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Caitlin Melvin | Caitlinalisonmelvin@gmail.com | Toronto, Ontario

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HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA | travel

July 9, 2018

 Hi friends! Wow, it's been a while.

 

It may seem as though I have given up my blog, but I haven't! I'm just super busy enjoying life. I'm trying to update lifestyle/travel content as often as possible, but I do have a lot of travel stuff on the go that I'll be adding to the blog over the next couple months. So really, what i'm getting at, is that for the time being, my blog isn't going to have a lot of consistency! But I hope you still enjoy reading when I do post. You can also follow me on Instagram to see my photos that I update often and I post regularly there as well. 

 

As you can probably tell by the title of this blog post, I went to Halifax. Halifax is in the east coast province, Nova Scotia. It's a beautiful little province. If you have visited both the east and west coast of Canada, you will quickly identify that while they both get to enjoy the ocean, they couldn't be more different. The east coast has a different accent - sometimes difficult to understand, they enjoy partying probably more than any other province, eating seafood and fishing is kind of a big deal and it's pretty relaxed. Nova Scotia is SO enriched with history - everywhere you go you will learn something cool. 

 

My cousin Lindsey lives there, so in terms of places to stay, I don't really have recommendations because I stayed with her this time and last time. But I will provide my mini travel guide at the end of this post. I also plan on going back again next year with Bryon, and we'll have to Airbnb it. 

 

above: low tide at Rushtons Beach 

 

 above: low tide at Rushtons Beach

 

 above: Rushtons Beach

 

above: Drysdale Falls

 

above: my cousin Lindsey and I at Rushtons Beach at sunset (Follow Lindsey's food recommendations on her instagram!!! You will be forever hungry)

 

below: the harbour in from the ferry in Halifax

 above: Mahone Bay

 

 above: Peggy's Cove

 

above: S.S. Atlantic burial site at Terrence Bay

 

 above: Peggy's Cove

 

above: Peggy's Cove

 

above: Peggy's Cove (this is at high tourist time. I've been while the tide is high and no one is around and it's absolutely amazing. I do want to warn that you practice caution here. DO NOT STEP ON ANY BLACK ROCKS. The tide is unpredictable and many people have died here because of their carelessness.

 

above: Peggy's Cove

 

above: Peggy's Cove

 

above: Lunenburg

above: Lunenburg in the fog

 

above: Lunenburg

 

above: Lunenburg

 

above: Lunenburg, The Bluenose II

 

How To Get There

You can fly into Halifax. The airport is about a 30 minute drive from the city, so if you take a taxi it can be quite expensive unless you are able to split the fare with someone. There is a shuttle as well, but it runs at really awkward times with huge gaps in between. 

If you are flying from Toronto and you want to save money and don't have to be in halifax or back home at a specific time, I would say book with Porter Airlines during a seat sale and expect the absolute worst (seriously). This includes: flight cancelations, mechanical issues, delays and diversions. If you have an extra $50-100, fly out from Pearson with Air Canada or West Jet. 

You can also drive in through Quebec.

 

What to do:

Nova Scoita is pretty small restrospectively speaking. I found an extended long weekend was sufficient and I was able to get in what I needed to see...but I've also been there before. Here are some of my suggestions:

1. Enjoy Halifax. It has an awesome food scene and brewery/distillery scene. You can go to Argyle Street and the downtown area - go to the Alexander Keith's brewery, Bicycle Thief and bar hop all the pubs and clubs along the street. It's very vibrant here. But do some research and check out some other great places as well. A good pub I enjoy is Lion and Brite, the Lion's Head has great karaoke on Friday's, Chain Yard Cider is fun, Compass Distillers (right across the street from Lion and Brite) is also really great.

2. If you want to do some tourist-y stuff, the Wharf is really pretty and there is a lot going on there. You can also find yourself a fun lobster dinner. There is also a cool place to check out is Citadel Hill. You can enjoy some history while taking in a beautiful view! There is a Titanic Graveyard in Halifax, which is sad and morbid, but also necessary to see to absorb the fact that this horrible tragedy happened. In December of 1917, two warships collided which resulted in a horrific explosion that killed many people and levelled most of Halifax. You can view the memorial and learn more about the explosion at Fort Needham Park where there is a concrete memorial. The park itself is quite peaceful and has a direct view of where the explosion occurred. 

 

Outside Halifax

If you have a car, there are many really great places to explore in Halifax. Here are my recommendations:

 

1. Mahone Bay: It's beautiful and you can wonder in this little town for hours. Great places to eat as well!

2. Peggy's Cove: Try to go when there is no one there if you can. It can be really difficult to get photos and enjoy this area when there are hundreds of people. Aim for high tide for maximum wave crashing :)

3. The Swiss Air Memorial: In 1998 the tragedy of Swiss Air 111 occurred. There is a special memorial dedicated to the 229 passengers and crew who perished in the accident. I highly recommend visiting it.

4. Chester: An adorable (and progressively conservative) little sailing town. 

5. Terrence Bay: Apparently great for scuba diving and sea kyaking, but also, it's an adorable little fishing town. Just going out of the way to drive through it and visit the SS Atlantic Memorial (tragic story) is good enough. It's really quite pretty.

6. Rushtons Beach: It's a really pretty beach that is probably a lesser known beach, but absolutely beautiful. Be careful of jelly fish and be sure to  not go in the water when jelly fish are present.

7. Tidal Bore Rafting and Mud Sliding: OMG this should be #1 to do on your list!! Seriously. Watch this video, and sign up here. It the most fun you will have!

8. Cape Split: Super long hike, not too strenuous but the reward at the end is beautiful. Bring snack and water because it's a long one!

9. Surfing at Martinique Beach: Nice easy waves to surf or play in. Make sure you either bring or wear the proper wet suit and booties because it's cold out there! Lawrencetown is also an option, but I haven't been.

10. Lunenburg: When I went it was cold and foggy, and I was a little bit hungover, so I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as I should have lol. But it's really pretty, there are TONS of seafood options and the Bluenose II is there, which is pretty neat to see. The homes and shops are very colourful, which makes it super picturesque...PLUS, there is a massive golf course across the water, which makes for a beautiful view.

 

What To Wear

It's the east coast, and you're on the ocean, so you have to respect that. It gets foggy, damp, chilly, cold, hot, humid - sometimes all in one day! Layers are key! Bring a rain coat, a sweater, long pants, long sleeves, short sleeves, shorts, sunscreen etc! Basically, pack for all types of weather. I've included a widget at the bottom for good suggestions :) 

 

 

The waterfall in my photos is a secret. It's on private property, and so, to conserve the land and not draw in more tourist, I'm not revealing where it is. But you can find out from many other blogs.

 

I'll likely be heading back to Nova Scotia again next summer - hopefully with Bryon in tow, and my cousin and I will be doing different things again, so I'll have more recommendations to provide!

 

<3 Caitlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caitlin Melvin lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Bryon and two cats Finnigan and Lucca. A marketing manager by day, blogger on the side, freelance social media specialist and a lover of travel and new experiences