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Best Hidden Gems in Halifax

By: Cityseeker
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Maud Lewis' Painted House

Maud Lewis was a folk artist who received escalating fame only late in life and after her death. Her life was spent in poverty, during which she painted every surface that she could in her tiny cottage. Today, her Painted Home is preserved within the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and attracts much attention from the art world. As a child, Maud Lewis was encouraged to paint Christmas cards and she continued this habit even after her marriage to fish seller Everett Lewis. She usually painted only on small surfaces instead of large canvases and used colors directly from the tube rather than mixing paints on a palette. Hence, her house is a treasure trove of cards, murals and postcards. Almost every surface is painted with floral patterns or outdoor scenes, right from the door frames and staircase to storage boxes, vases and cutlery. This whimsical house affords a glimpse into the life of Maud Lewis who lived in poverty and suffered from arthritis, yet created paintings that are auctioned for thousands of dollars today.

1723 Hollis Street, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J 1V9
Zwicker's Gallery

Opened in 1886, the Zwicker Gallery is one of the oldest galleries in the country. The gallery features contemporary art, art from the 20th Century and earlier, folk art, sculptures and crafts. Maps and engravings have also been recently added to the list of displays. A visit to the gallery is a must for history and art lovers. Not only do you get to see the interesting preserved maps from the 1700s but also vibrant and colorful classical folk art. Both an educating and enjoyable experience for those who want to see a glimpse of Nova Scotia's growth as an art state.

5415 Doyle Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J 1H9
Elsie's Used Clothing

The bright, yellow exterior of Elsie's Used Clothing makes this store impossible to miss on Queen Street. Certain finds are hung outside to beckon passers and they almost, always work! From dresses, skirts to woolens, handbags, purses, accessories and more, Elsie's Used Clothing has tonnes of items for your to choose from. The owner, Elsie is a fashionista herself, and her vintage style reflects in the contents of the store. Warm and welcoming, this place has a local charm which leaves an impression on travelers. Try and locate the USD2 Bin, it's a treasure chest for those on a tight budget.

1530 Queen Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J 2H8
Urban Retreat Massage Therapy

As soon as you set foot inside the Urban Retreat Massage Therapy center, you are sure to bid adieu to all your tensions and worries. This wellness retreat is very popular in the city for their highly effective massages. From Deep Tissue, Sports to Hotstone, a range of massages are offered at Urban Retreat. Professional physiotherapists and massage therapists from reputed institutes form the core of the competent team here. All your wellness-related queries are taken care of expertly, with the facility enabling a rejuvenating and relaxing experience.

5551 Clyde Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J 3T5
One Block Barbershop (OBB)

If you are a trend-setter then One Block Barbershop (OBB) is just the right place for you. Managed by a competent team, this barbershop caters to the hair-styling needs of men and women alike. When you have a look in mind, simply guide the stylists here and they are sure to only delight you with their magic. In addition to hair cuts, One Block Barbershop also offers services like hair coloring and texturing to complete your new look.

2010 Gottingen Street, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3K 3A9
Georges Island Lighthouse

Established in 1917, on the site of an even older lighthouse of 1876, the Georges Island Lighthouse overlooks the Halifax Harbor. The concrete, red and white colored structure sports an aluminium lantern. Operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, the lighthouse makes for a great photo opportunity, given the splendid picture it makes with the blue sky and clear water spread around it.

Georges Island Road, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3J 1M5
Interlude Spa

A wellness sanctuary awaits to relax your senses at the Interlude Spa. Popular for their unique offerings like Moroccan Oil Body Treatment, Honey Mandarin Citrus Scrub and the chocolate-laden body wrap, this spa takes skin care to another level. Exotic facial treatments and body sugaring is also undertaken at the Interlude Spa. In addition to skin treatments, the spa takes care of your precious tresses by offering stylish hair cuts, coloring and add-ons to make you look exquisite.

58 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth, NS, Canada, B2Y 1C2
Sir Sandford Fleming Park Trail

Snaking through the landscape of the Sir Sandford Fleming Park is the eponymous trail that makes visitors privy to some breathtaking sights and activities. The head of the trail commences from the Dingle Tower parking lot or alternatively, one can embark from the lower boat launch parking lot. The trail meanders along a path of nearly 2.8 kilometers (1.73 miles), along which one can hike, bike, engage in bird watching and Nordic walking. On the way, there are several benches for resting, or appreciating the natural surroundings.

Dingle Road, Sir Sandford Fleming Park, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3P 1B2
Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower

9:05a on December 6, 1917 was a fateful day for the city of Halifax. A French cargo ship named SS Mont-Blanc hit against a Norwegian ship SS Imo near Upper Halifax Harbor. The French ship exploded due to an internal fire, killing about 2000 people and injuring 9000! Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower commemorates the victims of this devastating incident and also those who were rendered homeless when the surrounding neighborhood of Richmond blew up. It also pays homage to the courageous people who rebuilt the city of Halifax. The tall memorial is located within Fort Needham Memorial Park, close to where the calamity occurred. There are 10 bells hanging from this memorial, which were donated by Barbara Orr, the lone survivor in her family. At 9:05a on December 6 every year, a memorial service is held and a short silence is observed.

Union Street, Fort Needham Memorial Park, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3K 3N9
Duncan’s Cove Trail

Deemed to be one of the best hikes on the coastal shoreline of Nova Scotia, a walk along the Duncan’s Cove Trail promises wonder and awe. The Ketch Harbor Road leads to this return trail of 8 kilometers (4.97 miles), taking one approximately 2.5 hours to hike the entire length. Along this magnificent trail, one can expect to see tempestuous waters of the Atlantic crashing on rugged rocks, and caution comes highly recommended, owing to its slippery form. Seals and whales can be sighted during late spring, while the historical World War II bunker located nearby creates an aura of mystery. Since this trail can be slightly perilous and exhausting especially for beginners, it is recommended to carry a water bottle and trail mix before heading here.

Duncan's Cove Road, Duncan's Cove, Halifax, NS, Canada, B3V 1K4
Hatfield Farm

Hatfield Farm is a favorite with horse riding enthusiasts and offers miles of trails through picturesque woods. With wagon and sleigh rides, riding classes, and pony rides for children, it is the best place in Halifax to learn horse riding. Activities range from short rides for kids to lessons in advanced horse handling, grooming, tacking and western riding for adults. You can also learn more about other farm animals at the Petting Zoo, play mini golf at a course surrounded by wilderness, and end the day dancing and eating by the campfire. Do not forget to take kids to the Rubber Rodeo where they can bounce and jump to their heart's content. The beautiful farmland and its accompanying lodge and restaurant can be rented for hosting weddings and corporate events.

1840 Hammonds Plains Road, Hammonds Plains, Halifax, NS, Canada, B4B 1P4
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