Planning a trip to Canada? We recommend visiting Halifax. Check out our city guide to see the city's must-see attractions, including the Art Museum Nova Scotia, Bistro Le Coq and Argyle Street.
With a focus on visual artists with ties to Nova Scotia, such as famed folk artist Maud Lewis, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia offers visitors an extensive collection of more than 15,000 historical and contemporary works. It also brings in many national and international exhibits every year. Dine at the Gallery’s restaurant, Untitled Eats, for lunch or dinner during the week or for brunch on Sundays.
Your French will improve exponentially with one bite of the crêpes at Bistro Le Coq. With its warm country-kitchen interior and outdoor patio on busy Argyle Street, it is a mandatory stop for local and visiting foodies. Serving fresh, locally sourced food is the agenda at Chives, another one of Halifax’s fine dining options.
Try your luck at Casino Nova Scotia. This top-notch gaming, entertainment and dining complex is located on Halifax’s waterfront. The casino offers packages with the nearby Delta Halifax and Delta Barrington hotels, which are just a short walk away through the climate-controlled pedway pedestrian tunnels.
The Halifax Farmers' Market is the oldest continuously operating farmers’ market in North America. Open year-round, the market’s more than 200 vendors (who offer lots of sampling) are housed in and around a new harborside, eco-friendly building. Take a short stroll and you can visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. Like the United States’ Ellis Island, the pier served as a point of entry for immigrants seeking a better life.
You might think you’ve been transported to the 1800s when you visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. The restored fort is often filled with period-clad reenactors who give visitors a realistic glimpse into this landmark’s rich past. Tours are offered throughout the day and are included with admission. Don’t let the big bang you’ll hear scare you; it’s just the daily firing of the citadel’s noon gun.
Where there are college students, there are pubs, and Halifax has plenty of both. Home to 6 major universities, Halifax boasts one of the highest numbers of bars per capita of any Canadian city. Popular watering holes include the waterfront’s Lower Deck and Toothy Moose on pub-heavy Argyle Street.
Halifax Harbour is not only the largest natural harbor in the world and a major trade port, it is also a great place to catch a boat ride and enjoy the beautiful Halifax scenery. You might want to take a cheap ferry ride from Halifax to its sister city of Dartmouth or enjoy a magical sunset cruise on the Tall Ship Silva.
Raise a glass of India pale ale to Alexander Keith at this historic brewery. The brewmaster opened his original waterfront brewery in 1820, and today you can take a fun and informative tour of the brewery. Guided by actors in period costumes, the tour ends with a stop at Stag’s Head Tavern and an opportunity to sample Keith’s fine ales.
Set sail on a historic journey of Halifax at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The “Halifax Wrecked” permanent exhibit is a captivating look at the horrific Halifax Explosion that occurred when 2 ships collided in the city’s harbor in 1917. The museum’s large collection of ship models is very popular among children.
The only crystal maker in Canada, NovaScotian Crystal is often compared to great brands like Baccarat and Waterford. You can get a free, up close look at the art of crystal making at the company’s waterfront glassworks, where craftsman take molten crystal and transform it into things of beauty -- which you are welcome to buy in the showroom.
While Southampton, England, was the starting point for all of Titanic’s passengers, Halifax is the resting place for 150 of its victims. Ships from Halifax were dispatched to collect bodies, and the city’s bond to the tragedy was forever formed. You can discover moving cemeteries and see preserved artifacts from the vessel at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Nova Scotia Archives.
Halifax and the surrounding province of Nova Scotia are home to more than 150 lighthouses. Many of these historic beacons offer tours with guides who have perfected the art of storytelling. One of the most popular lighthouses is the Peggy’s Point Lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, which was built in 1915 and is located just an hour from Halifax.
Look at the pretty flowers. The Victorian-era Halifax Public Gardens are simply beautiful with a bandstand, fountains, ponds and intricately designed flower beds. There is no cost to visit the gardens, and you can explore the 16 acres while enjoying a coffee or some hand-paddled ice cream from Uncommon Grounds Café, located in the gardens.
A visit to Halifax without having some fish-and-chips would be a sacrilege. One of the best spots for this maritime treat is The Battered Fish, located on the waterfront boardwalk. While here you should stop next door at BeaverTails. This pastry stand’s namesake product is fried dough shaped to resemble a beaver’s tail. It’s a little bit of heaven when topped with sweet maple butter.
Believe it or not, Nova Scotia is possibly one of the first areas to cultivate grapes in North America. The province is home to a dozen wineries that are open to the public for tours and tastings. In addition, many of the wines are served and available for sale in Halifax.
Don’t be confused, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is a high-energy show of military and civilian performers from across Canada and around the world. Held annually during the first week of July, the show’s many featured acts include drummers, bagpipers, highland dancers and acrobats.