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Where to Watch Austin's July 4th Fireworks, 2016 Edition

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The traditional HEB Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks event is scheduled on Monday night, July 4. As is also tradition, scads of people—approximately 100,000, according to the Austin Symphony website—are expected to turn out. If you don't have friends in high places (a downtown condo, a mansion atop Mount Bonnell), you might find this map of places to watch them helpful.

To avoid the traffic and parking nightmare around Vic Mathias (formerly Auditorium) Shores, you'll probably want to take the advice of the Austin Symphony: Your best bet is to walk, drive, or take the bus from a spot several blocks away from the festivities. (Remember the hike-and-bike trail will be dark when you leave, so it's time to download that flashlight app. Or take a flashlight.)

If you must drive, park north of Lady Bird Lake in the downtown area to avoid the extensive congestion in and around Lamar Boulevard, Barton Springs Road, and Riverside Drive (all areas south of the park). The Bouldin Creek neighborhood will have parking restrictions in place as well.

There will be road closures on Riverside Drive from South Lamar Boulevard to South First Street starting at 10 a.m. After 6 p.m., West Cesar Chavez Street will be closed from MoPac to Congress Avenue. North- and southbound MoPac traffic will be diverted to West Fifth Street and Enfield Road/West 15th Street.

You can get parking lot suggestions and rates, more information about closures (including parts of the lake and trail), a list of prohibited items, and much more at the Austin Symphony site below.

You can find more detailed information about street closures and a map at the Downtown Austin Alliance link below.

H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert & Fireworks [Austin Symphony]

Street Closures [Downtown Austin Alliance]

Finally, our sibling site Eater Austin has the scoop on the best places to eat and drink for the long weekend.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.

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1. Vic Mathias Shores

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900 West Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX

4th of July over Lady Bird Lake in Austin #fireworks #austin #ladybirdlake #skyline

A photo posted by PK (@thievery78) on

2. South First Street Bridge

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S 1st St
Austin, TX 78701

#townlake #south1stbridge #atx

A photo posted by Mary Beth (@marybethyanta) on

3. W Austin

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200 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 542-3600
Visit Website

The W Hotel Austin's party its pool deck that includes drink specials and eats served poolside and the spinning of many DJs. The party starts at noon and lasts until sundown (presumably through the fireworks). Entry is $20, free for hotel guests.

4. Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

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1 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

Beauty of a sunset!! #austin #pic #travel #sunset #fun

A photo posted by JM (@jonnyjkmitchell) on

5. TRIO

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98 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 685-8300
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Trio at the Four Seasons will host a dinner buffet, followed by adjourning to watch fireworks from the excellent vantage point of the back lawn. The buffet costs $75 for adults and $27 for children.

6. Rattle Inn

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610 Nueces St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 279-4569
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The Dirty Sixth bar is hosting a rooftop watch party, starting at 4 p.m. Tickets for seats cost $25-$50 and can be purchased in advance. Standing room is free for entry. Ages 21+

7. Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge

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1250 W. Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX

Bike Spiral

A photo posted by @austinstagram on

8. Lady Bird Lake Trail

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Lady Bird Lake
Austin, TX 78746

There are plenty of places along both shores of the lake that will put you practically underneath the fireworks (bring a flashlight for when it's time to find your way out, though). Bonus points for biking or walking to your destination rather than adding to the traffic and mess closer to the event. One exception: According to the Austin Symphony website, the lower portion of the Hike & Bike Trail on the north side of Lady Bird Lake (between the Seaholm intake structure and South First Street) will be closed at 10 a.m. on the Fourth. The upper sidewalk along Cesar Chavez will remain open.

9. Zilker Park

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2168 Lou Neff Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 477-8672
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Our sprawling central city park has many excellent vantage points from which to watch the very nearby explosions in the sky. Just like other fireworks-adjacent areas, though, it will be crowded and best reached by foot, bike, or bus if possible.

10. Rowing Dock

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2418 Stratford Dr
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 459-0999
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11. State of Texas parking garages

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1399 Trinity St
Austin, TX 78701

A photo posted by fly away, bird (@fly_away_bird) on

12. St. Edward's University

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3001 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 448-8400
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They don't call them the Hilltoppers for nothing. See the show from the spectacular viewpoint of one of the highest plots of land in Austin, conveniently home to a university where you can watch from a blanket (or bleacher) on its sports fields.

13. Barton Creek Square mall

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2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 327-7041
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I've always loved this #view of #downtownaustin from #bartoncreeksquare #austintx

A photo posted by Brayden Kyle (@thebraydenkyle) on

14. Scenic Overlook, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

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1069 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78746

A photo posted by beccabohemia (@beccabohemia) on

15. Lake Austin 360 Bridge Overlook

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5300 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78730

The panoramic view from the 360 Bridge Overlook near Pennybacker Bridge is spectacular, and even more so when you add in fireworks. Word is out about that, by the way, so get there early. Photo by Eric Hunt/ CC BY 2.5

1. Vic Mathias Shores

900 West Riverside Dr., Austin, TX

4th of July over Lady Bird Lake in Austin #fireworks #austin #ladybirdlake #skyline

A photo posted by PK (@thievery78) on

900 West Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX

2. South First Street Bridge

S 1st St, Austin, TX 78701

#townlake #south1stbridge #atx

A photo posted by Mary Beth (@marybethyanta) on

S 1st St
Austin, TX 78701

3. W Austin

200 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

The W Hotel Austin's party its pool deck that includes drink specials and eats served poolside and the spinning of many DJs. The party starts at noon and lasts until sundown (presumably through the fireworks). Entry is $20, free for hotel guests.

200 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

4. Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

1 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Beauty of a sunset!! #austin #pic #travel #sunset #fun

A photo posted by JM (@jonnyjkmitchell) on

1 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

5. TRIO

98 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

Trio at the Four Seasons will host a dinner buffet, followed by adjourning to watch fireworks from the excellent vantage point of the back lawn. The buffet costs $75 for adults and $27 for children.

98 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78701

6. Rattle Inn

610 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78701

The Dirty Sixth bar is hosting a rooftop watch party, starting at 4 p.m. Tickets for seats cost $25-$50 and can be purchased in advance. Standing room is free for entry. Ages 21+

610 Nueces St
Austin, TX 78701

7. Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge

1250 W. Riverside Dr., Austin, TX

Bike Spiral

A photo posted by @austinstagram on

1250 W. Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX

8. Lady Bird Lake Trail

Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX 78746

There are plenty of places along both shores of the lake that will put you practically underneath the fireworks (bring a flashlight for when it's time to find your way out, though). Bonus points for biking or walking to your destination rather than adding to the traffic and mess closer to the event. One exception: According to the Austin Symphony website, the lower portion of the Hike & Bike Trail on the north side of Lady Bird Lake (between the Seaholm intake structure and South First Street) will be closed at 10 a.m. on the Fourth. The upper sidewalk along Cesar Chavez will remain open.

Lady Bird Lake
Austin, TX 78746

9. Zilker Park

2168 Lou Neff Rd., Austin, TX 78704

Our sprawling central city park has many excellent vantage points from which to watch the very nearby explosions in the sky. Just like other fireworks-adjacent areas, though, it will be crowded and best reached by foot, bike, or bus if possible.

2168 Lou Neff Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

10. Rowing Dock

2418 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX 78746
2418 Stratford Dr
Austin, TX 78746

11. State of Texas parking garages

1399 Trinity St, Austin, TX 78701

A photo posted by fly away, bird (@fly_away_bird) on

1399 Trinity St
Austin, TX 78701

12. St. Edward's University

3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

They don't call them the Hilltoppers for nothing. See the show from the spectacular viewpoint of one of the highest plots of land in Austin, conveniently home to a university where you can watch from a blanket (or bleacher) on its sports fields.

3001 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704

13. Barton Creek Square mall

2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746

I've always loved this #view of #downtownaustin from #bartoncreeksquare #austintx

A photo posted by Brayden Kyle (@thebraydenkyle) on

2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78746

14. Scenic Overlook, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve

1069 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78746

A photo posted by beccabohemia (@beccabohemia) on

1069 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78746

15. Lake Austin 360 Bridge Overlook

5300 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78730

The panoramic view from the 360 Bridge Overlook near Pennybacker Bridge is spectacular, and even more so when you add in fireworks. Word is out about that, by the way, so get there early. Photo by Eric Hunt/ CC BY 2.5

5300 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78730