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 welcomes visitors with costumed guides, stories and, of course, good ale.
Then walk (don’t drive!) from Keith’s to the boardwalk that follows the water’s edge of the world’s second largest ice-free harbour. Stretching from Pier 21 – the gateway into Canada for one million immigrants – to Casino Nova Scotia, you’ll pass unique shops, restaurants, and in the warmer months, graceful tall ships. Take the ferry across the harbour to the Dartmouth side which is filled with more locally-owned cafes, restaurants, and bars.
14 Don’t Miss Experiences
- Be 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 stores 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 for 2014.
- Skate or bike The Emera Oval. The long-track speed skating oval on the Halifax Common is an outdoor activity destination in summer and winter.
- Stroll through the fantastic flowers at Halifax Public Gardens
- Take in one of Canada’s best walks along the Halifax Waterfront
- 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, for secluded trails, a beautiful beach, and 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.
Get to Know Halifax
Pubs featuring Live Music
- The Carleton, Halifax
- Celtic Corner, Dartmouth
- The Company House, Halifax
- Durty Nelly’s, Halifax
- The Lower Deck, Halifax
- The Lower Deck, Clayton Park
- The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, Halifax
- The Seahorse Tavern, Halifax
- Stayner’s Wharf, 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
- Feel the wind at your back with Bluenose Sidecar 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
- Watch a beautiful sunset in Lower Prospect on an East Coast Outfitters kayak tour
- 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 NS
- Can’t decide between land and sea? The Harbour Hopper, which has a departure point located next to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, is a unique amphibious vehicle offering fun-filled tours.
- 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 or documenting your adventure in the city.
Restaurants that Feature Fresh, Local Ingredients
- Bistro Le Coq brings Parisian charm and comfort to the downtown Halifax dining scene, offering cozy and satisfying dinners, lunches, and weekend brunches with exquisite flavours and French flair.
- 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.
- At Chives Canadian Bistro enjoy extraordinary casual dining in a warm and chic interior with a hint of traditional French urban bistro décor. The menu changes seasonally and utilizes locally sourced product first.
- The Bicycle Thief offers North American food with Italian soul, stop by for lunch or supper, absorb the atmosphere and enjoy a glass of wine from the substantial and varied list.
- 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 your started. Click on the camera icon in the top right corner of the photos below to learn more.
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 andexplore the Peace Pavillion, pop into Just Us! Coffee for locally roasted coffee, 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 an impromtu 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 Flemind 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 con¬nects 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 out here. Enjoy the view!
- Point Pleasant Park - Joggers, dog-walkers, and cross-country skiers all flock to this 186- acre urban park year-round. The Shakespeare by the Sea theatre company stages al fresco performances from July 1 to Labour Day.
- Cole Harbour Heritage Park Trails - Ideal for hiking, biking, and birdwatching, this trail system meanders through woodlands, coastal marshes, and estuaries where flora and fauna abound.
- Shubie Park - Explore the many tree-lined trails bordering the banks of the historic Shubenacadie Canal on foot or by bike. 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, open year-round for family fun. Enjoy the fresh air and sounds of nature on horseback or take a relaxing wagon/sleigh ride.
- Explore one of the oldest working breweries in North America with costumed guides leading the way. There’ll be music, 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 is Nova Scotia’s only hands-on science centre—have fun with giant bubbles, fire triangles, bananas frozen by liquid nitrogen, and flying pie plates. New waterfront site set to open in fall 2016.
- Discover the natural wonders of Nova Scotia’s land and sea. Permanent and visiting exhibitions 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 Metro, 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 would be the largest man-made explosion until the nuclear bomb, killing 2,000 and injuring another 9,000.
The Black Cultural Centre in nearby Cherry Brook tells the stories of Nova Scotia’s Black communities, and celebrates history and culture that is part of our colourful mosaic.
But 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 huge hill in the middle of the city. You can’t miss it!
- Explore the fascinating history of black culture in Nova Scotia, which dates back to the 1600s at the Black Cultural Centre.
- 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