The phrase “everything’s bigger in Texas” is true, especially when it comes to commemorating Independence Day. Kick off the day’s festivities with parades and live entertainment, and follow these up with picnics and a fireworks extravaganza. Enjoy a fun-filled 4th of July holiday by planning a trip to the state where the sun never stops shining, and the barbecue is nothing short of amazingly scrumptious. That said, book a stay at one of many vacation rentals in Texas today. Here are several of the most exciting spots to check out in the “Lone Star State” this summer.

1. San Antonio

San Jose Catholic Church
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San Antonio, one of the most visited cities in Texas, goes big when it comes to celebrating the fourth of July. The city hosts an all-day celebration featuring carnival rides, music, fireworks, food and more just a few miles from downtown. At Woodlawn Lake Park, you and your family will find festivities that won’t disappoint. Then, at night, the city skies will light up with a Stars & Stripes fireworks show. This is a tradition that pays homage to the city’s four military installations. Catch sight of the show on the grounds of the 1968 World’s Fair at Hemisfair Park, located just a few blocks from the Alamo.

2. Austin

Capitol Hill
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Enjoy a musical Independence Day celebration in Austin. The city’s symphony orchestra performs their annual Fourth of July Fireworks & Symphony at Auditorium Shores. But that’s not all the patriotic city has to offer. You and your family can choose to spend the holiday running for a cause at the Freedom 5000, which benefits the Texas Military Forces Museum; at a food eating contest, such as the corndog eating contest at The Black Sheep Lodge; watching a movie at the Blue Starlite Drive-In; or dancing on the streets of Congress Avenue.

3. South Padre Island

Fireworks: Shower of Sparks
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The island is already one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in Texas, but the pull of South Padre Island is even stronger around the fourth. Known as the Fireworks Capital of Texas, the island holds a huge fireworks extravaganza over the Laguna Madre Bay. You don’t even have to be at the bay to catch sight of the show. The fireworks are visible from around the island, even even from across the bay in Port Isabel. If you can’t make it to South Padre for Independence Day, you’re in luck — the island puts on a weekly fireworks spectacular in the summer every Friday night.

4. Dallas

Dallas Texas, Cityscape
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The state’s third largest city is number one when it comes to celebrating Independence Day with a bang. For the big day, Dallas is filled with live music, fair rides and a free fireworks show for its annual Fair Park Fourth. The event is held near downtown Dallas, which makes it convenient for visitors stopping by after a trip to Texas’ oldest zoo, Six Flags or Lake Lewisville nearby.

5. Luckenbach

American Flag
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For a tiny Texas town, Luckenbach is all about the big and bold when it comes to celebrating Independence Day. If you’ve never heard of the tiny hill country town, it was put in the spotlight by Willie Nelson’s band. But for Independence Day, it’s less about the music, and more about good southern grub, at the town’s annual Family Fourth of July Picnic. It’s a free celebration with all the perks: live music, games, food and drinks. But the show stopper you won’t want to miss is the World Famous Luckenbach Lawn Mower Parade.

6. Addison

Fireworks on Independence Day
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Addison is called Kaboom town for a reason, having been named among the top fireworks shows in the country for more than three decades. If you and your family want to catch some of the best fireworks in the country, Addison is the place to be. The free event starts on July 3, making it a great option for those who want to spend the actual fourth of July in a low key way. The event draws a large crowd, so you might want to pack a picnic and stake out a prime spot in Addison CIrcle Park well before the show. You could also take your family to one of the local restaurants’ watch parties. After the fireworks, enjoy a free concert by the Emerald City Band.

7. Corpus Christi

Silhouette of Wind Dancer Sculpture
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If your fourth of July needs a combination of the beach, barbecue and red, white and blue, head for Corpus Christi. As Texas’ biggest city on the Gulf of Mexico, you won’t be without the citywide extravaganza, but you’ll also get to enjoy the sparkling waters of Corpus Christi Bay. After watching the parade wind its way downtown along Shoreline Boulevard, catch the Harbor Bridge Lights show above the bay. Then, end your celebration with a fireworks show launched from the historic USS Lexington.

8. Grand Prairie

Horse on a Pasture
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The entire family will love the Lone Stars & Stripe celebration, held at Lone Star Park each year. For the young ones, there are pony rides, bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting, games and more. Those 21 years of age or older might find the chance of winning an automobile a bit more exciting. A $5 entrance fee will get you into one of the biggest celebrations in town to see live thoroughbred racing and fireworks, and unlikely but exciting combination.

9. Houston

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For over 30 years, Houston has celebrated the fourth with its signature patriotic Freedom Over Texas event. With live performances, family activities and a kickoff tribute by United States Air Force Band of the West, this year’s extravaganza is set to raise the bar. Houston also has a flavorful barbecue scene, so you’ll get the best of the Buffalo Bayou in terms of food, fireworks and family fun.

10. Irving

Mustang's Sculpture
Source: Pixabay/skeeze

The city of Irving doesn’t just put on a fireworks show and call it a day. It takes patriotism to a whole other level, with a two-part celebration of America’s independence. From the parade and reception in the Irving Heritage District in the morning to the fireworks show later in the evening, the festivities continue the entire day. Join the thousands of Irving residents and neighbors to partake in good food, entertainment and community bonding.