The quaintly named Pearland in the state of Texas sits in Brazoria County, and while you may think that the most famous thing about this city is the fruit from which it takes its name, there are actually a whole number of other great reasons to visit here.
Pearland was established in 1894 and was actually better known for its figs than its pears, as early settlers flocked here and set up what is now a thriving city of over 100,000 residents.
Pearland was given its name by a polish nobleman named Witold von Zychlinski, who saw the number of fruit trees in Pearland and decided that this would be a good name for the settlement, and nowadays you can even go on edible walking trails to sample some of the city’s famous fruit.
As well as walking trails, there are outdoor activities galore here such as lakes, golf courses, and verdant areas of parkland, or if you prefer indoor pursuits then there are a range of sites of historical interest located in Pearland.
1. Sri Meenakshi Temple
Built in 1979, the Sri Meenakshi Temple is a must-see activity in Pearland, and a quirky stop off in your trip around the city.
The temple was first opened as a place for local residents to perform daily poojas, and it has all the traditional architectural features of a Hindu temple.
These include a temple hall as well as the main Ganesh temple, living quarters for the onsite priests, and an ornate prakaram (the outer part of a Hindu temple sanctum). The temple complex has expanded over the years from 5 acres when it first opened to over 23 acres today, and aside from touring the temple, there is also a colorful and comprehensive visitor’s center where you can learn all about Hindu culture.
2. Shadow Creek Ranch Disc Golf
If you want to try your hand at something a little different in the Pearland area then why not have a go at disc golf? Shadow Creek Ranch Disc Golf is centered on an area of parkland, and has a number of baskets into which competitors can try to throw discs.
At Shadow Creek Ranch Disc Golf a course is laid out for you to follow, and you can also take in the rest of the Shadow Creek Ranch parklands which include a nearby playground as well as walking trails through the pretty landscape.
3. The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad Depot
The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad Depot was built in 1900 and was used a place where settlers would meet visitors to Pearland and would also pick up supplies for the town such as mail and livestock.
As such, this was a place of extreme historical importance in the area, and visitors to modern day Pearland are lucky to be able to see a preserved and restored version of the original depot which was kindly donated to the city after it closed for the last time in the 1970s.
Inside the depot, there is a visitor’s center that will fill you in on the historical significance of this building and its role in Pearland’s development.
4. Old Settler’s Cemetery
To learn more about Pearland’s fascinating settler history, head to the Old Settler’s Cemetery which dates from 1898. A total of six veterans of the Civil War are buried here and many of the ornate gravestones date from this period and feature intricate period carvings.
Visitors to Pearland often come here to learn more about the early history of the period, and the cemetery is housed in immaculate gardens that make for a peaceful and reflective afternoon stroll.
5. John Hargrove Environmental Complex & Wetlands
The John Hargrove Environmental Complex & Wetlands is the place to come if you are a nature lover and is known as one of the jewels in the crown of outdoor Pearland.
The area is also known for its fantastic and diverse bird watching opportunities, and if you happen to be visiting from July to September, you will find an abundance of coastal birds in the wetlands.
Should you want to know more about the local flora and fauna, then you can learn all about it at the environmental complex, and situated close to the building itself is something of a quirky attraction in the area.
As you cross over the road, you will come to Pearland’s first edible trail, which is actually a nature trail that is dotted with fruit trees that visitors are allowed to sample.
As such, you can explore the great outdoors of Pearland, whist also munching on some of its freshest local produce.
6. Bass Pro Shop
If you prefer fish to birds, then look no further than the Bass Pro Shop, where you will find the largest aquarium in Pearland.
The aquarium itself contains a whopping 18,000 gallons of fresh water and there is also a 5,500 gallon touch pool where willing participants can get up close with the aquatic life on show here.
As well as freshwater tanks and a touch pool, there is also an 11,500 gallon saltwater tank that houses different aquatic species, so you will get to see a huge range of fish and sea creatures at this underwater museum.
Aside from the actual tanks and live exhibits, you will also find antique pieces related to fishing in the area, aquatic memorabilia, and fish related artifacts.
Certainly, this is the place to come if you want to know all about the history of fishing in the Pearland area.
7. Shadow Creek Ranch Nature Trail
If you want to get outside in Pearland then head for the Shadow Creek Ranch Nature Trail, where you can really experience some of the most beautiful scenery in the region.
Bird watching is a popular pastime at Shadow Creek Ranch, and there are also a number of paved trails that are perfect for some light hiking.
Should you prefer biking to walking, there are bicycle racks provided throughout this area of parkland, so you can easily bike around instead.
Shadow Creek Ranch is well designed and cared for, and you will even find comprehensive signage dotted along the trails that will fill you in on the history of the area and explain some of the local plant and animal life found in the park.
8. 288 Lake
Just outside of Pearland sits 288 Lake, so if you fancy getting out of town then this is the perfect place to come for a relaxing day on the water.
Swimming is popular in the lake which is known for its refreshing waters and glassy surface, or if you are feeling energetic then you can have a go at kayaking.
For something even more adventurous you can try stand-up paddle boarding on the lake which will also provide you with amazing views across the water.
The area is also crossed with trails, so aside from the lake itself, you can also spend some time exploring the surrounding area.
9. Lunar Mini Golf
For something completely different, check out Lunar Mini Golf in Pearland, which is a fun twist on a traditional mini golf course.
You may have played golf before, but not like this, as Lunar Mini Golf uses black light so that the actual indoor arena is dark, with only the golf course illuminated with a range of colorful lights to guide you.
Certainly, this is a quirky attraction to come to if you like golf but want to see it in a completely different light!
10. Kids’ Backporch Productions
Kids’ Backporch Productions is the best place to come if you want to catch a little piece of Broadway in the Pearland area.
The theater company is now in its 11th season and features all the best of the local talent in and around Pearland.
Kids’ Backporch Productions has a history of engaging musicals and plays that the whole family can enjoy, and is known for high quality performances and a strong dedication to the arts in Pearland.
11. Independence Park
Independence Park is one of Pearland’s premium parks, and contains 1.6 miles of trails, so if you want to go for a stroll and take in some of the delightful landscapes in this part of the United States, then this is certainly the place to do it.
For those who are feeling active, there are basketball and tennis courts where you can get in a few games, and there are also picnic spots in strategic locations around the park that are perfect if you want to stop for a bite to eat and enjoy the lush surroundings.
For younger visitors, there are also play areas and even several rambling fields within the park.
12. First United Methodist Church
The site for the First United Methodist Church in Pearland goes back to 1898, although the original building was damaged first by a fire and then by a hurricane in the early twentieth century.
The new church, that stands to this day, was completed in 1917, so this is a delightful piece of Pearland’s history, and is also still very much a working church, with services held throughout the week, and a congregation of over 2,000 members.
13. Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium
The Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium is ideal for those who love fitness and want to find somewhere to splash around in the Pearland area.
The center has everything you need for an exciting day out, especially if you are travelling as part of a family, as there is even a dedicated Kidz Korner for younger visitors to enjoy.
At the recreation center there are also facilities such as weight rooms, yoga classes, and aerobics sessions, or you go for a swim in one of several pools located on site.
14. Pearland Golf Club
At Pearland Golf Club, golf lovers can get in a few games, even if they are not registered members, and there is a full 18 hole course to enjoy here.
Visitors to Pearland Golf Club can expect a lush green surrounded by leafy parkland, and whether you are a seasoned pro, or just looking to try a game for the first time, this is a relaxing and scenic spot in the Pearland area.
15. Zychlinski Park
Zychlinski Park is named after the founder of Pearland, and is one of the most well-loved parks in the region.
The parkland dates from 1911 and has a long history as the place to pay baseball in Pearland, with several generations of locals having been involved in tournaments here.
Nowadays, popular pastimes in the park include a playground area for younger visitors, as well as scenic walking trails and picturesque picnic spots.
There is also a war memorial in the park that is dedicated to those in service.