River Oaks District

When it comes to shopping in Houston, there is no shortage of places to go, but when it comes to upscale stores, Houstonians are flocking to River Oaks District. It's known as Houston’s premium outdoor shopping complex and is home to more than 60 of the most luxury brands in the world, making this particular spot inside the loop a Texas retail haven. Managed by The Festival Companies, River Oaks District is known as a shopping, dining and entertainment destination like no other.

With a long list of brands such as Dior, Stella McCartney, Giuseppe Zanotti and Veronica Beard, you could easily spend an entire day strolling from store to store. But it’s not just clothing stores that are available here; there are luxury jewelers such as Harry Winston, makeup stores such as Nars and the latest addition: Avant Garden. Avant Garden is a flower boutique store that’s become recognized nationally for its premium and stunning floral arrangements and highly curated gifts. So whether you're buying new shoes, a dazzling pair of earrings, a spectacular floral display or just window shopping, River Oaks District has it all.

And after all that shopping, you will have certainly worked up an appetite. River Oaks District is home to 12 restaurants, and the options are so varied from a Green Monster smoothie at Fuel Health Bar to grilled Gulf oysters at Bisou. My personal favorite is Toulouse Café and Bar. The steak tartare and beef bourguignon are dishes that are worth the extra calories, and you can wash it all down with a delicious French 77 cocktail. And speaking of all those extra calories, Equinox Gym is the perfect place to burn them all off.

Equinox has a reputation for being the most luxurious of all health clubs. So it was no surprise that Houston's only one is at River Oaks District. Equinox members have access to an extensive collection of amenities including Pilates, hot yoga, a barre studio, personal training and unlimited classes. Members with children can take advantage of the kids club, or you may want to visit the shop where you can purchase exclusive Equinox performance clothing. Or maybe you decide to skip your workout altogether and head straight to the gym for an 18K gold facial or a performance massage—I know I would.

If you are a fellow movie buff, visiting iPic movie theater is more than just going to watch a movie; it’s an experience all of its own. You can start or end your night at The Tuck Room. This cozy and secluded restaurant serves a selection of tasty dishes such as buttermilk fried chicken or the 1924 Caesar salad. But even more enticing than the food is the delicious collection of cocktails, such as the Tuck Margarita or the Cucumber Cooler, which you can enjoy in one of the armchairs while listening to live music. Before your movie starts, you can head to your seat—or should I say pod. Each private pod comes equipped with blankets and pillows, a shelf to store your handbag, and a wall on one side to ensure you have full privacy. If you choose to skip The Tuck Room but still fancy something to nibble on during the film, you can choose something off the in-theater dining menu. No matter what movie you come to watch, visiting iPic will spoil you and make it almost impossible not to return.

River Oaks District is more than just a place to shop and eat; it’s truly a Houston hot spot.  

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