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Halifax Harbour sunset | © Tony Webster/WikiCommons
Halifax Harbour sunset | © Tony Webster/WikiCommons
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12 Reasons Why You Should Visit Halifax, Nova Scotia

Picture of Kate Horodyski
Updated: 28 August 2017
While it is the bustling hub of Atlantic Canada, Halifax is somehow able to retain a warm, small town feel. With gorgeous scenery, amazing food, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, it’s no wonder that both locals and visitors can’t get enough of this coastal city. Check out our top reasons why you need to visit Halifax now.

The Waterfront

Halifax was originally built around the waterfront and it remains as relevant to the city today as it was at its founding. The port itself is one of the busiest on the East Coast, and the waterfront is just as happening. Discover the Halifax Seaport Market, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, food vendors, restaurants, festivals, and so much more.

The Locals

CN Traveler readers recently voted Halifax as one of the friendliest cities in the world! There’s just something about Maritimes’ hospitality that really stands out, and don’t be surprised if you make a few new friends on your visit.

The Seafood

Lobster, mussels, fish, scallops, shrimp – you name it, they’ve got it! Whether looking for a classic lobster dinner or a lobster roll to-go, the seafood selection in Halifax is worth a trip on its own. Local hotspots include Five Fisherman, McKelvie’s, and Shuck. Oyster lovers should check out the annual Oyster Festival, which takes place in September.

The Restaurants

While Halifax is probably best known for its seafood, this is just the beginning of its vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re looking for food trucks, cafes, street food, or fine dining, you’ll find more than enough options to keep you well fed during your visit. Farm-to-table has been popular in the city for years, so you’ll get plenty of chances to try delicious local food in many of the restaurants including Edna, Morris East, and Chives.

The Drinks

Halifax has seen a recent explosion in craft breweries, and we’re not complaining! Try classics like Propeller Brewery and Garrison Brewery and check out newbies including Chainlink Cidery, Good Robot Brewing, and Nine Locks. If wine is more your thing, head to the valley (located an hour outside of Halifax) and explore its many wineries.

The Bars

With one of the highest numbers of bars per capita in Canada, a night out in Halifax is practically mandatory. Head to bar-lined Argyle street for everything from a fancy cocktail at East of Grafton to a pint of beer and live music at Durty Nellys. For a more traditional local experience, head to the ever popular Lower Deck on the waterfront.

The Museums

As one of Canada’s oldest cities, Halifax is full of interesting history and museums. Explore Citadel Hill, a fortress in the city’s downtown, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Kids will love the interactive Discovery Centre!

The Shops

You can shop til you drop with everything from malls to vintage stores. Label lovers can head to the Halifax Shopping Centre or MicMac Mall, while second-hand lovers can dig for finds at high-end consignment stores like Brilliant and Room 152 or the vintage spots along Vintage Row. Browse through local boutiques including Biscuit General Store and Sattva, and make a mandatory stop to Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia for your tourist t-shirt.

The Tours

Explore the city with one of Halifax’s many tours. Foodies will love sampling local eats with Taste Tours Halifax while kids and adults alike love the Harbour Hopper, an amphibious tour that takes you around the city and then into the harbour.

The Parks

When you’ve had enough of being a tourist, head to one of the city’s many downtown parks for some people watching. The Public Gardens boast beautifully manicured lawns and gardens, while Point Pleasant Park is a beautiful spot to go for a walk, bike ride, or ocean side picnic.

Point Pleasant Park
Point Pleasant Park | © RicLaf/Flickr

The Day Trips

Halifax is in close proximity to a ton of awesome day trips. Explore the town of Wolfville, go for a hike at Cape Split, or check out the waterfalls at Three Pools.

The Beaches

During the summer months, a trip to the beach is mandatory! Close by you’ll find many spots including Queensland, Hubbards, and Crystal Crescent, or go further to explore the provinces’ many other options like Lawrencetown and Summerville.