There are many fun things to do in Halifax. Despite the more contemporary skyscrapers, Halifax is yet ruled by a celebrity object citadel perched on a hill. The city serves as both the administrative and commercial center for the Maritime provinces of Canada as well as a significant research centre, hosting no fewer than six colleges and universities in all. It serves as Nova Scotia’s capital as well.
Parkland, bridges, and docks, and industries run the full length of its beautiful natural port, which is deeply carved into the Atlantic coastline. Many activities to do in Halifax—from its boisterous nightlife scene, which is peppered with marine music, to its museums and tourist attractions—have something to do with the city’s close links to the sea. The port and the city’s seafaring past still influence daily life in Halifax.
Throughout both World Wars, Halifax acted as a hub for convoys, allowing ships to travel farther across the Atlantic security and defend themselves against German U-boat attacks. Before the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, the collision between the Belgian “Imo” and the “Mont-Blanc” French weapons ship in 1917 that had made it to enrol one of these convoys caused the greatest explosion in history.
The entire northern part of Halifax was destroyed, killing 1,400 people and leaving 9,000 people injured. As far out as Truro, which is around 100 kilometers distant, windows were broken.
Halifax has deeper connections to the sea and ships since it was the port most directly affected by the Titanic accident and a major entrance point for European immigrants. The city’s bustling present is just as much pleasure to discover as its historical past, even though you can still witness vestiges of both as you wander. With the help of this list of the greatest tourist destinations and activities in Halifax, you can discover the ideal locations to visit.
12 Best Fun Things to Do in Halifax-
1. Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, built in 1856, dominates the center of the city. Although it was never in a war, this British fort from the 19th century is a superb example.
Visiting Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax out of all the fun things to do in Halifax.
The 3rd Brigade Royal Artillery, along with the 78th Highlanders families’ daily lives, as they were stationed here, are portrayed by interpreters who interact with visitors while wearing red British costumes in the summer.
Children adore Citadel Adventures because it allows them to spy on the enemy, exercise as they march, and test out the drums. After hours, tours share some of the many ghost stories associated with the Citadel.
The Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, the port, Dartmouth, Little Georges Island, and the city are all visible from the fortress via a route that ascends the slope.
2. Mcnabs and Lawlor Island Provincial Park And Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
2.1. Mcnabs and Lawlor Island Provincial Park
Lawlor Island Provincial Park and The McNabs are situated at Halifax Harbour’s entrance. Visitors arrive at this natural region via ferry boat, where they may go hiking, bird watching, or learn a little history.
Exploring Mcnabs and Lawlor Island Provincial Park is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax.
Lawlor Island is not accessible to the general public, but McNab Island has Fort McNab, a national historic site, and 400 acres of the woodland area.
Summer houses, the lighthouse at Maugers Beach, and a long-abandoned teahouse currently being repaired to serve as the island’s hub for outdoor education and community activities are all heritage structures.
2.2. Halifax Seaport Farmers Market
The Halifax Farmers’ Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in North America, founded in 1750. The Halifax, Nova Scotia, market has been hosted in a variety of places over the years, including Keith’s Brewery Building at 1496 Lower Water Street.
Visit the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market for a fantastic assortment of fresh produce and locally sourced foods. The market has 250 merchants selling everything from fresh seafood to local cheeses and handcrafted pastries so that foodies will be right at home.
3. Halifax Harbourfront and Halifax Waterfront
3.1. Halifax Harbourfront
Halifax Harbour sits on Canada’s Atlantic coast, in the Halifax Regional Municipality, a sizable natural harbour. Visiting Halifax Harbourfront is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax.
A large portion of Halifax’s downtown waterfront has a boardwalk running the length of it, where vintage boats, little sailboats, tugboats, and ferries arrive and leave.
The area known as “Historic Properties” has undergone renovations to become a charming walkway area with stone warehouses from the nineteenth century and former dock structures that are now used as cheery shops, artist studios, eateries and apartments with balconies that overlook the harbour.
Halifax relies heavily on its port, one of the world’s largest and deepest ice-free natural harbours. Before the Confederation, it was one of the most major commercial ports on the Atlantic coast. An appealing mall has been created by covering the square between two warehouses.
The streets are closed to regular traffic.
A summer night at the port is a romantic spot to wander with outdoor cafes and lively nautical music in the air. There are boats to see, shops to browse, and restaurants offering fresh seafood available during the day.
3.2. Halifax Waterfront
In the city, the Halifax Waterfront is a thriving hub. Due to one of the world’s longest urban boardwalks, which stretches 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) along the waterfront from Pier 21 at the Halifax Seaport to Casino Nova Scotia, it is simple to spend a day sightseeing here.
One of Nova Scotia’s most popular tourist attractions is the Halifax Waterfront. Take a stroll along the roughly 4-kilometre promenade that connects Casino Nova Scotia to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
Explore museums along the way, peruse quaint shops, eat at waterfront restaurants, take a harbour tour, board a ferry to Dartmouth, observe vessels of all kinds arrive and go, attend a festival, and finish the day on a patio while the sun sets over the harbour.
4. Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, in the city’s center, is the largest art museum in the Atlantic provinces. The museum is home to a permanent collection of more than 13,000 pieces of international and maritime visual art.
One of the best things to do in Halifax, out of all the great things to do in Halifax, is to explore the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Maud Lewis, a folk artist from Nova Scotia, is the subject of a substantial exhibition, and the museum has a collection of her colourfully painted shed-sized home.
The gallery also hosts fantastic temporary exhibitions covering various subjects, such as the artwork of the newest artists in the province or artists’ greeting cards.
5. Pier 21 National Historic Site
When Pier 21 served as the immigration shed, more than a million immigrants entered Canada between 1928 and 1971. Exhibits at the interpretive center examine the immigrant experience from leaving one’s home country to assimilating into a new one.
Thanks to interactive exhibitions, people of all ages are intrigued by the first-person tales of immigrants from all over the world who left their homes and came to begin new lives in Canada. Children can don historical attire, pretend to cross the Atlantic in a ship’s cabin model, and ride on a train that brought immigrants to their new homes in the west. There are excellent views of Georges Island’s lighthouse from the windows.
The nearby Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is stocked with fresh local fare. On the roof, there is a picnic space that is accessible every day.
6. Point Pleasant Park
One of Halifax’s most picturesque walking areas is Tip Pleasant Park, which is situated on the city peninsula’s southernmost point. Tall trees, winding trails, and stunning vistas of Halifax Harbour and the North West Arm are all aspects of this natural environment.
Exploring Point Pleasant Park is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax.
Vehicle access is prohibited. Numerous wartime artifacts and historical relics can be found inside the park. Prince Edward constructed the Prince of Wales Tower, a circular stone tower, in 1796. The “Martello Tower” was a first for North America.
The primary concept was to construct a fortified unit that could defend itself, complete with incredibly strong stone walls and a retractable stairway leading to the first floor, as well as housing for soldiers, a storehouse, and cannon mountings.
7. Day Trip to Peggy’s Cove
A beautiful tiny bay called Peggy’s Cove may be found 43 kilometres southwest of Halifax on the untamed Atlantic coast.
A narrow bay with colourful homes along it is surrounded by granite boulders and finished by a thundering sea. The waters around here are hazardous and prone to rogue waves, even on a beautiful day with little wind. Therefore, heed the warnings and avoid the damp rocks.
Visiting Peggy’s Cove is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax out of all fun things to do in Halifax.
Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, one of Nova Scotia’s most famous monuments and probably the most photographed lighthouse in Canada, completes the picturesque ensemble above the settlement. You can anticipate the area to be congested with tourists due to its popularity; try going early in the morning or late in the afternoon after the inevitable tour buses have already left.
Despite being known as a must-see location, Peggy’s Cove is a lively small fishing village.
In September 1998, a Swissair jet crashed into the water near Peggy’s Cove, killing 229 people. The incident is memorialized.
8. Province House
The seat of Nova Scotia’s Parliament, which has existed since 1758, is located in Province House, a Georgian sandstone structure that was finished in 1819. The “Red Chamber,” where the Council previously convened, as well as the parliament building and the library—which boasts two great staircases—were all included in the guided tour.
Here, Joseph Howe defended himself against the accusation of slander in 1835. It is thought that his acquittal marked the start of a free press in Nova Scotia. Later, he entered politics and spearheaded the opposition to confederation, but he eventually joined the dominion administration in Ottawa.
9. CSS Acadia and HMCS Sackville
The Canadian Scientific Ship CSS Acadia, presently docked at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, was the first vessel specifically built to explore Canada’s northern waterways. In 1913, it was constructed for the Canadian Hydrographic Service. Her career, however, went far beyond studying Hudson Bay’s ice-covered seas.
The only ship still floating today that was harmed in the 1917 Halifax Explosion while serving as a guard ship in Halifax Harbor is Acadia.
Acadia, which was in 1939 was recommissioned as a warship and operated as a patrol ship and training ship throughout the fight is the only ship still in existence to have fought in both World Wars for the Royal Canadian Navy.
The HMCS Sackville, the last Flower Class corvette still in existence, is berthed nearby and is intriguing to anybody interested in ships or naval history, even though it is not a part of the museum.
The Sackville, a Canadian Naval Memorial that has been restored to its pre-war state, serves as a museum and a memorial and a monument to those who lost their lives during the Battle of the Atlantic
This is one of numerous convoy escort boats constructed in Canada, and the UK during World War II and is the longest-serving battleship in Canada. Halifax is a suitable choice because it served as a key assembly site for the convoys.
10. Halifax Public Gardens
The seven-hectare park where the Halifax Public Gardens are located first welcomed visitors in 1867. The gardens, which feature elegant traditional flowerbeds, a concert hall, fountains, and statues are good examples of Victorian horticulture.
The garden ponds serve as a haven for ducks and other wildlife. In addition to Sunday afternoon performances in the bandstand from mid-June to mid-September, the garden offers free weekly tours that highlight its history and plant life. The entry is marked by large iron gates on Spring Garden Road.
11. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look into Halifax Harbor through its collection of toy boats, model ships, artwork, and maritime relics. The sinking of the Titanic and Halifax’s role as the port where the survivors were transported are two of its most well-liked exhibits. It is one of the fun things to do in Halifax.
All of these historical events, including the great Halifax Explosion in 1917 that completely devastated the city, World War II Convoys, the Days of Sail to the Age of Steam, and small craft boatbuilding, are the topic of displays. Along with its static exhibitions, the museum provides a range of interactive activities, art events, and performances.
12. Take a Harbor Cruise
When visiting Halifax, it would be a pity to miss seeing it for the first time like so many others did, entering from the water with the Citadel’s ramparts towering over the historic port. This water vista can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
Taking a tour on Harbor Cruise is one of the most fun things to do in Halifax out of all the fun things to do in Halifax.
On the tugboat Theodore, you may enjoy a harbour tour; on the 40-meter Tall Ship Silva, you can sail through it while you help lift the sails.
When you’re in Dartmouth, should check out Quaker House, the sole remaining residence of the settling Quaker whalers there in 1785, as well as the Shearwater Museum of Aviation, which houses a collection of exquisitely restored vintage planes, aviation artifacts, and a flight simulator where you can practice your flying abilities.
If you’d like a guided tour of the port, you may opt to assist raise the sails on a 130-foot schooner that is a part of a Tall Ship Silva Sailing Cruise. You can even take a turn at the helm. The Harbour Bridge, Fort George, McNab’s Island, and Point Pleasant Park are just a few landmarks you’ll pass as you cruise by to unwind and learn about Halifax’s nautical heritage.
The Halifax Harbour Hopper Tour is a distinctive way to see the city’s attractions, taking you around the important monuments on land and in water in an amphibious Vietnam War vehicle.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading about the fascinating, amusing, and distinctive places to visit in Halifax and the fun things to do in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Halifax is home to some fantastic tourist attractions and a wealth of historical information. Halifax offers a wide range of wonderful alternatives, including parks, mountains, museums, and other attractions. Make travel arrangements to Halifax as soon as you can.