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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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Urban Retreat Massage Therapy

As soon as you set foot inside the Urban Retreat Massage Therapy, 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 Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports to Hotstone, a range of massages are offered at Urban Retreat. Professional Physiotherapist from reputed institutes form the core of the competent team here. All your wellness-related queries are best taken care of thus leaving no room for inhibitions.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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Makenew Curated Thrift Shop

One can hope to stumble upon unique items of clothing, accessories as well as beauty essentials at Makenew Curated Thrift Shop. A venture of talented fashion designer Anna Kristina Gilkerson, this store carries items that are carefully picked up by Anna. The store has a minimal decor with white-washed walls and spacious interiors that provide ease in navigation. Take your time while browsing through the collection because there's so much on offer here. This store also hosts a variety of pop-ups and fashion-related events.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Dartmouth, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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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.

Halifax, NS, Canada
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