Where to watch New Year's Eve fireworks in Austin

Watch the New Year's Eve fireworks in Austin at these parks, bridges and rooftop bars to get the very best view
Photograph: Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash
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You may not be able to see the ball drop in Austin, but there are still plenty of places to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks on December 31. Austin's main fireworks show is thrown by Austin's New Year 2018, a celebration at Auditorium Shores that culminates in an explosion of lights at 10pm. Whether you're partying at one of the city's best rooftop bars, checking out things to do downtown or hanging out in one of Austin's best parks, you'll likely be looking for the best views to catch the show. Here are our favorite spots to help welcome in 2018. 

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to New Year's Eve in Austin

New Year's Eve fireworks

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Auditorium Shores
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Dan B. 
Attractions

Auditorium Shores

icon-location-pin Auditorium Shores

As the site of the official Austin New Year's Eve party, this is going to be the most populated spot to watch the fireworks. But there will be plenty to keep you entertained as the crowds continue to grow: food trucks, live music, art and more.

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Mount Bonnell
Photograph: Courtesy Austin CVB/Dave Mead
Things to do

Mount Bonnell

icon-location-pin Camp Mabry

Sure, taking the steep climb up Mount Bonnell might be the last thing you want to do after celebrating throughout the day, but the view of the fireworks is bound to be incredible from here. There's free parking along the road and pets are welcome—just be sure to snag a spot early.

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Crowds filled Zilker Park during Austin City Limits Music Festival 2015.
Photograph: Mary Wells
Things to do

Zilker Park

icon-location-pin Rollingwood

Our unofficial backyard, Zilker Park will be clear of the Trail of Lights come New Year's Eve and prime for fireworks watching. It will also be crowded, so come early, stake out a spot, bundle up and settle in for a night of revelry and lights.

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Pennybacker Bridge
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Camilla M.
Attractions, Bridges

Pennybacker Bridge

icon-location-pin Cat Mountain

The Pennybacker Bridge—also known as the 360 Bridge—is the perfect spot for snapping sunset photos, taking in a quintessential Austin vista and watching the New Year's Eve fireworks show. It's a short, 10 minute hike to the 360 Overlook, so remember to wear comfortable shoes.

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Bats at Congress Avenue Bridge
Photograph: Shutterstock
Attractions

Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge

icon-location-pin Downtown

The Congress Ave bridge isn't just for bats—it's an ideal spot for watching the sky light up on New Year's Eve. You may have to throw some elbows to secure a good spot, but the struggle is worth it. 

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NYE fireworks
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Nathaniel F
Attractions, Bridges

Pflugerville Pedestrian Bridge

icon-location-pin Greater Austin

Used by both pedestrians and cyclists, the Pflugerville Pedestrian Bridge crosses Lady Bird Lake alongside Lamar Boulevard Bridge. It'll be a prime spot for watching the fireworks and, like the Congress Ave bridge, fairly crowded. Just have patience, and keep your eyes to the sky.

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Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
Photograph: Courtesy Boiler Nine Observatory Deck
Bars

Austin's best rooftop bars

If hanging out on a bridge or at a park to watch the fireworks doesn't appeal to you, a rooftop bar might be just the ticket. Though, speaking of tickets—be sure to check in with each bar to see whether they're throwing their own NYE party. 

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