Introduction: How to Visit Halifax, Nova Scotia

This is your guide to visiting the best city on the east coast...Halifax, Nova Scotia! Where to go, what to see, how to travel, the answers are all here...

Step 1: Travel

Basically,  three choices of travel are available to North Americans wishing to make the trek to Nova Scotia.  

Drive. Expect a 1650 mile/ 26 hour drive from Charleston, SC to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Fly. The average fare from any US international airport to Halifax will run anywhere from $500-$1000.  International flights to Halifax typically layover in Toronto, Ontario, the largest city in Canada. 

Float. Cruises with ports of call in Halifax vary in price, duration, and luxury.  A 9-day Canada/New England cruise will run you about $700 per person.  However, depending on the time of year you travel, the cruise line you use, and the type of room you decide to stay in, your price could differ. 

Step 2: Arriving in Halifax

Immediately upon arriving in Halifax, no matter what time of year, one must make a visit to Tim Hortons and order a coffee.  Timmy's, as it is affectionately called by Canadians, is Canada's version of Starbucks.  The ratio of Timmy's to Canadians is 1/15000. In contrast, the ratio of Americans to Starbucks is 1/23000.  Basically, Canadians LOVE Tim Hortons. 

Step 3:

After you have enjoyed a coffee or an Iced Capp, you'll need to purchase Nova Scotia's second favorite beverage...BEER! If you are over nineteen and want the real Canadian experience, make your way to the nearest Nova Scotia Liquor Commission store and grab a case of Canadian Molson or Alexander Keith's, the beer of Nova Scotia.  Additionally, if you want to buy your alcohol with toy money, exchange your US currency for Canadian moolah.  However, this is not required, as most everywhere takes US money. 

Step 4: Halifax Citadel

After leaving Grande Parade Square, trek up the nearby hill to the Halifax Citadel, a 19th century fort located at the highest point in Halifax.  Tour the nearly two hundred year old citadel or simply take in the view of the Halifax Harbor. 

Step 5: Grande Parade Square

Once you've got the beer cooling in the fridge, make your way into downtown Halifax and enjoy the historical monuments at Grande Parade Square. The Halifax Municipal Building stands at one end of the square and is pictured above.  At the other end stands St. Paul's Church, the first protestant church in Canada and the oldest building in Halifax, dating back to 1749. In the middle of Parade Square, also in the picture above, is the Cenotaph.  This monument is dedicated to those who died in World War I. 

Step 6: The Boardwalk

Perhaps one of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike is The Boardwalk.  Located along Halifax Harbor, The Boardwalk is home to food vendors, souvenir shops, and a brewery.  During the warmer months, expect to find buskers displaying their talents as well as visitors coming ashore from cruise ships.  Also, don't forget to visit the Halifax Farmers Market.  Located towards the south end of The Boardwalk, the farmers market holds over 250 vendors and sells everything from local produce to arts and crafts.  

Step 7: Public Gardens

Finally, before heading back to your hotel room to get ready for a night of debauchery in one or more local pubs, stop by the Public Gardens for a quiet walk to reflect on your life and the amazing journey you've made through one of the best cities on the North American east coast.  No matter what time of year you decide to visit Halifax, you will enjoy the sights, sounds, and alcohol of Canada's most lovable little city.