I believe that getting out and exploring the country from coast to coast is the best way to embrace being Canadian. As a travel destination, Halifax has a lot to offer visitors from all walks of life. The city’s energy is palpable, and I always feel at ease when I arrive.
I decided to compile a list of five things you must do when visiting the city in the hopes that it will inspire you to celebrate Canada in your own unique way with friends and family.
Farmers’ Market in Halifax
The Halifax Farmers’ Market is almost as old as the city itself, having been established by Royal Proclamation in 1750, just one year after the city was established. I was curious about this iconic market because we love supporting local businesses. I was impressed by the diversity of the space, which featured vendors from the city’s core and surrounding neighborhoods. People were not only shopping for Laughing Whale Coffee Roasters and fresh produce from farmers and fishermen, but we also discovered local honey and some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten!
The vendors and customers have created a lovely hub of food and culture. We saw families enjoying the space, local musicians performing in the heart of the market, and so much more. If I could make one suggestion, it would be to go early in the morning because the space becomes crowded as the day progresses.
Tours of Murphy’s The Cable Wharf
A trip to Halifax puts you right on the water’s edge on Canada’s East Coast, so you can’t go without taking a whale-watching tour. We chose to book an experience with Murphy’s The Cable Wharf Tours.
We went out onto the water to see if we could spot any whales or other marine life. Not only is the staff friendly, but they are also extremely knowledgeable about Halifax’s history. We learned a lot and got to see the Halifax harborfront from some of the best spots on the water. A truly magical experience!
Lifestyle on the East Coast
“The DNA of East Coast Lifestyle is simple: It’s about being proud of where you’re from,” says the store’s motto, which is conveniently located down the street from the market. Since its inception, this playful clothing brand has become a fixture on the East Coast and has made waves in the Canadian fashion industry.
We bought a few items that my husband liked as souvenirs of our trip out East. Another popular destination, there is no doubt that visiting an East Coast Lifestyle location during your visit to Halifax is a must for those of you who want to immerse yourself in the East Coast culture. And, with Canadian pride on full display during Canada 150, supporting this local business is a great way to show it!
Pier 21’s Immigration Museum
As a modern Canadian family, the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 was a must-see for my husband and me. With our diverse histories, I wanted to comprehend the significance of Halifax in the immigration process to Canada over the last 150 years. My mother and husband are both first-generation Canadians, so there is a sense of pride in understanding how our families arrived and began their lives in this amazing country.
The museum is not only a beautiful place to take photos of the waterfront, but there is also a lot to do when you visit! You can request a historian to research your family’s history and visit the exhibits that highlight Canada’s history.
It made me proud to be Canadian and to know that our country was founded and built by families from all over the world. Truly an inspiring place to spend an afternoon and find your own inspiration!
Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
If you want to embrace what it means to be Canadian, visit the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. The best part is that Parks Canada has made all Canadian National Parks free of charge in honor of Canada 150. As one of Halifax’s highest points, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the fort, its history, and the spectacular views of the surrounding city.
In its youth, the fort played an important role in securing Canada’s East Coast. My husband, who is a history buff, I know thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You’ll be in for a treat if you can time your visit to coincide with a change of the guard!
From its people’s friendliness to its food culture, which is known for its tasty donairs — a meaty, open-faced sandwich on pita bread for the uninitiated — Halifax offers a destination that feels both quaint and modern-metropolitan at the same time. Halifax should be on your bucket list if you want a taste of the True North and to understand what it means to be a true Canadian.
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