July is here again. The cold water at Barton Springs is drawing its typical summer crowd, kids are finding creative ways to enjoy their break from school, and many Texans are starting to text their friends or search online to learn where the best places to watch some spectacular Independence Day fireworks are in 2018.
If you’ve never been in Austin during the 4th, you’re in for a lot of fun. There are several incredible firework shows that take place across the city, and many cozy places to watch them from.
Austin is one of the most popular cities in Texas for our 4th of July light shows. Sponsors and producers go big, and crowds come out every year to see the lights and participate in the festivities.
Here are a few of the best places in Austin to watch 4th of July fireworks.
The Main Event
H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks
Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores)
The main fireworks display will be held in South Austin at Vic Mathias Shores, where tens of thousands of families will come together to celebrate the national holiday.
If you want to be right up close to the action, there’s no better place to find the crowds and bustling festivities than Vic Mathias Shores itself. Beyond the typical fireworks that you’d expect, The Austin Symphony, conducted by Peter Bay, will hosts a live symphony performance beginning at 8:30pm. The fireworks start 9:30pm.
Expect to find a crowd. This venue is right up next to the water with the city skyline in the background--so be sure to arrive early to get prime real estate for the show! You may consider biking to the show or taking a CapMetro bus as parking will be very limited.
Saint Edward University Lawn
But being up-close and immersed in a crowd isn’t for everyone. If you need a comfortable, more quiet distance from the fireworks, the Saint Ed’s campus in South Austin might be the perfect spot.
Bring a blanket or chair to the hill overlooking the city. Expect to have a beautiful view, without all the noise and excess elbow-rubbing with strangers.
With fireworks bursting and cracking over the beautiful Colorado River, one of the best places for viewing the fireworks is from Austin’s bridges.
Of course, stick to the sidewalks. If you’re planning on being in the water in a kayak or boat, keep in mind that Lady Bird Lake between the railroad trestle bridge and the S. 1st St. Bridge will be closed from 8pm to midnight for safety reasons.
Lady Bird Lake Trails
The hike and bike trails along Lady Bird Lake are an ideal location as well. Like most of the locations mentioned above, this location benefits from proximity to the 4th of July action.
Unique to Lady Bird Lake Trails, however, are the periodic benches along the water. Plan to come early if you want to snag one of these great spots, because they’ll surely be competitive seats as the fireworks begin. The lower portion of the Hike & Bike Trail on the north side of Lady Bird Lake (between Seaholm intake Structure and S. 1st St.) will be closed at 10 a.m. but the upper sidewalk along Cesar Chavez will remain open.
Of course, every location mentioned above centers around the main fireworks display. But the HEB Austin Symphony Concert and Fireworks show is far from the only event. Independence Day parties and smaller shows will happen across the city. No matter where you are in Austin, you’re sure to witness the festive sounds and lights of the evening.
Stay safe and enjoy an awesome Independence Day!
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