Located about 30 minutes outside of Houston, you’ll find Sugar Land, Texas. It’s a city, but has more of a suburban feel than the behemoth of Houston. In 2016, it was actually named one of the best places to live by Money Magazine, which cited the city’s low cost of living and "high quality of life.”
The city, which was incorporated in 1959, gets its name from — you guessed it — sugar. Leading up to the Civil War, Sugar Land was a big sugarcane producer. In fact, all of the area became known as the Texas Sugar Bowl. The Imperial Sugar Factory, which has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, still stands as a reminder of the city’s agricultural and industrial beginnings. Building has begun at the Imperial Sugar Factory to create Imperial Market, a massive shopping center set to open in 2019. It will be the centerpiece of a 720-acre master planned community called Imperial. This will be an addition to the numerous planned communities already in Sugar Land.
Today, Sugar Land is an affluent community with a median household income of $91,250, and 55 percent of residents are college educated. But you don’t need to be super rich to live here; the city has an average listing price of $409,656 and median rent per month is $1,800. It’s a very family friendly community with over 90 percent of residents being married and 88 percent being homeowners versus renters. The median age is 39.
For those moving to Sugar Land from outside of Texas, the climate could come as a shock. It gets very hot here. And tornado season is a real thing. According to Sugar Land’s official website, “Tornados may develop with little or no warning as a storm system moves into the area. Sugar Land does not have a siren warning system, so stay tuned to radio and television.”
So what’s there to do here besides dodge twisters? Sugar Land is home to the Sugar Land Skeeters minor league baseball team and the Sugar Land Imperials 3HL minor league hockey team. In nearby Houston, sports fans can catch an Astros, Rockets or Texas game. The Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land features a top-rated fossil collection, and Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center is a great place to spend an afternoon with the kids (in air conditioning). If you’re looking to take in the great outdoors, hit the trails at Sugar Land Memorial Park and Brazos River Corridor or spend a relaxing day at Oyster Creek Park.
Random trivia fact: Former Olympic figure skater Tara Lipinski lived in Sugar Land for a while.