With its picturesque natural harbour (one of the largest in the world), Halifax has a long and proud maritime history which is certainly worth exploring when you arrive. But there’s more to discover in the largest city of the Maritimes than its nautical past.
Things to See and Do in Halifax
The main attraction is almost certainly the Halifax Citadel. Fort George dates from 1749 and played an important role in the defence of the Royal Navy Dockyard. Today, it has been restored to the Victorian period and is home to an excellent museum.
Due to its location, Halifax is a great spot from which to launch a whale watching tour. There are a number of firms to choose from in your quest to spot an orca, minke, beluga, or humpback.
For another dose of culture, head to the city’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic or Art Gallery. The Maritime Museum is particularly good and has a section dedicated to the Titanic (survivors were brought to Halifax after the sinking) as well as the Halifax Explosion. In 1917, 2,000 people were killed and over 9,000 injured after a cargo ship carrying high explosives collided with another vessel.
Exploring Nova Scotia
Take North America’s oldest saltwater ferry to Dartmouth and explore the “City of Lakes”. Lake Banook and the Shubenacadie Canal are particularly popular.
Alternatively, make your way to Yarmouth on Nova Scotia’s south western tip. Close to the famous Georges Bank, it’s not surprising Yarmouth is a fishing port. Famous for receiving Canada’s largest lobster landings every year, the town has a great boardwalk with views of the boats. To find out more about the town’s past, there are a number of excellent museums to visit.