River Oaks Houston House Guide
Home to grand estates and beautiful mansions, River Oaks is the Bayou City’s most expensive and wealthiest neighborhood.
Located in Houston’s geographic center, River Oaks real estate remains the state’s poshest addresses.
- EXCELLENT LOCATION: Centrally located, the neighborhood has key Houston hotspots like the Galleria, Downtown Houston, and the Texas Medical Center nearby.
- GREAT HOME OPTIONS: Spanning a 1,100-acre area south of the Buffalo Bayou, River Oaks offers a mix of grand mansions, traditional homes from the 1920s and 30s, luxury condos, and townhomes in gated communities.
- HIGH ACCESSIBILITY: Main roads like Westheimer Road, Kirby Drive, and San Felipe Street line the neighborhood.
- NEAR RETAIL AND ENTERTAINMENT: Retail and entertainment venues, including River Oaks Shopping Center, Highland Village, and the Galleria, are minutes away from River Oaks homes.
- STRONG REAL ESTATE MARKET: River Oaks real estate continue to post strong appreciation rates.
River Oaks homes for sale have a median sales price of over $1,500,000. Homes in the area typically offer sprawling lots, multi-car garages, swimming pools, and luxury finishes, among other features.
For any inquiries about River Oaks homes recommendations, or off-market MLS listings, email
Things River Oaks Real Estate Buyers Should Know
Known for its stately manors, River Oaks is home to some of the state’s most expensive real estate.
- Centrally located, the neighborhood has key Houston hotspots like the Galleria, Downtown Houston, and the Texas Medical Center nearby.
- Spanning a 1,100-acre area south of the Buffalo Bayou, River Oaks offers a mix of grand mansions, traditional homes from the 1920s and 30s, luxury condos, and townhomes in gated communities.
- Main roads like Westheimer Road, Kirby Drive, and San Felipe Street line the neighborhood.
- Retail and entertainment venues, including River Oaks Shopping Center, Highland Village, and the Galleria, are minutes away from River Oaks homes.
- River Oaks real estate continue to post strong appreciation rates.
- River Oaks homes have a median sales price of over $1,500,000.
- The neighborhood is zoned to the Houston ISD, and is home to multi-award winning River Oaks Elementary School.
- Older River Oaks homes date back to the 1920s and 1930s, some of which have been replaced with new construction two-story homes.
- The neighborhood exudes an old world charm, with its beautiful esplanades, tree-lined streets, and stately manors.
- Most River Oaks homes for sale feature 2,500 to 5,000 square feet. Newer homes in the area can offer 8,000 to more than 16,000 square feet.
- Lot sizes can range from 2,500 to more than 160,000 square feet.
- Prices for homes in the neighborhood can start at around $650,000. The most expensive River Oaks real estate can fetch upwards of $16,000,000.
River Oaks Maps and Location
Spanning 1,100 acres, River Oaks follows the contours of the Buffalo Bayou. It stretches south to Westheimer, and is bounded by S Shepherd Drive and Willowick Road to the east and west, respectively.
The neighborhood lies north of Upper Kirby, east of Galleria/Uptown, west of Neartown/Montrose and south of Memorial Park.
River Oaks homes are highly accessible, with convenient access to main roads like Westheimer Road, Kirby Drive, and San Felipe Street. Loop 610 and US 59 are a stone’s throw away.
Key Houston areas like Downtown and the Texas Medical Center are minutes away.
River Oaks is under the 77019 Harris County zip codes.
Fun Things To Do Near River Oaks
Aside from the elegant houses line River Oaks’s streets, much of the community’s beauty comes from the abundance of verdant elements in the area.
River Oaks exudes an old world charm, with its scenic tree-lined streets coupled with intricate landscaping that lead to pocket gardens. There are plenty of parks and green spaces within and around the neighborhood, including the River Oaks Park and the River Oaks Community Center.
River Oaks Park features the Cinderella-inspired Pumpkin Carriage, a playground, lighted tennis courts, and a lighted sports field. A quarter-mile off-road trail is also available in the area.
Olympia Park, Sleepy Hollow Park, Meyer Park, Elliott Park, and Homewood Park are also within the neighborhood. River Oaks homes are also minutes away from Memorial Park, home to a wide variety of indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, Memorial Park Golf Course, and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.
Retail, dining, and entertainment venues are not in short supply either. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries in the River Oaks Shopping Center and West Ave complexes.
The River Oaks District will open shortly, and will offer an artful ambiance of posh social venues and private tree-lined streets.
Highland Village, the Greenway Plaze, Rice Village, the Galleria, and Uptown Park are also minutes away from River Oaks homes.
Here are some must-visit places in and around River Oaks.
- The Oak Bar – The Oak Bar has DJs spinning most nights as regulars dance around while sipping cocktails.
- 1919 Wine & Mixology – 1919 Wine & Mixology offers a hybrid of wine and specially-curated cocktails.
- The Railyard – The Railyard sets itself apart from other neighborhood bars by offering cheap beer and a laid-back attitude.
- Downing Street – Downing Street is a cigar-bar themed pub that offers incredible whiskeys and various martinis.
- Red Lion Pub – The Red Lion is a British Pub that offers a huge selection of beer and cider along with delicious pub food.
- River Oaks Bookstore – A venue for book signings and photography exhibits, The River Oaks Bookstore has been in the neighborhood for over 40 years.
- The River Oaks Shopping Center at West Gray and S.Shepherd has 76 stores, 14 restaurants, a theater, and a grocery store.
- Antique Pavilion – An upscale multi dealer shop that houses an inventory of authentic antiques, fine accessories, and a vast assortment of collectibles.
- Buffalo Bayou Park – This 124-acre park offers kayaking, canoeing, jogging trails, biking trails, hiking trails, a skate park, a disc golf course, and a dog park.
- The River Oaks Country Club is located at 1600 River Oaks Boulevard. It hosts the annual River Oaks International Tournament, among other golf tournaments.
- The Downtown Aquarium & Restaurant houses a 500,000-gallon underwater adventure complex with over 200 species of aquatic life forms from all over the globe.
- Americas River Oaks – This award winning restaurant offers a menu that merges the bold flavors of South America with influences of Caribbean and Mexican cuisine.
- Ouisie’s – The restaurant offers trendy and elegant yet classic southern food and is among the most popular breakfast spots in Houston.
- Brasserie 19 is situated in the heart of the 77019 zip code, hence its name. It features classic French cuisine with Modern American influences.
- La Griglia offers guests the experience of authentic Italian dining. It was named by Esquire magazine as one of the Best New Restaurants in America.
- Tony Mandola’s is considered as one of the best seafood and Italian restaurants in Houston.
- Backstreet Cafe offers New American choices prepared by James Beard, Chef Hugo Ortega.
- Armando’s is famous for its upscale Mexican fare and has been a staple for many well-heeled locals and celebrities for decades.
River Oaks Houston History
In 1923, brothers Will and Mike Hogg, along with their associate Hugh Potter, purchased 200 acres of land around the River Oaks Country Club. Some of the first lots sold in the area were within the then-fledgling River Oaks Country Club Estates.
Kansas City-based city planning and landscape architects Hare and Hare provided the new neighborhood’s master plan. Spaces for an elementary school, esplanades, pocket parks, and shopping centers were set aside.
In 1927, the City of Houston annexed the community.
Careful planning, along with strict deed restrictions and building codes, contributed to making River Oaks Houston’s premiere neighborhood.
Today, River Oaks is still Houston’s most expensive neighborhood. River Oaks real estate include stately mansions, grand Victorian homes, and a collection of single-family new construction properties with modern designs.
New development has come to the area, but some of the neighborhood’s early 1920s and 30s homes still line its streets.
River Oaks Schools
River Oaks homes are zoned to the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
The neighborhood is home to some of the best public schools in Houston, including River Oaks Elementary School.
- River Oaks Elementary School at 2008 Kirby Dr. River Oaks Elementary School has an accelerated multidisciplinary curriculum and is one of the first elementary schools in Texas to offer an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. It has a GreatSchools.org rating of 10/10.
- Wharton Dual Language Academy at 900 W. Gray. Wharton is an alternative primary school that serves gifted and talented students in the Language Magnet program for Pre-K to 8. Their language program promotes both Spanish and English as languages of equal value. It has a GreatSchools.org rating of 10/10.
- Gregory-Lincoln Education Center at 1101 Taft. GLEC is a a Fine Arts magnet school with classes in instrumental music, vocal music, theatre arts, dance, culinary arts, visual arts, and multimedia.
- Lanier Middle School at 2600 Woodland. Lanier Middle School handles students from grades 6 to 8. They received a Texas Gold Performance Award based on language arts, math, reading, science, social studies, and writing in 2011. It has a GreatSchools.org rating of 10/10.
- Lamar High School at 3325 Westheimer Rd. Lamar High School has a great Athletics program. They have one of the oldest lacrosse programs in the state, and have either won or placed several times in state championships in the past. Their football team is one of the highest-ranking teams within the Greater Houston area.
River Oaks Houston Private Schools
Notable Private Schools near River Oaks include:
- St. Thomas High School at 4500 Memorial Dr. Founded in 1900, St. Thomas is the second oldest continuously operating private high school in Houston. It has a GreatSchools.org community rating of 4/5 stars.
- St. Anne Catholic School at 2120 Westheimer Rd. St. Anne Catholic School is an accredited Pre-K through 8th grade with a National Blue Ribbon Status from the Department of Education. It has a GreatSchools.org community rating of 4/5 stars.
- St. John’s School at 2401 Claremont Ln. St. John’s is one of “America’s Elite Prep Schools” according to Forbes.com and “the best private school in Houston” according to the New York Times.
- Annunciation Orthodox School at 3600 Yoakum Blvd. AOS is co-educational school for age 3 to 8th grade. It has a GreatSchools.org community rating of 4/5 stars.
- River Oaks Baptist School at 2300 Willowick Rd. River Oaks Baptist School is one of the Houston’s premier independent co-educational schools. Most faculty members hold advanced degrees and the school boast of a a low teacher-to-student ratio.
- The Kinkaid School at 201 Kinkaid School Dr. The Kinkaid School is a non-sectarian school attended by students from PK -12. It is also the oldest independent coeducational school in Greater Houston.
- River Oaks Academy at 10600 Richmond Ave. ROA specializes in individualized education for children with special needs. The school features a specialized program for students with learning disabilities, unique learning styles, ADHD, social skill needs, autism, behavioral and emotional issues, and learning deficiencies. It is the only program approved by both the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
To find an updated listing of all River Oaks real estate zoned to any specific public school, please send an email to with the property preference and budget that you’re working with.
*Note: School zoning tends to change from year to year, information provided above are accurate but not guaranteed. Please double check by visiting the school’s website.
River Oaks Real Estate Trends
River Oaks real estate have shown strong appreciation rates over the years. It is Houston’s most expensive neighborhood, and homes in the neighborhood have a median sales price of over $1,500,000.
Land values and average price per square foot have also posted similar positive changes, increasing by almost half over the past decade.
Like most Houston neighborhoods, new development is reshaping River Oaks. Older properties have been renovated and updated, though some have since been replaced with new construction homes. Other new developments in the area include condos and townhomes within gated communities.
River Oaks Single-Family Home Sale Trends
Despite the number of recent townhome and condo developments in the area, River Oaks is still mostly made up of single-family homes.
As Houston’s most exclusive neighborhood, River Oaks showcases gorgeous homes from world-renowned architects. Although new development has replaced many of the neighborhood’s original homes, a number of its ranch-style homes from the 1920s and 1930s have been renovated and maintained.
The neighborhood features homes in a variety of architectural designs, including Contemporary, French, Mediterranean, Spanish, Traditional, and other designs.
Most River Oaks homes feature 4- to 5-bedroom floor plans. Home sizes range from 3,000 to more than 10,000 square feet.
The most expensive River Oaks real estate can feature 6 to 9 bedrooms, with home sizes between 12,000 to 16,000 square feet.
Sprawling wooded lots, luxury finishes, multi-car garages, swimming pools, media rooms, and premium appliances come standard the neighborhood’s poshest homes.
River Oaks Townhomes Sale Trends
About a third of River Oaks real estate inventory is a mix of condominiums and townhomes.
Townhomes differ from single-family homes in that they share a wall with one or more neighbors, but you still own the dirt from the center of the earth to infinity.
Townhome prices in this prestigious neighborhood start just under $1,000,000 for a tear-down home or lot. At this price point, River Oaks townhomes for sale are relatively more affordable than single-family homes.
Most River Oaks townhomes for sale are within gated communities, and offer extensive amenities within safe and luxurious enclaves.