Marily so, I was asked by Tourism Nova Scotia to create a Halifax Travel Guide and let me be the first to W E L C O M E you to the beautiful city of Halifax Nova Scotia!!! We’re so happy you’re planning a visit.
In case it’s not totally obvious I absolutely LOVE my city more than an-y-thing heck I’m one of the first OG bloggers who started putting this beautiful place on blast #BlogGrandma. But if we’re being honest I will never get tired of doing so!
Halifax is such a vibrant youthful city I absolutely love the energy here I mean I choose to live here, run my business here when I could be anywhere in the world. Here in Halifax things are always changing and evolving: there is always something new to discover, and we can’t forget about the amazing people 😉 You’re going to love it!!
Clearly I’m obsessed, but even more I love sharing it with all of you. To get you started on your planning I’ve compiled a pretty epic travel guide for you, from what to do, see, and eat: here’s all things Halifax!
DISCLAIMER: This post was made in partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia; however, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting my sponsors who continue make this content possible.
HALIFAX TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO EAT, SHOP, EXPLORE
Due to Covid-19 things are rapidly changing so while I have tried my best to keep things current please note that some items in this list are subject to change. Please familiarize yourself with current restrictions, and plan appropriately for your visit(s) to the city. You can do so here and check in with individual vendor websites or social media accounts for real time updates.
If you’re looking to specifically support Black Owned Businesses please look for this [#BOB] next to any of the items listed below.
WHAT TO DO IN DOWNTOWN HALIFAX
Whether you choose to simply stroll along the waterfront, enjoy local music, a meal or a beverage on an ocean view patio, The Halifax Waterfront is a MUST when you visit Halifax. Arguably the pride and joy of the city it’s so beautiful, and while it’s currently under construction there is still plenty to see and experience.
For instance, currently you can jet ski the harbour with Harbour Watercraft Tours and Adventures you can tour the city on land and sea with a Harbour Hopper Tour, or cruise it with a Segway Tour/Rental: honestly the possibilities are ENDLESS and SO fun!
As well this summer (from now until Thanksgiving weekend) you can also ferry from Murphy’s on the Water to George’s Island with Ambassatour Tours, newly opened to the public it’s pretty cool to tour around this historic space. Actually Ambassatours offers a wide array of boating activities definitely worth looking into if you’re planning a visit. I’ve done many of their tours from Wine on the Water to Deep Sea Fishing, and I’ve always had an absolute blast. There’s honestly something for everyone!
If you’re looking for an intimate experience on the water you needn’t look further than J Farwell Sailing Co they have a number of various offerings, but recently we did the Wine + Cheese Sunset Cruise, and WOW it was INCREDIBLE start to finish; with yummy eats, local wines, a little history lesson, and the most beautiful backdrop there’s nothing more romantic! Be sure to pop over to jfsailingtours to learn more or click here.
Explore the many twists and turns and stunning views at Point Pleasant Park (great for instaworthy photos) or do as the locals do and pack a picnic, play frisbee, read a good book or just hang out at the Halifax Commons or around Citadel Hill.
Stroll Public Gardens, and grab a coffee or sandwich at the shop located inside the park, or just around the corner grab a mint lemonade at Indochine or a bite or bevy at the Stillwell Beergarden. If soft serve ice cream is a thing of your dreams definitely pop over to The Dairy Bar they are always offering special flavors and toppings.
Listen to some live music at either The Carlton or Lower Deck or blues and comedy at Bearly’s.
Get a great history lesson explore Citadel Hill, Canadian Museum of Immigration or the Africville Museum (about 15 mins from DT).
Check out the Halifax Public Library it’s extremely architecturally pleasing (and if the patio is open upstairs you can get some sweet insta pics).*Currently due to Covid, the Halifax Library is opened under modified hours with a time limit of your visit, so do make sure you plan for this (and bring your masks).
Pop into the Seaport Market on the weekend and take in live music, and pick up some souvenirs from our local artisans.
If you’re an adventure seeker you have to check out East Peak Climbing and then you can visit the Oxford Tap Room after for a bevy.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK DOWNTOWN DARTMOUTH
Whether you start on the Dartmouth side or end there you NEED to take the Ferry at some point! It’s the cheapest boat ride in town, and you’ll get some of the best views of the city!
Located at the Ferry Terminal in Dartmouth you have to make a stop at new in town Brightwood Beer Garden with twinkle lights and a beautiful view of the city it’s a must visit. Vegan friendly the Wooden Monkey also offers up yummy eats, and a great view of Halifax. Dartmouth waterfront has some GREAT views.
Enjoy a delicious latte or traditional croissants at Two If by Sea or a yummy Crepe at The Creperie. And for the best late visit Cafe Good Luck
Fave burger + brunch: The Canteen
Drinks: Battery Park, the Clever Barkeep recently opened up a new wine and cocktail bar called Dear Friend, as well as Lake City Cider.
If you don’t want to dine-in you could consider grabbing food from the following places and enjoy it in one of the downtown parks or spaces outside. For instance, Yeah Yeahs Pizza, TIBS, or Cafe Good Luck.
If you’re looking for major East Coast Vibes visit: New Scotland Brewing or Celtic Corner
Lunch: Humble pie (from flavors like Donair to Butter Chicken these are NOT your regular pies)
Sushi: Be sure to visit Doraku they are the sweetest.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK DOWNTOWN HALIFAX
I’d recommend Lot Six (atrium is only open on Sundays) or Julep Kitchen (yummy food and great cocktails) both are absolutely beautiful inside and the food is great! For fine dining I’d suggest The Bicycle Thief, Press Gang, and The Brasserie (in the North End). Also another reliably great restaurant is Barrington Steakhouse.
If Vegan definitely visit Envie, or Wild Leek or Real Fake Meats.
Pastas + Pizza: La Frasca or Mappatura. For pizza Salvatores (just as a heads up delivery can take a while, but it’s worth it) or Yeah Yeahs Pizza. I also personally love Tony’s Pizza (the Tony’s special and their Garlic fingers are super yummy).
Great burger: The Cheeky Neighbor or Two Doors Down
Tacos: Antojos + El Chino, as well as Colombian owned Verano [#BOB] for some yummy Empanadas.
Little Oak, they have an amazing wine list, nearly 17 available by the glass and 5-7 on the coravin) you can try a variety of wines without the commitment of a full bottle. Also the food at Little Oak is noteworthy in it’s own right with unique menu items and flavorful combinations. As well Obladee is another great wine option they have so many amazing wines available and delicious nibbles too. Oxford Tap Room (such a cool new spot) also Chainyard is great (LOVE their Cider and their Jambalaya YUM).
Artisanal cocktails + great food: Bar Kismet, Field Guide, and Highwayman.
During the warmer months: check out the outdoor beer gardens, Stillwell Beer Garden (on Spring Garden) go at night it’s magical and dog friendly, Stubborn Goat Beer Garden (on the waterfront), and Good Robot. Another great option is have drinks at Pickford + Black it’s right on the water, so you can’t beat the view.
Bistro By Liz (very affordable, lots of tables, and a complimentary mimosa or ceaser with your brunch purchase), Robie Street Diner (all day breakfast), Coastal Cafe (heads up there’s always a wait on weekends and they close at 2). Foggy Goggle has like a zillion Eggs Benny options and is very gluten free friendly so great for a group. Black Sheep if you’re looking to try something a little different!
Lunch: Brawata [#BOB] ohhh their Jamacian patties are SOOO good also they have so many great lunch and dinner options as well Mary’s African Cuisine [#BOB] is another great lunch option. Rinaldo’s their hero sandwiches are super yummy, and their pizza + salad specials for lunch are a great price, Pete’s especially if you like fresh smoothies, juice, salads or sandwiches, Indochine (get the fusion salad I promise you won’t be disappointed). For sandwiches, hot dogs, salads visit newly opened Floyd’s Sandwiches located inside Sourwood Cider (On Cornwallis).
Slurp Worthy Noodles: Captain Ma, Noodle Nami
Donair: it’s compulsory to try a donair when you visit Halifax especially given it’s the official food of Halifax! Some places you can grab one: Tony’s, as well as King of Donair, and Johnny K’s.
My fave fave fave coffee is definitely from Java Blend, you won’t get a better cappuccino. Looking for a place to work perhaps visit Sine or Cafe Lara. Insider scoop: on Saturdays at Hold Fast Cafe usually has a Bliss Bowl pop-up and make a mean smoothie bowl! And if you like your coffee with a side of gorgeous Avocado toast than look to none other than the adorable Dilly Dally Eats their avocado toast is like a work of art you gotta try it.
Taiyaki 52 (ice cream), Creamy Rainbow (SO cute and has yummy macrons), LF Bakery (Croissants + Tarts), DeeDee’s Ice Cream (randomly also have great burritos) The Middle Spoon (only focuses on desserts and drinks they also have a huge list of dessert “adult” beverages here too), Freak Lunch Box is funky little candy store with lots of vintage candies from when we were kids lol Delectable desserts [#BOB] is another delish option.
WHERE TO SHOP
You have to check out Biscuit General Store, Alexa Pope if you need a killer outfit for a night on the town, Black Market has some pretty fun accessories and cool clothing.
Carrying a wide variety of popular beauty brands from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan you have to stop at Moon Moon Cosmetics. Inkwell is another super cute shop that sells stationary and prints its a great spot for picking up a little something special from your trip. Also shout out to my girl Elana Camille [#BOB] you can find her handy work on some beautiful Halifax Paper Hearts Stationary throughout many local shops and even Sobeys as well as Pete’s (so proud of you hunny).
Don’t forget about the shops along vintage row (Queen Street) most notably Sweet Pea Boutique, and for souvenirs and items created by local artisans look no further than Jennifer’s of Nova Scotia (featured image above). As well for all your jewelry and sparkly things needs be sure to visit my friend Oz at House of Moda she just opened a new store at the Doyle and it’s SO fun.
Atlantic News for all your reading needs they also carry the coolest niche magazines!
Art Gallery of NS also has a great Gift Shop with curated items from local and international artists.
If you’re into Vinyl check out Taz Records.
Definitely pop into Sattva, Ana + Zac, and of course all the shops along The Hydrostone. The Independent Mercantile Company is quite possibly the cutest shop ever! Ready your wallet because you can’t leave without buying something. For all your yoga news and support as well as yoga / wellness related items be sure to check out Bhavana.
And of course Halifax Shopping Centre and Mic Mac Mall. Envy Clothing and Pseudo are an Atlantic Canadian company, so be sure to check out their HSC and Parklane locations they carry some pretty cool stuff. Also HSC has some great spots to eat as well at their Terrace, I pretty much live on Mezza (also a local biz lol).
If you’re looking for a great bottle of wine for purchase, or any imported alcohol be sure to check out Bishop’s Cellar and The Port.
be sure to visit Room 152 Consignment Shop, and Kept for all your gifting and house ware needs.
WHERE TO RELAX
If you’re looking to relax during your stay in Halifax look no further than the floatation centre, or any of our many yoga studios or spas. Flo Mediation [#BOB] is always partnering with local studios so be sure to follow their social or check their website for more information on current offerings. Might I suggest the Signature Body Bliss Treatment from The Summit Spa? Or the infrared Sauna and a facial from My Modern Age it’s really like nothing else in the city and Monique is lovely. OR a massage I love the couples massages from Spirit Spa (they have some great steam showers). Also take a visit to The Salt Room. And for nails, and esthetics definitely pop over to Vitality Medi Spa. If you’re on the Dartmouth side you HAVE to visit the Nature Folk Studio it’s absolutely stunning.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CAR
If you have a car you’ve got to go to Peggy’s Cove because well it’s just what all the tourists do lol. Heads up she’s beautiful but it does get VERY windy, and usually pretty cold (in case you wanted to shoot outfit pics). While you’re there PLEASE DO NOT STAND ON THE BLACK ROCKS the waves are very powerful and you could get seriously hurt.
While in the area also visit Polly’s Cove hiking trail and dine at The Rhubarb for dinner, or stay at Oceanstone.
On your way back to the city visit the CUTEST little soap shop in all the land: Sugar Bubbles! Specializing in bath bombs, soaps, and body products you’re going to love it! Might I suggest a cute insta pick out front in their adorable bathtub??
Other activities if you have access to vehicle could include a climb at Dingle Tower for an amazing view, and stroll around Regatta Point walking trail that wraps around the water, or visit any of our amazing beaches! Some of my favorite beaches include:
Crystal Crescent Beach is beautiful and the water is tropical shade of turquoise. There’s a walking trail as well so even if it’s too cold to swim at least you can get some exercise. Depending on what time of year you’re there you might pass the nude beach lol and its participants.
I also love Conrad’s Beach, and Queensland to name a few.
Hike! There are so many places to hike just outside the city for a great resource for hikes go here > https://discoverhalifaxns.com/top-10-halifax-hikes/
Also visit Cortado Tasting Room in Bedford they have the BEST avocado toast and their coffee is arguably the BEST in the city. If you can get there DO IT.
Here’s to Halifax, and all it’s glory. Hope you enjoy your visit! Be sure to comment below if I missed any of your favorite spots (and I’ll keep updating the list). Special thanks to Tourism Nova Scotia for inviting me to be a tourist in my own town, and to my ever amazing photographer and travel buddy @Tmacrae. Please keep me posted if you check any of these places out I wanna hear all about it.
*This post was sponsored by Tourism Nova Scotia; however all opinions expressed are my own.