No trip to Nova Scotia is complete without a few days in Halifax! It’s the capital of Nova Scotia, and has been a major shipping port for centuries. It’s also beautiful, and well worth a visit! Here is my ultimate list of 10 things to do in Halifax, so put them on your list, too!
1. Visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
I am always up for a visit to a fort! The Citadel was originally perched up on top of the highest hill around in 1749 to get the best view of approaching enemies. Now it offers some of the best and most sweeping views of the city, as well as a fun way to experience and learn about the city’s history! Did you know America attacked and tried to invade Halifax during the American Revolution? Visit the Citadel to find out more!
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2. Get Lost in the Halifax Public Gardens
This was my mom’s happy place when we visited Halifax in 2015. In fact, my mom (who does not like to travel) even made a special trip back here in 2019 with my dad because she loved it so much! The Victorian-style Public Gardens are quite large and smack in the center of town. It’s a beautiful place for a stroll, to grab a quick bite at their cafe, or to simply relax and enjoy a bit of peace in the city.
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3. Visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Nova Scotia has been a focal point of maritime history for centuries, so a trip to Halifax is not complete without a stop into the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic! Here you’ll see original pieces from ill-fated ships (like the Titanic), learn about why Halifax is so important in the maritime industry, and step aboard the C.S.S. Acadia!
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4. Eat All the Lobster
Take advantage of your location and get all the fresh-caught lobster you can handle! We had lobster rolls, lobster salad, lobster chowder, and my personal favorite: lobster poutine! It is the ultimate Canadian comfort food, y’all!
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5. Stroll the Waterfront
I was only in Halifax a couple of days, but a good bit of that time was spent down at the waterfront! Halifax has a long boardwalk, perfect for walking (or a morning run, in my case). It’s fun to see the cruise ships that come in to port, and how can you beat a gorgeous view like this one?
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6. Visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration
This is one site that I plan to go back to visit! We didn’t make it there on our trip, but next time we will. This museum tells the stories of immigrants who came to Canada to find a new home over the last 400+ years. It’s also a research facility, so if your people came through Canada, you can learn a little about yourself, too!
7. And Find “The Emigrant” Statue
Near the Immigration Museum, you’ll find the Emigrant Statue. It symbolizes and honors those who left their homelands for Canada intent on creating a new home.
Many early immigrants came to Nova Scotia via Pictou! How to Spend 1 Day in Pictou
8. Find Jack Dawson at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery
Was Jack Dawson a real passenger on the Titanic? The answer is yes, but not the one from the movie! Movie makers claim it’s a strange coincidence, but nothing more. You can visit the Titanic Grave Site at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery to pay your respects to those who died in the Titanic disaster and whose bodies were recovered. My younger brother is a Titanic fan, so we had to go see the cemetery for ourselves.
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9. Tell Time by the Old Town Clock
You really can’t miss this massive clock. It’s near the Citadel, and it still tells time properly, so you can set your watch by it! It was built by Prince Edward’s engineer and completed in 1803. Prince Edward was Queen Victoria’s father, if you were wondering—I was!
10. If the Queen Mary 2 is in Town, Go Find Her
You won’t be able to miss her! We were incredibly lucky to just so happen to be in Halifax the same day as the Queen Mary 2 on one of her voyages. My brother is such a fan of ships, and this was a true treat for him. We saw it in the distance, and my brother knew exactly who “she” was. We walked toward her, and we kept thinking we were close, but we were not. She was SO BIG, we just had to marvel at her sheer size as we finally got close enough to realize just how large she was. Maybe you’ll get to see her, too, as Halifax is on her regular route!
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