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The heart and soul of Halifax

Breathe in some sea air and escape to the coastal city of Halifax for your campervan holiday. Green parks are the draw-card for tourists, flocking like gulls to this quiet getaway, where the natural environment is unique. While not a bustling metropolis, Halifax still enjoys a lively nightlife and contemporary restaurants with warm Canadian hospitality. As the capital of Nova Scotia, the city is a working port and has beautiful walks around the seafront.

Halifax is Canada’s largest city east of Quebec. It was founded in 1749 and has an enchanting feel. Cannons fire from Citadel Hill every day at noon and a little red tugboat moseys around the harbour.

One you are done exploring this lovely city, you can embark on an East coast road trip through the Atlantic provinces up to Toronto. The US are also a good road trip destination being only 5 hours drive from Halifax.

Take a break and get some sleep

There are plenty of options for campers in Nova Scotia, ranging from budget trailer parks to more leisurely grounds. The more popular tourist parks sell out quickly during peak season, so get in as early as possible. Woodhaven Park is the closet camping ground to Halifax city and is situated in pleasant woodlands. You can book online and they have free Wi-Fi. Shubie Park campground is surrounded by two lakes and is the only one in Nova Scotia where you can stay in a yurt – a large nomadic style tent. Laurie Park and Halifax West KOA are also great options.

Unwind in the capital

The effortless charm of Nova Scotia is best seen as you drive along the coastline. Take in the raw beauty of immense cliffs and calm beaches and visit the quaint villages dotted along the drive. The seven unique regions around Halifax offer plenty of rich culture, so no matter where you go, you’ll be captivated. From the city, the beaches are only 20 minutes away and the boardwalk and coast are not far either. If you’re up for something different, have a go at surfing at the East Coast Surf School.

The arts scene is thriving and anything goes. Musical performances with parachutes and children’s toys are perfectly acceptable. Neptune Theatre is a popular cultural hot-spot and you can catch live music most nights. The Halifax Public Gardens are a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Designed by the same planners that created New York’s Central Park, the gardens are a great place to enjoy a picnic near the pond. Citadel Hill is the highest point in the city and offers great views over Halifax. Fort George perched atop is a good way to explore the history of the region.

Catch the ferry to Dartmouth – it’s the oldest saltwater ferry service in North America. Or join the throngs of fans and catch a game at one of the nationally known sports facilities. For your morning wander, visit the longest running Farmers’ Market at Pier 21. Taste local produce – crepes, veges, ice-cream and beer – all with the beautiful backdrop of George’s Island. From here you can walk along the longest wooden boardwalk in North America to the Maritime Museum. You can sampe artefacts from the sunken Titanic and learn more of the maritime history of Nova Scotia.

Imbibing by the sea

The culinary scene in Halifax has something for everyone. The student culture ensures plenty of cheap eats, while the vacation industry provides an opportunity for sophisticated dining. Seafood is obviously a sure winner this close to the coast and mussels find their way onto most menus and are relatively inexpensive.

Head up to Agricola St in the North End and you’ll be spoiled for choice. The city is booming with craft beers, and with more pubs per capita than any other city in Canada, it would be rude not to try a local brew. Quench your thirst at Bridge Brewing before chomping down on an Ace Burger from another local watering hole, just up the road at Gus’ Pub. In this small town, the decor and ambience of Edna feels cosmopolitan and sophisticated. The beautiful space is met with stunning food and makes for a perfect date night. The Bicycle Thief has locals raving about the lasagne – but the lobster chowder and tuna tartare are equally delicious.

Sushi is a popular cuisine, with bars popping up all over town. The favourites are: Wasabi House and Suzuki Restaurant. The Costal Cafe is a go-to for brekkie or brunch. While the coffee is average, the food is to die for. It’s unlike anything in Halifax. Food trucks have found their way into the city and if you’ve a sweet tooth, you can’t go past the bright red Ol’ School Donuts bus. Sugary and delicious and with 10 for only five bucks, you can’t go wrong. Lounge on the Waterfront Warehouse patio and while the afternoon away with platters of fresh seafood and good wine.

Students and sea dogs

Living on the coast, the people of Halifax are relaxed and the culture is easy going. Park up your RV and take a stroll. The locals are friendly and the hospitality warm and generous. Volunteering for charity is a regular pursuit. It’s a small-big city of only 400,000 and a university town. This keeps the culture fresh in such a sleepy city.

Sea breezes and sunshine

The best months for an RV trip through Halifax are May through until October. During summer and fall the weather is pleasant, while in July there are plenty of festivals to keep you occupied. Right Some Food is the original pop-up food festival of North America and a haven for foodies. Sea breezes keep the air clean and fresh, so outdoor activities are great all year round, just prepare to rug up during winter.

Choosing the right RV for you

Canada has a number of reliable RV companies available. Canadream has good reviews and a large fleet of vehicles. Fraserway, Compass Campers and Real Value RV Rental are excellent alternatives. Of course, if you are travelling on longer road trips from North America, you can pick up your RV across the border and use rental companies such as Cruise America, who’s sister company is Cruise Canada

Handy tips for your RV road trip:

  • Remember that the driving laws may change as you cross province lines in Canada.

  • The RV camping season in Canada is short, so be aware that campsite availability may be limited.

  • Even though there are many winter activities available in Canada, many camping grounds are closed in the colder months. Book ahead where possible.