Photo: Visit Sugar Land

Where to Stay, Eat, and Play in Sugar Land, Texas

Insider Guides
by Jill Robbins Aug 24, 2023

Any time is a great time to visit Sugar Land, Texas. Sugar Land is 20 miles southwest of Houston, and the area enjoys nearly year-round warm temperatures, which make outdoor activities an option just about any day of the year.

The suburb’s name comes from the product it was once best known for producing: sugar. Early settlers brought sugar cane to the area, and the crop thrived in the fertile floodplain of the Brazos River. Eventually, the sugar plantations were absorbed into Imperial Sugar, which had its refinery and distribution center in Sugar Land for more than 150 years. The old sugar factor still stands tall as a local landmark in this warm, eclectic urban community.

If you can handle the Texas heat in summer, Sugar Land’s town square is alive with activities, offering everything from yoga to outdoor concerts as well as being the unofficial gathering spot for locals. If the Sugar Land Space Cowboys are in town, grab tickets for a home game and cheer on the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

Things to do in Sugar Land

Cullinan Park

Cullinan Park, Sugarland, Texas near Houston. Humid summer morning in a southern park. Golden sunrise coming up over the swamp filled with lily pads. Wooden boardwalk stretching out into the plants.

Photo: Megan McHatten/Shutterstock

Cullinan Park Conservancy is a 754-acre nature preserve five minutes from downtown Sugar Land. The park is free to access and is an excellent place to take a walk and observe birds and other native wildlife. A four-mile network of soft, easy, shaded trails is attached to the park, but the most extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities are on the boardwalk over the lake. Observe fish, birds, and ducks from the sturdy boardwalk or climb the stairs to the observation tower for more of a birds-eye view.

I didn’t see any alligators on a recent visit, but they’re native to the park, and there are warning signs posted letting guests know to leave them be if they see them. The lake is also full of the most spectacular display of lily pads.

Cullinan Park Conservancy: 12414 Hwy 6, Sugar Land, TX 77498

Zumba and fitness at the Plaza

Whether you’re committed to staying fit on vacation, want to try something new, or want to go where the locals go, check out the free Zumba class in the Sugar Land Town Square each Friday morning at 10:00 AM. If Zumba isn’t your thing, a Fitness Boot Camp Class happens every Friday morning at 9:00 AM. Occasionally, other one-hour free fitness classes taught by professional instructors are offered in the Sugar Land Town Square, such as yoga. An electronic sign in the square informs locals and visitors about what’s happening. Visit Sugar Land also maintains an events calendar.

Sugar Land Town Square events: 15958 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park

Go Ape is new to Sugar Land and allows people to navigate tree-to-tree pathways and zipline over the Brazos River. There are four different courses to choose from, depending on the level of thrills you’re comfortable with and the height of people in your group. The adventures will take one to three hours, depending on your selection. Bring work-type gloves to protect your hands. If you don’t bring your own, you will be required to purchase a pair from Go Ape.

Go Ape: 18427 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Brazos River Park and Sugar Land Memorial Park

These two collocated parks are a great option to explore more of Sugar Land’s green spaces and to inject physical activity into your trip. The Brazos River Park has three-plus miles of walk and bike trails, play spaces for kids, and public art.

The Sugar Land Memorial Park pays tribute to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. A unique obelisk Remembrance Tower lists the names of Sugar Land locals who have died in service to their country. There’s also an eagle statue and a monument to Gold Star families. It’s a poignant combination of memorial space and peaceful outdoor space to enjoy walking the trails or paddling. There’s a kayak kiosk where you can rent and unlock a kayak. The park is home to alligators, so make sure to observe the posted signs and give all wildlife space. I didn’t see any alligators, but a very realistic statue of a large gator near the mouth of the pond made me jump.

The Brazos River Park: 18427 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Sugar Land Memorial Park: 15300 University Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Department of Wonder

The Department of Wonder has a prominent place in downtown Sugar Land that’s very hard to miss. This immersive fantasy experience gives you a puzzle to solve in 90 minutes. There’s a kid-friendly version and a 21-plus version. The adult-focused After Hours experience includes characters using colorful language and adult humor and two alcoholic drinks. Interact with live actors, digital characters, and the physical environment, i.e., playscapes and ball pits. The experience reminded me a little bit of Meow Wolf.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing – think about what you’d wear to a playground – and having your hands free. If you usually carry a purse, switch it for a crossbody bag or fanny pack. Buy tickets online ahead of time to get the timeslot you want.

The Department of Wonder: 2180 Lone Star Dr, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Historical Walking Tour, Sugar Land Heritage Museum

While the Sugar Land Heritage Museum is currently closed, you can gain access to some of the exhibits by signing up for a guided hike on the second Saturday of each month. Participants spend about 90 minutes walking with a local expert who will tell you all about the history of Sugar Land, from Native Americans to early settlers to the present day. The hike starts at the location of the old Imperial Sugar factory, from which Sugar Land gets its name. Bring a hat and water bottle and wear sunscreen.

Sugar Land Heritage Hike: 2nd Floor, 198 Kempner St bldg b, Sugar Land, TX 77498

Houston Museum of Natural Science, Sugar Land

Sugar Land, TX / USA - October 18, 2019: Houston  Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land Building

Photo: Collective Arcana/Shutterstock

The Sugar Land location is smaller than the main Houston Museum of Natural Science, and is great for quick a quick outing and for families with children. There’s a permanent paleontology exhibit hall for anyone needing that dinosaur bone fix as part of their visit to a natural science museum. The downstairs exhibits are largely hands-on and dedicated to explaining how energy and motion work. There’s also a dig site for the very littlest paleontologists to make their own discoveries. Adult admission tickets are $13. There may be an additional charge for any traveling special exhibits. It takes about 90 minutes to see everything.

Houston Museum of Natural Science, Sugar Land: 13016 University Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Catch a Sugar Land Space Cowboys game

The new Constellation Field is the perfect place to take in a baseball game in style. Amenities feature premium club-level seating, a kid’s playground and splash pad that’s perfect for keeping cool in the sizzling Texas heat, and an icehouse serving cold beverages for the grownups. If you come to the game hungry, you can satisfy your appetite with standard ballpark fare and Tex-Mex goodness. If the Space Cowboys aren’t playing when you’re in town, you can still shop in the team store at the ballpark.

Sugar Land Space Cowboys: 1 Stadium Dr, Sugar Land, TX 77498

Where to eat and drink in Sugar Land

Vino & Vinyl

Vino & Vinyl is both a supper club and a wine bar. It’s a busy popular spot, and reservations are recommended even if you just want to stop by for drinks. Inside, there’s a cool, funky vibe, and music and laughter can be heard from outside.

Vino & Vinyl: 15977 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Mahesh’s Kitchen

Mahesh’s Kitchen is a delightful Indian restaurant with an open kitchen. There’s an even mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian dishes on the menu with spice levels of each clearly listed. I ordered from the lunch menu and had Kolhapuri vegetable curry and freshly made garlic naan. For drinks, Mahesh’s Kitchen has a menu of creative fruity cocktails that complement spicy Indian food.

Mahesh’s Kitchen: 16019 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479

The Sweet Boutique

You can’t go to a city called Sugar Land without indulging in at least one sweet treat, and Sweet Boutique is the perfect place to get it. Here, there’s a beautiful selection of doughnuts and macarons, but the cupcakes called my name. I asked the person working behind the counter for her favorite, and I went with that, which is what I always do when I can’t decide. The white chocolate raspberry cupcake was the perfect balance of both flavors, but I don’t think I could have gone wrong with anything in the case.

Sweet Boutique: 2270 Lone Star Dr, Sugar Land, TX 77479

B.B. Italia Bistro and Bar

The vibe at B.B.Italia Bistro and Bar is approachable and fun, and the menu can best be described as “everything Italian” with all of the pasta made in-house. Don’t skip the focaccia service appetizer, even if you’re swearing off the bread. The crusty, flaky loaf is served on a board with four different dips for sharing. The pizzas come highly recommended. I opted for the tagliatelle with basil and shared the ample Italian chopped salad with friends. For dessert, the Italian ice cream sundae is constructed tableside, and there’s the standby Italian desserts like tiramisu, cannoli, and a full gelato bar.

B.B.Italia Bistro and Bar: 16250 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479

Jupiter Pizza and Waffles

At Jupiter Pizza and Waffles, the name only scratches the surface of the mouthwatering menu. Waffles are used as the base for some creative and creatively named meals, such as “Unshareable” and “Speed Dating, ” a bacon-wrapped date stuffed with goat cheese served at Belgian waffle triangles topped with powdered sugar. I ordered the “Ricky Bobby, ” a fried hot chicken breast with house-made slaw served on a waffle.

Jupiter Pizza and Waffles provides quite the conundrum if you have a hard time deciding between sweet and savory. I recommend taking a friend and ordering one of each style and sharing.

Jupiter Pizza and Waffles: 16135 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479


Japaneiro’s is a fusion of Latin American cuisine and sushi. If your dream appetizer menu includes both steamed dumplings and nachos, this might be your new favorite place. If you typically have a hard time coming to a decision, brace yourself and prepare to spend some extra time with the menu because there’s a lot to take in.

Japaneiro’s: 2168 Texas Dr, Sugar Land, TX 77478

BlendIn Coffee Club

BlendIn Coffee is a great sunny space to grab a coffee and a pastry, work, or chat with a friend. This is the place to be if you’re looking for the perfect pick-me-up and a light bite.

BlendIn Coffee: 8410 US-90 ALT Bldg B, Sugar Land, TX 77478

Where to stay in Sugar Land

sugar land texas marriott

Photo: Expedia

We hope you love the spaces we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.

While you need a car to drive from downtown Sugar Land to Constellation Field, the Museum of Natural Science, and green spaces, all of downtown is accessible on foot from the Marriott, which is centrally located downtown. The ability to walk to things makes this stay perfect for a quick two- or three-day trip. The hotel has 300 rooms, all with views of downtown Sugar Land. Other hotel amenities include an onsite restaurant and bar, a courtyard, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

Book Now

How to get to Sugar Land

From San Antonio, Sugar Land is less than three hours to drive to, and about four hours from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For those flying in, Houston has two airports. The main airport, George Bush Houston Intercontinental (IAH), is 43 miles from Sugar Land, while Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU) is 30 miles from Sugar Land.
Once there, Downtown Sugar Land is pedestrian-friendly, and if you’re staying downtown, it’s easy to park your car once and walk to a variety of restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Metered street parking is not difficult to find, but three free parking garages are also available. Street parking is free on weekends and weekdays after 6:00 PM.

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.