Halifax Tourist and Visitor Tips,
Here are some quick suggestions for visitors with limited time in the city: The schedule is only a suggestion -- you may have more fun, or wish to take more time than mentioned below.
One Day Stay
To capture the essence of this city, here are suggestions for your first day (especially if its your only day) in Halifax. This action-packed tour is focused on downtown
- Begin the day atop Citadel Hill, with the expansive view of the city and Halifax Harbour
- Tour the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a magnificent fortress for the early 1800s
- If you have time, tour the Halifax Public Garden, designed like European formal gardens
- Head down the hill, past The Old Town Clock (closed to public) built in 1803 and the Metro Centre convention hall to Halifax's oldest area, the waterfront
- Take either the streets or the Downtown Link passageways (sometimes underground,sometimes above) and visit the shops and restaurants of the Historic Properties
- Head north to Casino Nova Scotia, if that is your interest, or south to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
- Take the harbour ferry to Dartmouth and back, to get some great photos of Halifax and Dartmouth's waterfronts
- Continuing south, you pass the Bluenose II dock, a recreation of the famous 1920s race-winning schooner seen on Canadian dimes (a cruise may take more time than you have in a one day quickie tour)
- A short detour uphill takes you to the Old Burying Ground with many of Halifax's first residents
- See Province House, the provincial legislature, and Government House, the home of the Lieutenant Governor, the Queen's representative to the legislature.
- Visit Brewery Market, home of Alexander Keith's famous brewery (take a tour and get a sample at the end!)
- At the southern end of downtown is Pier 21, and national historic site dedicated to thousands of Canadian immigrants (right beside today's cruise ship docks). Across the water is Georges Island Historic Site in the middle of the harbour.
- Just a little further is the CN Rail Station and Halifax's famous container port
- Head up Spring Garden Road to a shopping district and mall for some shopping and dining to wrap up your day
- The south end of the peninsula features Point Pleasant Park, littered with monuments, a beach, military batteries, and the Prince of Wales Martello Tower.
Two Day Stay
If you have a second day in Halifax, you should take in the surrounding waterfront communities
- heading north on Barrington Street, you pass the HMCS Scotian and the Royal Canadian Navy dockyards
- passing underneath the two bridges to Dartmouth (you'll come back on one of these later), you pass Halifax's miles of docks, pretty Seaview Park before passing the HalTerm Container Port.
- Head northwest along the Bedford Highway, with a detour at Kea4rney Lake Road to Hemlock Ravine Park with its heart-shaped Julie's Pond
- Bedford's waterfront is home to several yacht clubs
- Continue your clockwise tour of the harbour along Windmill Road, now heading southeast toward Dartmouth
- Just before the first bridge, stop at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography
- Continue along Windmill Road into downtown Dartmouth, to Dartmouth Heritage Museum and Aldernay Waterfront Park, right beside the Dartmouth Shipyards, with an excellent view of downtown Halifax
- You'll pass a plaque commemorating the end of the historic Shubenacadie Canal, and can visit the Evergreen Historic House
- Head inland a bit to see Lake Bannook & Lake Micmac, home to many freshwater sporting activities in the region.
- Head east along the Eastern Passage Rd past Halifax's refineries to CFB Shearwater Aviation Museum
- You pass McNabs Island, home to Fort McNab National Historic Site, accessible by ferry in the town of Eastern Passage, which also has a historic waterfront, with many quaint shops and restaurants.
Three Day Stay
If you have a third day in the Halifax area, head south along Highway 333 to Peggy's Cove fishing village, the most painted waterfront in North America, and continue south along Highway 3 to Lunenburg, known for its charm, waterfront and historical homes and churches.
More significant detours are to the west to Annapolis Royal and Digby or to the north to the Cape Bretton Highlands, Baddeck, Fort Louisbourg and Sydney.