And Finally, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our last port of call on the Caribbean Princess will be Halifax, Nova Scotia.  This 250 year old province capital has a population of over 400,000 at last count.  This is the largest center of population on the Atlantic coast of Canada and east of Quebec City.    Though this is quite a large municipality, you shouldn’t be intimidated visiting Halifax.  The harbor area has shaped Nova Scotia’s rich history.

Halifax has many maritime sites for you to explore.  The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic are two great sites to visit. At the Maritime Museum, you can learn all about Halifax’s role in the Titanic tragedy.  Both the survivors and the dead were taken there as the ship was closer to Halifax and the White Star Line had an office there.  There are three local cemeteries where those who perished were buried, with most of them at the Fairview Cemetery.

Our ship will come in to the dock near Point Pleasant Park.  This is an urban park that is a favorite place to bike or walk.  This park suffered great damage when hit by Hurricane Juan in 2003, but is undergoing massive rejuvenation.  Head to the harbor for some great places to eat and shop.  The warehouses in this waterfront area have been restored and are filled with boutiques and restaurants.  Also be sure to visit the Public Gardens which is across the street from the Citadel grounds.  Here you will find one of the loveliest formal gardens in all of North America.

McNabs Island is a fabulous place to spend a day.  There are two forts to visit as well as forests filled with birds, beaches and tidal pools.  Also present are a few summer homes.  Included is the home of Frederick Perrin.  He is the Perrin behind Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce!  You can hike the island.  Climb to the top of Jenkin’s Hill to see views of the harbor.  Each of the two forts is about a 30 minute walk from the pier.  To get to the island, you will need to take the McNabs Island Ferry which leaves from the Dartmouth side of the harbor.

Speaking of Dartmouth, this is a large city connected to Halifax by a bridge and a ferry.  In Dartmouth, you’ll find the Dartmouth Heritage Museum which has two historic homes – the Evergreen House and Quaker House.  Both are available for touring.  The Bedford Institute of Oceanography is also located in Dartmouth.  Tours are available, by appointment only.

Visit the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove for a great photo.  This is Nova Scotia’s most famous village.  Take a harbor cruise!  Again in this harbor, you can find amphibious vehicles for a tour each day from Cable Wharf.  Check out Fisherman’s Cove.

Did you know that the oldest working brewery in North America is located in Halifax?  Yes, the Alexander Keith’s Brewery offers tours of the facility daily.  The tour costs $16 for adults and ends with a traditional toast to the “Father of Great Bear”.  There are also many fabulous seafood restaurants in the harbor area.

So what do we plan to do in Halifax?  This is one port of call where we have no problem deciding.  Princess is offering a Valleys and Vineyards tour (I’m guessing no one is surprised by that!).  This tour will take us to two wineries on the North side of Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley.  We’ll be able to sample some wines and dining at a quaint restaurant, plus sample cheeses from a local fromagerie.  This is right up our alley!

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Lisa on August 10, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    We loved Peggy’s Cove. It is such a quaint place and the picture you posted is just as I remember it.


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