Things To Do In Halifax
Halifax is a city of great historical value than you would initially expect. That applies not only to the role Halifax played during the Second World War, but also the early times when Canada was still a British colony. The Halifax Citadel has a particular role in the history of Canada. There is more to see than just a couple of old walls and a few old cannons. The tour that you can get is of high standard, everything is all well understood, discussed, and there is ample time to ask questions. The guides who walk in old uniforms also give demonstrations in loading and shooting with old rifles. Another group is doing exercises with the drag of a gun and leash for the horses or how to prepare for a gun emplacement.
The guides are friendly without exception. The funny thing is that it is not a "sideline" of soldiers who have a temporary resting place here, but they are students who are doing it as a summer job to earn extra income. The old castle is a really fun and interesting combination of museum, historic site, promenade area, and a major tourist crowd drawer. It is one of the attractions you must look forward to discovering along the Halifax region in Nova Scotia, Canada.
When To Go:
The best time to visit the city is May through October. The summer and fall season has the best climate and usher in numerous local celebrations. These months are wonderful times to explore because of the agreeable weather with temperatures ranging from the 50s to 70s. On the other hand, these months bring in loads of travelers, so expect high hotel rates and flight deals; plus long lines in the main tourist spots of Halifax. If you’re travelling on a tight budget and avoid the high cost of accommodation and the plane ticket, the ideal time to go on tour of Halifax is during the winter season months of November to February.
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The weather is cold (bring jackets and windbreakers), but you’ll definitely enjoy the ski slopes and winter activities. March and April are low season months, but most tourists avoid planning or going on tour because of the rainy weather and muddy roads.
These are the major tourist attractions and things to do in Halifax…
Halifax Public Gardens
It's one of the lovely places to visit in Halifax during the summer months where you feel captivated. The Halifax Public Gardens is a well tended horticultural attraction where local events such as exhibitions of flowers, bands, etc. are usually held. Being in the city center, it is a good spot to escape the routine and the noise of the city and enjoy a little quiet. It has an excellent ice cream shop within it, which is well worth the characteristic method of assembling the ice cream in a chilled plate. Attention: the garden is often closed in the winter periods due to snow. They remove the most sensitive plants to a greenhouse and replant in spring. The Public Gardens are the true jewels of Halifax. The park is beautifully and impeccably maintained. The variety of tree and flower is amazing, The layout is like a dream and this is the perfect place for a little rest between the promenade and other attractions within the city. It is worth it because of the Victorian garden style that serves as an oasis with lots of flowers, a beautiful pond, statues, a pavilion, and many benches. On the pond floats a small replica of the Titanic. The garden opens at 8:00 AM and admission is free.
Located at the heart of the city, the Public Gardens is a must see attraction in Halifax. It is the best place to taste lemonade and a delicious cupcake and spend a great afternoon of relaxation and calm. There are quiet corners to read and take a nap under a tree. Those who are just passing by will not find its mystical charm; you need to stay longer to really appreciate it. During the summer, it is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in Halifax. It is very green and has a lake in the center, different kinds of flowers, and pleasant ways to go. The facility is beautifully designed and offers various niches where you and even with a large number of visitors can find some peace.
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada
Established since 1856, this historic military fort educates every visitor to know what life was like for the soldiers who defended this imposing fort city of Halifax. For this endeavor, it is advisable to organize the tour for free. You need to contact the officer in charge of the care and management in this tour where you will visit the places where the soldiers were staying, the passages that ran to defend the fort, etc. If your visit coincides with the half day, you will appreciate the ceremonial preparation and firing of a salute performed every day at this hour. It is a must to visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada when travelling to Nova Scotia. The citadel is not just bricks and debris; it is a testament to Canada's grandeur and brave spirit. It is everything as it should be, and it’s quite surprising that despite the passage of time, all its features are still in good working order. On the round up, someone plays the bagpipes every 15 minutes. It is clean, nice, and has a great view of the sea gates of the city!
Every hour there is a group of Halifax students working there as actors who charge the gun and shoot this in one gulp. The ticket costs 12 Canadian dollars per adult. You can take pictures with any of the participants of the presentation. The fort has a toilet, a small cafe, a souvenir shop and two small army museums. In the circle, the staff places the gun or the weapons cache and explains their use in the past. The citadel is an interesting site to get an overview of Halifax and its history. It is located on the hilltop overlooking the town of Halifax where you see the whole maritime views and the clock tower. Inside, there is a museum with a trail which explains the importance of Halifax in the achievements of Canada. The yard is strewn with pebbles, so avoid wearing slippers or stiletto heels. It is a must see attraction and remember that it closes at 18:00 PM. Another thing that you should not miss is the delicious ice cream in the small café pavilion.
Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk
The Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk starts with the Historic Properties, a small shopping street and ends at a busy market hall. In between there are small stalls selling snacks and souvenirs, as well as a beautiful view of George's Iceland dotted with many large and small fishing and tourist boats. It is lined with many restaurants and cafes where every taste is catered for. There are also different harbor cruises and at the end of the boardwalk is a remarkable market hall with various interesting offers. All in all it is a very nice seaside walking/promenade area in Halifax!
For those who disembarks from a cruise ship, this location is a boardwalk or a deck that continues to disembark from the pier 22. The site is public and free with beautiful scenery, shopping, dining and sightseeing places. It is worth walking all over the place and photograph every detail of this beautiful location. One of the interesting things to do while in Halifax is to avail of the Harbour Hopper Tours ride, which costs $30 (as of June 2015) and lasts for one hour. It goes up to the Citadel, through the Public Gardens, Downtown, and Casino and then navigates the sea and the surrounding places around the Halifax slope. The Halifax waterfront is very clean and well cared for. There is a quiet but excellent infrastructure area, with many good restaurants and eateries - not to mention the best ice cream. It is great for walks during the day, sunset time, and towards the evening.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is one of the unique attractions in Halifax with fair admission fee ($ 5.00) and good location. It tells the naval history of Halifax and Canada. It has a section reserved for the Titanic because the Halifax ships were the first to arrive to rescue the people from the ill fated ship. They have good assets and tell the local history. It is worth knowing and you can book at least 2 hours for the visit. It has a museum dedicated to the history of the Titanic and maritime navigation in general.
Equally impressive are the views of various polar expeditions. Here you can interactively learn about the situation and the people from the Polar Regions. It features great ship models with many explanations. However, one should be able to read English or French. It shows very interesting exhibition about the different aspects of maritime life around the region of Nova Scotia from colonial times until today. Among other things, there is an exhibition area for the Titanic. There is also a 20-minute 3D film showing the story behind its sinking. Another exhibition shows the port of Halifax in conjunction with the two world wars. For shipping and history lovers, this place is a must.
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is a place worth knowing because it tells the story of the European immigrants to Canada and how some of them spent several days travelling by train to the rest of the country.
The museum also highlights the 1st and 2nd war, and the role of Halifax and Canada in this global strife. Canada is a country of immigration and the site presents objects and testimonies of the 1.5 million people who passed through immigration at Pier 21 on the shed where the museum is now located. It shows a good presentation of Canadian history and how the people fled from war and persecution of all kinds.
Halifax Harbor Ferry
This ferry is part of the public-transport in Halifax. Therefore, the normal tickets here are valid. The round trip ride on the Halifax Harbor Ferry is the cheapest and most convenient way to see the skyline of Halifax - from the mainland this look stunning and impressive.
An alternative would be a walk through one of the bridges, but that takes a long time and can be very windy. It is a fun experience to sail from Halifax to Dartmouth and something different than taking the bus because, you get a nice overview of the two towns and the port.
Point Pleasant Park
The Point Pleasant Park is a wonderful place for urban hikers. The road is beautiful and park offers several alternatives for easy access. It is easily accessible from downtown on foot (45 minutes to walk), by bike, or bus. The trail can be done to reach the sea conveniently. The view of the port is not the most beautiful, but the beach is very nice and you can walk for a long time along the ocean.
The park is very nice, well maintained, has important parts of the forest, and a portion facing the ocean. It is special for outdoor activities like; trekking and walking. Some of the trees have been felled by a hurricane several years ago and the consequences are still visible. However, it is one of the most beautiful green spaces in the city that is worth knowing.
Fairview Lawn Cemetery
A visit to the tombs at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery of some of the deceased in the Titanic sinking is a must if you're in Halifax. It is really touching to see the unmarked graves, but especially the child who is buried there.
It is actually a memorial park for two large maritime accidents in history. The first memorial features the tombs for the 150 deaths that were brought to Halifax after Titanic`s shipwreck in 1912. The second part features a section where some of the thousands of people who died five years later by the explosion of a French ship in Halifax harbor and for those who were lost at sea. It is a bit sad to see the unmarked graves bearing only the date of the tragedy.
Today, the Province House serves as the official provincial Parliament of Nova Scotia. Earlier, however, the first inhabitants of the responsible Canadian government, including parliament was housed here and also serves as the Supreme Court of Canada. In this building one of the most important processes of the history of Canada fought an important facet of the freedom of the press and exemplifies the motto during that time: If something is true, you must write it.
The process output was a sensation and so is the publisher (and later politician) Howe, who has fought and dedicated its own exhibition. If you want to attend a meeting or a committee conference, you can observe and listen, but on other days you have to go through a security checkpoint before you can be given access to the Province House.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
The work of Maud Lewis, a native painter is at home here in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. If you are a great fan of local art, it is a must to see this gallery in Halifax. It is right across the waterfront and along Hollis Street. The gallery has just been renovated and the most important exhibition of the gallery focuses on the work of a folk artist born in Nova Scotia - Maud Lewis (1903-1970). She began her career by painting motifs for Christmas postcards - all the naive painting to large paintings and more. All her artworks are colorful and partly also quite extraordinary because of her choices of color. Her lovingly painted colorful house is now in the custody of the Nova Scotia Art Gallery. You can also see a few historic paintings - most of is located in the depot - but you can also get a visual access to the "Artifacts Canada", where a database of 4 million objects from Canada's museums is listed.
The exhibition starts on the ground floor with the naive paintings by Maud Lewis. Also shown is the tiny house where she has long lived with her husband in Marshalltown. In the two upper floors, paintings and sculptures are shown by Indian artists and the Inuit, as well as paintings and prints from the 18th-20th Century. They originate from private collections and are well worth seeing and all original. It outweighs landscapes and typical scenes from everyday life. One of the paintings shows how maple syrup is collected. Even the modern objects there are shown as a series of contemporary installations in the basement. All in all, it is a beautiful museum with its very own touch.
Halifax is an exceptional city that can be visited any time of the year. It is very pleasant and enjoyable to walk by the proximity of the water and at the same time to visit the special attractions and explore the things to do offered by the city. The Halifax waterfront is perhaps the most pleasant places to see and enjoy a walk into town. It is not too extensive, but it's very picturesque. Along the promenade that runs along the ocean, is the old market, various restaurants, cafes and shops. The atmosphere is very nice and worth the entire traverse.
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