Snapshot: Halifax

February 28, 2023

The capital city of Nova Scotia is a bustling, historic, waterside hub of activity where you’ll never be without something to do

 

There’s something special about exploring a city that is set right on the water, and Eastern Canada’s historic gem, Halifax, is no different. The Halifax waterfront sits within Halifax Harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia and has a rich history as a busy working harbour, fishing port and naval base. This history is well and truly still alive for visitors to experience as they explore the city, whether that’s via foot, car or by sea.

 

The historic Halifax waterfront with tourists buying poutine and going about their day
The historic Halifax waterfront with tourists buying poutine and going about their day

 

First up, visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 to learn the stories of Nova Scotia’s locals and experience what life was like for nearly one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. If that’s not quite enough history for you, pop over to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to learn more about the region’s fascinating maritime history, including boatbuilding and World War II convoys. Here you can also discover a permanent display of the world’s largest collection of wooden Titanic artefacts.

 

Tourist bus in front of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Tourist bus in front of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

 

Take a break from the history lessons and follow the Halifax waterfront boardwalk around the water’s edge. Stop en route at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market to pick up a bakery treat or browse artisanal and locally made wares including hand-sculpted rock candles, freshwater pearl jewellery, woodwork and leatherwork. The market is open seven days a week and has the finest Canadian produce and freshest local seafood on offer, plus a range of fun community events like rooftop yoga.

 

A woman shopping for fruits inside the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
A woman shopping for fruits inside the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

 

Boutique shops and art galleries are also dotted around the waterfront precinct so high-tail it to Bishop’s Landing and you’ll find plenty of shops to browse. If you’d rather get a feel for the high seas, you can board a boat tour to cruise around Halifax Harbour. Choose from sightseeing cruises that allow you to see navy ships, beautiful handcrafted wooden boats and submarines up close alongside marine wildlife; take a romantic wine and cheese sail at sunset; board a Mississippi-style sternwheeler boat; hop on a party boat cruise; or go deep-sea fishing and try your hand at catching cod, haddock, and mackerel.

 

Tourists taking part of the Halifax Harbour Walk which houses restaurants and shops.
Tourists taking part of the Halifax Harbour Walk which houses restaurants and shops.

 

For a day trip, hop in your car and head to Fisherman’s Cove, a restored 200-year-old fishing village just 20 minutes from the city where you can stroll a charming boardwalk and enjoy a fantastic seafood lunch. Drive onto Peggy’s Cove, home to the world’s most photographed lighthouse, and just one of Nova Scotia’s 160 lighthouses waiting to be explored.

 

Summer view of fishermen's houses, boats and the harbour at Peggys Cove
Summer view of fishermen's houses, boats and the harbour at Peggys Cove

 

Beyond the water, there’s still plenty to do as entertainment is at an all-time high in Halifax. This is the place where you can get your fix of everything your heart desires, from sporting events and theatre shows to local art exhibitions, comedy nights and summer and winter festivals galore.

 

The view of Argyle Street in Halifax, famous for its trendy bars and restaurants.
The view of Argyle Street in Halifax, famous for its trendy bars and restaurants.

 

If you’re an arty type, be sure to check what’s on at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre, the largest professional theatre company in Atlantic Canada. And if you happen to be visiting the city when the Nocturne art festival is on (October 19, 2019), you’ll adore seeing the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth transform into a free, city-wide art show at night.

This truly is one city that knows how to put on a good show.

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