A popular destination for leaf peepers in the autumn, this coastal city is also home to interesting history and some beautiful neighbourhoods. If none of the shore excursions offered by your cruise line appeal to you or you are looking to save some money during your brief stay, here are some excellent things to do that won’t cost you a penny.
It’s A Stroll In The Park
Halifax has three principal green areas that invite you to take a romantic stroll, settle down for a picnic or take part in some of the sporting activities that are available. The first of these is Point Pleasant Park, located in the southern part of town. As well as watching the ships on their way in or out of port, there are some interesting monuments in this expansive park. The anchor from former aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the navy, the Sailor’s Memorial (a Cross of Sacrifice) remembers other military personal who lost their lives at sea, and the Prince of Wales Tower helped the British military defend Halifax during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The second natural area worth checking out is the Halifax Public Gardens. This beautiful, 17-acre patch of land is modelled on a typical Victorian garden. There are many different species of plants, trees and shrubs that leave the area awash with colour, and the statues and fountains also add to the atmosphere. In the summer, there are often live bands playing from the band stand.
Finally, if you would rather be more active on your Canadian cruise, Halifax Common is probably the best place to head. The locals who spend their time here refer to it as The Commons and there are always sporting activities taking place. From baseball diamonds to American football posts, it’s the perfect place to try something new.
Explore The Boardwalk
The waterfront is one of the most popular and beautiful spots in the city and a great area to discover if the weather is nice. There are some charming restaurants, cafes and bars along this seaside stretch and sometimes live music events are held here. It’s possible to walk for about two miles from the casino to the Canadian Museum of Immigration, admiring the boats in the harbour and smelling the fish and chips as you go.
At the south end of the boardwalk, you will find the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. The building it is now housed in might be new and modern, but this is actually the oldest continually operated farmers market in North America. From meats to veggie smoothies and local cheeses, you don’t even have to buy to appreciate this lively staple of Halifax life.
Mark Midday In A Special Way
If you are walking around Halifax around 12 noon and you suddenly feel the earth beneath your feet shake, there is no need to panic. Every day, at Midday, a gun is fired from the top of Citadel Hill to mark the time and celebrate the city’s military history. If you’re not expecting it (and even if you are sometimes) it’s likely to catch you off guard.
If you want a great view of this daily tradition, head towards the Old Town Clock and look up at the citadel. It’s possible to actually watch from inside the citadel, as part of a history tour, but if you want to keep things free then it’s just as impressive from outside. Incidentally, you might be tempted to call the gun a cannon but any local with a military connection will tell you that this is a naval term and so cannot be used to describe this specific weapon.
So, as you can see, there’s no need to splash the cash to enjoy your time in this Canadian city. Whether you just have a few hours or an overnight stay, and whatever your interests are, Halifax offers plenty to do. To learn more about our Canadian cruises or to book your next sailing, call our team today.