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Midland, Texas is Your Window to the West, conviniently located on Interstate 20 halfway between Fort Worth and El Paso. Midland International Airport is the closest airport to Big Bend National Park, making Midland the perfect place to begin and end your trip to the unique and beautiful West Texas/Big Bend Region.
There is always something going on in The Tall City--from festivals to sporting events, from planetarium productions to art shows. Below is a list of some of the many must-do experiences for your trip to Midland. For a complete list of attractions, accommodations and a calendar of events, visit: www.VisitMidlandTexas.com.
George W. Bush Childhood Home, 1412 W. Ohio, (432) 685-1112, www.BushChildhoodHome.org
Opened on April 11, 2006, the home has been restored to the early 1950s and reflects the lives of the young family through exhibits and furnishings. Nowhere outside the United States have so many prominent political figures lived in one home – two presidents, two governors, first lady, ambassador and a CIA director. When to Visit: Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sundays: 2 p.m.– 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission Charged.
Haley Library & History Center, 1805 W. Indiana, (432) 682-5785, www.haleylibrary.com
Learn about Texas and southwestern history including the cattle industry and those behind it. The library features more than 30,000 volumes covering western exploration, early railroads, and the development of ranching, mining, petroleum and politics. The library also features extensive information on the Lincoln County War and Billy the Kid, and a collection of bronze sculptures, paintings and artifacts. When to Visit: Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. Admission: Free.
Museum of the Southwest, 1705 W. Missouri, (432) 683-2882, www.museumsw.org
Housed in the Turner Mansion, which is posted in the National Register of Historic Places, the Museum of the Southwest collects and exhibits art and archaeology from the American Southwest. The museum also hosts traveling and temporary exhibits covering a broad range of art from Currier & Ives to Andy Warhol, archaeology to astronomy. Also visit the Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum and Marian Blakemore Planetarium next to the Museum. Admission Free.
Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum
On the grounds of the Museum of the Southwest, the children’s museum features three exhibit areas that emphasize interactive learning through pure creativity and imagination for children of all ages. Call for program information. Admission $2. Children under 1 free.
Marian Blakemore Planetarium
The Marian C. Blakemore Planetarium has recently re-opened featuring a revamped state-of-the-art projection theater (one of only eight Spitz HD Star Projectors in the nation) and a new education classroom will highlight this extensive remodel. For information on tour bookings and the return of the sky shows, please call the Museum at 432-683-2882. Group rates available.
When to Visit: The above three facilities are open Tuesday– Saturday: 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.; Sunday: 2 p.m.– 5 p.m. Closed: Mondays and national holidays. Nationally accredited.
Permian Basin Petroleum Museum & Chaparral Gallery, 1500 W. Interstate 20, (432) 683-4403, www.petroleummuseum.org
Walk through an ancient sea…parade through downtown Boomtown…experience the technologies of the Petroleum Industries. The interactive Petroleum Museum takes you step-by-step through the dynamic search for black gold. Don’t miss the world’s largest collection of antique oil drilling equipment. Life-size murals, ancient artifacts, antique drilling equipment and colorful memorabilia combine with rooms of breathtaking beauty of Tom Lovell’s murals depicting the American West. A can’t miss on your visit to Midland! The Chaparral Gallery is home to all seven of Jim Hall's Chaparral racecars. Experience the engineering genius of the cars through science-related interactives. When to Visit: Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday: 2 p.m.–5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day. Admission charged.
Sibley Nature Center, 1307 E. Wadley, (432) 684-6827, www.sibleynaturecenter.org
Visit this unique nature center geared toward educating children about the plants and animals native to West Texas. Experience a light hike down nature trails and examine wildlife habitats. The center can customize programs to suit different educational needs and studies for nature enthusiasts. Please call for advance reservations. When to Visit: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Special programming occurs on Saturday; check the Calendar for upcoming events and activities.
Scarborough-Linebery House, 802 S. Main St., (432) 685-7368Built in 1907 for Kara and W.F. Scarborough, the house belonged to the same family for 90 years before being given to the city of Midland. The historical home is open by appointment for tours, luncheons, dinner parties, day retreats, weddings, receptions and backyard functions. Call for tour information.
Susie’s South Forty Candy Factory, 1515 South Fairgrounds Rd., (432) 570-4040
Tour the factory where world-famous toffee, Kickers Pralines, Winners Caramels, Fudge Richey, Texas Trash and more are all made. Susie’s South Forty Confections Candy Factory is a GuinnessTM World Record-Holder for making the largest piece of toffee. It was shaped like the state of Texas. Call for tour information.