Halifax, Nova Scotia

11-ish Things You’ve Gotta Do in Halifax

If you’re scared of a good time, don’t go to Halifax. Because there are so many things to do in Halifax. We’re warning you, if fun isn’t your thing, stay away from this place. It’ll eff you up, big time.

Halifax: It’s coastal. It’s capital. It’s youthful. It’s got that sweet, sweet Maritime charm. It’s tasty, like fish and chips where both the fish and the chips are local…and the beer you pair it with. It’s basically the hub of Eastern Canada. The Fax, as they call it, has got it going on.  

We liked Halifax so much we visited a few times, and we’re glad we did because we just kept uncovering great places to explore, delicious things to stuff in our faces, and all the fun each time we returned.

Between digital nomad shifts at culture-rich coffee shops (listed below, don’t worry you addicts), runs along the many scenic waterfront trails in Halifax and Dartmouth (yup, listed), and more laptop nerdery at colourful local pubs (also listed, obvi), we got outside and explored the city like the wide-eyed tourists we are, so, there are some photos, too.

We may not be experts on Halifax, but we sure are amateurs. Anyway, we had fun with these 11+ things to do in Halifax. You probably will too.

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Let us know what we missed in the comments or on social media, cuz, as you may or may not know, we’re driving Canada coast to coast again next year in our ’83 Westfalia to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. 

Visit the luckiest books in the country at the Halifax Central Library.

This might be the coolest building in Canada. It’s definitely the coolest library. What, you think your library is cooler? Well, if that’s the case we sure do want to hear about it, because we loved this place. As Lisa remarked when we stepped through the door, “it looks like a Mac store,” in that it’s white, bright, ultra-modern, and there are actually quite a few Macs around.

The two-year-old building was designed by local architects to be enviro-friendly. It’s got a café on the main floor, a whole bunch of nooks and crannies to study in, a maze that I got quite lost and afraid in, a conveyer belt with an exposed cover that makes returning your books something to look forward to, a web of crisscrossing staircases that’ll make you think of Hogwarts (if Hogwarts was designed by Apple), a cantilevering fifth floor with a great view of the city, plus another café that services the roof-top patio. The whole project cost $57.6 million to execute. So, yeah, about your library…

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Hole up in an ergonomic position at the Wired Monk.

We perch our laptops on a lot of coffee tables, and restaurant tables, and swivelling van tables, and our necks are always craned over. That’s why it’s Li et Co policy to always sit at the wood (aka the bar) if it’s an option–that and we like making friends with the staff. The Wired Monk in Halifax has some sweet bar stools and high counters that our sore necks just loved sitting in, and that chill coffeeshop vibe that feeds creativity.

 Hoof it up the Citadel, then stroll the waterfront.

There’s history in these here hills. Fortifications to pose on. Signs to read. Plus it’s a great calf workout. Then meander the waterfront boardwalk. Maybe stop in at one of the museums and learn something. 

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Listen to music, shop, eat, and then hang for hours at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.

What we love about the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is how they’ve gone above and beyond to give the people of Halifax and grateful visitors like us an awesome place to sit and enjoy all the great food they just bought, and the awesome setting they bought it in. Not all farmers’ markets do that. Here, though, there’s live music—maybe better than what we saw at the bars—and seating options on both floors, and the rooftop.

We bought some local veggies, fresh gluten-free foccacia, a couple americanos, and then sat for two hours and listened to this phenomenal teenage pianist go through his set. A music producer came up and put his card in the kid’s box—he thanked the dude and kept on playing.

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Drink a flight at Garrison Brewing Company.

Like the market that’s next door, Garrison Brewing Company is a great place to just chill. And guess what! They’ve got beer! It’s “full flavoured” to say the least. When we were there we tried a bunch, but fell for the nut brown, which is available year round.

Then pub crawl like a local.

Yup, drinking is definitely a thing they do here. We saddled up with a couple of local friends and rode over to The Henry House for a pint in the basement (one of three options in the building), over to Bearly’s for some live blues, and then on to the Split Crow (one of the oldest bars in the city) for the more traditional music.

Stay somewhere with a harbour view.

You’re going to want a place to crash after all that, ahem, fun. Stay in comfort right next to the downtown core at the Westin Nova Scotian. Good view, good coffee in the lobby, and they always show up on Hotwire.

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Run around Point Pleasant or walk in the park to assuage your gluttonous guilt.

So, we may or may not have eaten a shameful amount of donair after our pub crawl. We chose to burn some of it off the next morning with a run around Point Pleasant, which turned out to be rather, well, pleasant. Also pleasant, though it’s not in the name: the Halifax Public Gardens. 

Bid on some stuff during Dinner at The Auction House

The Auction House is just the right amount of gimmick. There schtick: you eat and drink as you like, then, when they come out with some random item, you can use the paddle at your table to bid against the other patrons for it and they’ll add it to your bill.

And don’t forget about Dartmouth.

When you think you’ve discovered all you discover in Halifax, take the ferry or bridge over to Dartmouth and start again. We stayed at a super-friendly Shubie Campground, connected to Shubie Park and all the great running trails and a nice little beach therein, and put in a couple solid shifts at Two if By Sea Cafe Bakery, which also has a location in Halifax.

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