Arts & Culture / Eat & Drink / Music & Entertainment December 1, 2016

8 Reasons to Visit Halifax over Any Other Maritime City

There are many great cities in the Maritimes but Halifax, at the heart of it all, is the hub. With a population of almost 400,000, it is the biggest city east of Montreal and is therefore the commercial centre of the Atlantic region.

Here are some of the things that set this city apart:

1. A Bustling Waterfront

We are literally and figuratively centred on the large and active harbour. From the industrial shipbuilding section in the Bedford Basin, to the Pier 21 Immigration Museum and the cruise ship pavilion at the South End, there is always something happening along the water.

There are plenty beautiful views, interesting businesses, and top-notch outdoor events (such as the Halifax Jazz Festival and the International Buskers Festival) to explore along the boardwalk. You can also find stunning views from the ferry, the bridge to Dartmouth or from charter boats such as the Harbour Hopper and Tall Ship Silva.

2. A Legendary Brewery

A visit to Halifax isn’t complete without stopping by Alexander Keith’s brewery. Keith’s is synonymous with Nova Scotia and Halifax, and is still one of the strongest businesses in the region after close to 200 years! Take a tour and learn the history, or just enjoy a pint in one of our many local pubs.

3. Celebrated Restaurants

The restaurant scene has exploded in the past 5-10 years, with many talented local chefs and creatives opening increasingly varied and exciting places to dine. There is a place to suit every mood, palate and budget, and even the most upscale establishments still come with a side of famous Maritime hospitality.

Many restaurants here such as EDNA, Brooklyn Warehouse and Chives are often featured on national and international “Best Of” lists.

4. Varied Shopping Options

One of my favourite things about Halifax is the many wonderful boutiques. These shops are run by incredibly creative and passionate people and carry countless unique and often locally made items.

I would highly recommend Kept, Made in the Maritimes and Inkwell. But if big-box is more your thing, we have those too! Dartmouth Crossing and Bayers Lake both offer tons of options. Our two main malls, Mic Mac Mall and Halifax Shopping Centre, have been extensively renovated recently to add more high-end stores to their mix, bringing a high-fashion feel to our city by the sea.

5. High Quality Entertainment

Because Halifax is the largest city in the Atlantic region, we attract big-city events, including concerts and conferences. Some of the most popular acts in the world have performed here at least once (Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Tragically Hip) and Casino Nova Scotia and the Scotiabank Centre are attracting more popular performers each year.

If concerts aren’t your thing, check out our junior league hockey team the Halifax Mooseheads, the exciting Royal NS International Tattoo, or a national/international sporting championship.

6. A Central Airport

The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has been ranked best airport for overall passenger satisfaction in its class (under five million passengers) many times. It is a small airport compared to many larger cities in Canada, but sees a lot of traffic given its proximity to hubs in Europe, the Eastern United States and the Caribbean. The central location gives you the varied connections of a large airport, while the smaller size provides easy and positive navigation and customer service.

7. Renowned Universities

Halifax is a centre for research and higher learning. With 4 major universities in the municipality (Dal/King’s, SMU, MSVU and NSCAD), our community is full of highly educated, engaged individuals and the population swells by ten’s-of-thousands of students each September who are eager to live and learn here.

8. An Award-Winning Central Library

The building has been open less than 2 years and has already won many international design awards, including the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. It has also landed itself on many international top-10 lists, including CNN’s “10 Eye-Popping New Buildings of 2014”.

The bright, open and modern space has become a community gathering place and a fixture in the Spring Garden Road streetscape. It attracted more than 1.9 million visitors in its 1st year alone! Take some time to walk around, browse the collections, have a delicious snack in one of the Pavia cafes, or take in a lecture or concert in Paul O’Regan Hall.