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A portion of western Texas and the southeastern corner of New Mexico are the two components of the Lamesa Destination in the southwestern United States. The namesake, Lamesa, is a city in the destination’s northeastern region, with an estimated population of 8,701 residents, as of 2023.[11] Multiple lakes are scattered throughout the generally flat topography of the destination, many of which are visited by birdwatchers, hikers, and bikers. Lake J.B. Thomas is one of the Lamesa Destination’s largest lakes and is inhabited by several bird species. Akin to Lake J.B. Thomas, Lake Colorado City also receives different types of birds, depending on the season.[12] For travelers who are hoping to experience attractions within Odessa, Midland, or Big Spring—the comparatively larger cities in the destination—many points of interest can be found in each. Art observers may enjoy the murals that are located throughout the city of Odessa, while outdoor enthusiasts may be compelled to visit some of Big Spring’s natural sites, including Big Spring State Park or Comanche Trail Park.[4][5] Visitors who plan on engaging in warm-weather activities are recommended to travel to Lamesa and its surrounding cities from mid-June to late August for moderate climatic conditions.[7]

What Lamesa is known for

The Lamesa Destination encompasses a portion of New Mexico and Texas in the southwest region of the United States. While the majority of the destination is composed of desert land, a fair amount of cities and towns are established throughout it as well, which are as follows: Midland, Big Spring, Odessa, Hobbs, Seminole, Andrews, Snyder, Lenorah, and Lamesa, to name a few. The latter of these previously listed urban districts is the destination’s namesake—a city that serves as the county seat of Dawson County.[1] Population statistics for 2023 report that Lamesa’s total population is estimated to be 8,701 residents. The most recent census in 2020, however, recorded 8,776 people. This indicates that the city is currently declining at a rate of -0.29%.[11]

To the south of Lamesa, a few of the destination’s most prominent cities are located, such as Big Spring, Midland, and Odessa. Midland has a number of leisurely and active attractions, with one of the most notable being the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center. A wide range of entertainment is featured at this establishment, as the stage has received symphonies, mariachis, ballet performers, and comedians. Another site in Midland that draws a considerable amount of tourists is the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, where people of all ages can learn about Midland’s history. For those who take an interest in outdoor recreation, the I-20 Wildlife Preserve & Jenna Welch Nature Center offers 30 acres of urban playa wetlands for visitors to go bird-watching. A fair amount of wildlife may be seen there, namely birds, reptiles, and bobcats.[13]

Outdoor activities can also be undertaken in the city of Big Spring, which is located to the northeast of Midland in the destination’s central northeastern region. A particularly noteworthy characteristic of the city is the Big Spring State Park. The park is situated in the heart of the city, comprising a 200-foot bluff with trails that wind throughout it. Tourists can walk or bike along these trails and explore the area. It should also be noted that an interpretive center displays Native American fossils and artifacts, in addition to a rental pavilion that can accommodate 50 occupants. Another specific site that travelers can visit in the city is Comanche Trail Park, where the spring that prompted Big Spring’s name can be found. The park is typically visited by fishermen or those who plan on engaging in more relatively easygoing activities such as picnicking.[4]

As for Odessa, one of the most well-known and unique features of the city is its murals that depict Odessa’s cultural and historical significance. The murals range from famous residents to colorful designs of abstract concepts. A number of these murals pertain to the influence that music has had on the city, as DJs, jazz musicians, and musical instruments are displayed throughout Odessa. Hispanic culture and the Old West are represented in the murals as well.[5]


Flat, spacious desert land constitutes the majority of the Lamesa Destination, apart from the cities, towns, and residential areas. The destination encompasses what is known as the Permian Basin—a sizable sedimentary basin in southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. Notably, the Permian Basin has “produced a cumulative 28.9 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of gas,” making it the “largest petroleum-producing basin in the United States.” It has been reported that nearly 10% of the oil that was recovered is from Pennsylvania carbonates, while 80% of it was located at a depth of less than 10,000 feet.[10]

Lake Colorado City State Park, Big Spring State Park, Lake J.B. Thomas, and Lake Alan Henry are a few specific natural areas throughout the Lamesa Destination that are home to a diverse range of wildlife. One of the largest of these previously listed lakes is Lake J.B. Thomas. During the winter, visitors may have the opportunity to observe a variety of waterfowl at Lake J.B. Thomas. Lake Alan Henry also serves as the home to several bird species, as the mesquite grasslands often receive scaled quail, northern bobwhite, Cassin's and lark sparrows, bullock’s oriole, common nighthawk, greater roadrunner, western kingbird, and scissor-tailed flycatcher in the spring and early summer, among other types of birds. A fair amount of reptiles and amphibians may also be spotted along the roads of Lake Alan Henry, including ornate box turtles, checkered garter snakes, and different species of lizards. With regard to the flora, cacti, plains zinnia, and skeleton plants typically grow during the spring.[12]

The city of Lamesa, as well as its general vicinity, experiences what some consider to be “long, hot, and mostly clear” summers. Winters are said to be comparatively “short, cold, snowy, windy, and partly cloudy.” May to September is deemed the hot season in Lamesa, as temperatures reach an average above 86°F. The month that frequently receives the highest temperatures is July, with an average high of 94°F. As for the cold season, from November to February, average daily temperatures drop below 63°F, and the coldest month tends to be January, with temperatures that rest between 32°F and 57°F. Generally speaking, temperatures range between 31°F and 94°F over the course of the year in Lamesa. In view of this, Weather Spark’s tourism score suggests that travelers visit the city from mid-June to late August should they plan on undertaking outdoor activities.[7]


Lamesa, the namesake of the Lamesa Destination, was named as such on account of its location on the plateau of the South Plains. The Mexican term “Mesa” translates to English meaning “tabletop,” as a description of the land that Lamesa occupies.[8] In 1903, what is now known as Lamesa began to be platted by J.J. Lindsey, Frank Connor, J.F. Barron, and other contributors. The following year, a school was established, among other early businesses, such as a hardware and furniture store, a blacksmith shop, a hotel, and a number of general stores. In 1905, Lamesa and a rival town, Stemmons, competed in an election to serve as the county seat for Dawson County, and Lamesa won by five votes. The town’s economic growth began to develop upon the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1910, and later, electrical services became available in 1916. By 1950, the population of residents totaled 10,706 people, which continued to increase throughout the 1960s—peaking at 12,438 residents, according to the United States Census. After this populational growth in the 1960s, the total number of people living in Lamesa began to decline, with approximately 10,809 residents by 1990.[9]

The first discoveries of oil reserves in the Permian Basin were documented in Mitchell County by W.H. Abrams. This took place in 1920; however, it wasn’t until 1921 that the first commercial well was opened in the Westbrook Oil Field. The well reached a depth of 2,498 feet, and following its construction, numerous oil field discoveries were made, including the World, the Big Lake, the McCamey, the Hendrick, and the Yates oil fields. By 1924, a considerable number of companies were drawn to the basin to establish regional geological offices, such as Gulf Oil, California Company, Humble, Roxana, Midwest Exploration, Dixie, and the Texas Company.[10]