There’s just something perfectly endearing about Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Maybe it’s the bustling waterfront that comes alive during the summer months, or the fact that the city is steeped in history at every turn. Whatever it is, the maritime city has come a long way since its early days as a trading hub on the Atlantic, and has been charming visitors with its east coast hospitality ever since. For those making the trip to Nova Scotia’s capital, here are the top 10 things to do in Halifax.
#1: Walk along the waterfront
The best way to start any trip to Halifax is with a walk along the four-kilometre Harbourwalk, which winds along the colourful waterfront. Start off at the Historic Properties, where three blocks-worth of warehouses and Victorian-era buildings dating back to the 1700s have been beautifully restored. Not only do the facades make a nice backdrop, but they also house some of the city’s most popular dining spots including Lower Deck, Salty’s, Gahan House and COWS Creamery.
Continuing along the wharf, visitors pass an information centre, the harbour where boat tours and whale-watching excursion depart from, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which has a collection of artifacts from the Titanic. Halifax was the closest major port to where the storied ship sank, which is why all of the recovered bodies and wreckage eventually ended up in the city.
#2: Book an Alexander Keith’s brewery tour
Who likes a little history with their beer? Apparently a lot of people, which is why a tour of the Alexander Keith’s brewery is one of the most popular things to do in all of Halifax.
Founded in 1820 by Alexander Keith who served three terms as the city’s mayor, the brewery sits on Lower Street just off the waterfront. While production has since moved to a larger location off-site, actors in period costumes take guests around the historical property, outlining the company’s history, explaining the brewing process and of course, handing out lots of beer! In true east coast fashion, there’s also musical entertainment and stories.
#3: Eat at King of Donair
If it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain, there’s no question the rest of us should hightail it down to one of Halifax’s King of Donair locations and order one of their famous donairs immediately after arriving in town.
#4: Enjoy the view from the Citadel
Getting the best view usually means heading up—and in Halifax, that hilltop spot is the iconic Citadel. Built back in 1749 to protect the city, the star-shaped fort overlooks the harbour and is essentially responsible for the founding of Halifax, as the British military was drawn to the easily-defendable perch on what is now called Citadel Hill.