What to Do in Halifax The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (1675 Lower Water St.) examines several hundred years’ worth of seafaring stories; discover how the city’s shipbuilding industry, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and a tragic 1917 fire caused by a ship collision all made their mark on this historic harbor city.
Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
Halifax folks like to have a good time, as seen by its multiple festivals year-round. If you’re on vacation here in summer, which is the most popular time to go, check out the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo (1586 Queen St.). For 7 days in late June to early July, marching bands, highland dancers, military companies, bagpipe players and acrobats wow audiences in this exciting production.
flickr / CC BY/Michael A. Herzog
Mosey along the boardwalk on the Halifax waterfront, which stretches for 10 blocks along the Halifax Harbor, and enjoy some slow-paced sightseeing. If you like, save some wear and tear on your feet and shoes and rent a Segway or a bike. When you need a break, plop into one of the huge orange harborside hammocks along the walkway and just watch the passersby.
Sample some of the best seafood around. Try The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar (5218 Prince St.), a popular restaurant for lunch and dinner. Flickering candles light up exposed stone walls, creating a romantic atmosphere while you dine on delicious seafood dishes. Choose from an extensive selection of raw or baked Atlantic oysters from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
Early May to late October is prime whale-watching season and taking a boat tour in search of minke and fin whales is an absolute must-do. Board Halifax Water Tours ' Haligonian III (1751 Lower Water St.) for a tour in search of Moby Dick’s relatives. You’ll also see dolphins, seals, tuna and sunfish, and the crew will teach you how to pull a lobster from a trap.
Enjoy the great outdoors, especially in summer when the weather in Halifax is warm but never scorching and cool evenings only require a light sweater. If you like to hike or ride a bike, hit the 74-mile (119 km) Rum Runners Trail running west from Halifax to Lunenburg, passing through picturesque oceanside villages. Go for a scenic drive if that’s more your speed—roll the windows down and relish the salty ocean breezes.
Exploring farmers’ markets while you’re on vacation is a great way to mingle with the locals and shop for the freshest produce and foods like maple syrup, wine, candies, tea and coffee. You can also pick up some artisan-made trinkets to remember your trip by. The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market (1209 Marginal Rd.) fills the bill for all of these treats and much more.
Wilimedia Commons / CC BY SA/Skeezix1000
The building that houses the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (1055 Marginal Rd.) was the first stop for more than one million immigrants to Canada, much like New York’s Ellis Island. Today the museum shares the personal stories of its citizens and their journeys through oral histories and multimedia exhibits that illustrate how they have shaped the country that became their home.
flickr / CC BY SA/Dennis Jarvis
Take a guided tour of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (5425 Sackville St.), housed in a star-shaped building downtown that sits at the top of a hill. At this living history museum, guides dressed in replicas of mid-1800s uniforms once worn by highlanders and artillery personnel march, re-enact band drills and fire the noon gun. Become a soldier for a day and get dressed head-to-toe in those same uniforms, which include red plaid kilts and tall black Glengarry bonnets.
If land-based activities have you feeling like a fish out of water, there’s plenty of fun things to do in the ocean if you like adventure travel. Rent a sailboat for a day and set sail in nearby waters, or try your hand at catch-and-release sportfishing and deep-sea fishing. Don scuba gear and dive down deep to see shipwrecks or just go swimming at one of the city’s soft-sand beaches.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Nova Scotia’s Harmonized Sales Tax is 15 percent. In addition, a 2 percent accommodations tax is charged for rooms in properties offering 20 or more rentable rooms.
(902) 490-5530 or 311
Halifax Infirmary (QE II Health Sciences Centre), (902) 473-2700; Dartmouth General Hospital (in Dartmouth), 902-465-8300.
1655 Lower Water St. Halifax, NS B3J 1S2. Phone:(902)424-4248
Halifax Stanfield International Airport is 21 miles north at 1 Bell Blvd., Enfield, NS; phone (902) 873-4422.
Six rental car companies service Halifax Stanfield International Airport and can be found in the arrivals area.
Rail service is offered with VIA Rail Canada at 1161 Hollis St.; phone (888) 842-7245.
Maritime Bus has two locations. The Halifax airport location is open daily 10-10; phone (800) 575-1807. The VIA Rail Canada station, 1161 Hollis St., is open daily 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; phone (902) 429-2029.
A taxi or limousine ride from the airport to Halifax’s city center costs about $63. Numerous companies serve the area.
Halifax Transit offers bus service with nearly six dozen routes in Halifax and nearby rural areas. Fare $2.50-3.50; $1.75-$2.75 (ages 5-15 and 65+); free (ages 65+ Tues. 10-3:30 and after 6 p.m.). Exact fare is required. You must request a transfer at time of boarding. Phone (902) 480-8000 for bus departure details or 311 for general information.