The capital of the province of Nova Scotia is the primary urban hub of Atlantic Canada and the lively heart of the Maritimes. For years, Halifax was a gateway to North America for millions of weary immigrants from Europe and today, the city’s vast natural harbour still plays a vital role in trans-continental commerce and transport.The Halifax Peninsula is a gorgeous span of Nova Scotia and provides the provincial capital with a spectacular backdrop. The Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk is a popular first stop for visitors, with wonderful views over the water and a superb array of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés. After a recent municipal merger with nearby Dartmouth and Bedford, the Halifax metropolitan area now totals some 400,000 people. The city is by far the most populous east of Quebec City in Canada and as such, is a peppy destination with a heavy dash of Maritime culture and charm. Important landmarks to consider in Halifax include the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, National Museum of Immigration and Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. With culinary, nightlife and festival scenes as well, Halifax is a worthwhile destination.
10. Halifax Commons is the oldest urban park in Canada.
5. Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk is open 24/7 and hosts a number of fine points of interest.
9. Point Pleasant Park is a scenic spot for stroll!
4. Pier 21/National Museum of Immigration is the Ellis Island of Canada.
8. Citadel Hill (Fort George) is a National Historic Site!
3. Spring Garden is the most prominent commercial and cultural artery in Halifax.
7. Long Lake Provincial Park is a major recreation ground 6 mi (10 km) outside the city.
2. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic graces a handsome parcel of downtown waterfront real estate.
6. Old Town Lunenburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site 60 mi (100 km) southwest of Halifax.
1. Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the most important fine arts museum in the Maritimes.
- Citadel National Historic Site - Visit this historic fort built in the 18th century.
- Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - Learn about maritime history by seeing the buoys, anchors, armaments and more.
- Pier 21 - This is a monument to all the immigrants who have come to Canada.
- H.M.C.S. Sackville - Explore this ship that was used as an escort to convoys in World War II.
- Fairview Lawn Cemetery - Many of the victims of the Titanic are buried in this wonderful old Halifax cemetery.
Halifax Art & Culture
- Art Gallery of Nova Scotia - This gallery is dedicated to the art of Nova Scotia.
- Dalhousie University - You can explore this campus and enjoy the beautiful architecture.
- Clay Cafe Pottery Studio - Paint pottery alone or plan to bring family and friends.
- Cathedral Church of All Saints - View this lovely old church in Halifax.
- MSVU Art Gallery - This gallery exhibits the works from the arts program at Mount Saint Vincent University and its surrounding community.
- Brewery Market - This farmer's market not only has a wide range of food but also sells artwork by local artists.
- Christmas By the Sea - You can find a range of Christmas ornaments and decorations year round.
- Junk & Foibles - This is a vintage boutique that sells just about everything, mostly antiques.
- Blowers Street Paper Chase - This bookstore is known for its selections of newspapers and magazines.
- Nova Scotian Crystal - This store sells local Halifax crystal that has been artistically blown and set into jewellery and works of art.
Gay & Lesbian Halifax
- Menzbar - This is the local gay bar in Halifax that is for men only and also has drag competitions.
- ReflectionsCabaret - This is a gay-friendly bar with a young crowd.
- TheCompanyHouse - Another gay-friendly art and music venue.
- Guerilla Gay Fare - This gay event happens on the last Friday of every month.
- Halifax Front Runners - This running group meets on Saturday morning and Tuesday evenings at the Gardens.
- Halifax Public Gardens - Spend the day wandering in this Victorian-style garden.
- Halifax Harbor Ferry - For a very small fee, you can go from Halifax to Dartmouth and back, a wonderful way to view the skyline of Halifax.
- McNab's Island - This uninhabited island is perfect for hiking, and you can visit the fort and the lighthouse.
- Lawrencetown Beach - Play in the waves or just walk along the shore of this lovely beach.
- Point Pleasant Park - This park is great for picnics, hiking or running.
- Visit the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame to see some of the great athletes that have come out of Nova Scotia.
- Golf at either the Glen Arbour or Halifax Greensward course.
- Swimming and tennis are available at the city parks.
- Paddle and sail on Beaver Lake.
- Watch college athletics, with three universities from which to choose.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Halifax is the capital city of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, and is located south of Prince Edward Island. With its rich maritime history and scenic waterfront, this city proves not only to be a relaxing vacation, but an exciting one as well. As one of the world's greatest natural harbours, visitors will enjoy boat tours, oceanic education and tasty seafood.
- Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
- Pier 21
- Sambro Island Lighthouse
- See the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
- Explore the York Redoubt
- Stroll the waterfront
With an eastern maritime climate, Halifax has short, warm summers and very cold winters. Summer, June through August, has pleasantly warm temperatures of about 73°F (23°C) and is the best time to visit. Winter temperatures of 32°F (0°C), along with vast amounts of snow, generally keep visitors away November through March.
Getting There & Around
The Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport is less than an hour north of the city and has direct flights to and from many major cities in Canada and the United States.
The Acadian Lines and Metro Transit provide both local and regional bus services in Halifax. The Metro Transit fare includes access to buses and ferries in the municipality.
Shakespeare by the Sea puts on works by the Bard every summer in Point Pleasant Park.Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is a venerable annual military procession held at Halifax Metro Centre.
Halifax International Busker Festival takes over the Boardwalk every August.
The Atlantic Film Festival takes place over ten days in September.
Halifax Pop Explosion is a dynamic independent music festival held in early October.
The Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre holds a number of important events throughout the year.
When To Go
Halifax has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Cold, snowy winters bring temperatures in the 16°F (-9°C) to 39°F (4°C) range from December to March.
Mild summers feature pleasant conditions from June to September and temperatures between 52°F (11°C) and 73°F (23°C).
Halifax receives about 60 in (1,500 mm) of precipitation (rain and snow) throughout the year, with relatively even distribution from one month to the next.
More Info On Getting Around
As the only big city in Atlantic Canada, Halifax is a vital transport hub. Halifax Stanfield International Airport is the 7th busiest in the country and handles close to 4 million passengers per annum. International destinations on the docket include London-Heathrow, Frankfurt, Reykjavik, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York-JFK, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago-O’Hare.
Via Rail Canada provides sleeper car service from Montreal to Halifax Railway Station. The journey takes about 22 hours.
The Metro Transit bus network serves the Halifax Regional Municipality at large and some 18.5 million passengers a year. The core area of the city is small enough to explore on foot, however.
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