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Local Experience

Things to see and do around Halifax-Dartmouth

Located on the shores of one of the world’s deepest natural harbours, Halifax is small enough to walk around, diverse enough to fascinate, old enough to inspire, and young enough to entertain.

 

 

Things to do in Downtown Halifax-Dartmouth

Fun facts: Too many to list here. The Downtown Halifax website is updated every month and lists lots of fun and interesting things to do in downtown Halifax.

Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk - Discover Halifax

The Halifax Downtown Boardwalk:

This 6.1 km trail is less than a kilometre from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. It starts at the south end of Lower Water Street and ends at Halifax’s Historic Properties. Along the way, visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, or drop into some of the downtown’s many shops, bistros, cafes, and restaurants. Or take the ferry across the harbour and check out Dartmouth’s scenic harbourfront. The following websites provide links and interactive maps to help you navigate your way through both downtowns.

Fun Fact: One of the world’s longest downtown boardwalks.

 

Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail:

A day trip to Dartmouth: Catch the ferry at the Halifax ferry terminal, which is about a 10-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotia Hotel. Once in Dartmouth, hike 4 km along the Dartmouth Harbourfront Trail from Alderney Landing to the Woodside Ferry Terminal. See the Shubie Bridge, the Peace Pavilion (a triangular structure that represents equality, unity, order and reason), and the waterfront. For lunch, try Biscuit Lips in Alderney Landing or wander off the trail and into the downtown area.

Fun Fact: Get there by travelling on North America’s oldest saltwater ferry.

The following website also offers information on recreation, parks, walking/hiking trails, and gardens in the Halifax-Dartmouth Metro Area.

https://www.halifax.ca/recreation/parks-trails-gardens/trails/dartmouth-harbourfront

 

The Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry:

The Halifax terminal is located on Lower Water Street; Dartmouth has two terminals, one at Alderney Landing, the other at Woodside.

Fun Fact: This saltwater ferry travels across one of the world’s deepest harbours.

 

Halifax Citadel - Discover Halifax

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site:

This military museum and fortification is located in the centre of Halifax’s downtown and is about a 30-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. Be greeted by a bagpiper and listen to the noon gun go off (cover your ears!). Highly recommended for a family outing.

Fun Fact: This fort has never been attacked, yet it has been Halifax harbour’s main defence through a series of wars between Britain and France and Britain and the United States of America.

 

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia:

The largest art museum in Atlantic Canada, located at 1723 Hollis Street, about a 15-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. Highly recommended for a family outing.

Fun Fact: Famous folk artist Maud Lewis’s tiny painted house is located on the bottom floor.

 

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic:

Located right downtown at 1675 Lower Water Street. Learn about Nova Scotia’s connection to the sea in Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum. A great place for a family outing and about a 20-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel.

Fun Fact: Contains artifacts of the Titanic, including a mortuary bag.

 

Halifax Museum of Natural History - Discover Halifax

Museum of Natural History:

Located at 1747 Summer Street, about a 30-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. This museum includes collections and exhibits concerning the natural sciences and also artifacts of cultural significance to Nova Scotia. A great place for a family outing. Within walking distance to the Public Gardens and Spring Garden Road.

Fun Fact: Gus, the museum’s resident Gopher Tortoise, was acquired for $5. He is 96 years old and has been nominated for the order of Nova Scotia.

 

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21:

Located right behind the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel, at 1055 Marginal Road. Between 1928 and 1971, Pier 21 was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants. It also served as the departure point for 500,000 Canadian military personnel during the Second World War. This museum is also close to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. Both venues are terrific for family outings.

Fun Fact: Pier 21 is Canada's last remaining ocean immigration shed.

 

The Discovery Centre:

Located at 1215 Lower Water Street, about a 5-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. This interactive centre offers science-based fun for the whole family.                   

Fun Fact: Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit is now open.

 

Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica:

Located at the corner of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road in downtown Halifax, about a 20-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. This cathedral is a National Historic Site whose design is gothic revival. It was consecrated on October 19, 1899. In 1950, Pope Pius XII declared it a basilica. 

Fun Fact: Catholicism was illegal in Halifax when the city was founded in 1749.

 

Halifax Saint Paul's Church - Discover Halifax

Saint Paul’s Church:

Located in Halifax’s Grand Parade, right across from City Hall, this is the oldest Protestant place of worship in Canada. It opened on September 2, 1750. This church is about a 30-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel.

Fun Fact: The profile of an ill-fated deacon’s head was emblazoned on the church window during the Halifax explosion in 1917. This can still be seen today.

 

The Old Burying Ground:

A historic cemetery located at the corner of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road and right across the street from Saint Mary’s Basilica. About a 20-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel.

Fun Fact: Over 12,000 people have been buried there over the years but there are only 1,300 headstones presently on site.

 

Halifax Central Library:

Located at 5440 Spring Garden Road, about a 10-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. A great place for a quiet read, or drop into one of its two cafés: one on the bottom floor, directly off Spring Garden Road, and the other on the top floor, offering terrific views of the city.

Fun Fact: Runner-up for the World Building of the Year Award 2015, this library is an example of democratic architecture, where a wide variety of library users were invited to offer input into the building’s design.

 

Halifax Public Gardens Nova Scotia

Halifax Public Gardens:

Located between Spring Garden Road and Sackville Street, right across from Victoria Park and the Lord Nelson Hotel. These beautiful gardens offer hours of fun and leisure for the whole family and are about a 20-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel.

Fun Fact: Oldest Victorian gardens in North America. Development began in 1836 under the auspices of Joseph Howe; the Gardens opened in 1867, the year of Canada’s Confederation.

 

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market:

Located at 1209 Marginal Road, directly behind the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. This market’s 250 vendors offer a wide variety of fare, from pastries, baked goods, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, and poultry, to coffees, teas, artwork, and handcrafted items.

Fun Fact: The Halifax Farmers’ Market was created by Royal Proclamation in June of 1750, a year after the founding of Halifax. It is the longest continuously operating farmers' market in North America.

 

The Brewery Market:

Located at 312-1496 Lower Water Street, about a 15-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. This little market opens on Saturdays and offers locally produced craft beer.

Fun Fact: This is the original site of Alexander Keith’s first brewery.

 

Point Pleasant Park:

The main entrance to the park is located at 5530 Point Pleasant Drive and is about a 35-minute walk from the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel. This leafy destination on Halifax’s peninsula offers walking trails, fort ruins, a historic tower, and a swimming beach. It’s also a great place for an early morning or evening run.

Fun Fact: The city of Halifax pays Nova Scotia’s lieutenant governor 1 shilling per year for a 999-year lease on this 75-hectare oceanfront property in Halifax’s swanky South End.

 

Halifax Central Library - Discover Halifax

Check out our Shopping, Dinning & Wining and Day Trips from Halifax pages for more ideas!