Oak Forest and Garden Oaks
  • Overview
  • Schools
  • Housing
  • Real Estate
  • Things To Do
Overview
Overview

Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are two bordering neighborhoods nestled in Central Northwest Houston, Texas. Both neighborhoods are predominately residential and boast a large number of schools, parks, shops and amenities. Oak Forest runs along the Northwest Freeway and both neighborhoods are located just north of the North Loop Freeway, so residents can enjoy easy commutes throughout the Houston area. The neighborhoods are renown for having a small town charm with big city benefits, and residents enjoy easy access to Houston’s many vibrant downtown areas. The neighborhoods are home to working professionals and single-family households with an average household size of 3.2 people. Garden Oaks and Oak Forest are very green and there are many oak, pecan and pine trees dotted throughout the neighborhoods. Both neighborhoods are continuing to grow in popularity, and they were both listed in Houstonia’s “25 Hottest Neighborhoods in Houston.”

The Neighborhood Experience
Close to major freeways Top ranked schools Exceptional recreation centers Outdoor spaces and parks Shopping and dining centers Easy commutes throughout Houston
  • Location
  • Commute

Location

Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are both located in Central Northwest Houston. Both neighborhoods are north of North Loop Freeway and Oak Forest is located just east of the Northwest Freeway. Residents of both neighborhoods are easily connected to the many bustling neighborhoods of Houston including Downtown, EaDo and The Heights. Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are bordered by Independence Heights to the east, Acres Homes and Greater Inwood to the north, Spring Branch to the west and Shady Acres to the south. The White Oak Bayou also runs through Oak Forest, separating the neighborhood into the Oak Forest West Area and the Oak Forest East Area.

Commute

Residents of both neighborhoods are in close proximity to major freeways, so they can enjoy quick and easy commutes to work, school or leisure activities. Both neighborhoods are located just north of the North Loop Freeway, a popular travel route that leads to Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods of Houston. Oak Forest also runs along the Northwest Freeway, so residents have easy access to all of the major Houston neighborhoods as well as the towns located northwest of Houston. Apart from those two major roads, T.C. Jester Boulevard also runs through the middle of Oak Forest, so residents of central Oak Forest also have access to Houston’s major freeways.

Culture

Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are primarily residential neighborhoods and are made up of 60% native Texans. The average salary of Oak Forest and Garden Oaks residents is about $60,000, compared to the Houston average of $47,800. The majority of adult residents in the two neighborhoods work in sales and office jobs, with the second highest occupation involving management followed closely by occupations related to business and financial operations. Many young families live in Oak Forest and Garden Oaks because of the neighborhoods’ top-rated elementary schools and low crime rates. Around 49% of households in both neighborhoods are family households and the average household size in 3.2 people.

Schools
Schools

Oak Forest and Garden Oaks both fall under the prestigious Houston Independent School District. The neighborhoods are home to top-rated public and private schools. Students have the opportunity to study at some of the best schools in Houston from pre-kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade. More and more families have been moving to Oak Forest and Garden Oaks from all over Houston so that their children can get the best education possible. From the neighborhoods’ top rated elementary schools to their challenging and inspiring high schools, students will have the opportunity to succeed academically and pursue their extracurricular interests. Apart from public schools, there are a number of private schools for parents to choose from, including Montessori preschools, Catholic day schools, Christian high schools and more. Whether families live in Oak Forest or Garden Oaks, students are never far from a quality school.

Elementary Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
Oak Forest Elementary at 1401 W 43rd St
Address:
1401 W 43rd St, Houston, TX 77018
Website:
Official Website

Oak Forest Elementary is the neighborhood’s top rated elementary school that’s attracting families from all over Houston. The school has programs for students from kindergarten through fifth grade. The school’s exceptional academic and extracurricular programs help to foster a lifelong love for learning. Oak Forest also teaches children about the importance of effort, motivation, empathy and respect.

10
Great Schools Rating
Durham Elementary School at 4803 Brinkman St
Address:
4803 Brinkman St, Houston, TX 77018
Website:
Official Website

Durham Elementary is located next to Shepherd Park just north of Garden Oaks. The school serves students from pre-kindergarten until fifth grade. Durham Elementary encourages students to engage with classmates from different cultural and economic backgrounds. Durham also offers a Dual Language Program which is both a bilingual program for Spanish speaking students and a Spanish immersion program for English speaking students.

Middle Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
Frank Black Middle School at 1575 Chantilly Ln
Address:
1575 Chantilly Ln, Houston, TX 77018
Website:
Official Website

Frank Black Middle School is a public middle school that serves the students of Oak Forest East. The school has programs for students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade. Apart from the standard curriculum, Frank Black offers a variety of sports programs as well as electives where students can pursue music, visual art, languages or dance.

10
Great Schools Rating
Clifton Middle School at 6001 Golden Forest Dr
Address:
6001 Golden Forest Dr Houston, TX 77092
Website:
Official Website

Residents of Oak Forest West Area can attend Clifton Middle School from sixth until eighth grade. The school is located next to Forest West Park in the western section of Oak Forest. Clifton offers a strong curriculum that focuses on communication between cultures and languages. Apart from the standard academic program, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities.

High Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
Waltrip High School at 1900 W 34th St
Address:
1900 W 34th St, Houston, TX 77018, USA
Website:
Official Website

The school’s academic program covers math, science and social studies as well as a variety of electives. Students are able to pursue their interests in fine arts, foreign languages, language arts or music. The school also has an excellent athletic program and students from ninth to twelfth grade can compete in basketball, baseball, football, cross country, golf and more.

10
Great Schools Rating
Scarborough High School at 4141 Costa Rica Rd
Address:
4141 Costa Rica Rd, Houston, TX 77092
Website:
Official Website

Scarborough High School is located in Oak Forest West along Costa Rica Road. The school has earned numerous state distinctions in science, mathematics and social studies. Students can choose a standard academic trajectory or they can participate in HVAC, the school’s career training education program.

Private Schools
10
Great Schools Rating
St. Rose of Lima Catholic School at 3600 Brinkman St
Address:
3600 Brinkman St, Houston, TX 77018
Website:
Official Website

The St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Garden Oaks is a combination of three Catholic schools in one. St. Rose has an early childhood school for toddlers, pre-kindergarten-age children and kindergarten-age children as well as an elementary school and a middle school. The school offers an academic program that emphasizes the Catholic faith and the importance of personal responsibility.

10
Great Schools Rating
Lutheran High North at 1130 W 34th St
Address:
1130 W 34th St, Houston, TX 77018
Website:
Official Website

Lutheran High North is a Christian college preparatory school located in Garden Oaks along West 34th Street. The school offers exceptional academic courses and strives to prepare students to succeed in college and beyond. Students are also encouraged to explore their interests and discover new talents through the school’s athletic, music and art programs.

Housing
Housing

Oak Forest has 5,480 houses while the smaller neighborhood of Garden Oaks has approximately 1,400. Both neighborhoods are full of beautiful vintage homes with most original homes dating back to the 1950s and earlier. However, more modern homes have been built in the neighborhoods, and many older homes have been remodeled since 2011. The average list price for homes in Oak Forest is $359,000 at $158 per square foot, while Garden Oaks homes are more expensive with the average list price of $470,000 at $275 per square foot. Garden Oaks has larger lots than Oak Forest, and most properties range in size from 6,000 to 17,000 square feet. The two neighborhoods provide residents with a huge variety of home options. Residents can choose between large high-value properties, small single-family units, bungalows and ranch-style houses. There are also newer condominiums and townhouses being built in both neighborhoods, however, they tend to be more expensive than the older single-family homes.

Single-Family Homes
Single family homes in Oak Forest and Garden Oaks can be found in a range of styles. There are some high-value plantation-style homes available, however, the most popular home types are bungalows and ranch-style houses. Houses in Garden Oaks tend to be larger, and lots range anywhere from 6,000 to 17,000 square feet.
New Construction
New constructions consist mostly of high-value condominiums and townhouses. However, in the past ten years many old houses have been torn down and new single-family homes have been built in their place. These new constructions are typically 3,000 square-foot single-family homes.
Apartments
Garden Oaks and Oak Gardens are both home to numerous apartment complexes. Apartments are typically one to three-bedroom units, and the apartment complexes come with amenities such as laundry rooms and pools. Rent ranges from $750 for a one-bedroom studio to $2,000 for larger apartments in high-end complexes.
Real Estate
Real Estate

Properties in Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are slightly more expensive than in other Houston neighborhoods because of their great location, top rated schools, low crime rates and close proximity to major freeways. The average list price for both neighborhoods is $456,000 and house prices have steadily increased over the past five years. The average rent price in both neighborhoods is $1,800 and the number of renters has gone up significantly since 2011. Garden Oaks is the more expensive of the two neighborhoods. The average list price for homes in Oak Forest is $359,000 compared to $470,000 in Garden Oaks. However, both neighborhoods have been growing in popularity among high-income families and single professionals since 2011. Properties in both neighborhoods tend to stay on the market for four months before selling at close to the asking price. Property prices are expected to continue to rise in the neighborhood and rent prices are expected to increase.

Things To Do
Things To Do

Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are lively and multicultural neighborhoods just minutes from Houston’s exciting downtown. Both neighborhoods are full of shopping centers, cafes, restaurants, bars and parks, so residents can easily enjoy themselves without traveling far. From local craft beer to fine smoked meats and traditional barbecue, the neighborhoods have some of the best places to eat and drink. Grab some friends for brunch or meet up over a coffee. Oak Forest and Garden Oaks have a huge variety of family owned restaurants and locally owned businesses. Residents can grab the essentials at local neighborhood shopping centers, while those who are looking for higher end shopping can head to the boutique stores of Houston’s EaDo and Downtown. Both areas are less than a twenty-minute drive from Oak Forest and Garden Oaks. For more family fun, head to one of the local parks to picnic, ride bikes, stroll through the neighborhood or play a game of pick-up.

Retail and Entertainment
Eat some Texas barbecue
Family owned Gatlin’s BBQ is the best place in town for smoked meats and classic Texan barbecue. This cozy restaurant serves up comfort food Monday through Saturday and is based next to the American Legion Park on Judiway Street.
Picnic at T.C. Jester Park
T.C. Jester Park runs through central Oak Forest and is the perfect place for a weekend picnic with friends and family. Pack some food and beverages and enjoy the green spaces and river-side views. There’s also a large dog park so you can let your dog get some exercise while socializing with locals.
Drink craft beer
Houston, Texas is known for having a delicious and unique craft beer selection. Oak Forest and Garden Oaks have numerous bars, beer gardens and bistros serving up the finest craft beer the city has to offer. Head over to Cottonwood for over 40 craft beer options plus live music and outdoor games. Other local options include Petrol Station and Wakefield Crowbar.
Dine at the best restaurants
Apart from the juicy ribs and brisket at Gatlin’s, Oak Forest and Garden Oaks have a huge selection of fine and casual dining options. Plonk! Beer and Wine Bistro serves New American Cuisine and fine wines from around the world, while Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine offers vegetarian and vegan food all week long.
Enjoy weekend brunch
Oak Forest and Garden Oaks are home to some top rated brunch spots. Locals flock to Shepherd Park Draught House and The Union Kitchen on Saturday and Sunday for their unbeatable menus. Enjoy southern favorites like biscuits and gravy or opt for the lighter smoked salmon bagel or ham and cheese croissant.
Grab a coffee at Slowpokes
Slowpokes is a favorite café of residents in Oak Forest and Garden Oaks. Catch up with friends over coffee or choose from the selection of sandwiches, salads and snacks. The café also has a selection of craft beers and local wines for those days when coffee just won’t cut it.
Exercise along the White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail
The beautiful White Oak Bayou Greenway Trail runs through T.C. Jester Park in central Oak Forest. Locals can enjoy some fresh air and quality time outdoors while biking, jogging or walking long the White Oak Bayou. The trail goes all the way through downtown Houston for those who want some serious exercise.
Go shopping
Oak Forest and Garden Oaks have their own shopping complexes where residents can pick up the essentials while grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat. However, residents of the two neighborhoods also have easy access to the best shopping in Houston. Houston’s vibrant EaDo and Downtown neighborhoods are just a short drive away.
Play at Candlelight Park
Candlelight Park is a public park nestled in Oak Forest. The park is open late and is packed with families and local kids from 5:00 PM onwards. The park’s best feature is its nine acres of green fields where kids can throw frisbees, fly kites, play pick-up soccer or football or just run around and play.
Get involved at Oak Forest Neighborhood Library
The Oak Forest Neighborhood Library is much more than just a place to check out books. The neighborhood library offers storytime for toddlers and children, after school programs and even computer classes for adults. The Oak Forest Library is a great place to stay connected with the community and to get involved.