Hi Folks! Did you know that Halifax is on a list of the Top 10 tourist destinations on the rise around the world? They are actually number 4 on the list complied by TripAdvisor as part of it’s Traveler’s Choice Awards – pretty cool!
Well, Kim found this out during her stay there, and she can see why. Halifax is steeped in history, has great restaurants (for all you foodies out there) and is a great spot for day excursions. Kim spent 4 days in Halifax and enjoyed her time there!
Part of the highlights of her stay included 3 tours – A food tour with Local Tasting Tours called “Night Out in Halifax”, a winery tour called “Grape Escapes” and a Halifax History Tour with a company called Halifax Titanic Historical Tours.
First up: A food tour! This tour was a great way to experience different places in downtown Halifax. Their guide Rachael is also the owner of the company and she had a passion for her business and was very knowledgeable.
There were 5 stops on this tour:
- Primal – for a great homemade taco with Chorizo and a local craft beer
- Doro’s Japanese – some sushi (Kim understands this is a popular lunch place)
- Le Bistro by Liz – for a great house martini and a risotto dish
- Lemon Tree – Lemonade and some Turkish food – chicken, carrot slaw
- Middle Spoon – for dessert and a surprise – a Speakeasy
Kim enjoyed all of the restaurants, and would recommend any of them. Her favourite was the Lemon Tree. And…..if you are looking for an experience, she suggests you visit Middle Spoon and ask to go to “Noble” (their secret bar). Middle Spoon started off as purely a dessert bar, but quickly realized they needed to add some “beverages” to their menu. It now has an extensive cocktail menu….pages and pages…. But – the real surprise here is that they have a speakeasy. You need to provide a password, and you are taken into the back room. The ambience is amazing – you feel like you really are in a “prohibition era, in a “scotch” room”. There is a different menu in the secret bar, and it feels like you stepped back in time. If you are in Halifax, do this!
The next tour took Kim about an hour north of Halifax to winery country around the town of Wolfville. This tour company was called Grape Escapes, and her tour guide Colleen led the way!
Over the day the stopped at three wineries (Nova Scotia has 24 wineries in total)
- Benjamin Bridge – This winery has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show Parts Unknown (the episode where he travelled to Newfoundland), and it also had one of it’s wines selected as the Canadian feature in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant. Kim enjoyed their Nova 7 wine
- Luckett Vineyards – the group enjoyed wine tastings here as well as lunch.
- Grand Pre – Kim purchased a red wine here “Castel”. She thought it tasted like a mulled wine (but she isn’t an expert – ha!)
Kim enjoyed the winery tour – she learned that their wines are improving with time (they admitted they weren’t very good a few years ago), and they are getting to be well known, particularly for their white wines, and their “signature” Tidal Bay”. She recommends this tour if you like wine – which we all know she does!
The last tour Kim took in Halifax was with Halifax Titanic History Tours. This was a whirlwind tour, and Kim would recommend that you take this tour the first day you arrive, if possible. It takes you to many different historical places in Halifax and helps you “get your bearings” of the city and give you some ideas of where you might want to go back and explore some more. Their guide Paul has a passion second to none of the city and knows so much about the history. Kim learned more about the Halifax explosion in particular…..but they also quickly visited the University campus, the Citadel, the burying grounds, the Titanic burial grounds, a park dedicated to the explosion, old churches…….you can see what I mean! It was a whirlwind! And they also visited Dartmouth and a quaint village – the Fishing Cove. Paul supplemented his driving tour with Heritage Videos and photos that he shared in the van on a TV screen – it brought everything to life! If you like history, this is the tour for you!
Well folks! These are just a few things to do while you are in Halifax! Kim also enjoyed spending time at the Pier 21 museum. She spent over 3 hours there, and highly recommends! She found the refugee exhibit particularly moving and she also sat down with someone to find out a bit more about her family history. It has inspired her to learn even more.
Kim also took time to walk along the waterfront and visit the farmer’s market. The market is a great place to pick up local produce, and also support local artisans – which you know Kim always does! I think she is going to need another carryon bag to take all of her treasures back with her! Oh…. and take some time to walk through the Public Gardens – it’s free and beautiful!
That’s all for now folks! Kim has moved on to the North Shore of Nova Scotia, and I hear she’s eating her way through town – seafood, seafood, seafood! I’m so jealous!
She’ll be home soon though – she misses us furry kids (and maybe John too!) only a few days left to go!