There are some interesting things to see around the area outside of Odessa that are worth venturing out to. Here are our 6 favorite day trips from Odessa, Texas!

Balmorhea State Park Balmorhea State Park

One of the best day trips is Balmorhea State Park, home to the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool built back in the 1930s. Here you can swim, scuba, or skin dive, camp, geocache, and bird watching. The park has picnic sites, an outdoor sports area, and a playground. More than 15 million gallons of water flow through the pool each day, gushing from the San Solomon Springs. The pool is up to 25 feet deep, covers 1.3 acres, and holds 3.5 million gallons of water. The water temperature stays at 72 to 76 degrees year-round. It’s deep, so I recommend putting kids in a life jacket.

Monahans Sandhills

The Monahans Sandhills State Park is a 3,840-acre state park just 31 miles west of Odessa. You can rent sand disks at the park headquarters and slide down the dunes for $2 for 2 hours. The park is open daily, but the gate may be locked after 10 p.m. on some holidays. My kids LOVE doing this.

  • Adult: $4 Daily and Child 12 Years and under are free

Carlsbad Caverns

3 hours from Odessa is Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is located within the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico. It features more than 100 caves. The Natural Entrance is a path into the namesake Carlsbad Cavern. Stalactites cling to the roof of the Big Room, a huge underground chamber in the cavern.

Adults (16 and older): $12 per person, Children (15 and under): Free

Guadalupe Mountains

The Guadalupe Mountains are a great place to go hiking with 80 miles of hiking trails. Within this National Park is the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation, and survival. Come experience mountains and canyons, desert and dunes, night skies, and spectacular vistas.

McDonald’s Observatory

McDonald Observatory is located in the Davis Mountains of West Texas 2 hours and 20 minutes from Odessa, under some of the darkest skies in the continental United States.

McDonald Observatory welcomes the public at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center for star parties and exhibits. Weather permitting, guided star parties are held weekly at the Rebecca Gale Telescope Park, which now features, among a wide variety of 8-24 in telescopes, the Wren-Marcario Accessible Telescope (WMAT) with wheelchair access, available to all guests.

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MarfaPrada store in Marfa

Marfa, a small desert city in west Texas, is known as an arts hub and a 2 hour and 40-minute drive from Odessa.  The town was established in 1883 as a water stop and freight headquarters for the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway. Nowadays it’s back in the public eye for having this random Prada store! But they are best known for the Marfa lights, near U.S. Route 67 on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa. They have gained some fame as onlookers have ascribed them to paranormal phenomena such as ghosts and UFOs.

You should consider making this an overnight trip and staying in a teepee at El Cosmico.

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6-fun-day-trips-from-Odessa Texas