The Best Things to See & Do in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax Waterfront Hammocks | Courtesy of Destination Halifax
Halifax Waterfront Hammocks | Courtesy of Destination Halifax
Photo of Kate Horodyski
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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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