We’re starting off the tour today in the Urbandale neighborhood, located mid-Midland if you will, adjacent to downtown and its ever-growing entertainment options.
Urbandale is known for its mid-century ranch houses, with much of the real estate here dating to the 1950’s. Urbandale is a great spot for families, with Sam Houston Elementary, San Jacinto Junior High and Midland High School within safe and easy walking distance.
The low, ranch-style homes of Urbandale are mostly four-bedroom, four-bathroom houses, with a few three-bedroom options available. The median listing price in 2022 was $397,000.
Things are moving and shaking in downtown Midland as city managers are turning it into a destination for music, shopping, and nightlife, complete with designated open-container areas in which patrons may carry alcoholic beverages in “to-go cups.”
Additionally, the newly created Centennial Park has made downtown Midland a whole lot greener. It’s a “must visit,” modern, urban gathering place that serves as a catalyst for growth.
Lining Centennial Park, we see clear signs of this growth. The Midland Micro Market, begun in 2020, is both trendy and forward-thinking. It consists of 80-plus entrepreneurial clothing boutiques, wine bars, ice cream shops, and so forth, that are smaller and less expensive than your traditional brick-and-mortar locations .
Keep an eye on your GPS and head toward our next stop. The rest of our journey today will take us through the communities that line the western and northern edges of the city, so it’s a bit of a drive to our next stop. Along the way, I’m going to tell you a little more about this charming West Texas town.
“Permian” is an ever-present word in this part of Texas. Aside from the Jurassic, how many people can even reference another of Earth’s geologic periods? Around these parts, it is found in names from storage facilities to abstract companies, legal firms to electronics stores. There’s even the University of Texas Permian Basin, with its two campuses in Midland and nearby Odessa, established in 1973 by a Texas oilman.
So what’s the connection to this prehistoric period? Well, the Permian marine basin that existed 270 million years ago now produces one- fifth of America’s total petroleum and natural gas output!
The Midland-Odessa Combined Statistical Area, known informally as the Petroplex, is one of the fastest growing groups of counties in the nation.
Midland was founded as the midway point between Fort Worth and El Paso on the Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1881. It is the hometown of former First Lady Laura Bush, and the onetime home of former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as former First Lady Barbara Bush.
Midlanders, as they are called, enjoy their climate, one of the most pleasant in the state. Yes, it’s hot in the summer, and there are cold waves during the winter months, but rarely are there extended periods of below-freezing temperatures.
The city is known for having ambition, resilience, and grit. For a mid-sized Great Plains community, it has an impressive skyline earning it the nickname “The Tall City.” Its impressive downtown, rising in a dense cluster from the arid West Texas plains, can be seen from miles away when approaching the city on Interstate 20.
“The sky’s the limit,” has been a city motto for decades, while the water towers of Midland encourage residents and visitors to “Feel the energy!”
At an elevation of 2700 feet on the southern edge of the Great Plains, Midland is one of the most isolated urban areas in the lower United States. The modern and wealthy oil capital is a well-planned community offering many of the creature comforts of much larger cities. Inside its 71 square miles, elegant and comfortable residential areas display ample evidence of the city’s oil wealth along wide and well-landscaped streets.
Here the traffic jams of Houston, Dallas, and El Paso are almost nonexistent.
Given its relative isolation, aviation is of course an important transportation component for Midland, and it’s long been a regional air transportation center.
While MAF is its location identifier, the full appellation— “Midland-Odessa International Air and Space Port,” is pretty much the most far out airport name there is. That’s because in 2014 it was licensed to serve commercial spaceflight, making it the first airport to be given a space port designation.
Without leaving the ground, however, let’s launch forward and continue onward toward our next stop!
Adjacent to the Scharbauer Sports Complex near Tradewinds Boulevard and Champions Drive
lies Midland’s newest community. Legends Park is situated in lively west Midland with its
outstanding lifestyle offerings. With energy-efficient homes ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,500
square feet and priced from the $275000s, Legends Park is the perfect place for growing
Families. The area is served by Barbara B. Yarbrough Elementary School, located on your right side, as well as Goddard Junior High and Midland High School.
The Scharbauer Complex, directly ahead at the next intersection is a baseball park, football, and soccer stadium with a pavilion for concerts and other shows. It is named for a philanthropic, sheep and cattle-raising family that has been a major contributor to Midland growth and improvement since the 1800s.
Take a left at the T-intersection.
The complex is home to the Midland RockHounds, a minor league baseball team, which plays in
the Texas League, and is the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The RockHounds play
in Momentum Bank Ballpark, which opened in 2002 and seats over 6000 fans. The complex is
also home to the Midland-Odessa Sockers FC, an American soccer team.
Another philanthropic civic endeavor is an ultramodern performing arts center, named after the
major donor– Lissa Noël Wagner, of an established Midland oil and banking family. Part of the
vision for the Noël Wagner Performing Arts Center is to attract people of all levels of income,
ages, and artistic taste to its performances – there are over 150 scheduled shows a year including country singers, rock bands, Broadway shows, children’s programs, and comedians.
Up for some Beethoven or Mozart? The Performing Arts Center is also home to the
Midland-Odessa Symphony. Each season consists of a Masterworks series, Chamber
Series, or a Grand Series that includes all performances. There are also community
performances by the Midland Festival Ballet, as well as Broadway in the Basin – hosting
professional Broadway-show touring groups.
Pay Close attention to your Navigation – this next maneuver is a little tricky, getting you across the highway to the next stop.
Grassland Estates is tucked along Loop 250 as well as Highways 158 and 191 to Odessa. Its 566 residential lots with ranch homes, has wider than average streets, lined with trees. The homes vary from approximately 2,100 to 5,000 square feet, their three or four car garages providing plenty of space for golf bags and carts with which to play at adjacent Nueva Vista Golf Club.
Nueva Vista prides itself on the native Texas grasses separating its fairways, and the rolling topography that gives it the look of an original Scottish golf course. Most rounds are easily completed in less than four hours, even on the busiest of days. As they say at Nueva Vista— “this is the way golf was meant to be played.”
Children can attend Scharbauer Elementary, which opened in 1985, and provides learning opportunities for gifted and talented students, in addition to services for students with dyslexia or speech limitations, and special education services.
George T. Abell Junior High was dedicated in 1993. With its vivid cobalt-blue, conical-shaped gales and spacious interiors, the 150,000 square foot facility has a student population of around 850.
Its namesake, George T. Abell Jr., was a local oilman and philanthropist. Abell also led the fundraising effort to build Midland Memorial Hospital, in the city center, four miles east of Grassland Estates.
There’s a Cracker Barrel across from Loop 250. The area also boasts plenty of Mexican food options, and of course Texas BBQ.
Keep heading north to pass C.J. Kelly park, which marks the border of our next neighborhood.
Los Patios Drive and Carmel Court are the two east-west roads in this decidedly small, five blocks by two blocks rectangular shaped neighborhood located where the Loop 250 elbow turns south and east.
C.J. Kelly Park is a short walk to the south of Los Patios. The 66- acre community park offers baseball and softball fields, picnic and playground space, a walking track, and, perhaps best of all, a fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout, catfish, and bluegill. Occasionally, license-free fishing days are offered for anglers of all ages.
The Parks and Recreation Division often hosts summer outdoor movie nights, with approximately seven films per season. The movies begin at dusk and citizens are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs.
Equidistant to the north of Los Patios is Chris Davidson Opportunity Park, a relatively new recreational space after a quarter century at another location. Adjacent to the Bush Tennis Center, the park prides itself on its accessibility, including for those with physical, sensory, and cognitive issues.
The Bush Tennis Center is an outstanding place, a world class facility that is the best of its kind in Texas. It contains 19, yes 19, full-sized lighted courts, including a stadium court. Said to be the second largest tennis center in the world, it also has six pickleball courts. If you’re not familiar, pickleball is at the intersection of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It’s played with a modified tennis net on a badminton court, and gameplay lightly resembles tennis – it’s the fastest growing sport in America.
After working up a sweat, there’s a former food truck that is now also a brick-and-mortar Mexican restaurant, Naco Mexican Eatery, featuring traditional Mexican plates as well as keto-friendly and vegetarian dishes. Be sure to follow that up with a stop at the local Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop.
Crossing 250 again will put you on course for Trinity West, our next stop.
If Los Patios is the most rectangular of neighborhoods, Trinity West is almost a perfect square, laid like a picnic blanket upon the map of northwest Midland. Trinity West also constitutes one of the “holy trinities”, a group of neighborhoods that includes the neighboring Trinity Estates and Trinity Meadows.
Greenbrier Drive is the north-south route through the Trinity West neighborhood, named after the woody, high-climbing vine, with greenish to bronze flowers found trailing over trees, shrubs, and fences across the rolling woodlands of Texas.
Students in grades K3 through 12 might attend Trinity School of Midland and its self-described “robust preparatory community.” As an Episcopalian, private school, its mission statement guides Trinity’s programming, including curriculum, arts, athletics, and community service.
Trinity Park is a beautiful open space, dotted with trees. The four-acre neighborhood park offers a modern playground, picnic tables, and soccer facilities.
Texas, notably, is football country, yet baseball remains a leading pastime as well. Midland is home to six Major League Baseball players. Trinity Little League field is home to a competitive, co-ed baseball league dedicated to building character, courage, and loyalty in local area youth ages 4-14.
President George W. Bush played Little League ball in Midland, before going on to play at Yale and becoming a part owner of the Texas Rangers.
Should one encounter a minor medical issue while at play in Trinity Park, nearby WesTX Urgent Care is a convenient alternative to the emergency room. WesTX is a place to go for physicals for work or sports, vaccinations, flu shots, drug screenings, X-Ray services, certain fractures, strains, sprains, or other injuries.
Leaving the neighborhood, you’ll pass close by Parker Elementary school and cross 250 one final time. Located along the main road you’ll pass a large shopping center with a Walmart, Staples, and various chain and fast-food restaurants.
Convenient shopping is the storyline of the Briarwood neighborhood of northwest Midland, a community of 261 homes, the first of which was built in 1988.
Anchoring this shopping oasis, directly across Briarwood Avenue, is the Walmart Supercenter you passed, one of four in greater Midland-Odessa, opening every day at 6:00 as the sun rises over the Texas plains, and closing at 11:00 when the stars pierce the clear west Texas sky.
The shopping area has a collection of food options from Panda Express and Papa Johns to Chick-fil-A and Texas Roadhouse, which despite its name actually originated in Indiana. Still this lively steakhouse chain is a favorite among locals.
After filling the car up with gas and getting a wash, there’s also a convenience store, pizza, donuts, frozen yogurt, and even bubble tea, the Asian tea and tapioca drink that has taken America by storm these past few years.
Also, who knew you would have to go to West Texas to find the “best cookies in the world”? Well, at least that’s what they claim at “crumbl” cookies with its rotating weekly menu.
From a nightlife standpoint is a club that opened in early 2022, boasting a hopping dance floor and mind-blowing lighting. The concept behind Y Knot, on Briarwood Avenue, is to bring the energy of a big city to Midland, as opposed to the rustic feel typically found in West Texas establishments.
As far as schools, there’s Greathouse Elementary, named for a long-time Midland businessman and philanthropist, drugstore builder Barney R. Greathouse. Greathouse Elementary is home to about 750 students from pre-K through 6th grade and strives to build a community of learners to become responsible, productive community leaders.
Next, we’ll head north past Fasken Elementary school and Green Hill Park to the north end of the Green Tree Country Club.
With the Golf course on your right, The neighborhood of Green Tree North lies across the street on your left. Feel free to turn into the neighborhood and make a loop around while I talk about it.
Green Tree North bills itself as the “premier location for safe, peaceful neighborhood living.” With its tree-lined boulevards, it certainly is idyllic.
The neighborhood is conveniently located in north Midland, just off from Loop 250 with access to every amenity that the Tall City has to offer. Upon entering Green Tree North, one immediately feels a sense of community pride in this family-centered subdivision.
Beautiful homes and mature trees are just some of the advantages residents enjoy in this laid back, welcoming neighborhood. Minimal traffic makes Green Tree North the perfect venue for dog walking, jogging, an evening stroll with the family, or taking in the beauty of West Texas sunsets.
There is a long, spacious pond in the center of the neighborhood around which wraps Island Circle Drive. One and two-story homes dotted with green lawns and trees line the pleasant neighborhood.
To the north lies open prairie and sagebrush. In the distance— the soothing motion of oil pumpjacks silently extract from the Permian Basin. Montana may claim to be the Big Sky Country, but Midland offers an endless horizon.
The average Green Tree North home was built in 2006, contains four baths, and is 4,433 square feet in size. A handsome brick perimeter wall encases the neighborhood.
Green Tree Country Club calls itself the “premier family club of the Permian Basin.”
In the 1980s a local resident sought to create a golf oasis born of dusty farmland in northwest Midland County. Some scoffed at the idea of the new development as Midland already had three courses. Of those courses, two were private. Three country clubs in a town of Midland's size, even by today's standards, is still considered extremely rare.
But this vision also included a residential development in addition to a premier golfing experience. The development had a few unique design requirements such as long cul-de-sacs, no alleyways, and no curbs.
Just as the roads leading to Green Tree evolved, so did the club. An 18-hole championship golf course was designed, which covered 176 acres and featured Bermuda grass. Classified as a warm-season grass, the Bermuda variety is most common in areas with hot summers and warm winters, famous for its use on golf courses in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
At the time it was known as the largest course in the southwest. An additional nine holes were opened in 1985, providing more options for golfers looking to get in a full round.
Our next three neighborhoods are all adjacent to one another, lining the sides of Castleford road.
Texas State Highway 250, known locally as “Loop 250,” is a bypass of Midland. The highway runs along the western, northern, and eastern edges of the city. In existence since 1977, its length is a little over 12 miles.
Plantation Hills is located just off the north side of Loop 250, about two miles before the highway begins its turn southward toward Scharbauer Sports Complex, and Interstate 20. Instead of dragging you down the busy main road, we’ll take Castleford through the quiet neighborhood streets.
Along its Loop 250 frontage road, a block to your west, Plantation Hills has a collection of dining selections including Outback Steakhouse with its grilled steaks and bloomin’ onions. Across the highway is a Chinese restaurant, along with pizza and pancake house offerings. Just down the block you’ll find various Mexican eateries, along with a deli as well as a couple of bars and nightclubs.
Plantation Hills has great access to shopping – the Midland Park Mall is directly across 250 from this neighborhood, with dozens of stores like Dillard’s, Ross, Bath and Body Works, and more.
Continuing east you’ll pass through the three “Polo” neighborhoods, stacked north to south of one another and lying directly to the east of Plantation Hill. Polo Estates is tucked squarely in the middle of its fellow Polo Park and Polo Club neighborhoods. When Castleford crosses over Polo Parkway, you’ll know you’re in the heart of the Polo neighborhood.
At the Corner of Castleford and Garfield, you won’t help but notice the 107,000 square foot Colonnade at Polo Park shopping mall, featuring Japanese ramen, a brew pub, and plenty of retailers offering sporting goods, home goods, and more.
Both sides of 250 contain modern and attractive retirement homes and communities, but Polo Estates, set back as it is some distance from the highway, contains spacious ranch style homes with wide open vistas. Along Newcastle Lane, the attractive Polo Park Playground is filled with trees, benches, and playground equipment.
When Castleford hits Lancashire Road, you’ll be in the very center of Saddle Club South, a neighborhood shaped like an arrowhead, pointing into the northwestern recesses, open land, and horse country of Midland. In fact, if one were to follow its path a thousand feet or so across the native grasses and mesquite you would arrive at the Midland Polo Club, said to be one of the oldest organized, continuously operating clubs in the United States.
In the early years of the 20th century, Midland was known as the principal source of polo ponies in the country.
One doesn’t have to be a rider, owner, or even horse enthusiast to enjoy the Midland Polo Club, its wide-open spaces and training grounds. It occupies a unique place in the community and strives to bring enjoyment to spectators through philanthropic events, or one of its many riding programs.
One more drive will take us to the last couple of neighborhoods of the day!
Pavilion Park is a recently created neighborhood of Midland. The three-story multi-unit condos located off Loop 250 and State Highway 349 fall in the $321,000-$402,000 range.
Hogan Park is nearby. When’s the last time you played croquet or tossed horseshoes? It’s probably been quite some time. Well, Hogan Park has both, along with the usual recreational facilities like baseball and softball fields, playground equipment, grills, and picnic tables.
There’s also the 36-hole Hogan Park Golf Course, which for more than two generations has hosted corporate and charity golf events. Upon its links you can both improve your game while taking in the expansive skyline of the Tall City.
At Sibley Nature Center one can explore nature trails, take part in interpretive programs, and enjoy watching for wildlife. The Center is also home to the Sibley Camera Club, which meets monthly to exchange tips and information on producing professional and inspiring images.
Though it’s still in the planning stages at the time of this production, Wildcatter Trail, a bike pathway that will allow bicyclists to safely ride to and from Odessa, is undergoing serious discussion. The long-term project will provide even more hiking-and-biking paths, which surveys show Midlanders very much want.
Nearby schools include General Tommy Franks Elementary, home of the Cadets, and named after the former Commander of U.S. Central Command. The campus was completely overhauled and rebranded during the 2017-18 school year, as Franks was the first school in Midland to fully adopt Values Coach Training, which teaches and implements core values like integrity, courage, and purpose.
A newly created neighborhood, Daybreak Estates is a single family planned community situated across Texas State Highway 349 from Midland Country Club. The area offers residents a private landscaped park, complete with playground equipment, picnic tables, benches, and a splash pad for the kids.
In addition to the park, there’s a grassy 3.5-acre common area with a baseball backstop and soccer goals.
Residents also have access to a paved walking trail, wending its way through attractively landscaped grounds, featuring contemporary recreational area lighting that not only delivers a sense of safety and security during those evening strolls, but adds an aesthetic appeal to daytime activities.
Prices on Daybreak Estate’s single-family homes center around the $400,000 mark.
From Texas State Highway 349, that marks the western border of the neighborhood, Daybreak Way fittingly runs east, directly into the dawn’s magnificent smile over the Texas plains.
Just north of Daybreak Estates is Lone Star Trails. Adjacent to Highway 349, it too has quick and easy access to the Midland Country Club, Loop 250, and city center.
With homes ranging from 1,100 to 2,600 square feet, Lone Star Trails calls itself the best neighborhood in which to live for families seeking affordable homes in Midland.
Seventh and eight grade students living in Daybreak Estates and Lone Star Trails will attend Goddard Junior High School, home of the Raiders, while grades 9-12 will go to either Midland Freshman High School, or Midland Senior High School, both of which share the Bulldog mascot.
Well, folks, that just about wraps things up! I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Midland as much as I’ve enjoyed showing you around. If any of these neighborhoods have inspired you, feel free to reach out to Jenn Roussin at (210) 325-4377 or email her at email@example.com to start the search for your perfect West Texas home. Have a great day!