Halifax is a prime location for a long weekend. As a major destination for conventioneers (modern facilities, well-priced accommodations, centrally located for delegates from both North America and Europe), business travelers frequently hang around for a few days when the last meeting wraps up on Friday. For leisure travelers, many flights to other parts of Atlantic Canada are routed through Halifax, so it will cost little or nothing to have a stopover before continuing to Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, or elsewhere.

Whatever brings you to Halifax, take advantage of your time in the city with four days of car-free exploring.

Day 1

You’ve been staying at an upscale downtown Halifax hotel such as Four Points by Sheraton Halifax, and suddenly it’s not business anymore. No worries; rates drop dramatically come the weekend, so you won’t break the bank by staying another two nights. Join the after-work crowd at the Seahorse Tavern, and then plan on dining next door at the Economy Shoe Shop.

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Photo © John Malone/123rf.

Day 2

Visit Halifax Citadel National Historic Site to get a feel for the city’s colorful history, then walk over to the Public Gardens. After lunch, learn about the Titanic tragedy at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic before visiting the graves of some of the victims at Fairview Cemetery. For a casual seafood dinner with a sublime view, walk along the waterfront to Salty’s.

Churches of Mahone Bay waterfront.

Churches of Mahone Bay waterfront. Photo © Ed Corey/123rf.

Day 3

The local tour company Ambassatours operates an excellent full-day trip along the South Shore. It hits the highlights—scenic Peggy’s Cove and the beautiful waterfront churches of Mahone Bay—while also allowing time to wander through the historic streets of downtown Lunenburg, where there’s time for shopping and lunch. You’ll be back in Halifax in time for dinner at Chives Canadian Bistro, which features lots of fresh seasonal produce.

Day 4

Check the sailing schedule of the Bluenose II and make reservations for a morning cruise if this grand old lady is in port. Otherwise, you could start out with breakfast at the Coastal Cafe, followed by shopping at downtown stores as varied as Nova Scotian Crystal and Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory. Golfers may want to squeeze in a tee time at Glen Arbour Golf Course, which is on the way out to the airport.

Travel map of Halifax, Nova Scotia


Travel map of Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia

Downtown Halifax

Travel map of Halifax to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Halifax to Mahone Bay

Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Nova Scotia.