Halifax Metro Region
For a city with more pubs and clubs per capita than almost any city in Canada, it’s fitting that our most famous brewmaster was also our mayor. Three times. Alexander Keith’s original 1820 brewery continues to welcome visitors with costumed guides, stories and, of course, good ale.
Walk across the street from Keith’s Brewery to the Halifax waterfront boardwalk that follows the water’s edge alongside the world’s second largest ice-free harbour. Stretching from the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 – the gateway into Canada for over one million immigrants – to Casino Nova Scotia, you’ll pass unique shops, restaurants, and in the warmer months, graceful tall ships. Hop aboard the ferry, North America's longest running saltwater ferry, in fact, and cross the harbour to the Dartmouth side which is filled with more locally-owned shops, galleries, cafés, restaurants, and pubs. A visit to Halifax is not complete without trying the fabled donair, the official food of Halifax.
15 Don’t Miss Experiences
- Become a soldier for a day at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.
- Visit a 200-year-old restored fishing village at Fisherman’s Cove.
- Hear captivating sea stories from small to the Titanic at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.
- Discover the stories of over 1 million immigrants who landed in Halifax at Pier 21.
- Explore the new Halifax Cental Library, named as one of CNN's 10 eye-popping new buildings in 2014.
- Skate (in the winter), rollerblade and bike (the rest of the year) on the Emera Oval. This long-track speed skating oval on the Halifax Commons is a year-round outdoor activity destination!
- Stroll through the beautiful Victorian gardens and grounds at Halifax Public Gardens
- Take in one of Canada’s best walks along the Halifax Waterfront boardwalk.
- Be inspired by Atlantic Canada’s largest art collection at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
- Ride the oldest running saltwater ferry service in North America (second oldest in the world) when you take the ferry between Dartmouth and Halifax.
- Experience the craftsmanship of Canada's only mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal maker, NovaScotian Crystal on the Halifax Waterfront.
- Venture to McNabs Island, located at the mouth of the Halifax Harbour, to hike along secluded trails, a beautiful beach, and around a historic fort.
- Explore the oldest continuously running farmers' market in North America at the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market.
- Visit Alderney Landing on the Dartmouth Waterfront and peruse the shops, art gallery, community theatre, and restaurants. On Saturday mornings, the Alderney Landing Farmers' Market is a popular spot to shop with local producers and artisans alike.
- For the golfer - you have plenty of golfing choices to make while golfing in Halifax Metro.
Get to Know Halifax
Pubs featuring Live Music
- The Carleton Music Bar & Grill, Halifax
- Celtic Corner Public House, Dartmouth
- Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub, Halifax
- The Lower Deck Pub, Beer Market & Tap Room, Halifax
- The Lower Deck Bar & Grill, Clayton Park
- The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, Halifax
- The Seahorse Tavern, Halifax
- Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill, Halifax
- The Stubborn Goat Gastropub, Halifax
10 Ways to Tour Halifax
- Taste the diversity of the local food scene of downtown Halifax with Local Tasting Tours
- Discover Halifax on foot on a walking tour... or a ghost walk... with Tattle Tours.
- Get a new view of Halifax by taking a McNab’s Island tour with Great E.A.R.T.H. Expeditions
- Experience the city by bicycle with a tour or rental from I Heart Bikes
- Paddle along the vibrant Halifax Harbourfront and explore the historic harbour islands with Kayak Halifax
- Take in the rugged coastal scenery from a 4X4 Jeep with Open Top Tours
- Turn heads as you glide along the Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts with Segway Nova Scotia
- Can’t decide between land and sea? The Harbour Hopper is a unique amphibious vehicle offering fun-filled 55 minute tours of downtown Halifax and in Halifax Harbour.
- Children of all ages can explore the “Big Harbour” aboard Theodore Too, a full-size replica of the title character from the award-winning children’s television series, Theodore Tugboat.
- Take a personalized photography tour with Picture Perfect Tours, capturing Halifax highlights and documenting your adventure in the city.
Restaurants that Feature Fresh, Local Ingredients
- Agricola Street Brasserie is an urban restaurant and bar serving locally supplied, seasonal home-style cooking where all charcuterie, breads, jams, sauces and desserts are made in house and 12 local beers are on tap
- Brooklyn Warehouse is located in Halifax’s North End. Here you’ll find a laid-back bistro atmosphere and a farm-to-table attitude infused into the hearty dishes and dining experience.
- Discover cousin restaurants, Chives Canadian Bistro, 2 Doors Down Food + Wine, and 2 Doors Down Bar + Bites to enjoy extraordinary seasonally influenced menus featuring locally sourced products.
- Highwayman Restaurant & Bar, a 40 seat restaurant on Barrington Street, serves Spanish-inspired dishes and the highest quality spirits, wine and beer.
- At Seasons by Atlantica enjoy fresh local cuisine, live entertainment, a warm urban décor, a stunning view of the Halifax Common, and an unparalleled commitment to service excellence.
- Stories at The Halliburton is a must for any foodie. Stories offers locally produced seafood, game, and more in an intimate setting.
Best Photo Spots in Halifax
Looking for the best spots to take photos in Halifax? We've pulled together some of the most popular photo spots to get you started.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Its position overlooking the harbour below is what led the British military to found Halifax in 1749. Today, the Halifax Citadel continues to watch over the city’s downtown core, serving as a reminder of Halifax’s past. Tour the grounds and interact with costumed interpreters and be sure to plug your ears for the noon gun!
Halifax Public Gardens, Halifax
One of North America’s finest examples of a Victorian Garden and dating back to 1836, the Halifax Public Gardens is located on 17-acres and enclosed by a wrought-iron fence with a magnificent set of ornamental gates. Stroll through the gardens to view many floral displays, trees, shrubs, statues, and fountains.
Dartmouth Waterfront, Dartmouth
Stroll along the Dartmouth Waterfront and explore the Peace Pavillion and be sure to take in the amazing harbour views. Stop in Alderney Landing, a popular cultural and performing arts centre that is home to an art gallery, local vendors, restaurants, and weekend farmers' and craft markets. For added adventure, hop on the longest running saltwater ferry service in North America for a harbour tour of the Halifax Harbour.
Point Pleasant Park, Halifax
Point Pleasant Park, a historic 77 hectare wooded park with 39 km of easy, winding trails and wide paths, is rented from the British Government for 1 shilling (about 10 cents) per year, with a 999-year lease. Park visitors can experience preserved ruins of early fortifications, beautiful water views and coastal ecosystems.
Walk the boardwalk along the Halifax waterfront to discover everything from unique shops and popular restaurants to Halifax’s rich history when you visit Canada’s Immigration Museum at Pier 21 and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic where Halifax’s connection to the Titanic and the last of the WWII convoy escort corvettes live.
The Dingle Tower, with its bronze lions at the foot, overlooks the Northwest Arm from the centre of the Sir Sandford Fleming Park, a 95-acre park in Halifax. The park was donated to Halifax in 1908 by Sir Sandford Fleming, creator of Standard Time Zones.
- Rum Runners Trail - Hop on a bike and pedal-power your way from Halifax to Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 109-kilometre multi-use trail along an abandoned rail line connects Head of St. Margaret’s Bay, Hubbards, Chester, and Mahone Bay.
- McNabs Island Provincial Park - A quick boat trip from Eastern Passage will deliver you to over 22 kilometres of hiking trails. Pack a picnic lunch, because there are no services on the island. Enjoy the view!
- Point Pleasant Park - Joggers, dog-walkers, and cross-country skiers all flock to this 186-acre urban park year-round. In the summer months, be sure to take in an alfresco performance by the Shakespeare by the Sea theatre company.
- Cole Harbour Heritage Park Trails - Ideal for hiking, biking, and birdwatching, this trail system meanders through woodlands, coastal marshes, and estuaries.
- Shubie Park - Explore on foot or by bike the many tree-lined trails bordering the banks of the historic Shubenacadie Canal. The extensive walking paths, lakes, and a sandy beach make Shubie Park an ideal destination year-round.
- Hatfield Farm Cowboy Adventures - A fifth-generation family-run farm, Hatfield Farm is open year-round for family fun. Enjoy the fresh air and sounds of nature on horseback or take a relaxing wagon/sleigh ride.
- The Halifax Commons - Canada's oldest urban park is located near downtown Halifax and is home to the Emera Oval, sport fields, skateboard park, and more.
- Explore one of the oldest working breweries in North America with knowledgeable guides leading the way. There’ll be stories, games and, yes, beer at Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery.
- Explore hundreds of aviation artifacts including aircrafts and simulators, from the earliest balloons and gliders to modern airplanes at the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum.
- Enjoy gaming and entertainment at its best at Casino Nova Scotia.
- The Discovery Center features four floors of interactive, hands-on learning experiences including an Immersive Dome Theatre, Innovation Lab and Featured Exhibit gallery that invites traveling exhibits 3-4 times a year.
- Discover the natural wonders of Nova Scotia’s land and sea through permanent and visiting exhibits that are complemented by interpretive programs for all ages at The Museum of Natural History.
- Hear stories of Nova Scotia sport and sport heroes, including the popular Sidney Crosby collection, at The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
History is as thick as fog in Halifax, and the region has long been a preferred port of call. The Mi’kmaq spent the summers here hunting and fishing, and after the city’s founding in 1749, sailors would haunt the rough & tumble taverns known as grog shops.
Halifax was a key player in many armed conflicts including the War of 1812. These struggles hit too close to home during World War I, when a French munitions ship exploded after colliding with a Belgian relief ship. The Halifax Explosion, the largest man-made explosion until the nuclear bomb, killed 2,000 and injured another 9,000. Discover more on the Halifax Explosion along with Halifax's connection to the Titanic when you visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax Waterfront.
Don’t worry if you get lost in time or place - it’s easy to re-orient yourself here. Just look for the Halifax Citadel, the massive, star-shaped fortress carved into the hill in the middle of the city. You can’t miss it!
Some other important, historical places of interest are:
- Explore the fascinating history of black culture in Nova Scotia, which dates back to the 1600s at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook.
- At the Africville Museum you can learn the story of Africville, an African Nova Scotian community that was de¬stroyed in the 1960s.
- At York Redoubt National Historic Site you can explore a 200-year-old fortification perched above the harbour. This unique heritage treasure features tunnels, muzzle-loading guns, WWII Command Post, a panoramic view of the harbour, interpretive panels, and walking trails.
- Uniacke Estate Museum Park is a 19th-century country mansion with breathtaking grounds that offer walking trails through lovely woodlands.
- History, folklore, and art mingle at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum.
- The Maritime Command Museum was built in the early 1800s and houses a library of over 50,000 volumes, archives, and a permanent collection dis¬playing historical artifacts including model ships, weapons, photos, and medals