The city of Halifax is probably one of the most interesting places to visit in Nova Scotia. It really feels like you are in a big town.
Great attractions, great music, great restaurants, great shopping, great museums and great people all await you in this big town with a big heart.
This is a port city so everything revolves around the waterfront! The waterfront is the place to be when you visit!! I can walk the waterfront for hours and always find something that I missed on my last walk.
The city, which is the capital of Nova Scotia, comes alive with great festivals every summer. There is something happening all summer long and there is something for everyone!
I really need to stress that this is a walking city. You can park your car (yes, you must pay for parking) and spend the day visiting the city. I guess I need to have a disclaimer here too! There are lots of hills so be prepared!
Dress like a tourist and you'll be fine!
One of the must-see attractions is the Citadel. The Halifax Citadel sits with pride in the middle of the city and has been protecting it since the city's founding in 1749. Actually, the current citadel is the 4th on this site.
The view of the downtown area from the Citadel is not to be missed!
Don't forget to check out the Town Clock! Actually, it is impossible to miss! It is just below the Citadel on Brunswick Street. The clock is a beautiful masterpiece that Haligonians are very proud of.
Oops, I almost forgot! Folks from these parts call themselves 'Haligonians'.
I mentioned that this is a port city, well, this means that folks who live here are very tied to the sea. All of Nova Scotia has a special connection to the sea.
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic gets to the very soul of this. It has a great location on the waterfront. A visit to this museum cannot be missed. I spent a full day there last summer and didn't see everything!
The Titanic display is very special. Many folks don't realize the role that the city played in the aftermath of this tragic event. This exhibit will tell you the story.
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You will always feel that you are close to the sea while you are here.
These Maritimers are a proud bunch. They have seen sailors and soldiers come and go for almost 300 years.
Their safe return is always a celebration!
Monuments like this one of a sailor depict the immense pride of the city.
You can find this statue along the waterfront. Kids seem to love getting their picture taken along side it!!
Be sure to look for him, take a pic and send it to me for Your-Nova-Scotia-Holiday.com!!
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic also pays hommage to the Halifax Explosion which occurred December 1, 1917. World War I was raging in
Europe. Images of the aftermath of the explosion in the museum displays are haunting. The city would never forget!
A tribute to the strength of the city at this time can be found in the Hydrostone neighbourhood. This is the neighbourhood where the explosion
impact was felt the most. The area was rebuilt in a very extraordinary way. Check it out. It is fantastic.
You can find the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 at the south end of the waterfront walk. Over 1 million immigrants landed in here between 1928-1971. And 500,000 military personnel departed from Pier 21 during World War II.
1 in 5 Canadians can trace their family's history to Pier 21! This is a unique and very moving place to visit.
The Old Burying Ground goes back even further! It was first used in 1749 and many of the city's first citizens are buried here. I visited the grounds
and found the atmosphere to be oddly beautiful.
A nice place to take a break from the busy city which surrounds it.
The Public Gardens are also very beautiful but in a different way. This is a 17-acre formal Victorian garden founded in 1867. Complete with fountains, ponds, statues, trees, flowers and walking paths.
I found it to be a wonderful calming oasis in the middle of a modern city.
The special things to see and do in Halifax are endless. If you want a bit more relaxation and nature-loving stuff....you don't need to go far.
Peggy's Cove is a mere 40 km or 40 minutes from the city. You cannot miss a visit to the iconic lighthouse in Peggy's Cove.
Feel like spending the day at the beach?
Be sure to check out Crystal Crescent Beach which is only 30 km south of the city! There are actually 3 beaches complete with white sand reaching out to the Atlantic Ocean.
Maybe you want something closer to the city! Point Pleasant Park in the city's south end will meet your needs. There are 186 acres of walking and biking trails, fort ruins and towers that were once part of the city's defence system.
All at the entrance to the harbour and a stone's throw from the city centre.
You can get to the city in a couple of different ways. My page on travelling to Nova Scotia will help you in getting to the province. If are travelling by plane, train, cruise ship or tour bus chances are you will be brought directly into the city.
However, if you are travelling by car then you will need to know a little about the highways. Check out the map below and use the + and - to scroll in and out.
The main highways coming into Halifax are:
Provincial highway 102 coming from Truro which is the one you will be on if you are coming to Halifax as soon as you arrive in the province or if you are coming from Cape Breton.
Provincial highway 101 if you are coming from the Bay of Fundy/Annapolis Valley tourism area.
Provincial highway 103 if you are coming from the South Shore which is where you find Lunenburg and Mahone Bay.
There are many travel guides available for the city.
My advice is simple: stop at the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) located on the waterfront beside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
They will help you.
There is a wide variety of places to stay in the city and in the surrounding areas. Check out my Halifax Hotels page!
You will find many fine restaurants in Halifax. The restaurant scene has grown a lot over the last couple of years and there is something for everyone!
Check out my Halifax restaurants page. There are several resources listed to help you find a great place to eat.
Halifax is a super place to visit for some vacation time while you are in Nova Scotia. Great attractions, great festivals & events, great food and great people. Hope to see you there soon!
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