I arrived in Halifax on a Monday evening and I just missed the $22CAN shuttle into town. The next one was coming in nearly 2 hours, so I decided to take the city bus for $3.50. You do have the option to take a cab for $65.00, but I prefer to use all that money for something more important. The bus ride was easy and I had a nice view of surrounding areas and Dartmouth before arriving into the core of Halifax. The bus ride had a couple of easy transfer points and it took about one hour.
When I arrived at my hotel the sun was starting to set and it was a good time to have my dinner and then head out for a walk around the waterfront. Halifax is the largest city in Canada’s Atlantic provinces. I was excited to be by the ocean and experience this quant city with an urban population of just over 315,000 people. Nova Scotia is a very small province with a lot to do. I had only 2 days to pack in what I felt would make for a sweet trip because you know I like to have short and sweet trips. So here we go, this was my itinerary.
Visit the waterfront
Halifax is a very walkable city. I stayed at the Atlantica Hotel and walked about 20 minutes to get to the waterfront. On my way, I walked through the beautiful Public Gardens, which is just across from the Veterans Memorial Cemetary. Then I reached the Central Library, which draws attention from around the world. The architecture is funky and quite a free-spirited space as noted in Where magazine. When you get to the waterfront you will find tourists and locals taking in all the shopping, services, and excellent dining options. The waterfront has really cute little houses and storage units where the vendors are set up selling ice cream, Canadian pastries like Beavertails, and seafood. You will also find storage unit converted into shops selling kayak rentals, and other sporting goods.
While you are on the Atlantic coast you have to eat lobster. We ate at Bicycle Thief and indulged in the seafood platter. I give this restaurant 5 stars for everything that you can think of, even the music on their playlist had me slow dancing with my husband before we left the restaurant.
Have a Donair
We were told to have a donair in Halifax, which struck me by surprise. As I flipped through the visitors guide, it was confirmed that a place called King of Donair was winner as the official food of Halifax. Say what? On that note, we had to have one. The serving size was quite small, but enough to fill me. The meat was so flavourful, but they don’t add any veggies in the donair like I am used to. King of Donair does not do any chicken donairs, so they told us to go up the street (we were in Dartmouth) to Robert’s Donair on Windmill Road. The owner was extremely hospitable and everything was made to order fresh. The chicken donair was fantastic and deserves an award too.
Drive out to Peggy’s Cove
We wanted to head up to Cape Breton, but we will have to save that venture for next time we visit this magnificent province. We were super tight on time so on Tuesday evening we drove out to the fishing village of Peggy’s Cove, which was only about 1 hour away from Halifax. Here you will find the famous lighthouse and enormous rocks that you can walk along and take great pictures. Be careful here as the rocks can get slippery and you want to be here in the day time or at least well before the sunset. There is a community that lives nearby in a variety of cute colourful houses, which are picture worthy too.
Take another short trip to Crystal Crescent Beach
As Nova Scotia is a coastal province, there are so many beaches to discover. Whichever beach you choose, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Crystal Crescent Beach has three white sandy beautiful beaches along the stretch with a cool breeze. The drive is only about 90 minutes from Halifax. On your way there, you will drive through a village called Lahave. Stop at Lahave Bakery for fresh pastries, breads, breakfast or lunch. I had the oatmeal cranberry scone and a blueberry muffin. This is probably the best scone I’ve ever had! I also found something called Fundy Dulse. I had never heard of it until that day. It is a red seaweed that grows attached to the rocks in the North Atlantic. I bought a bag to bring home with me. I put it on my salad and it is very tasty.
Visit the Citadel Historical Site
This historic site was built in 1856. It is a fort that overlooks the city and the harbour. This fort was occupied by the British army until 1906 and by Canadian forces during the world wars. It is now operated by Parks Canada and is one of the most visited national historic sites in Canada.
Take a very short drive to Africville/Seaview Park
This neighbourhood is just a few minutes drive from the waterfront as it is on the edge of the shipping docks. Africville held the black community of first settlers in Halifax and sadly this community was bulldozed out and their land was taken away from them in the 1960s. The museum here is a replica of the historic Seaview Baptist Church that stood on this site. The tragedy that occurred here is a shameful piece of Canadian history. When you complete your tour, you may get a chance to speak to Canada’s longest protester in history, Eddie Carvery. He has a silent demonstration with his trailers on the edge of the property and he usually sits there with his dog. I spoke to him for about 30 minutes as he shared his life stories with me. He is now 71 years old and has been protesting for 50 years.
Just like that the time was up. I was filled with joy on this trip and I would definitely go back.
Have you been to Nova Scotia? What did you love about the province?