Exciting. Eclectic. Romantic. The heart of Halifax is perfect for exploring on foot with tree-lined streets, international restaurants, galleries and museums. Or you might choose to experience the sights and sounds of this seaside port by guided tour. Take a hop-on, hop-off double decker bus tour or a deluxe city tour by trolley. For those who wish to experience both land and sea, take a tour on an amphibious vehicle. Halifax has it all - from stimulating entertainment to fascinating historical landmarks. Here are a few examples of what you might see:
The Victorian Public Gardens - Established in 1867, this 17 acre park is a rare example of a formal Victorian public garden with many formal displays, statues and fountains.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site - One of the most visited National Historic Sites in Canada, the Citadel was built between 1828 and 1856 and functioned as the British Imperial bastion of control in North America for more than 75 years. It is an impressive star-shaped fortress complete with defensive moat, earthen ramparts, musketry gallery, powder magazine, garrison cells and much more.
Be a Soldier for the Day and learn about the weaponry and tactics used to defend British North America. March in the boots of one of Queen Victoria's soldiers during this unique historical experience. You can step back in time to 1870 and tour all three levels of the fortress. Then don the kilt and bonnet of the 78th Highlander Regiment and prepare to become a fully-fledged member of the Queen's garrison. Share a soldier's meal in the Barracks with your fellow soldiers.
Historic Properties - Stretching over three city blocks, these timberframe buildings and stone warehouses were originally built in the late 1700s and early 1800s to safeguard the booty captured by the privateers. Today, the Historic Properties bustle with visitors and shoppers drawn to the picturesque buildings and numerous unique boutiques and restaurants.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - Commemorates the city's vital link with the sea and seafaring life. This museum proudly displays over 20,000 maritime artifacts, including an exhibit on shipwreck treasures, an excellent collection of small crafts, a reconstructed 19th-century ship chandlery, as well as displays commemorating the catastrophes of the Halifax Explosion and the 'unsinkable' Titanic.
Pier 21 National Historic Site - Experience the stories of Canada's immigrants. From 1928 to 1971 more than 1 million immigrants, troops, war brides and displaced persons passed through these doors. View the interactive displays, the 4-D film, virtual train ride with first hand accounts and more.
Alexander Keith's Brewery - The oldest working brewery in North America will take you back in time while animators in period costume regale you with stories about Alexander Keith, the brewhouse and history.
Nova Scotian Crystal - Watch as Canada's only crystal makers blow and cut beautiful pieces of stemware, vases, bowls and glasses. Nova Scotian Crystal is dedicated to preserving the fine art of creating traditional mouth-blown, hand-cut crystal.
Located on Cape Breton Island, 'Nova Scotia's Masterpiece', the vibrant port city of Sydney will answer your quest for history, culture and modern day pursuits. Experience centuries' worth of excitement in a single day. Take a walking tour of Sydney, beginning with the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design. Be certain to stop by Cossit House, where interpreters in period costume will guide you through the rooms of Sydney's oldest house. Built in 1787, it is filled with 19th century period furniture. Jost House, built in 1786, houses some unique Victorian furnishings and illustrates the evolution of a wooden structure over two centuries. If you stroll the Waterfront Boardwalk, you may discover an impromptu musical concert taking place. And be certain to visit St. Patrick's Church Museum, the oldest stone Catholic church on Cape Breton Island. And further afield, you can discover many more Cape Breton treasures.
Cape Breton Miners Museum
The Cape Breton Miners Museum pays tribute to the region's long and rich coal mining history. Visitors will hear stories directly from the miners and their families. Learn all about the resource that helped build Canada. Go deep underground for a firsthand tour of the Ocean Deeps Colliery. It is an experience like no other!
Fort Petrie Military Museum
During the Second World War, Sydney Harbour was a key strategic port against a German invasion and acted as the assembly point for convoys to England. The Fort Petrie Military Museum honours this military history that helped to win the war. The museum boasts a 13-acre site, two stories of underground fortifications, WWII gun emplacements and the observation post museum.
The living history museum and cultural centre of the Highland Village at Iona welcomes guests throughout the year. Here they'll explore North America's Scottish roots in this picturesque 43-acre hillside village that overlooks the world-renowned Bras d'Or Lakes. It is a destination that celebrates the Gaelic experience in Nova Scotia and brings the rich Scottish history to life with costumed animators, period buildings, artifacts and even farm animals.
You will find a wide range of culinary delights in Nova Scotia - something to suit your every taste and desire. Settle into a cozy tearoom for a melt-in-your-mouth homemade blueberry scone and a pot of tea. Dive into a bowl of creamy seafood chowder overflowing with succulent shrimp, lobster and scallops fresh from the sea. Or sit back and relax in a luxurious dining room while you savour scrumptious dishes created by award-winning chefs with fresh, local ingredients. For yet another tastebud treat, visit one of Nova Scotia's top wineries for a tasting of their world-class vintages or award-winning ice wines.
Experience one of Nova Scotia's unique adventures on the Shubenacadie River. Travel downstream at low tide enjoying the scenic beauty of the tidal river where you will likely see the magnificent bald eagles who nest here. See nature at its fullest as you venture over the world-famous tidal bore. Encounter the power of the advancing tide from the Bay of Fundy overtaking the natural flow of the river. Watch in wonder as a small stream reverses into a turbulent river and the wet and wild adventure begins as you ride the roller-coaster rapids over and over following the incoming tide back to where you started!
Take a half day tour to the 'most photographed lighthouse in Canada', Peggy's Cove. This picturesque village stands on a rocky granite coast, high above the crashing surf. The Peggy's Cove lighthouse is the only one in North America containing a working post office.
The town of Lunenburg was once one of the busiest shipbuilding towns in North America and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Explore the Fisheries Museum and learn about the famous Bluenose II and take the opportunity for a guided tour of the town to see the unique architecture for which Lunenburg is famous.
Lobsters & Lunenburg
Board a real working lobster boat with a traditional lobsterman and experience a rare opportunity as you go out into the harbour and help haul up the lobster traps. Learn all about the different trap styles, the life cycle of the lobster and conservation and then return to shore for a traditional lobster lunch right on the Lunenburg waterfront. You might learn how to cook and crack a lobster!
Take a half-day sea kayaking adventure for a unique Nova Scotia experience. Your adventure begins with coastal kayaking through a myriad of islands, inlets and passages. Watch for sightings of whales, seals and eagles as you make your way along.
This half day tour takes you to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Cape Breton Island countryside and the world's most comprehensive collection of Alexander Graham Bell's scientific and humanitarian achievements.
The Bell Museum, located in Baddeck displays hundreds of artifacts, personal mementos and photographs which speak to Bell's life. There will be ample time to explore the village of Baddeck and its various gift shops on your own.
The largest historic reconstruction in North America, the Fortress Louisbourg was originally built in 1745 and was the centre of french power in the region. Declared a National Historic Site in 1928, the reconstruction has been done in conjunction with painstaking research of documents, plans and maps from the archives of France, England, Scotland, the United States and Canada. Louisbourg is a faithful reproduction of the original, even down to the soldiers and civilians in 18th-century dress who work and behave exactly as their counterparts did more than 200 years ago.