As July 4 approaches, many Austinites have begun to plan their Independence Day activities. While there are a number of fireworks displays across central Texas, none compare to the magnificent Austin fireworks show put on (almost) every year at Auditorium Shores, hosted this year by H-E-B and the Austin Symphony Orchestra.

However, as attendance for the Auditorium Shores show is often over 100,000 people, you might want to think twice about braving that crowd. If you’re looking for a more relaxing, less populated area to watch the show from, any of these ten locations will do just fine…

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10.) Juniper Street

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Right off of E. 11th Street downtown, the surprisingly small Juniper Street is said to provide a great view of the show, if you can find an open parking space.

9.) Barton Creek Square Mall

<I>Photo: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr user Joey Parsons</a>, creative commons licensed.</I>

Photo: Flickr user Joey Parsons, creative commons licensed.

Apart from providing a solid view of the show, I’m told that the parking lot at Barton Creek Square Mall is also relatively quiet—sounds perfect for tailgating!

8.) Downtown Rooftop Lounges

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Caption. Photo: Flickr user Peter Hall, CC licensed

Many downtown bars allow paying customers rooftop access to view the fireworks. Third Base sounds like a good bet, but you’ll have tons of venues to choose from, most of which feature live music in true Austin style.

7.) Any Of These Parks: Zilker Park, Shoal Beach, Sand Beach Park, Butler Shores, Rock Island, Lamar Beach, Deep Eddy Park

Photo: Flickr user Gino, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Gino, creative commons licensed.

It’s recommended that you scout out a location ahead of time at these spots, as the tree cover can be problematic depending upon where you lay your blanket. There are still lots of great viewing areas in Austin’s amazing parks, so if you’ve got a favorite give it a shot!

6.) Lady Bird Lake Trail

<I>Photo: <a href="" target="_blank">Flickr user jaredten</a>, creative commons licensed.</I>

Photo: Flickr user jaredten, creative commons licensed.

Find a quiet area anywhere along the shoreline on Lady Bird Lake Trail. Don’t be afraid to explore a little to find that perfect spot away from people.

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