River Oaks Neighborhood Guide

Researching River Oaks neighborhood in Houston Texas? Here is a complete guide with the most up to date information about River Oaks neighborhood!

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Kristina Morales


ABOUT River Oaks

River Oaks is one of the most luxurious and exclusive neighborhoods in Texas and in all of the U.S.

The neighborhood is well-known for being home to Houston’s elite – its residents include politicians, celebrities, business giants, and international figures. The area has a population of about 17,000 people.

Developed in the early 1920s, River Oaks was among Houston’s first master-planned communities. It has grown to be among the U.S.’s wealthiest neighborhoods with its grand estates, beautiful mansions, and towering trees.

The neighborhood maintains its old-world charm with traditional, one-story ranch style homes. New homes made by internationally-acclaimed architects feature modern, contemporary designs with Spanish and Mediterranean influences.

The neighborhood is conveniently located near multi-award winning schools under the Houston Independent School District. It is also home to the most sought after upscale shopping and dining destinations, landmark attractions, and diverse art and entertainment scenes.

River Oaks has been named by Forbes as among the Best Places to Live in Houston.

More than 13,000 people make up River Oaks’ workforce. About 61% of the neighborhood’s employees work in white-collar jobs.

Nearly 49% of workers are employed in private companies and 6% work in government. The most common types of jobs held by residents include management occupations, sales and office occupations, and business and financial operations occupations.

The neighborhood has a high population of young families and a median age of 36. About 36% of adults in the area have a bachelor’s degree.

White residents make up about 67% of the neighborhood’s total population. This is followed by Black residents accounting for 16%, and Asian residents accounting for 6.7%.


Grand estates
Great shopping
Diverse dining options
Highly-rated schools
Scenic and lush landscapes
Vibrant art and entertainment
Luxurious community amenities
Rich history

Natural Disasters

River Oaks is located in Houston, Texas – in a region that is highly vulnerable to the devastating effects of hurricanes, severe tropical storms, and flooding.

Though River Oaks is not among neighborhoods that are hardest-hit by natural disasters, the upscale community has had its share of significant damage from tropical storms that dumped as much as 30 to 40 inches of rain.

In 2017, the neighborhood was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Several streets were submerged under water and flash floods damaged homes and public utilities.

The neighborhoods that are highly vulnerable to hazards from storms and flooding are those that are located near Buffalo Bayou along Tiel Way and Pinehill Lane.


The average one-way commute in River Oaks takes about 20 minutes. This is less than the U.S. average one-way commute time of 26 minutes.

About 78% of employees in the neighborhood drive their own cars to get to their work stations. About 17.3% carpool and 3.3% work from home.

In 2017, the majority of households in the area had two cars.

River Oaks is near major roads that include U.S. 59 and Loop 610. Driving from River Oaks to Downtown Houston takes about 12 to 14 minutes. Bus rides for the same route take about 41 to 47 minutes.

Crime Rate

River Oaks is among the communities in Houston with crime rates that are significantly higher than both the state and national averages.

Overall, the crime rate in River Oaks is 4,690 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 82% higher than the national average. River Oaks is safer than about 36% of communities in Texas.

Violent crime rate in the area is about 272 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 29% lower than the national average.

Property crime happens more frequently in the area at a rate of about 4,418 per 100,000 residents. This rate is about 101% higher than the national average.

One has a 1 in 22 chance of being a victim of crime in River Oaks.



The public schools serving River Oaks are under the jurisdiction of the Houston Independent School District. It is the largest school district in Texas that manages 283 schools serving more than 200,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The district is known for promoting personalized learning experiences that consider the needs of individual students. It has a curriculum that encourages students to achieve excellence in both academics and athletics through programs that help them become critical thinkers and problem solvers.

The school is also known for embracing diverse cultures – about 62% of the district’s student body are Hispanic students. This is followed by
African American students accounting for 24%, and White students accounting for 9%.

In 2018, the district had a graduation rate of 81%. HISD has also received a Met Standard rating from the Texas Education Agency. It is also a two-time winner of the Broad Prize award that recognizes public school systems that have made outstanding gains in student achievement.


River Oaks Elementary School: The River Oaks Elementary School is a neighborhood school and is the only one in the Houston Independent School District that offers both a Vanguard Magnet and an International Baccalaureate Program. Serving about 645 students in pre-kindergarten through 5th grade, the school challenges students through complex activities that harness their ability to identify and execute solutions to real-life problems. Wharton Dual Language Academy: The Wharton Dual Language Academy is known for offering neighborhood Vanguard and gifted and talented programs for students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. The school also nurtures students’ talents through exciting enrichment classes that include piano, ballet, culinary arts, creative drama, and soccer.
Lanier Middle School: The Lanier Middle School serves more than 1,400 students in grades 6 to 8. The school is the first in HISD to offer an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. Besides a rigorous academic curriculum, the school also helps students value the importance of serving their communities. Extracurricular activities include debate, robotics, music, and computer building. Gregory-Lincoln Education Center: The Gregory-Lincoln Education Center is a magnet school for the creative and performing arts with a wide array of classes that focus on the choir and general music, band, dance, theatre, and culinary arts. The school also has strong athletics programs offering classes in football, basketball, cheerleader, and track and volleyball.
Lamar High School: The Lamar High School serves more than 3,300 students in grades 9 to 12. The school is famous for its strong and diverse athletics programs that are powered by renowned coaches and high-ranking varsity teams. The school also offers IB Diploma Programs and business magnet programs. Carnegie Vanguard High School: The Carnegie Vanguard High School offers gifted and talented programs for students in grades 9 to 12. Students also take advanced placement courses in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The school also has diverse organizations and clubs that include arts and crafts, sports, linguistics, robotics, and video games.
River Oaks Baptist School: The River Oaks Baptist School is a private, co-educational school serving 872 students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. The school is known for a challenging academic program that also lets students practice the principles of responsibility, diligence, and cooperation. The school also has a wide array of athletics and fine arts activities. St. Anne Catholic School: St. Anne is a private, Catholic school serving students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. As a National Blue Ribbon School, St. Anne is committed to inspiring students to achieve excellence in academics. The school also promotes cultural diversity and the importance of health education and well-being.

Real Estate

River Oaks Housing 2020

Real estate prices in River Oaks are among the highest in Texas and in all of the U.S. The median property value in the neighborhood is $1,146,016. This represents an increase of 2.32% from the median property value of $1,120,000 recorded in 2017. Between 2017 and 2019, the median property value in the area grew by 3.57%, from $1,120,000 to $1,160,000.

The median home value in River Oaks is expected to rise by 2.5% within 2021.

In 2021, the median sales price of homes in the neighborhood was $2,450,000. This represented a growth of 29.12% from the median sales price of $1,897,500 recorded in 2014. Between 2018 and 2019, the median sales price of homes in the area increased by 10.15%, from $2,224,250 to $2,450,000.

The median list price per square foot in the neighborhood is $447. This is higher than the average Houston list price per square foot of $141.

River Oaks Homes for Sale

River Oaks is a residential neighborhood with more than 13,000 homes, apartments, and luxury buildings.

The majority of housing units in the area are single-family homes built by internationally-acclaimed architects. Many of the traditional, ranch-style homes in the area have been upgraded to include modern amenities. Newer construction homes, meanwhile, feature Spanish and Mediterranean influences and English Tudor aesthetics.

The majority of properties in the area were built between 2000 to the present. There is also a significant number of homes that were built between 1960 to 1999.

Multi-million-dollar estates in the area have 6 to 9 bedrooms and feature luxurious amenities that include brick, stone, and stucco exteriors, exquisite staircases, expansive gardens, outdoor pavilions, large terraces, and spacious master retreats.

The neighborhood also has a good mix of townhomes and condominiums that are located in gated communities. These properties have convenient access to premier shops and restaurants.

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Things to do

River Oaks continues to draw a number of investors and tourists because it showcases gorgeous homes, recreational centers, affluent shopping destinations, and a wide array of fine-dining options. The neighborhood is home to a premier country club where families and friends get to challenge each other in competitive golf and tennis. For those who wish to go on outdoor nature adventures, River Oaks is conveniently located near acres of running, walking, and hiking trails. The idyllic community also boasts of an abundance of green spaces and stunning gardens that can be enjoyed by residents going for afternoon strolls. The neighborhood is home to landmark destinations like the River Oaks Theatre and the River Oaks District. These are must-visit places for those who want to marvel at world-class performances and explore a wide array of upscale fashion and beauty brands. River Oaks also showcases the best cafe and brunch spots and exciting bars for those who want to spice up their nightlife.
Beautiful neighborhood parks
River Oaks is home to many scenic parks where families and friends can bond over picnic and sports. River Oaks Park is a favorite among parents and their children because it features a playground, a pumpkin carriage replica, and basketball and volleyball courts.
River Oaks District
High-end shopping enthusiasts get their fill at the River Oaks District where they can explore a wide array of luxurious international brands. The neighborhood is also home to the most unique and stylish boutiques that showcase chic costume jewelry, cocktail dresses, and accessories for both men and women.
River Oaks Country Club
The neighborhood is the site of the prestigious and exclusive River Oaks Country Club. Here is where families and friends get to challenge each other and enjoy the professionally-designed golf courses or tennis courts. The club is famous for hosting the River Oaks International Tennis Tournament.
River Oaks is the best place to be for those who seek exciting bars and nightlife. The Phoenix on Westheimer is a go-to neighborhood sports bar that features diverse cocktails, wines, and bottled and draught beers. Armando’s, meanwhile, is an upscale Mexican bar famous for its Thursday night specials and serving of top-shelf margaritas.
Art galleries
There are many art galleries around River Oaks for those who wish to know more about Houston’s vibrant art scene. The neighborhood also has easy access to the Menil Museum which showcases the Surrealist and modern European painting and sculpture of John and Dominique de Menil.
River Oaks does not disappoint those who are craving for excellent fine dining experiences. La Griglia is the best place to be for those who wish to explore inventive Italian cuisine as it lets guests design their own plate with the freshest cheeses, vegetables, and meats. Le Colonial, meanwhile, is for those who love Vietnamese favorites like the banh cuon and crispy chicken wings with tamarind-lemongrass sauce.
River Oaks Theatre
The River Oaks Theatre is the neighborhood’s beloved original movie theatre where residents and guests get to catch the best independent films. Movie-goers also get to explore many eclectic shops and upscale dining options at the River Oaks Shopping Center.
Buffalo Bayou Park
River Oaks is conveniently located near Buffalo Bayou Park where nature adventure seekers get to savor 160 acres of green spaces, walking, biking, jogging, and hiking trails. The park also showcases native flora and fauna, wildlife, picnic spots, and picturesque skyline views.


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