6.00am – Arrive at Halifax’s main airport (Halifax Stanfield International, (YHZ)
https://halifaxstanfield.ca/). The airport offers flights from most Canadian cities, Eastern U.S hubs and some European cities.
6.30am – Catch a Driver Dave’s to Halifax. Driver Dave – a former alumnus of Dalhousie University operates a 24/7 shuttle service that halves the cost of getting to Halifax. As taxis in the area are notoriously expensive, a Driver Dave vehicle will pick you up from the front of the airport and you’ll be on your way. (From $20, http://driverdaves.com/).
7.00am – Head on over to Mary’s Place II Cafe. The diner-style cafe offers homestyle meals that will restore even the most tired of travellers. Try Mary’s Big Breakfast or the Onion Rings, or both – for breakfast. Free wifi and coffee refills. (https://www.facebook.com/marysplacecafe2/).
9.00am – Find a new outfit at Value Village. As you’ve most likely just arrived from Australia into the middle of an Atlantic Canadian winter, you’re in for some cold weather. Days of -20°C with extreme winds are not uncommon. Instead of shelling out hundreds (or even thousands) for cold weather gear, head on over to Value Village in Bayer’s Lake or Dartmouth for some of the best thrift shopping you’ll ever find. I’m not joking – entire outfits for <$100 that would easily cost thousands in Australia. (https://www.valuevillage.com/)
11.00am – Visit Citadel Hill. The location for Halifax’s protective fort was chosen in 1749, with the original fort remaining. Tours and guides are available for those curious, otherwise you’re free to roam around and take in both the history and the perfect views of Downtown Halifax and across the harbour to Dartmouth. (http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/halifax/index.aspx).
12.00pm – Stroll from the hill down to Spring Garden Road. One of Halifax’s notoriously vibrant areas, Spring Garden offers a variety of boutique shops and eateries that cater to all. From Smiling Goat Espresso to Bubba Ray’s Sports Bar, there’s something for everyone at every hour of the day. There’s also a variety of mobile providers (cell phone carriers) and banks making Spring Garden the one-stop-shop for new Haligonians.
3.00pm – Head over to Dilly Dally Coffee for some afternoon tea and a real Australian-style latte. The coffee is as close as you’ll get to home and the food is really fresh – something that can be a little harder to find during the coldest months in Halifax. The best way to get to Quinpool Road (and Halifax in general) is via Halifax Public Transit – free with a Dalhousie ID card (DalCard). (http://www.dillydallyeats.com/).
4.00pm – Make your way to your accommodation. Halifax offers a variety of different accommodation options for every purpose and budget. From luxury hotel chains to a cosy Bed and Breakfast, you’ll find it here. Picking somewhere that’s accessible by Halifax Transit is a sure way to make sure that you’re not too far from the action. AirBnB often yields some gems – look around the South End for something that’s both quiet and easily accessible.
5.00pm – Get down to Lot Six for a relaxing drink in one of Halifax’s best bars. The small bites and cocktails are exceptional and the venue has a sophisticated vibe no matter the night. Argyle Street also offers a variety of dining and nightlife options if alcohol isn’t your thing. (https://www.facebook.com/lotsixbar/).
7.30pm – Walk across Argyle and down Barrington until you arrive at Chives. Chives restaurant features a contemporary upscale dining experience, often featuring local and in-season ingredients. The staff are exceptionally knowledgeable and the meals are reasonably priced for their quality. ( https://www.chives.ca/).
10.00pm – Head home for an early night or wander down Barrington and Argyle for countless nightlife options!
2.00am (Optional) – Willy’s Fresh Cut. You’ll find it with your nose. (http://www.willysfreshcut.ca/).
7.00am – Rise and shine. Today, you’re off to Ski Martock for a day of skiing or snowboarding. Less than an hour’s drive from Halifax, Martock offers a respectable amount of runs for being so close to Halifax. $29 for the day including rental and lift access during the week can’t be beat. (https://www.martock.com/).
2.00pm – You’ll be feeling sore and tired at this stage. Head on back to Halifax but stop in at The Spitfire Arms Pub in nearby Windsor for a hearty meal. Really, really good pub grub and plenty of drinks for all. (http://www.spitfirearms.com/).
5.30pm – Back in Halifax. After getting changed and having a quick nap, head on down to Stillwell on Barrington Street. This craft brewery features many local brews on tap, as well as everything and everything in between. As you’re still rather satisfied from lunch, graze on their light meals which are absolutely phenomenal – it’s not unusual for non-drinking patrons to head down just for the food! (http://www.barstillwell.com/).
6.30pm – Walk on down to the Halifax Waterfront. This vantage point and walk by the water provides some of the best views of the city and best of all – it’s free. There’s a few spots that are particularly pretty – finding them is half the fun!
7.30pm – Wondering what all the fuss is with Poutine? Head over to Smoke’s Poutinerie (opposite Willy’s, conveniently) and you’ll see the famous red storefront. Try the smashed fries for something a little deliciously different. (http://smokespoutinerie.com/)
Whether you’re in Halifax for a day, weekend, week or year, you’re bound to find something that appeals to all the senses. Enjoy!