Keep Busy On A Short Stay In Halifax Nova Scotia
We found a lot to see and do in a short stay in Halifax. The waterfront offered so many options for the whole family. We found historical sites and maritime tradition as we explored the city. And we took several day trips from Halifax and explored more of Nova Scotia.
Halifax was a great stop on our road trip around Atlantic Canada.
We Started In Sydney, Nova Scotia
When we finished our visit to New Brunswick, we drove straight to Sydney on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The weather was grey and unlike most travel days, we did not meander along the way. We arrived at our waterfront hotel and settled in for two days.
The first night was cloudy but dry so we wandered out and enjoyed a great patio dinner at the Governors Pub. A local band entertained us through the seafood meal.
We wandered along the waterfront and enjoyed the variety of outdoor art we found. The Merchant Mariners Memorial was a tribute to the sailors on merchant ships that brought equipment and supplies to the Allied forces in Europe during WWII. The Big Fiddle at the Cruise Ship Terminal was a tribute to the folk music and traditions of the province’s Celtic community.
On our second day, we abandoned our plans to drive around the Cabot Trail. Early in the day fog covered the coast and later in the day the rain pounded down. We hoped to do the Cabot Trail drive later on our trip around Eastern Canada.
Our ferry to Newfoundland left and arrived back at North Sydney. When we came back from our stay in Newfoundland, we were off the ferry early in the morning. We planned to drive the coastal route into Halifax. But felt we had time to drive along the Cabot Trail from Cape Breton. Unfortunately the weather was rainy and we sadly passed again on this iconic drive in Nova Scotia.
Coastal Route Into Halifax
Even with the rain we did not abandon our plans to do the coastal route to Halifax. A short stop in Antigonish at the Tall and Small Cafe warmed us up with coffee and a snack.
As we drove along the shore, we wished for the idyllic views out to sea. But mostly we saw fog. We finally found a covered picnic table at Moses River and we stopped for a quick lunch in the rain.
Our route took us into Dartmouth. We crossed the Angus L MacDonald Bridge and got our first view of Halifax across the inlet. Later on our visit we saw a ferry that crossed between the two cities. We planned to return to Dartmouth to explore more. But we ran out of time on this stay in Halifax.
We saw out hotel right on the waterfront as we crossed. We were excited when we checked in to explore Halifax for several days.
A Great Harbourfront Stay In Halifax
We were booked into the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront. Our elite status with Marriott got us an upgraded room on a higher floor. We again booked a travel package and made good use of the gas card that came with the package.
The elite breakfast at the hotel offered a great menu with lots of choices. The hotel restaurant provided great good options for all meals and an outdoor patio too. We were always well fuelled up during our stay in Halifax.
Wander Along The Halifax Waterfront
From out hotel we strolled out along the boardwalk on the waterfront. We stopped at the colourful signs that showed us where we were. Along the boardwalk we found patios and seating areas set up for a view of the water.
We loved all the activities to keep families entertained. And a wide variety of ways to tour the city and the water. If we got hungry, there were always spots along the waterfront to stop. We got our first taste of Cows Ice Cream. But found so much more of this great brand when we visited Prince Edward Island (PEI).
When we toured new cities, we were always on the lookout for colourful outdoor art. In many places along the waterfront and in town we were not disappointed.
We loved wandering along the waterfront on our short stay in Halifax.
Learn About The History Of Halifax
As a port town, Halifax played significant roles throughout the history of Canada. We got our first view of the Citadel on the hill on our walk along the waterfront. On another day we drove up and got a closer view.
This National Historic Site was founded by the English in 1749 and was originally called Fort George. Four fortifications protected the city and the harbour. Today the 78th Highlanders guard the Citadel’s entrance and conduct marching and band drills on the parade grounds. The firing of the noon gun has been a local tradition since 1857.
When we walked along the waterfront we saw the Georges Island Memorial. This memorial was installed in 2005 on the 250th anniversary of the Deportation of the Acadians (or the Great Upheaval). The monument was a tribute to the thousands of Acadians that were imprisoned on Georges Island following the British Order of Deportation of 1755. Out in the harbour we saw Georges Island.
The history of Nova Scotia included many other interesting points. On our walk on the waterfront we saw the memorial to the submarine lines across the Atlantic Ocean between America and Europe. It was a reminder of the role that Canada played in telecommunications.
As a major Canadian city, there was a lot of history to explore on a stay in Halifax.
Explore Nova Scotia’s Maritime History
On our harbour walk we saw the Halifax Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. This large museum covered the broad contribution of Nova Scotia to maritime history. Outside we saw some of the bigger displays. As a former naval lieutenant David was always interested in maritime museums. But we ran out of time on this visit. Luckily we did not miss the large sailor statue as we walked.
One of the big draws in the harbour was the interesting collection of large ships. We admired the Tall Ship Silva at the Cable Wharf.
The white hull of the CSS Acadia brought back another era in maritime history. It was launched in 1913 and was the first vessel specifically designed and built to survey Canada’s northern waters. Acadia was also the only surviving ship that served the Royal Canadian Navy during both world wars.
The HMCS SACKVILLE drew most of the crowds. This was the last Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Canadian Navy. It later served as a civilian research vessel. Today this Naval Memorial and National Historic Site served as a floating museum.
Halifax is the eastern home port of the Royal Canadian Navy. So it was no surprise that the the Maritime history and tradition of Nova Scotia was on display during our stay in Halifax.
Find A Local Market
When we travelled we loved to explore the local markets. On our walk along the waterfront on the Saturday we searched out the Halifax Brewery Market. Local farmers and artisans brought their goods into the city. We were not surprised that the Halifax Brewery Market had an area for Alexander Keith’s brewery. Although we did not stop for a sample.
We were a bit late in the day and much of the fresh produce was picked through. But we sure found some tasty treats. The wide variety of local products drew us in. It was always fun to see the creativity. And have the chance to purchase more local fare.
We were happy our stay in Halifax was over a weekend and we got the chance to explore the market.
Visit The Iconic Sites In Nova Scotia
There were many great day trips from Halifax for the iconic sites around Nova Scotia. No trip to Nova Scotia was really complete without enjoying the fishing village of Peggy’s Cove and the lighthouse on the rock.
The high tide fluctuations in the Bay of Fundy are truly a sight to see. Vast expanses of red mud and ships sitting out of the water on their hulls amazed us.
On day trips from Halifax, we enjoyed all the great coastal towns we visited. Mahone Bay was a charming spot. And the harbour in Lunenburg drew us back many times.
With so much coastline, it was not hard to find great water views in Nova Scotia. We were delighted when we visited the Ovens Natural Park and found a stunning coast with caves.
While there was much to do on a stay in Halifax, we found so many interesting spots to visit on day trips out of the city.
So Many Things To Do On A Short Stay In Halifax Nova Scotia
It was a busy short stay in Halifax in Nova Scotia on our road trip in Eastern Canada. We found lots to see and do as we explored the city. And discovered even more great spots on our day trips from Halifax.
From Halifax we headed for a longer stay in Charlottetown on the charming island of Prince Edward Island.
What did you find to do on a stay in Halifax? Is there something we must see on a return visit?
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