There’s no better place to honor the red, white and blue than Texas’ capital city.

Austin is all about friends, food and fun when it comes to celebrating the 4th of July holiday. From light-up-the-sky fireworks to live outdoor music, the city does it up right. Plan an exciting holiday weekend with these insider tips.

Sunset over the Congress Avenue Bridge
Congress Avenue Bridge at Sunset.

FUEL UP AND WATCH FIREWORKS

Threadgill’s + Austin Symphony & Fireworks Show

Treat Yourself: Threadgill’s tasty music history runs deep, attracting everyone from country fans to rock-loving hippies (Janis Joplin was a waitress and performer) since the 1930s. Today, Threadgill’s is known for its Southern comfort food (try the signature chicken-fried steak) and live shows.

See the Show: Join Austin's largest Independence Day celebration at Auditorium Shores and the Long Center. The Austin Symphony H-E-B July 4th Concert & Fireworks includes patriotic music by the Austin Symphony, with a grand finale fireworks display over Lady Bird Lake.

Schmidt Family Barbecue + Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Celebration

Treat yourself: Make tracks to Bee Cave in the Texas Hill Country and get your bib ready for some lip-smacking baby back ribs from Schmidt Family Barbecue. In business for more than 75 years, the Schmidts are known for their house-smoked meats, including tender barbecue beef brisket.

See the show: Head to the Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Festival for live music, more than 75 art vendors, festival food and barbecue. Bring the whole family and splash around in the kids’ water zone, get your fill of rides and games, and finish out the evening with a spectacular fireworks show.

Louisiana Longhorn Cafe + Round Rock July Fourth Parade & Fireworks

Treat yourself: Yes, you’re still in Texas. But Louisiana Longhorn Cafe in Round Rock brings the Cajun attitude with family-recipe dishes like shrimp Creole and crawfish etouffee. Pair your meal with a refreshing Hurricane. 

See the show: Head to Round Rock for the annual July Fourth Frontier Days Celebration & July Fourth Parade for live music, family-friendly games, the annual pig races, festival food and a spectacular fireworks show. Bring the whole family for the festival and parade, then finish out the evening with movies after dark. 

Home Slice Pizza + Austin Symphony & Fireworks Show

Treat yourself: Want to take your meal with you to watch fireworks? Order a New York-style pie from Home Slice Pizza. The hand-tossed pizzas are a South Congress neighborhood favorite, with toppings ranging from traditional sausage to fried eggplant.

See the show: Watch the city’s finest fireworks display light up the July sky from the South First Street Bridge. Get there early and leave the chairs at home – this is a popular spot. Other bridge viewing options: Congress Avenue Bridge and Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden
Courtesy of Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden.

ALL-AMERICAN EATS

Looking for some good ol’ American fare? Here’s a hit list of top summer eats around town:

  • Phil’s Ice House – The Rosedale Burger (cheddar mesquite burger with all the fixins and mesquite BBQ sauce), sweet potato fries and a Parent’s Recess happy hour
  • Frank – Housemade artisan dogs, exotic meats (think antelope and rabbit), ice cold beer
  • Hut’s Hamburgers – Texas-raised beef, spicy Fats Domino Burger, and two-for-one burgers Wednesdays after 6 p.m.
  • Hopdoddy – Handcrafted beer, locally sourced ingredients and creative burgers with toppings like Fritos and truffle aioli
  • Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden – Handcrafted sausages, Southern-style comfort food and live music in the beer garden
  • Top Notch – Old school curb service, fried okra and the double-stacked Longhorn Special
  • The Silo on Seventh – Refreshing summer cocktails, gourmet Braveheart Black Angus burgers, a sunny second-story deck

Craving some famous Austin barbecue? Get your taste buds singing with our finger-licking 13 Great Places to East BBQ rundown.

Make a long weekend of it and reserve a room in an elegant historic hotel or one of Austin’s funky boutiques. Explore all of Austin’s lodging options and book your stay.