In a state known for its endless plains, Midland stands out. Nicknamed the “Tall City,” this metropolis rises quite literally above the Southern Plains of Texas.
Midland was founded in 1881 as a midway stop between Fort Worth and El Paso on the Texas and Pacific Railroad. When oil was discovered in the Permian Basin in 1923, the city quickly transformed from a sleepy outpost to the unofficial headquarters of the West Texas oil industry.
Learn about the “black gold” that shaped this region’s economy at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. This massive center depicts the oil industry through murals, antique drilling equipment and historical artifacts.
In the beautiful Turner Mansion, visit the Museum of the Southwest, an impressive display of art and artifacts from the American Southwest. Bring younger visitors to the Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum, which is filled with interactive exhibits. The Marian West and William Blanton Blakemore Planetarium gives visitors a glimpse into the night sky with sky shows and star viewings.
To learn about Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War or to explore Western artifacts, see the exhibits at the Haley Memorial Library and History Center. This downtown compound takes visitors on a journey through the history of Texas, from early Western settlement to the development of the railroad and later mining industries.
Although downtown Midland is known for its skyscrapers, it retains a small city charm. Enjoy a leisurely meal or shop at local boutiques. Take advantage of the lively cultural scene downtown. Yucca Theater and Cole Theater regularly put on highly acclaimed plays and other productions.
The city also has White House connections as the hometown of First Lady Laura Bush and residence of both Bush presidents at one time or another.
There’s a reason wide-brimmed cowboy hats are so popular in Texas; expect sunshine throughout the year. Precipitation is rare and temperatures rarely fall below freezing even during winter cold waves.