Permian High School

Panhandle Plains

In 1990 the book Friday Night Lights was published to much critical acclaim. In it, journalist HG ‘Buzz’ Bissinger followed the Panthers football team of Permian High School during the team’s 1988 season. No fawning bit of fluff, the book delved deeply into the lives of the young players and their coaches. It showed teenage angst and portrayed a community where academic excellence was ridiculed in favor of success on the playing field.

Many locals were horrified at its exposure of racism and other social ills in Odessa. The book later became a 1994 movie and was used as a basis for a TV series that ran in fits and starts from 2006 to 2011. In recent years the team has had a mediocre record despite the ongoing fan mania, as exemplified by the 20,000-seat football stadium.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Panhandle Plains attractions

2. Jackrabbit Statue

2.72 MILES

This eight-foot tall rabbit was the product of a local booster in 1962. Now a popular photo op, it reflects local attitudes about varmints in that a…

3. White-Pool House

3.09 MILES

Built in 1887, this is the oldest existing house in Ector County. It had just two owners for nearly a century when in 1973 the Pool family deeded it to…

4. Midland Army Air Field Museum

9.36 MILES

What had been the home of the Commemorative Air Force, the largest collection of flying historic military aircraft in the US, has been renamed. The famous…

5. Permian Basin Petroleum Museum

17.07 MILES

This museum is worth a stop even if you're not utterly fascinated with the oil business, for it's as much a history and geology museum as a shrine to the…

6. Museum of the Southwest

17.23 MILES

Housed in the 1937 Turner Mansion, itself a work of art, this museum has an art gallery, planetarium and a children's museum. Larger-than-life sculptures…

7. George W Bush Childhood Home

17.46 MILES

George and Barbara Bush moved to west Texas from patrician New England in 1948. A growing family, the Bushes lived in this house from 1952 to 1956, when…