Austin 4th of July 2023

Top Independence Day Events & Things To Do on July 4th in Austin

Whether you're a local looking to opt outside during the long weekend or visiting Austin during July 4th, here are some great ways to spend the holiday weekend in Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Austin July 4th Events

Keep an eye on this page for information about the city’s annual firework displays and events. Here are a few of our favorite annual events (all details are subject to change). Find more on our event calendar.

Austin Symphony H-E-B July 4th Concert & Fireworks
Join Austin's largest Independence Day celebration on July 4 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. Witness the action from the Long Center or 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 Bridge and Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge.

Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Festival
Head to the Hill Country Galleria Independence Day Festival on July 4 for live music, shopping, dining and fireworks. Bring the whole family to enjoy backyard games and local live music, then finish out the evening with a spectacular firework show.

Willie Nelson's 4th Of July Picnic
Austin's beloved icon Willie Nelson, who created this annual event in 1972, is bringing a star-studded lineup to Q2 Stadium, home of Austin FC for his annual picnic and fireworks show. The event will feature Willie Nelson & Family, along with a star-studded lineup (to be announced closer to the event).

Overhead view of a platter of bbq meats and sides like beans, slaw, grits and potato saladCourtesy of Micklethwait Barbecue.

Local Restaurants

Whether you're looking for a holiday party at a nearby craft brewery or a special, red, white and blue pie from a local bakery, Austin's dining community steps it up for the holiday weekend. Here are a few of the best restaurants in Austin where you can experience down-home American food for the 4th of July.

Love fried chicken? Bring on deep-fried buttermilk heaven at Lucy's Fried Chicken. Look for the colorful neon lady along South Congress and try twists on classic dishes like Deep Fried Deviled Eggs and Chicks and Chips.

Head west, into the Hill Country, for a truly Texan meal at Jack Allen's Kitchen, Oak Hill. This farm-to-table eatery serves up a fresh menu each night, featuring locally sourced ingredients and beverages. Treat yourself to one of the specialty margaritas alongside the smashed guacamole.

Make tracks to East Austin and get your bib ready for some lip-smacking pork ribs from Micklethwait Barbecue. In business for more than 10 years, owner and pitmaster Tom Micklethwait has won awards for his oak-fired Central Texas barbecue, including a heralded spot on the Texas Monthly "Top Ten BBQ Joints in Texas" list.

Pack up the kids and head to Hat Creek Burger Company. This indoor/outdoor burger spot features all-natural juicy burgers, milkshakes for the kids, craft beer for the 'rents, sanitized picnic tables and a sanitized playground.

Yes, you’re still in Texas. But Evangeline Cafe brings the Cajun and Creole attitude with dishes like seafood gumbo, chicken fried gator and crawfish etouffee. Pair your meal with a refreshing Shiner Bock. 

Take in the Nantucket beach house vibe on Perla's wooden deck. The South Congress seafood and oyster bar is made for long lunches and happy hours. Savor fresh oysters from Washington to Prince Edward Island and apps like crab cakes and New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp.

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

Let the kids run free during daily "Parent's Recess" at Phil’s Ice House, where the kids can enjoy the expansive playscape and parents can take advantage of creative burgers and happy hour drink specials.  Plus, be sure to stop by neighboring Amy's Ice Creams for a sweet treat to-go!

Craving some of that famous Austin barbecue? Get your taste buds singing with our finger-licking Ultimate Guide to Austin Barbecue.

Barton Creek Kayakers near Zilker Park in Austin Texas
Barton Creek Kayakers. Credit Ryan Kyte.

Outdoor Activities

Soak up plenty of Vitamin D during your long weekend! Bring your friends and a frisbee to Zilker Park. Pets are especially welcome. Or, lace up your hiking shoes to explore the Barton Creek Greenbelt, complete with hiking trails, a rope swing and plenty of scenic views. Run or stroll along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. The heart-of-the-city gem is green, gorgeous and flanked by Austin’s flourishing skyline.

Paddle board, canoe, kayak or cruise around our local lakes, catching some rays while getting a workout. Several rental shops are currently open on Lady Bird Lake, Lake Travis and Lake Austin, following capacity and sanitization guidelines including Live Love Paddle, the Rowing DockFloat On Boat Rentals and more.

Sit back and let the captain do the driving on a Lady Bird Lake boat cruise from Lone Star Riverboat or Capital Cruises (both with limited offerings), complete with cityscape views and Austin landmark sightseeing. Or, watch 1.5 million Congress Avenue Bridge bats fly out near dusk on a sunset cruise.

Drive out to the Hill Country for spectacular hikes, state parks and picnic spots. While swimming holes like Hamilton Pool Preserve and Jacob’s Well are currently closed for swimming (limited activities are available like hiking), spend the day at picture-perfect parks like Emma Long Metropolitan Park (reservations required), Reimers Ranch ParkLockhart State Park (reservations required) and more.

bats flying from the congress bridge in front of Austin skyline at sunsetDowntown Austin. Credit Christopher Sherman.

Where to Stay in Austin for July 4th Weekend

Make a long weekend out of the holiday and book a stay in a family-friendly resort, an elegant historic hotel or one of Austin’s funky boutiques. Explore all of Austin’s lodging options and book your stay.