Sugar Land is a city in Fort Bend County, Texas. It sits a little south west of Houston and has a rich history of sugar production (hence the name…)’
Sugar Land is an affluent area, with a population of around 118,000. The city name comes from the fact that it was once a sugar plantation. The Imperial Sugar Company had its headquarters in the city.
Houston’s energy industry in the primary source of employment for many Sugar Land residents. I suggested we check it out on our Texas road trip. This is mainly because I like the country band of the same name…. And is as intelligent as my research gets.
The city is an attractive area with lots of shopping, dining and recreational activities. These are the best things to do with a day in Sugar Land…
Sugar Land is home to the first traditional Mandir in North America. Two different styles of stone were used in the construction. The exterior was built with Turkish limestone, while imported Italian marble was used inside.
The construction took 16 months and 1.3 million hours. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was totally worth it. It’s a stunning building, which is entirely alien to the local area, but yet somehow fits in perfectly.
We inadvertently visited during Diwali and the Hindu women gathered in the grounds were wearing some of the most beautiful saris I’ve ever seen. The entire courtyard was a riot of colour with an air of celebration.
Although the Mandir is free to enter, you may not be permitted entry to the temple during religious celebrations.
The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences at Sugar Land
HMNS is part of the main museum, based in the city of Houston. However, this is not to suggest that HMNS in Sugar Land is any less impressive, because it’s not. Featuring 5 permanent exhibitions (Life, Earth and Space Science, Hall of Palaeontology and The Discovery Works), the museum has a huge collection on display.
There’s also a massive salt-water aquarium on site. This has 2000 gallons of water and an assortment of sea urchins, starfish, shrimp and other creatures from the deep… HMNS is a must for families as there’s a ton to keep little ones amused. There’s also a ton to keep 40 year old women who like screaming ‘OHMYGODHOWCOOLISTHAT!?’ loudly in their husband’s ear.
Sugar Land Memorial Park
Officially titled the Sugar Land Memorial Park and Brazos River Corridor. This 420 acre park is the perfect getaway from the noise of the surrounding city. I’m going to say that the actual best thing there is the 6 acre dog park. It’s a park. Just for DOGS. There’s literally nothing I love more than being able to see/speak to/snuggle people’s dogs without looking like a crazy maniac.
The park’s also got stuff for humans, like walking and bike trails, picnic areas, playgrounds and fishing and ponds. These areas are clearly for monsters who don’t like dogs, so I have nothing to say to those people.
First Colony Mall
This mall features a retail park, as well as a mock old style shopping street with boutique stores, hotels, and bars. It’s like a little town in its own right and is a really appealing space.
The mall also features the Houston Market, with several restaurants and eateries to choose from. At almost 1 millions square feet in size, First Colony was the first mall in Fort Bend county. It has anchor stores in Macy’s, JP Penney’s, Barnes and Nobles Bookstore and Dillards, as well as a plethora of other stores, including Marble Slab Creamery. And all I can say about that is OH. MY. GOD. Home-made ice cream has rarely tasted quite so good.
Imperial Sugar Factory
This building is at the very centre of Sugar Land’s history and the city was largely built around the factory.
The entire city was founded by the plant and it housed the workers in the area. Many of the houses still standing today were originally built by the company. The main office building and refinery still stand, with the oldest railroad in Texas passing by its exterior. Although the refinery is no longer operational in Sugar Land, the corporate offices are still in the city.
If you’re swinging the plant, be sure to check out the adjacent homes at the Venetian Estates. They are SO beautiful and I drove back and forth for quite a long time, like some sort of burglar looking for a prime target.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the massive properties, many with decks backing on to the lakes and views that would, undoubtedly be perfectly paired with a rocking chair and large glass of wine. I could quite happily live in Sugar Land and never leave, tbh.
The University of Houston at Sugar Land
The campus spread over 270 acres near the city’s Brazos River and is part of the overall UH institute.
You can visit the campus on your own and have a look at the beautiful buildings and public art. Some public art is within the campus buildings, with other works outside. UHSL is pretty much exactly what Universities look like in movies and, when combined with the lovely South Texas sunshine, is a great place to take a leisurely walk.
This pretty stadium is home to the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team. The Skeeters play in the Atlantic Professional League. The venue, opened in 2012, can hold up to 7,500 for baseball and up to 9,500 for concerts and events. It has previously played host to ZZ Topp and REO Speedwagon.
The Houston SaberCats Rugby team also plays at Constellation Field. Built to Triple A standards, the stadium has a sweet Bud Light beer area for food and drinks.
The scoreboard in the venue is in the shape of the borders of Texas and is one of the biggest in Little League Baseball. I’ve been to a few games during my times in the States and the atmosphere at baseball games is always fantastic.
Have you visited Sugar Land? What were your favourite sights?