5 Must Do Things in Pearland

Kids playing on a grass field at a shopping center while adults sit in lawn chairs nearby
Pearland Town Center is a shopping, dining and community destination hosting plenty of free family fun | Courtesy of Visit Pearland

In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

Named for the pear trees abundant in the area in the 1890s, the third largest city in the Greater Houston area is growing more enticing by the day.

From some of the city’s best barbecue to an extraordinary temple, check out our five Pearland must-dos.

5 Must Do Things in Pearland

A close-up of a painted pear sculpture with another pear behind it
Set out on a hunt for art-covered pears scattered across town | Courtesy of Visit Pearland

Conquer a scavenger hunt of the Pear-Scape Trail

A nod to the city’s namesake fruit and its original pear groves, the Pear-Scape Trail is a public art sculpture trail featuring 20 four-foot-tall fiberglass cast pears hand-painted by local artists.

The colorful, whimsical pieces of art are scattered throughout Pearland, and folks can follow the clues (with adult and kid-friendly hints) to find them all.

A tray full of barbecue ribs, sausage and other meats, held by two hands
Killen’s offers belly-filling smoked goodness in Pearland | Courtesy of Killen’s Barbecue

Get the gold standard of ‘q at Killen’s Barbecue

Chef Ronnie Killen’s namesake smokery is widely regarded as Houston’s best barbecue, but you’ll have to try it and judge for yourself (fans of beef will want to check out Killen’s Steakhouse and Killen’s Burgers, too).

Don’t be scared by the potential line, because one bite of the monster-sized beef ribs, flawlessly executed fat-melting brisket, and killer fried chicken will convince you it’s worth your time.

Plus, there are free kegs tapped to “assist” with the longer waits over the weekends.

An aerial view of Sri Meenakshi Temple surrounded by trees
The Sri Meenakshi Temple offers a quiet retreat to Hindu shrines in Pearland | Courtesy of Visit Pearland

Feast your eyes on the Sri Meenakshi Temple

Inspired by the grand Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, India, this majestic temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Meenakshi stands out from its surroundings.

Take in the ornate marble carvings, soaring ceilings, and beautiful sacredness of the temple complex.

The visuals will feed the mind and soul, but if you’re hungry, they also sell a mean vegetable samosa.

A burger with a donut for buns sitting on a plate
Go all in for the savory and sweet with Peña’s Donut Burger in Pearland | Courtesy of Peña’s Donut Heaven

Try the Peña’s Donut Burger at Peña’s Donut Heaven

You’ll want to see what all the buzz is about and get yourself a donut burger from this local donut shop & diner.

That’s a griddled, greasy-in-a-good-way cheeseburger patty smashed between two glazed donuts, and the result is pure, glorious gluttony.

You can also try creations like the Southern chicken and Texas brisket donuts, or go for good old-fashioned donuts—iced, glazed, and cream-filled.

You’ll find all kinds of goodies at the family-owned spot and its other nearby location.

Exterior of Pearland Town Center with the names of shops visible
Shop ’til you drop and feast on local eats at Pearland Town Center | Courtesy of Visit Pearland

Stroll, shop & dine at Pearland Town Center

Outdoor mall and lifestyle hub Pearland Town Center houses a mix of retail shops and boutiques, hospitality and dining options, and office and residential space.

Pop into a maze of stores from big name shops (Macy’s, Dillard’s) to local and specialized boutiques like the BLCK Market shop and Buff City Soap; grab eats from Gringo’s Tex-Mex, Mongo, Russo’s New York Pizzeria, Ugly Donuts & Corn Dogs, and more; and look out for fun community events and festivals throughout the year, including holiday happenings like Santa’s Workshop and a Tree Lighting Ceremony.

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Brooke Viggiano
Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .