Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada,

Visit Halifax: Good Food, Good Friends, and Great Entertainment

By Amanda Morrison

Imagine for a moment sitting on a pier, the sunshine beating down on you gently and salt water gently
rolling along beside you. Picture friends, friendly people, laughter, and amazing experiences, all wrapped up into a city that’s been famous for many reasons throughout history.
The lively city of Halifax sprawls across the land along the harbor, and is just large enough to give that true city feel without becoming claustrophobic. Halifax’s population sits at around 390,000, but a good majority of this population is due to the fact that the city houses several popular Canadian universities. Summer sees a waning of students, but a waxing of tourism with visitors, cruise ships, and Nova Scotians alike visiting the city. This balance between large and small city makes it the perfect destination for those who aren’t fond of larger cities. It’s also only 30 minutes by car to get outside the city; this means that visiting throughout the rest of Nova Scotia is possible, too, with a simple car ride. For those travelling within the city, taxis are found at taxi stands and by telephone, and buses run from 6AM until about 12AM to most locations in and around the city. The downtown core even has its own free bus all around the main downtown area during the summertime. Look for the big blue bus labeled “FRED” if you come during summer.

Customs in Halifax are simple, and relaxed; as is the case with most Canadian cities, some simple manners will get you by most of the time. Halifax’s population tends to refer to themselves as “Haligonians,” and they love nothing more than meeting new people and entertaining guests. Haligonians shake hands to say hello, with hugging and kissing being saved for more intimate friendships and relationships. For complete strangers passing on the street, a simple hello and a smile is enough. One of the most common ways that Haligonians spend time with one another is over food; indeed, Nova Scotia is famous for its seafood and local food events.
Halifax is a city with plenty of natural beauty. There are many little green spaces and parks, from the huge, sprawling Halifax Commons, through the smaller

Victoria Park. The Public Gardens, found on the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street, has existed since 1867. The Gardens feature trees, flowers, and other various plants, some of which are rare and others that have lived in the park for over 100 years. While a good number of trees were lost during Hurricane Juan, in 2004, the Gardens were able to bounce back. Those who have little ones with especially enjoy the ducks, swans, and geese that are kept. Several large fountains, stone chess boards, and many other nooks and crannies can be found during your Gardens adventure.
Halifax has no shortage of
food, either. Fast food wise, McDonald’s is the most common place to grab food, although KFC, Taco Bell, and several other restaurants are available too. Restaurant-wise Halifax has food for just about any palate, from typical Canadian fare like steak and potatoes, through pizza and Lebanese food, to Sushi and ethnic foods from all over the world. The Five Fishermen, Halifax’s premier seafood restaurant, sits across from Parade Square. Those interested in eating at the restaurant should be prepared to make reservations at least one week in advance; the restaurant is costly, at around $60 per person, but worth every single penny spent.

 The Alexander Keith’s Brewery offers tours, complete with delicious taste tests, throughout the
summer, spring and fall months. Casino Nova Scotia is a great spot to hit for a bit of excitement, bright lights, and fun; the attached hotel overlooks the most beautiful part of the Halifax harbor, and can house visitors. Plenty of other wonderful hotels, motels, and even a hostel exist within the city for those who are looking for something a bit different.
Don’t get stuck in your hotel all day, though; there’s plenty to do around the city. Halifax is famous for three main things; history, art, and entertainment. For the history buffs in your life, The Citadel offers tours of the now-closed fort found in the middle of the city, as does McNab’s Island.
Of course, the Halifax Explosion is probably the most commonly thought of historical happenstance for Halifax. In 1917, the entire southern portion of the city nearest the harbor was nearly wiped out by an explosion caused by a visiting munitions ship that caught fire in the port. The Maritime Museum houses many of the few scraps and artifacts that remained, although an amazing number of people did survive given the circumstances. The Natural History Museum has a beautiful selection of artifacts and presentations about the natural history of the area, which is quite diverse.

Halifax tends to be an arts and entertainment city with a young feel; this is reflected in the many lesser known gems that can be found throughout the city. Particularly, those who are visiting should not go without seeing the Halifax Dinner Theatre, the Burke-Gaffney Observatory, the Lutheran Prayer Garden, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Also worth visiting are the Neptune theatre, world renowned for their plays, and the Discovery Centre, the perfect science-filled afternoon for both the young and the young at heart. Finish up with some nightlife in the busy downtown core; visitors will find pubs, cabarets, nightclubs, and even martini bars easily accessible from downtown. Those looking for nightlife should check out The Press Gang, The Argyle, The Dome, and The Pacifico.
Whether you are coming to Halifax to get a taste of Maritime hospitality, or you simply want to do some fishing, golfing, hiking, swimming, or patio-sitting, you’ll always find you are welcome. Halifax welcomes visitors with open arms, be it summer, winter, spring, or fall, all have their charm. So when will you be visiting?

North Anericas

1 comment:

  1. Lucky me, I was able to book 3 tickets (me and my daughters) from Tampa Florida to Halifax, Nova Scotia for $403 a piece, usually they cost +$600,- it is going to be our first time to vacation in Nova Scotia, any suggestions on what to see and do in Halifax? / thx