A Visit to Halifax While in Nova Scotia is Certainly Worthwhile!
With amazing outdoor adventures on land and sea, the city of Halifax certainly is worth the trip to Nova Scotia!
Halifax NS is jam-packed with lots to do including some of the best restaurants on the east coast of Canada, many waterfront pubs and live music scene that goes on all night, every night!
Whatever you choose do do in Halifax your trip will be memorable and you will come away with a better understanding of just why Halifax has some of the best things to do in Canada’s Ocean Playground – Nova Scotia!
What Is The Best Time to Visit Halifax NS?
The best time to visit Halifax NS is during the warmer months of the year which would be early May through late October. Spring, Summer and Fall are the best months to take a tour of Halifax NS!
It is during this time of the year that you will experience the best warm weather, music festivals, shellfish, seafood, and lots of places to visit either at waterfront pubs or ocean beaches.
Two or three days in Halifax will give you more than enough time to enjoy yourself while in town! Try to arrange a private tour of Historic Halifax to get to know it’s wide history, heritage, and modern culture.
Day two or three can be best spent on an out of town trip to Peggy’s Cove, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, or the Annapolis Valley wine country.
If you are lucky enough to visit Halifax Nova Scotia, a two to three day trip is recommended to experience it’s wide history, heritage, modern culture, and yes the seafood!
Some of the best foods to eat while in Halifax NS
- Donair: The donair was declared the official food of Halifax in 2015. Don’t miss it!
- Oatcakes: A very popular treat, desert or breakfast food in Halifax year round. Yumm!
- Rappie Pie: A traditional Nova Scotia dish made of grated potato, onion, and chicken. Delicious!
- Dulse: Edible seaweed, saltwater plants providing a wealth of fiber and protein. Try it!
- Lobster: A perfect blend of tasty seafood greatness, enjoyed with butter and lemon. Considered a delicacy!
- Oysters: Freshly plucked from the ocean, many restaurants serve up these tasty oysters daily. Treat yourself!
- Seafood Chowder: Incredible fresh seafood treat that is worthy of trying. Try a hot steaming bowl of chowder!
- Wild blueberries: Nova Scotia is the blueberry capital of Canada. Blueberry baked good or wine a must try!
- Apples: The world’s best apples grown right here in the fertile Annapolis Valley. Ripe, fresh and juicy!
- Wine, Beer, Spirits: Visit a Nova Scotia winery, distillery, or brewery while in town! Enjoy local craft beer!
Top Places to Tour While in Halifax, Nova Scotia
There are so many great places to visit while in Halifax, Nova Scotia while here on a holiday, visiting family or crossing off a bucket list adventure.
Down on the Halifax Waterfront you will find a boardwalk that lines the Halifax Harbour. This is a great way to spend a few hours walking around visiting exhibitions, taking in street vendors and musicians, as well as some of the best places to eat in Eastern Canada.
There are so many restaurants, naval vessels, sailboats, tugs and shops to check out as you meander around. The Halifax waterfront district is a popular place to visit and is very lively day and night. A couple places to take in while on a sightseeing tour while at the Halifax Waterfront is Pier 21 and the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market.
Some of the top places to visit in Nova Scotia are as follows:
1. Peggy’s Cove
Peggy’s Cove is a fishing village about 43 kilometers southwest of Halifax that certainly feels like you stepped back in time. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse would be one of the most visited places in Nova Scotia and one of the most photographed lighthouses in Canada.
This famous lighthouse sits atop the foggy rocks of the Atlantic Coast battered by huge waves year round. Tourists walk out to the edge of the slippery rocks in the hopes of taking amazing pictures, but tourists should exercise extreme caution at this point, to not slip into the Atlantic Ocean.
While walking from the quaint fishing village to the top of the hill where Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse stands, you will pass many boathouses and fishing wharves. The Peggy’s Cove Tour is one of the most popular tours in Nova Scotia, making it a busy season for Halifax Tours!
This is certainly the way to visit Peggy’s Cove and Halifax in general, with a private tour guide. You won’t have to bring anything and it certainly is a more pleasurable drive when you don’t have to take your own vehicle.
2. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
The Halifax Citadel National Historic site sites atop a hill overlooking downtown Halifax NS. The road leading up to the Citadel Hill is great place to view the city of Halifax and peer out at the Halifax Harbour. As you walk up the road to the Halifax Citadel you will pass the Old Town Clock that was commissioned in 1803 by Prince Edward.
This famous hilltop fortress is the remains of the former British Garrison first established back in the 18th-century. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site never actually saw a battle since it was built back in 1856.
Move ahead into the 21st century and you will find that the warren-like tunnels, powder magazine, and barracks have been preserved. Put this one on your bucket list as you will find many companies that give private guided tours of Halifax Citadel.
There are daily reenactments with fortress guards in full dress where you will find that they fire off a canon to mark lunch time in downtown Halifax. The guards representing the British soldiers in red, meet visitors with a salute, musket in arms, and the sound of bagpipes.
3. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic exhibit displays maritime history of Nova Scotia and life in the North Atlantic as it was back in the day. There are many photographs and personal tales from past survivors, that speak about things like the 1917 Halifax Explosion, a collision of two ships in the harbor that decimated the town of Halifax and cost the lives of around 2000 locals.
One of the more popular displays is the RMS Titanic. This extensive exhibit is geared towards the recovery efforts during and after the Titanic sank and how Halifax became instrumental in the rescue operations in the early days after the Titanic went down.
There are more than two hundred model ships on display as well as old sailing craft and ocean liners, freighters, and naval ships for you to take in. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic certainly is an important stop when you signup for a tour of Historic Halifax.
At first sight you will see brightly colored heritage buildings that dot the hilly town of Lunenburg. Most of these aged structures are the original structures from the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of older buildings have been restored and turned into bed-and-breakfasts or pubs and restaurants.
Lunenburg became famous as the early shipbuilding center of Nova Scotia, with The Bluenose of course becoming it’s most famous sailing schooner. The Bluenose was built in Lunenburg back in 1921 where it went on to win many international races before it sank off the coast of Haiti years later.
The Bluenose II was then built as a replica and is is often down at the port where visitors are welcome to come aboard and take pictures. This is definitely a must-to on any tour of Nova Scotia.
5. Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Pier 21 welcomed nearly twenty percent of the Canada’s immigrants from early 1926 through to 1971. Visitors to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 can find out what it was like back in the day to travel across the Atlantic Ocean eventually arriving in a new country weeks later.
Many of the exhibits include period dress, a chance to go inside a replica ship, as well as view the contents of trunks and crates from some of the ships that brought immigrants across the ocean to Halifax NS.
There is so much family history at Pier 21 and it is often mentioned in genealogy groups worldwide where people often visit to trace their family roots.
6. Halifax Public Gardens
The Halifax Public Gardens are a hot spot for visitors coming to visit Halifax!
the Halifax Public Gardens, created in 1867, would be the oldest Victorian gardens anywhere in North America.
Now an official National Historic site, tourists to Halifax will enjoy a private guided tours to the Halifax Public Gardens that is the place of many private events.
The gardens are bright with beds of tulips, daffodils, and irises in the Spring. You will also find the cherry trees in full bloom along with azaleas, rhododendrons, dahlias, peonies, and roses in later summer.
7. Hall’s Harbour
Hall’s Harbour is on the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy and shares claim to the highest tides in the world!
Hall’s Harbour is one of the prettiest areas of Nova Scotia with a popular sandy beach with many fishing wharves where you will find lots of docked fishing boats that rise and fall with the tides. At low tide, the fishing vessels actually sit on the bottom of the harbor.
If you find yourself hungry while on a sightseeing tour to Hall’s Harbor, there is a nice seafood restaurant along the route in this tiny village.
What else is there to visit in this area? Well, traveling on with your tour guide, you will journey to the Annapolis Valley including the look-off viewpoint near Canning, Blomidon Provincial Park, and Cape Split hiking trails.
If you get a chance while in Nova Scotia, try to book a scenic tour or coastal drive along Mahone Bay, Chester, and The Valley Wine tour. So many things to see and places to visit while on a tour of Nova Scotia.