West Texas: Abilene, Big Spring, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland
1. Make the outdoors part of your next meeting or special event: consider a walking tour or a photo scavenger hunt among the 20 permanent contemporary outdoor sculptures around the city – Abilene is home to the longest-running outdoor sculpture exhibition of its kind in the state. The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council introduces four new sculptures for a two-year outdoor exhibit every other September.
2. The DoubleTree by Hilton Abilene Downtown Convention Center had its grand opening in July 2023, making it easier than ever for convention goers and guests to experience Abilene’s historic downtown to the fullest. The hotel is across the street from the convention center, and museums, restaurants, breweries, shops, and the city’s famous storybook sculpture collection are within walking distance.
3. Big Spring is the crossroads of West Texas. It derives its name from the nearby “big spring” in Sulphur Draw, which was a water source for local tribes and wildlife and a campsite used by early expeditions. You can visit the town’s namesake and play a round of golf at the only rolling hills golf course in West Texas in Comanche Trail Park. Its beautiful landscapes, comfortable climate, and small-town charm make Big Spring a welcome option for meetings and events. Help your team focus on what’s important by planning a tranquil environment for their next meeting.
4. Possibly the most versatile meeting and event facility in Big Spring is the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum, offering spaces that range from the 17,000 sq ft arena (meeting room/exhibit area/athletic complex) to the East Room, which accommodates up to 300 people banquet style or 600 lecture style and can be divided into smaller rooms.
5. The beautiful El Paso Convention Center completed $3,135,000 in restorations and improvements in 2022, and downtown hotel inventory has doubled within 18 months, so what are you waiting for? The center offers state-of-the-art meetings rooms and services, and the Convention Center Plaza makes an ideal outdoor venue for social gatherings, receptions, live music and more.
6. Created in 1936, the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens was the first museum in El Paso. The Centennial’s permanent exhibits focus on the Chihuahuan Desert region, while temporary exhibits generally relate to border life and culture. The extensive Gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk, perfect for a meditative stroll before or after meeting sessions.
7. Celebrate Lubbock’s pioneering spirit with a visit to the newly expanded Cash Family Ranch Life Learning Center, an indoor and outdoor comprehensive learning experience that provides an accurate depiction of ranch life through Hank the Cowdog, voiced by Matthew McConaughey. Exhibits highlight aspects of modern ranching and the day-to-day life of a ranch family.
8. Options to kick back after a day of learning and networking are better than ever in Lubbock’s craft beer scene. Good Line Beer Co. is the seventh brewery in town, when in 2016 there was only one. The founders perfected recipes while home brewing. Taste the results at the new brewery in the historic Tech Terrace neighborhood.
9. If you’ve got a group of people looking for live music, street food and great drinks, there’s something for everyone at The Destination Midland. This rustic outdoor venue has five themed areas called “skids,” each with its own unique, Insta-worthy charm. Roam around to experience it all or find your favorite perch for the evening.
10. Spring is right around the corner. In Midland, that means RockHounds Baseball. Seeing the minor league baseball team at Momentum Ban Ballpark is a favorite outing for both locals and visitors. Enjoy themed nights, guilty-pleasure concessions food, and America’s favorite pastime.
MIDLAND, TEXAS. ISTOCK.COM/DENISTANGNEYJR
Sources: Abilene Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Visit Big Spring Texas, Visit El Paso, Visit Lubbock, Visit Midland.