AAA Travel Tips / The Best Places to Eat, Shop and Explore Near the Halifax Cruise Port

The Best Places to Eat, Shop and Explore Near the Halifax Cruise Port

iStockphoto.com/KenWiedemann
By AAA Travel Editor Patricia Miller
October 21, 2019
When your cruise ship has docked for the day in the Halifax Cruise Port, you’ll want to find fun things to do to fill your time. Whether you have a couple of hours or a whole day to spend in Halifax, there’s a lot to do within close walking distance of the cruise port. If you’re interested in venturing just a little farther, rent a bicycle or car, or dial up an Uber or taxi, depending on your objectives for the day.
When you step off your ship, you’ll find yourself in the heart of downtown Halifax, and you won’t lack for fun places to go. There are scores of museums to explore, shops to wander through, and pubs to grab some grub and a pint. Downtown Halifax is pretty compact, so you can reach all of these places without doing any damage to your feet. For more tips about what to do in and near Halifax, peep at 5 of the Best Restaurants in Halifax, Nova Scotia; 5 Cheap or Free Things to Do in Halifax, Nova Scotia; 5 Free Things for Kids to Do in Halifax; and Off the Beaten Path in Halifax: Peggy’s Cove.
Tanks at a brewery
iStockphoto.com/Joe_Potato

Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery Tours

1496 Lower Water St.
(902) 455-1474
If you prefer your history with a frosty mug of suds, sign up for a lesson at Alexander Keith's Nova Scotia Brewery Tours. Learn how lagers have been brewed since 1820, when this Halifax institution first opened its doors, and try samples of the fermented fluid. Post-tour, enjoy live music and folk dancing in the tavern.
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Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax Nova Scotia Canada
Wilimedia Commons / CC BY SA/Skeezix1000

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

1055 Marginal Rd.
(902) 425-7770
Check out as many of downtown’s attractions as you can; since they’re all concentrated in one area, you can probably take in at least one during your time on land. If you only have time for one, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is a safe bet. The equivalent of Ellis Island, this historic site’s fascinating collection focuses on the 1.5 million immigrants who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to start a new life in Canada between 1928-71. Its closeness to the pier is also a clear advantage if you’re pressed for time.
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Halifax Citadel National Historic Site in Nova Scotia Canada
flickr / CC BY SA/Dennis Jarvis

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

Sackville St. & Brunswick St.
(902) 426-5080
Venture a little farther out to the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, which sits directly outside downtown. Take in amazing views of the city and harbor from this enormous star-shaped 19th-century fort that sits on a hill 67 metres (220 ft.) above sea level; it’s also a wonderful place to watch the sunset.
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Public Gardens in Halifax Nova Scotia
iStockphoto.com/onepony

Public Gardens

Bounded by South Park, Sackville and Summer streets and Spring Garden Road
(800) 835-6428
For a relaxing outing where you can enjoy nature and luxurious flower beds, head just beyond the Halifax Citadel to the Public Gardens. It’s the perfect spot for a lazy stroll and presents masses of colorful blossoms everywhere you look, especially from April through November. Fountains, statues, shaded paths and a duck pond beautify the Victorian-era park even more.
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The Stubborn Goat Gastropub in Halifax Nova Scotia
AAA/Patricia Miller

Halifax Restaurants and Pubs

When it comes to food places, Halifax has an exciting restaurant scene, and foodies will find many tempting choices along the waterfront. Amble along the 10-block-long boardwalk with its abundance of restaurants and take in views of the harbor. Salty’s on the Waterfront, Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill and Waterfront Warehouse Restaurant & Oyster House are just a few of our favorite eateries. Dine on outdoor patios, listen to live music and devour fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables and fruits.
Walk several blocks farther and you’ll come across wonderful gastropubs like 2 Doors Down, The Stubborn Goat Gastropub and the Wooden Monkey; they offer casual settings, thirst-quenching microbrews and interesting takes on classic menu items.
Halifax Seaport Farmers Market in Halifax Nova Scotia
AAA/Patricia Miller

Halifax Shops

Halifax is full of fun places to shop, and that includes a wide variety of downtown boutiques. Whether you want to stick to shops along the waterfront or walk a few blocks farther to explore, you won’t be disappointed.
If you only have a short time on land, the fully enclosed Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is just footsteps away from the port, and who doesn’t love exploring a good farmers’ market? Plunk yourself down at a table and munch on the goodies you’ve just scored, whether it’s a crispy baguette coupled with local cheese or a hot, buttery lobster roll. Located just next to the Royal Caribbean dock, this is a fun place to go, especially when the weather doesn’t favor a walk outdoors.
Mosey along the boardwalk to Bishop's Landing, home to retailers like Alexa Pope and MXM Fashion Studio, where you’ll find the latest styles; Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory and Sugah! for diet-busting sweets; and Frida Custom Fine Jewellery for special treasures.
Walk northwest into the heart of downtown to discover even more exclusive shops. Pick up eclectic gifts and trendy apparel for your friends or yourself at local stores like Biscuit General Store, Black Market, Canook and Inkwell Modern Handmade.
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