That’s what happened to me earlier this week when I arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia on a connection to find cancellations across the board.
Thanks to a helpful (and kind!) visitor’s center and fantastic local suggestions, here’s how to make the most out of 24 hours in Halifax.
Fun Airport Fact: You can buy lobsters in the airport lobby at Clearwater Fine Foods
Stay: Check into the Marriot Halifax Harbourfront (rates start around $189). Here, the beds are plush, the rooms are stylish, and you’re within walking distance to waterfront eateries, shops, historic architecture, and live entertainment. Downfalls: You have to pay for Internet, and parking costs about $20 (but well worth it if you’re not into hunting for a spot on the busy downtown streets.)
Stretch your legs at the Historic Properties Marketplace.Steps from the Marriott on Upper Water Street, this national historic site was created by settlers in the 1700s and the early 1800s.
- Shop: Grab an “I heart Nova Scotia” T-shirt in one of the shops along the waterfront, browse art in the Puffin Gallery, or pick up handcrafted souvenirs, including Anne of Green Gables collectibles in Harbour Swan Giftware.
- Snack: Sample flavors like Gooey Mooey and Wowie Cowie ice cream (made with butterfat, very little air!) from Cow's. Photo op: You and your new friend, Cow, in front of the shop.
Get out of town: Peggy’s Cove. About 35 minutes from downtown Halifax is Peggy’s Cove: A tiny fishing village with weathered grey lobster shacks, fishing piers, brightly colored boats, and the red and white Peggys Point Lighthouse. Photo op: Take a seat on one of the large, granite rocks with the light behind you.
Lunch: On the way back from Peggy’s, look for the tall wooden mermaid sign and stop in at Nixie Café for a lobster roll made with chilled hunks of fresh lobster, and a cold Stella beer.
Dinner: The Economy Shoe Shop Café and Bar. Up a few blocks from the Marriott (and up a hill) is the Shoe Shop: you’ll know it by the covered patio filled with boisterous locals. The distinct style lends a cozy, villa feel that can be as social or as intimate as you make it. Try the locally caught pan fried Nova Scotia Haddock ($14) served with a caper and preserved lemon sauce.
After Dinner Drink: Stick around the Shoe for a nice wine list, including a Nova Scotian classic L’Acadie Blanc ($28 a bottle). Live music downstairs in the Seahorse Tavern is known for bringing in some of the best Canadian acts around. Monday night is jazz, and Tuesday is new music night. Or, if you’re looking to wander, Argyle Street has al fresco bars, clubs, and eateries open until around 2 a.m.