The 4th of July holiday weekend is upon us in West Texas--and every year when the relatives come from out of town to visit, we discuss what we can do besides the firework celebrations on Saturday night. The answers can vary based on several criteria. What are their interests? Are they "Museum People"? Do they like to eat out and try local restaurants and establishments to get a local flavor, or stick with the chain places we have here that they also have back home? Do they like to shop? So many variables to consider when working out a plan to entertain people who don't live here. It also matters if they've been here to visit prior to this time or not-and what you did before when they were here if they have.

Now that your head hurts as much as mine does--lol--here are some ideas to consider sharing with your relatives from out of town who are checking out the Basin for the first time, broken down by category:

*Photos courtesy of Google Street View

FOOD:

Italian--Nothing tops Venezia on Wadley behind The Patio in Midland. They also have an amazing wine selection to pair with your dish!

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Unless it's Pizza--then it's gotta be Ray's Italian Bistro on Wadley in Midland. Be warned though--this is a BYOB place if you wanna drink an adult beverage. They only serve soda, tea, and water.

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Chinese--nothing better than Moon Garden off Loop 250 in Midland. I highly recommend the Chicken Fried Rice!

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Mexican--Abuelo's all the way. Especially those El Jeffe margaritas!

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If it's a steak--gotta be Garlic Press! The filet with garlic butter is melt in your mouth good!

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HONORABLE MENTION:

Cafe At The Gardens inside Aldredge on Fairgrounds Road in Midland. Beautiful, serene setting with the waterfalls, ponds of koi fish--great service, and the food is great!

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SHOPPING:

So many great local shops to pick from here. Pink Mint Boutique off JBS in Odessa is just one of the awesome non-chain local places, as well as The Ivy Cottage on Big Spring Street.

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MUSEUMS:

The George Bush Childhood Home is always interesting to see, as well as the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum so they can get a real feel for what this area is all about and what makes it or breaks it.

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SITES:

Even in February--it's still warm enough this year to take a walk around Wadley Baron Park in the Afternoon... Not sure if the ducks are still there in February--they may be somewhere warmer til April.

Duck Pond in Midland
Michael Todd
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Whatever time of year it is there's always something to do with folks in from out of town who want to learn more about the Basin and life in West Texas! Tell us what we missed--comment below and add what you'd recommend!

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