Halifax itinerary in 3 days
Halifax is the capital city of the province of Nova Scotia on the eastern coast of Canada. It is a modern, urban city, a major business centre for eastern Canada, is home to several universities and is known for its maritime history.
It is a good base for exploring Nova Scotia - including the picturesque and historic small towns along the Atlantic coast.
Waterfront Warehouse. This casual restaurant along the harbour is a good spot for lunch. They have a large outdoor eating area.
Le Bistro By Liz. This is a nice, quiet and casual French bistro.
Bistro Le Coq. Located on Argyle street, which is a pedestrian street, closed off to traffic. This is a nice quiet restaurant serving modern French food.
Salvatore's Pizzaiolo Trattoria. Located in the Hydrostone Market, they serve delicious pizzas and pastas.
A Mano Italian Restaurant. They serve typical Italian food in a lively (and noisy) atmosphere.
The Salt Shaker Deli. Located on Montague Street in Lunenburg (just one street up from the harbour), they have a gorgeous veranda facing the water. The food is fresh and delicious. It is worth the wait if there's a line.
We arrived in Halifax and checked into the Prince George Hotel which is centrally located in downtown Halifax.
After checking in we headed out for a walk and to have some lunch. We walked down to the harbour, where there is an extensive boardwalk along the water front filled with stores, restaurants, cafes and small artisan shops.
We went into the farmers market on the pier and had a look around and enjoyed some tastings. From there we went over to Garrison Brewery to purchase some of their craft beers. They're a small micro-brewery with unique beers.
We then headed to the Waterfront Warehouse - a casual restaurant to have a bite to eat for lunch.
Following lunch we decided to walk up-hill (Halifax is very hilly) along Spring Garden Road toward the Public Gardens. On the way we stopped at the new Spring Garden Road Memorial Library. This new and contemporary public library is an architectural gem. The glass and modern building was built with a great deal of care to honour the original library that was built as a memorial to Halifax's WWl and WWll casualties.
Arriving at the Public Gardens Park we noticed music playing. Turns out it was the last day of the Halifax Jazz Festival and there was a live band performing in the pergola at the park. It was a lovely park to walk around - beautifully landscaped and filled with colourful flowers and lush trees and shrubs.
After a rest in our hotel, we headed to Le Bistro By Liz. This is a nice, casual French bistro. They had a jazz singer which was part of the Jazz Festival. This was a nice accompaniment to our tasty dinner.
Guides and Tours
Lunenburg Walking Tour. We booked this one-hour tour through the Visitors Information Centre. The tour was led by a young, seventh-generation Lunenburgian who was very informative, entertaining and gave us an appreciation for the history of this old town.
Robert's Rambles Tall Tale. Robert leads 2-3 hour historical walking tours of Halifax. He is very knowledgeable.
Lunenburg and vicinity
This morning we got an early start following breakfast. This was our day to visit Lunenburg and the small fishing towns along the coast, south-west of Halifax.
We chose to drive the scenic route along Route 3.
We stopped in the town of Chester, a picturesque seaside village, which has the feel of a New England town. It is a "resort" town, where well-to-do folks, many from the US, come to spend their summers. This town has a beautiful residential area with shady, tree-lined streets and a cute Main street. There is also a yacht club in the harbour, and sailboats out in the waters.
After walking around Chester we continued on our route and stopped in Mahone Bay for a quick photo-op. Mahone Bay is known as "the town with the three churches." The three churches, located along the foot of the bay, stand tall and make a dramatic back-drop to the waterfront. The main street of Mahone Bay is lined with cute and colourful shops and restaurants.
From there we continued along the small roads on our way to Lunenburg. We made one more stop at the small fishing village of Blue Rocks. This tiny picturesque harbour is less-known and much quieter than Peggy's Cove, but with views that are just as nice.
A tiny, winding road leads you to the tip of the point, where you'll see colourful fishing shacks, bright boats and rocks that appear blue in certain light. The views are beautiful and there are small islands off-shore.
We continued our drive to Lunenburg. This small town is one of Nova Scotia's most historic villages and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
This town was settled in 1753 by German, Swiss and French colonists. It was built in the same style as some U.S. cities that were built at around the same time, such as Savannah, Georgia. Lunenburg is built on a harbour and the streets leading from the harbour into town are located on a steep hill. The original homes and shops have been preserved and have been beautifully renovated to maintain the original style.
Lunenberg is a tourist town, and often there are busloads coming in to view the picturesque harbour and colourful town.
We had lunch at The Salt Shaker Deli. Located on Montague Street (just one street up from the harbour), they have a gorgeous veranda facing the water. The food is fresh and delicious. It is worth the wait if there's a line.
After lunch we joined a one-hour Lunenburg Walking Tour booked through the Visitors Information Centre. This informative tour was led by a young, seventh-generation Lunenburgian who was very entertaining and gave us an appreciation for the history of this old town.
Following our afternoon in Lunenberg we began our drive back to Halifax but decided to make one last stop: at the Ovens Natural Park. This park has a hiking trail along the shore that descends into the sea ovens or caves.
Back in Halifax, this evening we went to Bistro Le Coq for dinner. It is located on Argyle street, which is a pedestrian street, closed off to traffic. This is a nice quiet restaurant serving modern French food.
This morning we booked a historic walking tour of Halifax with Robert's Rambles Tall Tale Tours. Robert shared stories of the history of the city from its early beginnings to the present. We started at the top of the hill and made our way down to the waterfront.
After our tour, we went to the Hydrostone Market. I would recommend taking a taxi as it's a long walk from the centre of town and not a very scenic route. This area is currently gentrifying and there's an area with nice shops and restaurants. We had lunch at Salvatore's Pizzaiolo Trattoria.
We returned to the centre of town and went to the Historic Properties on the waterfront. Our tour guide had taken us there but we wanted to explore this area a little more. These old buildings have been renovated and include nice shops and cafes.
We then went to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Located in downtown Halifax it houses a large collection of Canadian art, as well as works by renowned Nova Scotia artist, Maud Lewis. The collection includes Maud Lewis's colourful tiny house that she lived in with her husband.
For dinner tonight we went down to the waterfront and had dinner at A Mano Italian Restaurant which serves typical Italian in a lively (and noisy) atmosphere.
Bay of Fundy
This morning we checked out of our hotel and started our road trip back home.
On our way we stopped in New Brunswick, at the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy. These are rock formations caused by the tidal waves in the Bay. The Bay of Fundy is known for the extraordinary power of the ocean tides. These are the highest tides in the world and they happen twice daily.
We visited during low tide which meant we could walk along the ocean floor and see the gorgeous rocks. At high tide, just a few hours later, these rocks, which stand as high as 15 metres, are almost covered by water.
This was a beautiful way to end our trip and head home.