Treat Yourself to a Fabulous Gaycation in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Scenic. Surreal. Serene. Your gaycation getaway will take on a whole new meaning at Halifax.

Travel Canada Brian Webb

This article was published on July 27th, 2022

Blending rich history with present day, Halifax, Nova Scotia is rolling out the rainbow carpet to welcome LGBTQ+ visitors for a fabulous gaycation. Located on the eastern seaboard of Canada, the maritime province of Nova Scotia is a vibrant destination with incredible adventures and attractions for memorable holidays. 

Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia, and the largest city in the Maritimes. The skyline is dotted with 18 and 19th century buildings, alongside ultra-modern towers of steel and glass. The pedestrian-friendly downtown core has beautiful tree-lined streets, restaurants, galleries, museums, historic landmarks, and nightlife. The downtown core is the backdrop of the bustling harbourfront. 

With vibrant culture and a large, active LGBTQ+ community, Halifax is emerging as a new, hot destination for gay travellers. Known for authentic, friendly, Canadian hospitality, Nova Scotians are eager and excited to share their province with visitors. It’s this signature warm and friendly attitude that makes Nova Scotia so special. 

Here is a look at some memorable, bucket list items, to help you plan a fabulous gaycation to Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

At the top of the city you will find a place that is both new and old. The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is an excellent way to get a glimpse into the city’s past—and into its future.

Situated at the top of Citadel Hill, this National Historic Site is a national landmark, commemorating Halifax’s role as a key naval station in the British Empire and bringing history to life in Atlantic Canada’s largest urban centre.

Here, you’ll find daily activities like firing of the noon gun and manoeuvres by infantry detachments dressed in 19th-century uniforms, concerts by pipes and drums of the 78th Highland Regiment playing tunes of the mid-Victorian period, demonstrations by soldiers’ wives, guided tours and more.

Peggy’s Cove 

Take an unforgettable bus tour with Greyline Ambassadors to one of the most photographed lighthouses in Canada! Nova Scotia is home to over 160 historic lighthouses and these majestic beacons can be found throughout the province. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of Nova Scotia’s most well-known lighthouses and may be the most photographed in Canada. Located in the quaint fishing village of Peggy’s Cove along the South Shore, Peggy’s Point Lighthouse was built in 1915.

Located just an hour’s drive from Halifax, Peggy’s Cove is famed for its picturesque and typically East-Coast profile, with houses perched along a narrow inlet and on wave-washed boulders facing the Atlantic. Although this unique environment has been designated a preservation area, it is still an active fishing community.

Peggy’s Cove has been an artist and explorer’s paradise for well over 150 years. This picture-perfect postcard village on the rugged Atlantic shoreline, stands on solid rock above the crashing surf. The fishing village has long been a backdrop for tales of pirates and shipwrecks, and you will have some free time to explore the rocks, walking trails, village, and many quaint boutiques and gift shops in the cove. 

Book your bus tour with Grey Line Ambassatours. This tour will have your camera working overtime as you see the beauty of the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse against its powerful Atlantic Ocean backdrop!

Lunenburg and Mahone Bay 

Hop aboard a tour bus with Gray Line Ambassatours on a half-day tour to explore Lunenburg and Mahone Bay. 

Lunenburg is a port town on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. Old Town Lunenburg is one of only two urban communities in North America designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Seventy percent of the original buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries continue to greet visitors with their colourful façades.

Wander Old Town Lunenburg’s distinctive waterfront with its colourful buildings and listen to salty tales of seafaring and rum running. Likewise, discover a charming town filled with amazing restaurants, distilleries, breweries, artisans, and unique shops. 

There are more postcard-perfect sights to be seen in Mahone Bay, just a short drive along the scenic Atlantic coastline. Tucked into the craggy shores of its namesake bay, this popular destination known for the get-away-from-it-all setting is home to art galleries, maritime museums, and an annual boat festival, drawing thousands of seafaring travellers each year. 

For fans of the hit History Television show, The Curse of Oak Island, you can visit the Mug and Anchor Pub, which is regularly featured in the season, where Rick and Marty Lagina have catch-up meetings with their Oak Island crew to discuss new discoveries and theories. 

Your day along the wildly beautiful coastline of Nova Scotia is sure to take your breath away.

Georges Island National Historic Site

Georges Island National Historic Site is a place of historic significance to the Mi’kmaq people. The island is in the heart of Halifax Harbour, and the land has been a home to generations of Mi’kmaq before it became a key settlement by the Europeans.

George’s Island is only accessible by tour boat. Murphy’s on the Water offers regular scheduled service to and from George’s Island. Plan to send 1-2 hours exploring the island, taking in the views of Halifax, and exploring Fort Charlotte. 

Pier 21 and the Canadian Museum of Immigration 

The Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is the only place in Canada where you can learn about the experiences of immigrants as they arrived in Canada, the vital role of immigration in the building of Canada, and the contributions of immigrants to Canada—all at once.

The main exhibition at the museum is dedicated to the years when Pier 21 was open as an immigration point. It brings together artifacts from all over the world that tell stories about immigration and refugees, including photographs and documents from around the world.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

The Maritimes are rich in sailing and shipping history, and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is the best place to learn about its past. There are dozens of scale models, dioramas, and displays to tell the seafaring history. While there are centuries of history to learn about, the museum has a very important connection to one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, the Titanic. 

When the ill-fated liner sunk on the night of April 15, 1912, the survivors were picked up by the Carpatia and send to New York, while cable ships from Halifax were deployed to search for and recover the bodies and pieces of wreckage, and to bring them back to Halifax. 

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is generally recognized as having the world’s finest collection of wooden artifacts from Titanic. These fragments, including a near perfectly preserved deckchair and large pieces of oak carving, are featured as part of the museum’s permanent exhibit.

Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery

Take an immersive tour of the Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery as actors in period costume lead you back in time to learn about the famous beer, the historic brewery, and the challenges of life in Halifax in 1863.

You’ll have the opportunity to vist Stag’s Head Tavern for great music, music, and enjoy samples of Alexander Keith’s finest ales! Tours are one hour long, beginning the top of every hour. Prebooking is highly recommended, especially during peak season. 

Halifax Waterfront

The Halifax waterfront is absolutely beautiful. It’s dotted with wharfs, restaurants, entertainment, attractions, and activities. Along the piers there are ships visitors can board and explore.

There are areas where you can lounge in a signature Adirondack chair and watch the harbour activities. Taste Halifax at the outdoor food market or people watch and enjoy fresh seafood at one of the boardwalk restaurants.

It’s also a great spot to catch live entertainment and events. It’s the fun and liveliest part of Halifax ready to be enjoyed, from sunrise to sunset. 

Halifax–Dartmouth Ferry

The Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry is the oldest saltwater ferry in North America, and the second oldest in the world. Today it’s operated by Halifax Transit and links Downtown Halifax with two locations in Dartmouth—Alderney Landing and Woodside.

Take the ferry to Alderney Landing to see the Halifax skyline from the other side of the Harbour. Not to mention, downtown Dartmouth has cool new residents that have recently deemed it one of the country’s hippest new neighbourhoods, with some of the hottest eateries, trendiest shops and coolest hipster hangouts.

Halifax Harbour Tours

Embark on a journey unlike any other. Halifax Harbour Tours offers tours aboard a completely electric-powered boat. You’ll learn about the propulsion system from the Captain of Halifax Harbour Tours, hear interesting facts about the harbour, George’s Island, and cities from their guide, or just sit back and relax—your choice.

Halifax Harbour Hopper

It’s time to take a step back into history! The Halifax Harbour Hopper is a fun experience that will take you on a journey through the historic city of Halifax. You’ll get to see all of the unique neighbourhoods, historic sites, and landmarks that make this city so special.

You’ll see Citadel Hill National Historic Site, the Halifax Public Gardens, and bustling Spring Garden Road. Then you’ll continue through downtown before making your way into Halifax Harbour!

You’ll see George’s Island, the Halifax waterfront, historic properties and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic just to name a few! This fully narrated tour includes topics such as the Halifax Explosion, the rich history of naval dockyards and Halifax’s role during war and peace.

Halifax Ghost Walk

Established in 1990, The Halifax Ghost Walk is the oldest Ghost Walk in North America. From the Citadel Hill at the Old Town Clock, you’ll walk through Halifax’s historic city blocks, ending on the Halifax waterfront behind the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic. 

Narrators have led hundreds of thousands of travellers & locals through the historic downtown streets at night, spinning tales of ghosts, pirates, hauntings, buried treasures, & other mysterious stories from the city’s rich past. Tours are approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes long and are designed for all age groups and are typically conducted on dark, quiet nights.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Downtown Halifax 

Boasting a central location in downtown Halifax, the Homewood Suites by Hilton Halifax Downtown is exactly where you will want to stay on your next gaycation to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its home-like suites, amenities, and proximity to restaurants, bars, entertainment, and activities in Halifax make it the perfect choice. 

Importantly, the Homewood Suites by Hilton Halifax Downtown warmly welcomes the LGBTQ+ community, offering a safe and friendly space for queer travellers. 

Visit Nova Scotia

From Yarmouth to Meat Cove and all points in between, your Nova Scotia adventure awaits. Experience sandy beaches, coastal hikes, whale watching, coastal inlets perfect for paddling, national parks, charming seaside towns and bustling city nights. Savour the freshest seafood, produce, and locally inspired menus. Pair it with our wines, beer, cider and spirits crafted by talented producers. 

Walk on the ocean floor and visit the #1 Island in the Americas; golf some of the best courses in the world and discover our history and culture that is tied to the sea. It’s easy to do more in Nova Scotia. Book your getaway today at www.novascotia.com.

Watch the HomoCulture Tour highlight reel from Halifax, Nova Scotia:

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