.

The Jackrabbit Sculptures

If you take a stroll around Odessa\'s downtown, you\'re bound to encounter a variety of oversized rabbit statues! The Jackrabbit Sculptures are a fun city art project and each one is uniquely designed by a local artist. They have become quite a fun symbol of the city and a great photo op for tourists and locals alike.

' Capital building of Odessa, TX in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

In Odessa, TX, the general property tax rate is 1.89% as of 2023, which is significantly higher than the national average property tax rate of approximately 1.07%.

Sales Tax

As of 2023, the sales tax rate in Odessa, TX is 8.25%, on par with the average sales tax rate in the United States.

Income Tax

Odessa, TX does not have an income tax as of 2023. This is in contrast to the national average, where most states have a progressive income tax rate, typically ranging from 1% to 9.9%.

Housing Market

Odessa, Texas offers a diverse housing market that often pleasantly surprises both renters and buyers. The median home cost is significantly lower than the national average, making this an attractive landscape for potential buyers. For renters, the average rental costs are likewise below national averages. A recent growth trend serves as an encouraging sign of economic vitality. Investors or home buyers should note that the market is competitive and tends to favor sellers. Overall, Odessa presents a promising marketspace for those looking to participate in the housing market.

Cost of Living

Currently, the cost of living in Odessa, TX is comparatively lower than many U.S. cities. Housing is particularly affordable with the median home cost below the national average. Although transportation and healthcare costs are slightly above average, overall, utility and grocery expenses balance it out. The relatively low cost of living coupled with a thriving job market makes Odessa an appealing choice for many individuals and families. However, it's crucial to weigh these factors against personal lifestyle and income to gauge the true affordability of living in Odessa, TX.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Odessa, Texas enjoys a semi-arid climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters. The city experiences average summer highs of around 95degF (35degC), frequenting high 70sdegF (25degC) in the winter. Precipitation predominantly arrives in spring, albeit Odessa is relatively dry with roughly 14.6 inches of rain annually. On the meteorological downside, Odessa faces a variety of natural disaster risks. Tornadoes pose a significant threat, with the area encountering its share of twisters annually. Plus, thunderstorm winds are relatively common, often bringing damaging hail. Also, despite its arid climate, the city is not exempt from occasional floods. Additionally, extreme heat can lead to drought conditions, problematic for both agriculture and water supply. In terms of climate, weather, and natural disasters, Odessa thus presents a mixed bag of sun, storm, and sporadic severe conditions.

Typical weather in Odessa, TX

Economy & Job Market

Oil and Gas Extraction

Healthcare and Social Assistance


Retail Trade

Education Services

Historically, Odessa, Texas' economy was heavily anchored in the petroleum industry, thanks to its ideal location in the Permian Basin. The oil and gas extraction sector has played a pivotal role in shaping the city's economic profile, and continues to be a major player even today. However, over the years the city has successfully diversified its economic base. Today, alongside the thriving energy sector, health care and social assistance, construction, retail trade, and educational services also make up significant portions of the city's economy. A growing healthcare sector and an expanding educational system stand as important economic cornerstones in modern-day Odessa.

If you're thinking of joining the ranks of Odessa's workforce, good news! The city's unemployment rate is typically lower than the national average, indicating a relatively healthy job market. The oil and gas industry still offers plentiful opportunities, but don't let that limit your search! The health care sector, particularly at the city's Medical Center Hospital, and the education sector, especially with the Ector County Independent School District and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, are also substantial employers. Additionally, the city's construction and retail sectors are consistently in need of fresh talent as well. So, pack your cowboy boots, your best Texan drawl, and your work ethic and come find your fortune in Odessa!

Traffic and Transportation

Whizzing around the humming city of Odessa, TX? Brace yourself for some Lone Star State fun! Most folks in Odessa have an average commute time of around 20 minutes. Not too shabby! Now, while we all love a good road trip, Odessa also offers public transportation through the EZ-Rider system. It's well-loved by locals and gives you a chance to see the city without the fuss of maneuvering through traffic. But hey, if you're craving for a faster pace, the Midland International Air and Space Port is at your service! It's the nation's first with scheduled commercial services, providing the quickest gateway in and out of Odessa. Whether it's cruising down the highways or soaring high above the clouds, Odessa certainly keeps the journey exciting. Happy traveling!

What is the traffic like in Odessa, TX?

Best Neighborhoods in Odessa

1. Mission Gardens

If you're yearning for that quaint suburban community vibe, Mission Gardens has got your back. With tree-lined streets, well-manicured gardens and a respectful neighborhood community, this area feels like a cozy small-town tucked away in the heart of Odessa. This is where you get to mingle with friendly locals in one of the many parks or at the annual neighborhood block party. Despite its quiet ambience, Mission Gardens is just minutes away from downtown Odessa, making it the perfect blend of peaceful living and city convenience.

2. Parks Legado Town Center

For a more urbanized feel, we bet you'll find Parks Legado Town Center to be vibrant and energizing. Dubbed as the city's premier business and lifestyle district, this neighborhood features trendy boutiques, gourmet restaurants, spacious parks and more. You'll find young professionals walking their dogs, groups of friends laughing over brunch, and families enjoying the parks on weekends. This is definitely a lively place for social butterflies.

3. East Odessa

East Odessa is known to be the agricultural hub of the city, making it ideal for those who love wide open spaces and the smell of fresh cut hay. Imagine waking up every morning with a cup of coffee in one hand, breathing in the cool morning air, and watching the Texas sunrise over acres of ranch land. Yes, it's as tranquil as it sounds. In addition, the neighborhood boasts a number of popular dive bars and western clubs for those weekend nights when you feel like stepping out and getting a taste of that Texas nightlife.

4. University Park

Behold University Park -- a melting pot of cultures and a haven for education and innovation. With the University of Texas of the Permian Basin nestled in its midst, this neighborhood hums with the energy and creative spirit of students and scholars. From art galleries to tech start-ups to food trucks serving delectable cuisines from around the world, University Park is an exciting, eclectic mix that's sure to keep you on your toes.

5. Grafa Park

Last but definitely not least is Grafa Park. This neighborhood is like the perfect postcard of your ideal family-friendly community. Think kids riding their bikes, parents pushing strollers and eager teens tossing frisbees at the eponymous Grafa Park. Perhaps its most enchanting feature is its annual Christmas parade, which literally lights up the neighborhood with twinkle lights, joy and celebration. It's homey, it's charming, and it's where memories are made.

In conclusion, Odessa has a myriad of neighborhoods to suit every lifestyle, whether you're a peace-lover, a social butterfly, a nature enthusiast, a young intellectual or a family-oriented person. Here in these vibrant neighborhoods, you'll not just find a house - but a home and a community. So pack up, embrace the change and welcome to Odessa!

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Things to Do

Welcome to the Sun City of Texas, a place where the cowboy ethos meets a cosmopolitan vibe. Odessa, generally overshadowed by its proximal sibling, Midland, is rich in cultural history, vibrant lifestyle and delightful attractions. Whether you are relocating or just visiting, there's a lot to do in Odessa, Texas, with options that can cater to different tastes and preferences. Here we have handpicked seven top experiences that are worth adding to your Odessa journey.

1. Explore the Stonehenge Replica

Believe it or not, you can appreciate the majestic allure of Stonehenge without trekking across the Atlantic. UTPB (The University of Texas of the Permian Basin) campus offers a faithful reproduction of the iconic English monument, roughly half the original's size but equally awe-inspiring. Marvel at the colossal stones perfectly synchronized with the celestial movements, just like its ancient counterpart.

2. Discover the Charm of a Ghost Town

Texon is a short drive from Odessa and is listed as a ghost town of Texas. A once-thriving oil city, it now sits deserted with time-worn buildings that whisper tales of the past. Exploring Texon, you feel like traveling back in time, witnessing ruins that once stood tall. Remember to pack a camera -- the place is rich in eerie, photograph-worthy spots.

3. Attend a Show at the Globe Theatre

For theatre lovers, a visit to the Globe Theatre, a non-profit organization, is a must. Built as an Elizabethan replica, it greets visitors with an inviting, warm and intimate experience. Enjoy a delightful performance from the seasoned actors, or attend special events like the annual Shakespeare festival. The Globe Theatre is a proud cultural beacon of West Texas.

4. Watch Friday Night Lights

Even if you're not particularly fond of football, catching a Friday night game at Ratliff Stadium is an essential Odessa experience. Not just a local pastime, it blurs the line between sport and cultural celebration. The place inspired the book, movie, and TV show "Friday Night Lights", reflecting Texas's serious passion for high school football.

5. Visit the Presidential Archives and Leadership Library

Home to the only presidential portrait collection in Texas, the Presidential Archives is a tribute to American democracy and an interesting hangout for history enthusiasts. Peruse the biographical sketches of the U.S. Presidents and scrutinize the relics of national significance, ranging from presidential campaigns to the Women's suffrage movement.

6. Get Captivated at the Ellen Noel Art Museum

This is no ordinary art museum. Besides housing a wide range of art collections, the Ellen Noel Art Museum also offers interactive sensory exhibits like the sensory garden - a tactile art-making place for visually impaired visitors. The museum not only serves the conventional role of an art museum but also acts as a cultural center stimulating learning and creativity.

7. Unearth the Mystery of the Meteor Crater

Take a rough drive to the Odessa Meteor Crater, among the largest meteor craters in America and a designated Natural Landmark. The site's tiny museum allows you to learn about the meteoric event that occurred around 20,000 years ago, leaving behind a natural wonder that's worth exploring.

Odessa, Texas, is more than oil fields and cowboy boots. From historical sites and natural wonders to cultural hotspots and sports spectacles, this city in the Lone Star State surprises with its diversity. Start your Odessa adventure with these activities and dare to find the whimsical surprises the city has to offer the explorers at heart.

Things to do in Odessa, TX?

Find Movers for Your Odessa Relocation

As you embark on your exciting journey to Odessa, take the hassle out of moving with Great Guys Moving. Our role is to provide you a seamless transition through our strong network of reliable and licensed movers, all offering quality service at affordable rates. Quickly submit your move details to us, and we'll take it from there. Navigating the moving process has never been simpler. Elevate your moving experience to Odessa, request a free moving quote today with Great Guys Moving.

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