Nova Scotia: What to See and Do Near Halifax

by Desiree Miller on June 22, 2017

Peggy's Cove lighthouse near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

From breathtaking views of sunrise and the chilly splash of water on the rocks of the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, to the tombstones of those lost at sea when the Titanic went down, Nova Scotia offers sites you’ll long remember after a brief visit to the region.

Halifax is the capital of this Canadian province and where you’ll find several museums and memorable landmarks. A trip through the town still shows remnants of the Halifax Explosion in 1917, one of the greatest disasters in Canadian history, when a cargo ship carrying munitions collided with another ship, resulting in an exposition that wiped out an entire district of the city, killing about 2,000 people and injuring 9,000 others.

Citadel Hill in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

You can stop by Citadel Hill for a great view of the city’s downtown area and walk along the waterfront, or Halifax Harbourwalk, for some of its fun eateries and shops.   A must-see along the boardwalk is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, where you can learn more about the city’s critical role in the Titanic disaster, along with other notable facts of its maritime history. The boardwalk is also where you’ll catch a ride for many of the whale-watching tours that you can enjoy on your visit. For me, a day of walking the waterfront was plenty, including the visit to the museum. Another day should be set aside to actually get out on the water on one of the paid boat tours where you’ll learn more about the environment and history of the coast. Also, be sure to carve out time to stop by the Fairview Lawn Cemetery where you’ll find the graves of many of those who died at sea in the Titanic sinking, including the ‘grave of the unknown child’ (now known to be ‘the Goodwin child’, through testing done in the decades since the tragedy). There are 110 monuments there, and it’s hard not to tear up when walking by that particular marker.

unknown child

Grave markers for Titanic victims at Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Set aside at least one other day to explore the surrounding region, especially Peggy’s Cove. Grab a meal at the restaurant at the foot of the light, famous for its lobster, but leave plenty of time to climb the rocks near the lighthouse and simply relax. Steer clear of the black rocks at the bottom. The waves are dangerous in those spots and people have been carried out to sea while standing in those areas, despite signs warning them of the danger. However, the rocks above those wet ones are ideal for an hour or so of sitting and appreciating all of nature’s glory.

This video highlights many of the things you’ll see on a visit to this special coastal region of Canada.

 

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