Where to Stay, What to Do and Where to Eat in Halifax, Nova Scotia

With its widely popular professional soccer team, nationally recognized restaurants and gorgeous waterfront full of historic buildings and tall ships, this friendly, East Coast gem has always been a must-visit destination.
 

Photograph by ImagineGolf/iStock.

Hotels

Halifax skyline, photograph by shaunl/iStock.

If you’re a libation lover: The Prince George Hotel

Not only does The Prince George Hotel offer urban luxury in the city’s entertainment district, but its dining options impress thanks to its high-end restaurant, Gio, and lobby bar, LevelBar. During the warmer months, you can enjoy Sunday brunch on the hotel’s terrace and sip cocktails on the open-air rooftop patio.

If you’re a local connoisseur: The Halliburton

The Halliburton is located in three heritage townhouses on Morris Street, on the edge of the residential South End neighbourhood. This owner-operated boutique hotel stands apart with its historic architecture. All 29 rooms and suites feature different styles and unique touches, such as fireplaces and private patios.

If you’re a soccer fanatic: Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites

The landmark Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites is located around the corner from the Wanderers Grounds, home to Halifax’s Canadian Premier League soccer team. This circa-1928 red-brick building on the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street features remodelled guest rooms.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast: Reserve a Yurt at Shubie Park Campground

Rent your camping gear from Mountain Equipment Co-op (on Granville Street) or reserve the yurt at Dartmouth’s Shubie Park Campground. The campsite offers nearly 100 sites, laundry and shower facilities and a canteen. The 75-acre park just next door offers a peaceful escape 20 minutes from downtown Halifax.

Things to Do

HFX Wanderers Football Club, photograph by Trevor MacMillan.

If you’re a libation lover: Distillery Tour

Go on your own self-guided distillery tour. First, enjoy award-winning gin at Compass Distillers’ uniquely designed, round tasting room on Agricola Street in the trendy North End. Then, head down to the waterfront and visit Halifax Distilling Co. for a tour and to sample Maritime-made rums.

If you’re a local connoisseur: Halifax Brewery Farmers’ Market

Browse the Halifax Brewery Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday morning in the 200-year-old Alexander Keith’s Brewery building. Visit long-standing stalls such as Big Life Whole Foods for pizza or Four Seasons Farm for produce, and try the variety of newer vendors who have re-energized this market.

If you’re a soccer fanatic: March to Match

Launched last spring, the HFX Wanderers Football Club has sent the city into a soccer frenzy. Join the official fan club’s March to the Match from downtown—where pubs such as Durty Nelly’s and the Auction House are overflowing with fans—to the soccer pitch, located on the corner of Sackville and Summer streets.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast: McNabs Island

The best-kept secret in the city, McNabs Island—situated in Halifax Harbour—is home to a provincial park with 18 kilometres of hiking trails. There are also two historic forts on the island that were part of the country’s military defense during both world wars. Hop on a water taxi or the ferry to get there.

Places to Eat

Compass Distillers, photograph by Jessica Emin.

If you’re a libation lover: Bar Kismet

Small, but mighty, Bar Kismet will steal your heart with its seasonal cocktails designed by acclaimed bartenders Will Irvine, Cooper Tardivel and co-owner Jenner Cormier. Its seafood-focused menu (think ahi tartar and charred mackerel) is perfectly executed by chef and co-owner Annie Brace-Lavoie.

If you’re a local connoisseur: The Canteen

Chef and co-owner Renée Lavallée is a force in the kitchen at Dartmouth’s The Canteen on Portland Street. At this favourite spot among locals, Lavallée uses the best Nova Scotian seafood, seasonal produce and locally butchered meat to create East Coast-style dishes with French and Italian influences.

If you’re a soccer fanatic: Niche Lounge

Enjoy a meal at Niche Lounge, official home base to the Halifax Wanderers’ fan club. Happy Hour drink deals and half-priced appetizers (daily, starting at 4 p.m.) mean the drinks and eats are cheap and the crowd is all fired up. And, if you don’t have a ticket to the game, it’s shown on screens throughout the bar.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast: Salt Yard

To dine alfresco, visit the Salt Yard, a large public space on the boardwalk—between Salter and Sackville streets—with a variety of local restaurants and businesses, including food kiosks offering everything from healthy vegetarian bowls at Heartwood to gravy-smothered poutines at Smoke’s.

[This story appears in the September 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]

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