The Best of Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax is a small harbourside city home to 400,000 people with a lot of character and charm. There are several museums filled with tales from the high seas, including the sinking of the Titanic. Walking around downtown there is a mix of historic buildings and brand new infrastructures dispersed amongst Irish pubs with busy outdoor patios in the summertime. With its farmers market, and lots of green space Halifax is truly a city for everyone, which this Wanderlist helps highlight.

1869 Upper Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S9, Canada
Sure Halifax has a bunch of Tim Horton’s, Starbucks, and some other, local coffee places, but there is one that rises above the rest, and that is Two If By Sea. The original store is located in Dartmouth, but in the past couple years they have opened a new location along the waterfront in downtown Halifax at the Harbourside Market in the historic properties. Not only are they popular for their delicious coffee but also the almond croissants and other fresh baked goods are out of this world. For the past several years they have been voted the best cafe in the city so if coffee is your thing you should definitely stop by.
1097 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3J 3S8, Canada
Each summer the Atlantic Film Festival brings Halifax the AlFresco FilmFesto on the waterfront boardwalk. The AlFresco FilmFesto takes place on Friday nights from July to August and features outdoor movies, often with a theme, like Billy Murray movies or Spielberg films. They are projected on a large screen on the boardwalk which runs along the harbor. It’s free (with a requested donation), so bring a blanket or chair to sit on and enjoy a movie under the stars.
1869 Upper Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S9, Canada
The perfect place to buy souvenirs or to take home a little part of Nova Scotia for yourself. The Historic Properties are located along the north end of the waterfront boardwalk in downtown Halifax. These buildings were originally warehouses that were used for privateering and smuggling dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today, they are home to various restaurants and pubs, as well as several boutique shops and stores that sell many local products.
1600 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 1Z6, Canada
Obladee is the only wine bar in downtown Halifax. The bar has a casual atmosphere with an ever changing wine menu and a few other select drinks like beer and cider if that is what you would prefer. They feature wine “flights” that pair three wines together for a reasonable price, as well as cheese and charcuterie that is locally sourced.
1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS B3J 1V9, Canada
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in Atlantic Canada, and has a varied collection, from historic Inuit stone carvings to Nova Scotian folk art, nautical paintings, classical portraits, and even the small home of one of the province’s most prominent folk artists, Maud Lewis.
5718 Point Pleasant Drive
Point Pleasant Park sits at the south end of the city, occupying 190 acres of land. A serious hurricane leveled many of the parks old trees several years ago but it hasn’t lost its charm. More trees have now been planted and the park is a favorite of many locals. The park has various trails that take you along Halifax Harbour and the North West Arm, as well as through the woods and around old artillery batteries. In the summertime you can also come here to see live performances by the Shakespeare by the Sea Theatre Company. Open year round, it is a great place for walking, running, biking and other forms of exercise, as well as for picnics.
5425 Sackville St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Y3, Canada
Since 1749, there have been a series of four different forts on top of citadel hill in the middle of downtown Halifax. The highest point in the city, the current fort was built in 1856 is now a popular tourist attraction. Recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada, it has been restored to its Victorian period-appearance by Parks Canada. Inside you can see re-enactors dressed in Victorian costume, and learn about the fort and the city’s history. Also, as a bonus each day, the 78th Highlander re-enactment regiment fire off a canon signaling noontime and the changing of the guard, putting on quite the show.
1055 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7, Canada
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (also known as simply ‘Pier 21') is the location where over one million immigrants entered Canada for the first time from 1928-1971. Similar to New York’s Ellis Island, today Pier 21 has been transformed into a museum that documents the building’s history and the history of those who entered into Canada this way along with a bit about their lives and journeys.
1149 Marginal Road
Located next to the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market, the Garrison Brewing Company opened its doors in 2007 and has been tickling Halifax’s tastebuds with its fine brews ever since. At the brewery you can learn how the beer is made, try some taste tests, sit outdoors in the summertime on the patio enjoying a drink and even purchase bottles and growlers of beer to take home. From hoppy IPAs to a Raspberry Wheat Ale, they have beers for every taste and even sell fine non-alcoholic craft sodas.
1675 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S3, Canada
Halifax’s identity is tied to the sea, and its rich maritime history is the central theme of this eclectic museum. Popular exhibits include one dedicated to the role of Halifax after the sinking of the Titanic (the city’s ships helped with the recovery) and the devastating Halifax Explosion, a 1917 ship collision that killed 2,000. Don’t miss touring the CSS Acadia, a naval vessel once used for hydrographic missions.
1209 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P8, Canada
Located at the south end of the Halifax waterfront the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market is the oldest continually run farmer’s market in all of North America, having opened in 1750. Here you can find fresh and local foods along with handmade arts and crafts. The market is a great place to grab a bite to eat, do some people watching and meet the locals. Whether you like locally-made apple cider, homemade brownies, Parisian-style crepes, Chinese dumplings or you are just looking for a souvenir from travels the market is definitely a great place to visit.
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