Though Fort Bend County already spans a wide region across Southwest Houston, booming communities such as Sugar Land, Katy, Richmond, Rosenberg, and Missouri City all continue to grow. The area has come a long way since its 19th-century plantation roots, with several of its cities now prominently recognized as beacons of the Greater Houston area.
With well over half a million residents, Fort Bend County has been consistently cited in recent years as the wealthiest county in Texas. Its largest city Sugar Land was originally named Oakland Plantation for its wide variety of natural oaks. Later renamed in the mid-1800s after the city solidified its economic foothold with sugarcane, a bustling company town grew from the success of the crops. Today, many large businesses are headquartered in Fort Bend, including Schlumberger and Minute Maid.
The majority of Sugar Land and Missouri City are served by the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD), while Richmond and Rosenberg are covered by the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, and Katy is zoned to Katy ISD. John Foster Dulles High School, Clements High School, and Stephen F. Austin High School have all been featured as top schools in Texas and the United States in multiple publications. Notable alumni include actor Sean Patrick Flanery, musician Stacy Jones, and Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel.
Sugar Land Town Square
With City Hall at the heart of the action, Sugar Land Town Square is a favorite gathering place for area residents. Made up of 32 acres of pedestrian-friendly prime retail, dining, and business spaces, Sugar Land Town Square also offers more than 200 events throughout the year, including movie nights, concerts, and fitness classes.
First Colony Mall
First Colony Mall has been a part of the Sugar Land landscape since 1996 and serves more than 15 million shoppers each year. In 2006, the shopping center expanded by adding an outdoor lifestyle wing that includes more upscale retail and sit-down restaurants.
Brazos Bend State Park
Found in Needville, Texas alongside the Brazos River, Brazos Bend State Park transcends being just another nature attraction, serving as one of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s premier destinations. On top of being a birding paradise, alligators are frequently spotted from the various hiking trails.
The Farmers Market at Imperial
Local farmers, artisans, and vendors gather every Saturday morning for the Farmers Market at Imperial. The weekly event is a Texas Certified Farmers Market, which means more than half of their vendors are growers or producers. Each week visitors can enjoy live music and activities for children.
Sugar Land Memorial Park
Nestled along the Brazos River is the 420-acre Sugar Land Memorial Park. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boat rentals and fishing at the lake or exploring the 8-foot-wide gravel trail that winds around the park. For four-legged visitors, the area also includes a 6-acre dog park with separate spaces for large and small dogs.