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Halifax Waterfront Hammocks | Courtesy of Destination Halifax
Halifax Waterfront Hammocks | Courtesy of Destination Halifax
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The Best Things to See & Do in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Picture of Kate Horodyski
Updated: 2 September 2017
Halifax is the captial of Nova Scotia and has much to offer visitors, including a bustling waterfront, fantastic seafood, beautiful parks and beaches and a thriving pub culture – its most famous brewmaster, Alexander Keith, was also mayor of Halifax. Read on to discover where to go, what to eat and, of course, what to drink when you’re in the city.

Enjoy food and live music

A number of bars in the city offer live music from local talent throughout the week. The Carleton has great shows from well-known artists, and a menu of seafood, burgers and vegetarian options, so you can enjoy a bite to eat while you listen to the live show. For other great live music, check out Stayner’s Warf overlooking the waterfront; Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs, which offers exactly what its name suggests – live blues music and ribs and burgers; The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, and Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub.

The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, 1685 Argyle St, Halifax, NS B3J 2B5, Canada, +1 902 422 6335

Stayner’s Wharf, 5075 George St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S5, Canada, +1 902 492 1800

Bearly’s House of Blues & Ribs, Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 1Y2, Canada, +1 902 423 2526

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, 136 Prince St, Halifax, NS B3J 1L4, Canada, +1 902 492 4900

Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub, 1645 Argyle St, Halifax, NS B3J 2B5, Canada, +1 902 406 7640

Walk along the waterfront

There is always tons going on on the Halifax waterfront, and even just a stroll from end to end is an experience. Grab a famous ice cream from COWS, stop for a drink at the Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, or grab lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the water. If people-watching is more your thing, grab a seat in one of the Adirondack chairs, benches, and hammocks lining the waterfront, and kick back with a cocktail or two. Also, keep an eye out for events and festivals such as Ribfest, Halifax Oyster Festival, and the Halifax Busker Festival.

COWS, 1869 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S9, Canada, +1 902 422 9336

Stubborn Goat Beer Garden, 1599 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 1S2, Canada, +1 902 405 4554

The Best Things to do in Halifax Nova Scotia
Oysters at Gahan House | Destination Halifax

Eat LOTS of seafood

Lobster dinner, lobster rolls, scallops, mussels, salmon, shrimp… you name it, Halifax will have it. Enjoy everything from an upscale seafood dinner to a lobster-roll-to-go at Halifax’s many top-notch restaurants and waterfront kiosks.

Explore the city’s north end

While visitors generally spend the majority of their visit in the downtown area of the city, it’s well worth it to visit Halifax’s recently gentrified north end. The neighbourhood has changed radically in the last few years, and you’ll find tons of little gems including cafés, bars, restaurants, and boutiques.

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Discover Point Pleasant Park

In Halifax’s south end you’ll find Point Pleasant Park, a beautiful seaside park perfect for walking, biking, and picnicking. There are also trails, fort ruins, a historic tower and a swimming beach. If you enjoy theatre, make sure to check out Shakespeare by the Sea, a local theatre company that stages plays at the park throughout the summer months.

Point Pleasant Park, 5718 Point Pleasant Dr, Halifax, NS B3H 1B5, Canada, +1 902 490 4700

The Best Things to do in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax Public Gardens | Courtesy of Destination Halifax

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Halifax Public Gardens

Located right in the heart of downtown Halifax, the Public Gardens are a beautiful spot to spend a couple of hours relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Grab an ice cream from the onsite café, which is in the house that was originally home to the park’s groundskeeper, and check the schedule for regular garden tours and performances.

Halifax Public Gardens, 5665 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS B3J 3S9, Canada,

Take a brewery tour

Beer is practically a part of Halifax culture, and the city has had a recent boom in brewery openings. Alexander Keith’s, Propeller Brewing Company, and Garrison Brewing Company all offer tours, and many other breweries offer sample trays, which allows you to try all of their on-tap beverages.

Alexander Keith’s, 1496 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3R5, Canada, +1 902 455 1474

Propeller Brewing Company, 2015 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS B3K 3B1, Canada, +1 902 422 7767

Garrison Brewing Company, 1149 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7, Canada, +1 902 453 5343

Head to the markets

On Saturdays, locals and tourists pour into the city’s markets for fresh produce, local coffee, freshly baked treats, and artisanal crafts. If you’re downtown, check out the new Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, then head down the street to Brewery Square and browse the Historic Farmers’ Market.

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market, 1209 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P8, Canada, +1 902 492 4043

Historic Farmers’ Market, 1496 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS B3J 3R5, Canada, +1 902 492 8772

The Best Things to Do in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Pier 21 | Courtesy of Destination Halifax

Visit the museums and galleries

Explore Halifax’s fascinating culture with a visit to one of its many museums and art galleries. The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 take visitors through the city’s history, and art lovers will appreciate the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which has a collection of over 17,000 works by native artists.

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, 5425 Sackville St, Halifax, NS B3J 3Y3, Canada, +1 902 426 1990

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7, Canada, +1 902 425 7770

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 1723 Hollis St, Halifax, NS B3J 1V9, Canada, +1 902 424 5280

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There’s nothing quite like sailing on the ocean, and this is an experience not to be missed when visiting Halifax. Head down to the waterfront, and you’ll find numerous tour groups offering everything from whale-watching and booze cruises to pirate-themed sailing tours. If you want a cardio workout while you travel, consider Kayak Halifax’s harbour kayak tours.

Kayak Halifax, 1521 Lower Water St, Halifax, NS, Canada, +1 902 210 7728

Spend time on the beach

While there aren’t any beaches right in the city, it’s well worth renting a car and driving to discover them. There are many beautiful beaches within an hour’s drive of Halifax, including Crystal Crescent, Bayswater, Rainbow Haven, Lawrencetown, Queensland, and Hubbards.

Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park, Sambro Creek, NS, Canada

Bayswater Beach Provincial Park, Hubbards, NS B0J 1T0, Canada

Rainbow Haven Beach Provincial Park, 2248 Cow Bay Rd, Cow Bay, NS V0R 1N1, Canada

Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park, 4348 NS-207, East Lawrencetown, NS, Canada, +1 800 565 2224

Queensland Beach Provincial Park, Hwy 3, Halifax, NS B0J 1T0, Canada, +1 902 497 0052

Hubbards Beach Campgrounds & Cottages, Shore Club Rd, Halifax, Subd. A, NS B0J 1T0, Canada, +1 902 857 9460