Living room with a view at Memorial by Windsor in Washington Avenue/Rice Military

Intro and neighborhood guides by Elisabeth Carroll Dawson

When people think Houston, they think big — and for good reason. Houston has it all: an iconic skyline, a robust economy, a thriving arts scene and, yes, notorious traffic jams and humidity. While it’s still more affordable than other major cities, rents are rising, driven by an oil and natural gas boom.

Home to the entire energy industry and more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere else except New York City, Houston boasts the most ethnically diverse population in the country, beating out even NYC. In fact, demographers predict H-Town will leapfrog Chicago to become the third-largest city in the U.S. within a decade.

Once widely derided for its bleakly industrial cityscapes, Houston invested hundreds of millions of dollars in biking trails, recreational waterways and urban green spaces such as Hermann Park and Buffalo Bayou. Today, nature plays nicely with longtime Bayou City attractions and institutions such as Space Center Houston, world-renowned museums, the Houston Zoo, Rice University and one of the best foodie scenes in the nation.

We spent more than 40 hours conducting extensive research on Houston’s apartments, neighborhoods and residential options. We looked at more than 130 apartment complexes in the Houston area, categorizing them by location and comparing them with a set list of criteria.

Besides basic information such as year constructed, number of units and average rent prices, we factored in community amenities such as outdoor spaces and fitness facilities. We delved into the interior design, looking for features such as hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances, balconies and other modern features. We also placed strong consideration on Walk Scores and accessibility to their respective neighborhoods, all to make confident decisions to determine the best of the best.

From luxurious River Oaks — one of the most exclusive ZIP codes in the country — to the endearingly offbeat Montrose, we explored 11 of Houston’s most popular neighborhoods. Whether you’re planning to relocate or just a weekend getaway, our apartment guide will introduce you to all H-Town has to offer.

Neighborhoods covered in this guide to Houston apartments:


Like its name suggests, Uptown boasts upscale real estate, shopping and living. Living here isn’t cheap, and subtle isn’t really part of Uptown’s DNA: while most of the housing options skew toward contemporary high-rises and new construction, adorable patio houses and traditional, sprawling estates also line its landscaped streets.

Most Uptown dwellers are professionals under the age of 40, many of whom work for one of the numerous major financial, energy or other corporations based in the area’s immense skyscrapers that rival those of Downtown.

Uptown is a firmly embedded hub of international commerce, so while leaders tend to disagree about what exactly the neighborhood’s future should look like, the area pulses with wealth and possibility — and will undoubtedly stay that way.

What To Do

Uptown is home to The Galleria, a high-fashion wonderland made up of 400 global brands such as Tiffany & Co., Valentino, Prada, Topshop and the Apple Store. Seven parking garages ensure you’ll find a spot in the gargantuan complex, which also features an ice-skating rink, 12 choice salons and even swimming pools.

For fine dining at an H-Town original, try Masraff’s, launched almost 20 years ago by a father and son. With its inspired South African cuisine and jaw-dropping dining room, Peli Peli is a perfect example of the city’s international flair.


Minimizing your commute is key when it comes to loving life in Houston, and for many, Uptown is an ideal solution. From here, walking to some of the best shopping and dining in the city is easy. Roadways do tend to get congested, especially at peak commuting hours. While plans are underway to widen Uptown’s streets for express-bus routes, proposals for light rail have stalled.

Uptown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,300

Kitchen with island at Hanover Post Oak

Hanover Post Oak Apartments

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 355
  • Number of Layouts: 22
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Floor-to-ceiling windows on 10-foot ceilings illuminate these contemporary apartments and penthouses that are LEED Silver Certified. Residents can take in panoramic views from the 30th-floor skydeck, or enjoy a resort-style pool and 24-hour gym. And because it’s located in BLVD Place, shopping and dining is just outside the door.

Kitchen and living space at WaterWall Place

WaterWall Place

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 322
  • Number of Layouts: 14
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: These eco-friendly one- and two-bedroom apartments just off of The Galleria shopping center feature wood flooring and high ceilings. Kitchens have maple cabinetry and granite countertops. Community features include fitness facilities and social areas at the poolside and rooftop.

Kitchen at M5250


  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 298
  • Number of Layouts: 17
  • Rent: $1,625-$4,625
  • Highlights: With a rooftop pool, a fitness center with a spin room and several lounge areas both inside and out, residents enjoy plenty of modern amenities at M5250. Private residences include hardwood flooring, balconies and modern kitchens containing both quartz countertops and under-cabinet lighting.

The Runners Up

Upper Kirby/Greenway Plaza

When it comes to location, it’s hard to beat Upper Kirby. Indicated by its fire-engine-red street signs and phone booths that look like they were lifted from a Harry Potter set, the neighborhood is bordered by some of Houston’s most affluent communities.

Townhomes and high-end condos dominate the real estate, although you will also find chic mid-century moderns and other historic homes in the area.

Located just to the east of Upper Kirby, Greenway Plaza is a master-planned compound combining residences, commercial offerings and businesses. Glistening office towers and a mix of new apartments and lofts focus on convenience and comfort.

The location and charm of both Upper Kirby and Greenway Plaza carry a hefty price tag these days, and draw mostly young professionals.

What To Do

Catch a concert and delicious pub eats at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, one of the best listening rooms in the country. Boutiques, antiquing and art galleries make for a dynamic retail scene.

Trader Joe’s set up shop in Upper Kirby’s historic Alabama Theater, while the farmers market is also nearby. Tony’s, an upscale Italian restaurant widely regarded as among the nation’s finest, is nestled within Greenway Plaza as well.


Upper Kirby and Greenway Plaza are pedestrian-friendly enclaves where some lucky residents can walk to work and play — a rarity in H-Town. Both communities are less than 5 miles from Downtown, The Galleria and Med Center, a major employer. Plans are underway for an Upper Kirby light rail. Greenway Plaza connects several buildings via bridges and covered walkways.

Upper Kirby/Greenway Plaza Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,392

Kitchen and dining room at 2929 Weslayan

2929 Weslayan

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 254
  • Number of Layouts: 22
  • Rent: Starting at $2,444
  • Highlights: Available in 12 designer finish selections, these new apartments are equipped with remote smart-home technology, gas cooking ranges and (in select homes) direct-elevation entry. Residents have plenty of outdoor space to relax on, whether by the grotto-style pool or the eighth-floor outdoor living space.

Living space at The Belle Meade At River Oaks

The Belle Meade At River Oaks

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 119
  • Number of Layouts: 18
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Community features including a resident dining room, resort-style pool and fitness center are available for residents on the property. In-home features include 10-foot ceilings, oak hardwood flooring and crown molding. Most units include private balconies with downtown views.

Kitchen area at Olympia at Willowick Park

Olympia at Willowick Park

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 189
  • Number of Layouts: 26
  • Rent: $2,545-$5,045
  • Highlights: This new apartment complex boasts a pool deck with a professional-grade kitchen, a spa/salon and an eighth-floor indoor/outdoor observation lounge, as well as access to amenities at adjoining property Aria. Apartment interiors include Epicurean kitchens with quartz countertops, 10- to 12-foot ceilings and hardwood flooring.

The Runners Up

Energy Corridor

The Energy Corridor has long been one of Houston’s most popular neighborhoods. Families and energy-industry professionals counting on a short commute flock to this community west of Downtown, where international corporations including BP America, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell Oil Company have established corporate or regional headquarters.

The cost of living is generally lower the farther you trek from inside Houston’s Loop 610 — a bill the Energy Corridor fits. Here, updated apartments, large family homes with plenty of lawn and exclusive gated communities create a cozy suburban vibe that’s also ethnically diverse.

Even as oil and gas corporations weather a rough downturn, the industry is about as entrenched as it gets. This means the Energy Corridor will remain vibrant for the long haul.

What To Do

Massive green spaces define the Energy Corridor almost as much as the oil and gas companies that gave the area its name. Terry Hershey Park hugs Buffalo Bayou as it cuts through the corridor and connects numerous neighborhoods and businesses via 11 miles of trails. Addicks and Barker reservoirs include 26,000 acres’ worth of nature preserves and recreational opportunities in George Bush Park and others.

After biking and hiking to your heart’s content, make up for the calories you’ve burned with Sunday brunch at hearty bistro Café Benedicte. Beloved mom-and-pop joint Sam’s Burgers and Fries is another soul-satisfying option.


Interstate 10 slices through the top of the Energy Corridor, and Westpark Tollway is immediately to the neighborhood’s south. Houston’s METRO buses provide public transit options, while the community itself actively endorses carpool apps such as NuRide and Carma and has even organized a CarShare program.

Energy Corridor Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,099

Living space at Domain by Windsor

Domain by Windsor

  • Year Built: 2012
  • Number of Units: 320
  • Number of Layouts: 33
  • Rent: $1,100-$2,210
  • Highlights: This green-living complex provides residents with distinct apartment options, which include private balconies with views of the pool and courtyard, walk-in closets and soaking garden tubs. Cabanas, grilling stations and a lush courtyard surround the pool area.

Living room at Elan Briar Forest

Elan Briar Forest

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 324
  • Number of Layouts: 9
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: With decorative crown molding, bamboo flooring and custom glass-front kitchen cabinetry, these ornate apartments have a homey feeling, with the convenience of amenities such as an infinity pool, indoor and outdoor kitchens and a lake with surrounding nature trails for both running and relaxing.

Open living space at Aura Memorial

Aura Memorial

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 288
  • Number of Layouts: 17
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Bright-white kitchens overlook open living spaces in these Energy Corridor apartments, which offer patios and oversized baths. The property’s center courtyard features a pool, a bocce ball court and a barbecue area.

The Runners Up

Westchase District

The small Westchase District has managed to blend distinctly suburban vibes with urban convenience. Located in the heart of Houston’s traditionally affluent westside, Westchase is primarily a business hive featuring outposts of major corporations such as Halliburton. But plenty of people live in the district, too — especially families.

Updated apartments are the main option for those looking to live inside Westchase District proper, while residences varying from 1960s ranch houses and townhomes to country-club mansions are available just outside the official boundaries.

Westchase residents and leaders are pouring a lot of energy and funds into big plans for the future that tackle everything from beautification to transportation.

What To Do

In the summer — which Houston’s climate makes many, many months long — take the kids to the Quillian Center, home to the popular Noah’s Ark Pool. Jogging trails connect Westchase to neighboring areas including the Energy Corridor’s Terry Hershey Park. Held every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m., the Westchase Farmers Market is another must-do featuring an impressive collection of local artisanal food makers and farmers.

Enjoy gourmet Argentinian pastries and more at The Original Marini’s Empanada House. Westchase is also just north of Houston’s bustling Chinatown; pop over to Mala Sichuan Bistro for delicious Lion’s Head and other authentic greatness.


Westchase offers easy access to key thoroughfares Sam Houston Parkway and Westpark Tollway, which makes getting there and to other parts of Houston relatively simple. METRO buses run almost a dozen routes through the area as well. As with just about anywhere in Houston, traffic can be a doozy during peak commute times.

Westchase District Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $889

Living space at Alta Woodlake Square

Alta Woodlake Square

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 256
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: $1,025-$1,780
  • Highlights: Catering heavily to graduate students from the University of Houston, these one- and two-bedroom apartments feature modern kitchens with espresso cabinetry, dark hardwood flooring and private balconies. Amenities include a resort-style swimming pool, a 24-hour gym and indoor/outdoor entertainment kitchens.

Kitchen and living room at Ventura Lofts

Ventura Lofts

  • Year Built: 2007
  • Number of Units: 265
  • Number of Layouts: 16
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: These tastefully designed apartments boast 9- to 12-foot ceilings, plank flooring and kitchens with European-style cabinetry and granite countertops. Two pools, a two-level fitness center and an 18-seat theater also can be found on the property.

Kitchen at Portico

Portico at West 8

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 320
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: Starting at $1,165
  • Highlights: Located just off Westheimer and Beltway 8, this commuter-friendly location incorporates Spanish, Mediterranean and Texan architectural details, with 9-foot ceilings and archways, slab granite countertops and private balconies with wrought iron railings. A WaterWorks pool, juice bar and fitness studio are other property highlights.

The Runners Up

Washington Avenue/Rice Military

Washington Avenue was once primarily known for its bars catering to young professionals. Today, the trendy watering holes and restaurants still stand, but the street and capillary roads surrounding it also boast some of the most in-demand apartments and townhomes in the city.

Just off Washington Ave, you’ll find the Rice Military neighborhood, where mostly newly built three-story townhomes dominate the real estate. Along the avenue itself, high-end apartments offer mostly young professionals easy access to work and nightlife.

One of Houston’s crown jewels, Memorial Park is just a quick jog away from Washington Ave, with Rice Military’s towering townhomes and the opulent Crestwood neighborhood’s mansions sandwiched in between.

What To Do

Running and biking trails, mature trees, huge playgrounds, and more make Memorial Park a beloved oasis in the middle of the city. Check out the nearby Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, a 155-acre immersion into wildlife that will make you question the fact that Downtown is about 15 minutes away.

For barhopping, Washington Ave is hard to beat. Start with happy hour at Benjy’s for a broad selection of inspired appetizers and cocktails in a swanky atmosphere. After the sun goes down, stop at Liberty Station, a casual hang with a nice patio that also hosts a coterie of food trucks in the parking lot.


Washington Avenue/Rice Military residents don’t need to join the other cars crawling on the interstate to get Downtown for work — just jump on Memorial Drive or Washington Avenue and head east. Walking in the evenings is safe and easy, and finding a parking spot tends to get increasingly difficult as the night rolls on.

Washington Avenue/Rice Military Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,356

Kitchen and breakfast bar at Virage


  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 372
  • Number of Layouts: 27
  • Rent: $1,700-$4,289
  • Highlights: This LEED-certified community features a Technogym fitness center, a resort-style swimming pool and outdoor lounge space for grilling, entertaining and relaxing. In the apartments themselves, residents will find kitchens with maple cabinetry and granite slab countertops, as well as views of the Houston skyline.

Living room with a view at Memorial by Windsor

Memorial by Windsor

  • Year Built: 2010
  • Number of Units: 330
  • Number of Layouts: 29
  • Rent: $1,415-$9,255
  • Highlights: Overlooking Buffalo Bayou Park, these apartment homes come in an array of layouts and finish options, including 12-foot ceilings, hardwood flooring and breakfast bars with granite countertops. Residents can step outside into the Zen garden, enjoy the pool and spa area or take group classes in the fitness center.

Kitchen area at Memorial Hills

Memorial Hills

  • Year Built: 2009
  • Number of Units: 309
  • Number of Layouts: 35
  • Rent: $1,337-$2,760
  • Highlights: The star attraction of these open-concept apartments are their contemporary kitchens with wet bars and granite countertops, complemented by 10- to 11-foot ceilings. On the property are 24-hour club and fitness rooms, as well as an outdoor lounge with lush landscaping and fire pits.

The Runners Up


Montrose is Houston’s quirky, quintessentially cool ’hood. Officially, Neartown is a broader area that includes the Montrose neighborhood along with a few others, such as Cherryhurst and Hyde Park — but call it all Montrose, really.

Traditionally a bohemian haven that artists, students, empty nesters and Houston’s substantial LGBT community have all called home, Montrose has seen rents soar in recent years. While the higher cost of living is good for property values, it also threatens to displace the residents and the funkiness that made the area so desirable in the first place.

An eclectic mix of upscale lofts, newly built apartments, duplexes, renovated mansions and sweet bungalows in a central location make Montrose one of the most sought-after Houston neighborhoods.

What To Do

Montrose has some of the best restaurants and shopping in Houston. Vintage and thrift-store junkies will love the Guild Shop, which boasts gently used high-end household goods and furniture. A well-stocked Buffalo Exchange outpost on Westheimer is also a worthwhile stop.

Aladdin serves some of the best Mediterranean food in a town that’s brimming with options; the restaurant’s famous pita bread is a fluffy slice of melt-in-your-mouth heaven. Try Uchi for upscale sushi and ambitious Japanese-inspired seafood in a sleek, modern dining room. Rudyard’s British Pub is a slice of old-school Montrose that features live music, good food and an epic beer list.


Walking to many favorite restaurants and bars in Montrose is easy and common. The neighborhoods within Loop 610 (which locals refer to as “inside the loop”) all spill into one another: Midtown, the Museum District and River Oaks are all nearby. Light rail hasn’t made it to Montrose yet, but advocates are still trying to make it happen.

Montrose Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,250

Kitchen area at The Sovereign

The Sovereign at Regent Square

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 290
  • Number of Layouts: 27
  • Rent: Starting at $1,665
  • Highlights: With access to the swanky eighth-floor Sovereign Club, a 75-foot lap pool and nearly 3,000 square feet of fitness space, residents at The Sovereign live large on amenities alone. Inside the apartments, interiors include 10- to 15-foot ceilings, spa-inspired baths, and kitchens with gas ranges, wine chillers and slab-style cabinetry.

Apartment interiors at The Fairmont

The Fairmont Museum District

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 236
  • Number of Layouts: 39
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Experience high-rise boutique living at The Fairmont, where community amenities include double fitness centers, outdoor pools and clubhouses. Interiors have been tastefully designed to feature hardwood flooring, Black Galaxy countertops, 10-foot ceilings and skyline views.

Living room at Muse


  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 270
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Apartments with solid hardwood flooring, granite countertops and oversized Roman tubs create a homey and high-end aesthetic, while property amenities include a multipurpose fitness center, a demonstration kitchen and a pool with an extra-wide tanning ledge — all in the lively Museum District.

The Runners Up


Several years of a bullish local economy have helped lead to large investments and substantial revitalization in Midtown. The small, densely packed area sits just south of Downtown and claims some of the best restaurants and bars in the city, making it an ideal home base for young professionals working in the skyscrapers by day.

New construction dominates Midtown real estate: Luxury apartments, high-rise condos, lofts and townhomes are beginning to fill every nook and cranny. While it isn’t the most expensive inner-loop area and has been an option for those who are priced out of Montrose and other more established neighborhoods, Midtown rents are following the current citywide trend and climbing.

What To Do

Numerous art galleries and theaters keep entertainment options interesting in Midtown. Houston Community College’s Heinen Theatre hosts intriguing student dance, music and drama productions, while Inman Gallery ranks among the best places in town to enjoy visual art.

Make reservations at Reef, which Bon Appetit recently dubbed the No. 1 seafood restaurant in the country. Midtown’s bar scene is among the city’s best; hit 3rd Floor for craft beers, good wine and creative mixology over spectacular views of the Houston skyline.


METRORail is actually an option in Midtown: Commuters can ride to work in Downtown or rely on the trains for a night out. The ease and accessibility of Midtown’s light rail hints at what’s possible for Houston’s future.

Midtown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,353

Living room and patio at 3800 Main

3800 Main Apartments

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 319
  • Number of Layouts: 14
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: A block from the light-rail station in Midtown, these apartments boast a choice between two hardwood-style flooring and granite countertop options, as well as stainless steel appliances and master en suite bathrooms. Several entertainment spaces, a full fitness center and a resort-style pool are other perks of living at 3800 Main.

Kitchen and living room at Alexan Midtown

Alexan Midtown

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 215
  • Number of Layouts: 16
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: With easy access to Downtown, residents at Alexan Midtown come home to kitchens with granite countertops, glass backsplashes and gas stoves. Units have hardwood and stained-concrete flooring; some include balconies and wine refrigerators. On-site are separate cardio and weight fitness centers, an outdoor pool, and a grooming station and park for pets.

Kitchen at Camden Travis Street

Camden Travis Street

  • Year Built: 2009
  • Number of Units: 253
  • Number of Layouts: 12
  • Rent: Starting at $1,249
  • Highlights: These contemporary apartments are tastefully designed with flat-front espresso kitchen cabinetry, oversized windows and arched doorways, adding character and style. Just off the METRORail, this complex also includes a landscaped pool, fitness center and dog park. It also hosts an array of community events, such as fitness classes and happy hours.

The Runners Up

Downtown Houston

Once the exclusive domain of corporate skyscrapers, Downtown Houston is fast becoming one of the most desirable places to live in the city. Downtown is split into several districts, each with a unique focus.

The Historic District boasts cafes, pubs and stunning architecture dating to the 1800s; the Theater District promises first-rate performing arts. Posh high-rises and lofts make up most of the residential offerings in the area.

These days, empty nesters and young professionals are flocking to Houston’s Downtown. Even as rents go up, it remains one of the most affordable, livable downtowns of any major U.S. city.

What To Do

When it comes to recreation and restaurants, Downtown Houston has almost too much. Discovery Green is a beautifully designed park featuring green spaces, outdoor art installations, an ice-skating rink and more.

Catch a Major League Baseball game at Minute Maid Park; the Houston Astros were actually pretty good last season. Or explore the Tunnels, a 6-mile network of restaurants and shopping located 20 feet below the busy Downtown streets.

For a romantic date night, enjoy fine cocktails and cuisine at Hearsay Gastro Lounge. For a divine Italian meal in a cozy setting before a show, try Perbacco in the Theater District.


METRORail provides nice options for Downtown dwellers: Midtown and the Museum District are all just a short train ride away. On weekdays, ride the Greenlink bus for free between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Walking to work and hot spots is also a great choice here.

Downtown Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,500

Living room and kitchen at One Park Place

One Park Place

  • Year Built: 2009
  • Number of Units: 346
  • Number of Layouts: 15
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: With a Walk Score of 89, One Park Place is steps from the highlights of Downtown. A 1-acre terrace-level pool, 24-hour fitness center and resident coffee bar are property perks; in their own units, residents enjoy oak hardwood flooring, private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Living room at The Rice

The Rice

  • Year Built: 1913
  • Number of Units: 308
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: Starting at $1,195
  • Highlights: These studios, one- and two-bedroom lofts get their downtown vibe with 10- to 18-foot ceilings, brick accent walls and original dark hardwood flooring. This historic building stands out with its remodeled underground pool, as well as brand-new amenities such as a fitness center and outdoor terrace, all in the Historic District.

Open living space at SkyHouse

SkyHouse Houston

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 336
  • Number of Layouts: 11
  • Rent: $1,410-$3,135
  • Highlights: These modern apartments off Main Street nab an 82 Walk Score, and feature an expansive roof deck that includes a saltwater pool, tennis courts and fire pits. The high-rise units feature dark hardwood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows and granite surfaces in the kitchen and bath for a clean and contemporary style.

The Runners Up

West University Place/Museum District

West University Place is one of Houston’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Mature oak trees line streets bordered by stately older mansions and meticulously kept cottages. Referred to as West U by locals, the area is home to elite Rice University and near key employment centers, which results in a somewhat diverse population of students and well-to-do families.

Located immediately to the east of West U, the Museum District is one of Houston’s most vibrant communities. As its name implies, this neighborhood features the majority of Houston’s world-class museums.

The Texas Medical Center is also located in the Museum District, providing thousands of jobs. Gorgeous historic homes can be found here, but apartments, condos and townhomes are easy to find as well.

What To Do

West U offers plenty of parks and great restaurants, as well as trendy shopping. Rice Village is a popular district featuring boutiques and foodie delights; check out Local Foods, an artisan salad and sandwich shop, and Chloe Dao Boutique, which includes local designers in its inspired ready-to-wear offerings.

The Museum District has beaucoup Houston riches, including Hermann Park, home to lush green spaces, running trails and the Houston Zoo. Miller Outdoor Theatre is also part of the park; catch one of the Houston Symphony’s free performances at the stunning venue.

The Rothko Chapel, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, are just five of the 19 renowned museums located throughout the neighborhood.    


METRORail operates trains that connect the Museum District to Downtown and Midtown. METRO buses run throughout West U, but all in all, public transit in this community is somewhat lacking. Walking is a Museum District must and doable in Rice Village, while strolls in West U are more for neighborhood exercise than commuting.

West University Place/Museum District Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,404

Industrial-inspired lofts at The Museum Tower

The Museum Tower

  • Year Built: 2002
  • Number of Units: 187
  • Number of Layouts: 18
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: These warehouse-style apartments feature industrial 12-foot ceilings and oversized steel-framed windows, with modern kitchens and oak hardwood flooring. The sixth-floor terrace hosts an all-season pool with downtown views, and the wine storage and tasting room is a resident favorite for enjoying new wines and storing personal collections.

Kitchen at Hanover Rice Village

Hanover Rice Village

  • Year Built: 2014
  • Number of Units: 379
  • Number of Layouts: 20
  • Rent: $1,831-$5,144
  • Highlights: This LEED Green building is directly connected to the large Rice Village shopping center. Other on-site features include a courtyard pool and plenty of indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces. Apartment interiors are highlighted by modern kitchens with espresso cabinetry and granite countertops, and some units have balconies.

Kitchen and dining areas at Venue Museum District

Venue Museum District

  • Year Built: 2009
  • Number of Units: 224
  • Number of Layouts: 21
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: Located in Houston’s Inner Loop, Venue Museum District apartments boast city views from floor-to-ceiling windows, oak hardwood flooring and granite surfaces. On-site there is a heated pool, club lounge and fitness center with a spin room.

The Runners Up

River Oaks/Afton Oaks

River Oaks is the epitome of Houston decadence: sprawling estates and conspicuous luxury in the heart of the city. One of the most expensive ZIP codes in the U.S., River Oaks is the priciest neighborhood in Texas and has been for quite some time. While mansions are the most common residence, high-end condos and apartments are also available, especially near the area’s pristine shopping centers.

Just southwest of River Oaks, Afton Oaks is a small residential community just inside Loop 610 West. The Galleria sits immediately on the other side of the loop, while Upper Kirby buttresses the neighborhood to the east. Wealthy families make up a large part of the population, who live predominantly in grandiose single-family homes.

What To Do

River Oaks Shopping Center houses a large selection of upscale stores and national chains, including a two-story Barnes & Noble. Tootsies, a luxe boutique located in mixed-use high-rise West Ave, offers designer collections and exclusive trunk shows as seasonal lines debut. Nearby Buffalo Bayou features running and biking trails, along with waterways fit for canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

The wide-ranging restaurant selection in River Oaks promises both culinary adventures to those who crave them and downhome familiarity for those hungry for comfort. Have mimosas and brunch at the eclectic Backstreet Café, and pick up a pie for later at House of Pies, a Houston institution. Mockingbird Bistro draws from France and Texas to create trailblazing, award-winning fare, while Ouisie’s Table serves acclaimed steaks, seafood and more.


Getting in and out of River Oaks and Afton Oaks is simple, as Memorial Drive and Allen Parkway offer easy access to nearby Downtown. Westheimer Road cuts through the area as well and is one of the main stretches of commercial real estate.

Walking is feasible for some, and bus routes do exist, but a car is still pretty necessary to both navigate these neighborhoods and head elsewhere.

River Oaks/Afton Oaks Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,047

Kitchen at The James

The James

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 344
  • Number of Layouts: 30
  • Rent: $1,553-$4,983
  • Highlights: These apartments and townhomes in River Oak are stylishly appointed with hand-scraped hardwood flooring, solid wood kitchen cabinetry and built-in Sonos speaker systems. A landscaped pool area, fitness facility and walkability to shops, restaurants and dining are a few perks of living here.

Kitchen at SkyHouse

SkyHouse River Oaks

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 352
  • Number of Layouts: 11
  • Rent: $1,495-$3,200
  • Highlights: These high-rise apartments have been designed with dark hardwood flooring, private balconies and modern kitchens showcasing stainless steel Kohler and Whirlpool appliances. The rooftop has two pools, a massive fitness space, a gourmet kitchen and areas to relax both inside and outside.

Interiors at The Millenium

The Millennium High Street

  • Year Built: 2013
  • Number of Units: 340
  • Number of Layouts: 19
  • Rent: Call for pricing
  • Highlights: These modern apartments feature chic accents with brick walls and exposed ductwork, and high-end finishes such as Smart Home Systems with Apple TVs and St. Cecelia granite counter tops. Residents also have access to resort-style fitness facilities, entertainment space and a pool.

The Runners Up

The Heights

One of Houston’s most charming neighborhoods, the Heights features historic homes dating from the early 1900s, with huge porches facing tree-lined streets. In recent years, young families and professionals have joined longtime older residents of the area who cherish and try to uphold the Heights’ signature small-town feel.

It has become increasingly expensive to live in the Heights and the surrounding north Houston neighborhoods, such as Timbergrove and Lazybrook. The Heights’ Victorians, Craftsman bungalows and cottages are now joined by apartments, condos and townhomes, which have diversified the options for those hoping to find a home in the community.

What To Do

Assorted boutique, vintage and antique shops make up the Heights on 19th Street, a fun collection of independent stores lining 19th Street between Shepherd Drive and Yale. Hungry? Dig into chicken-fried steak at Triple A Restaurant, or make plans at Shade, one of the Heights’ first upscale eateries.

Billed as Houston’s original farmers market, Canino’s Farmers Market is a dazzling open-air emporium. It’s full of eye-popping color created by all of the expected plants, fruits and veggies, as well as a broad range of peppers, cactus, homeopathic remedies and more.


In the Heights, as with most Houston neighborhoods, it’s helpful to have a car. Bus routes are available, but light rail hasn’t made its way here yet. Situated northwest of Downtown and near 610, I-45, and I-10, the Heights is a great location for those who want to live near the heart of the city but need to work north of it.

The Heights Apartments

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price: $1,282

Kitchen and living room at The Alexan Heights

The Alexan Heights

  • Year Built: 2015
  • Number of Units: 352
  • Number of Layouts: 27
  • Rent: $1,483-$2,898
  • Highlights: The newest development in the Heights boasts an industrial chic style, with wide-plank hardwood flooring and dark distressed wood cabinetry. The pool, cabanas and grilling station are popular hangouts; there’s also a pet spa, dog park and fitness center on the property.

Living room at 2125 Yale

2125 Yale

  • Year Built: 2008
  • Number of Units: 195
  • Number of Layouts: 6
  • Rent: $1,295-$2,050
  • Highlights: At 2125 Yale, calming and bright interiors feature sophisticated details such as pine flooring, granite countertops throughout and modern kitchens. Private balconies overlook the pool area, and the complex is located on a bike trail.

Kitchen at Camden Heights

Camden Heights

  • Year Built: 2004
  • Number of Units: 352
  • Number of Layouts: 10
  • Rent: $2,169-$2,289
  • Highlights: Camden Heights residents come home to well-appointed apartments, designed with open kitchens featuring granite countertops, wainscoted dining rooms and garden tubs. There’s a pool with a waterfall feature, a multifunctional fitness center and a dog park.

The Runner Up