Halifax has the second largest natural harbor in the world (Sydney, Australia tops the list) and that makes the harbor a good place to start any exploration of the city. You could just take a walk on the amazing oceanfront boardwalk to see the city, but a Halifax tour can help you dig a little deeper into the history and culture of the city. Here are our recommendations for some of the best Halifax tours.
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Soldier for a Day
The Soldier For a Day experience at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada is one of the most unforgettable Halifax tours I have ever done. It took my family and I the better part of an hour to get dressed in the attire of a 78th Highlander circa 1869. The uniform consisted of wool socks, boots, gators, a cotton shirt, a wool kilt, a sporran, a red wool Highland doublet and a Glengarry bonnet with a brass badge. I knew we had done well when some other tourists mistook us for employees and started snapping our pictures. The best part of being a soldier was firing a real 18th century Snider-Enfield rifle. The pictures were the most unique family photos we’ve ever taken – great for the annual holiday newsletter.
Related: If you’re looking for great ways to explore Canada, check out our post on the Whitepass Railroad Train Adventure in the Yukon.
I Heart Bikes Halifax Tours
If you really want to take in the beauty and the local flavor of a destination, explore it on a bike. Discovering Halifax by bicycle is even better when done on a guided tour with I Heart Bikes. As our guide, Camilla led us around the city; we learned about its history and saw the key sites in the downtown core and on the university campus. We loved cycling through Victoria Park and past the beautiful old homes on Young Street.
Segway Nova Scotia Halifax Tours
Halifax has the longest downtown boardwalk in the world and one of the most interesting ways to see all of it and more is via a guided Segway tour with Segway Nova Scotia. Our guide, Sebastian led us all along the waterfront and to the very top of Citadel Hill explaining the historical significance of key sites along the way. Guided Segway tours can be booked in advance online or from the shop on the boardwalk.
Tall Ship Sailing
A tall ship sailing tour of Halifax harbor is one of the most iconic Halifax tours out there. For more than two centuries, the Port of Halifax has been the cornerstone of economic activity for the city. In days past, the harbor was filled with tall wooden ships, so sailing aboard a tall ship is like stepping back in time. It’s also a great way to see the harbor and its marine life. We enjoyed an afternoon sail aboard the Mar, a 75 foot wooden ketch.
Taste Halifax Tours
In 2015, the donair was named the official food of Halifax. You’ll find out where to get a great donair and more delicious food on a Taste Halifax tour. These tours visit local culinary hot spots for great food, beer and wine. You can try everything from craft beer, Nova Scotia wine and cider to seafood and artisinal cheese. Stops on our tour included everything from food trucks to trendy restaurants.
Riding the ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth is one of the most authentic ways to see the second largest harbor in the world. It’s also one of the most inexpensive Halifax tours available. Ferry service began in 1752 and is the oldest, continuous, salt-water passenger ferry service in North America. Since the ferry is part of the public transit system, tickets are very inexpensive. When you get to Dartmouth, you’ll discover great little shops and restaurants to explore.
More Info: For more information on Halifax tours, visit the city’s official tourism website.
Where to Stay in Halifax
We’ve been to Halifax many times. Our favorite place to stay is The Lord Nelson. It’s right beside the Halifax Public Gardens and walking distance to the waterfront, Dalhousie University and many other sites.
More Nova Scotia Adventures: Read our article Tidal Bore Rafting the World’s Highest Tides.