Seen all kinds of posts and questions. Here's some highlights, I live in Halifax ;-)
The Pier is pretty well Downtown. You can walk the whole downtown Waterfront (Pier to the Casino) in about 20 minutes (if you don't get distracted by something ;-) and I'm pretty sure you will).
About half way along this walk, you will find a fine selection of Harbour Tours (http://www.murphysonthewater.com
). You can go Whale Watching/Harbour tours in different type vessels. Kids will love Theodore Tugboat (he had his own Kid show for a while), you can do a sailing tour (sometimes the Bluenose is in port and you can do a tour on it). I just did a Tour yesterday on the Harbour Hopper ($20 adult, $65 for a family of four). It starts out by giving you a short roughly 30 minute tour of the downtown, going up to the top of Citadel Hill), it then heads back down to the Harbour and drive right in the harbour and does a 30 minute harbour tour. I would rate it a must do in Halifax :-)
The Tours through Murphys range between $20-$25. Bus Tours are also available, (http://www.atlantictours.com/tours.cfm?section_id=2
) some you can do on Double Decker Busses. I'm not sure fo the price but probably are in the $35-50 range for a 3hr tour. For $65 you can do a all day city tour hopping on and off at your leisure and combine it with a water tour.
Things to see on the Waterfront, you will have all kinds of ships on your right, always a fine assortment in the harbour.
First thing as you leave the Ship. (This is in order as you walk away from the ship)
-Pier 21 (where you dock) Canada's version of New Yorks Ellis Island. Lots of History here. (http://www.pier21.ca/
- Bishops Landing, some small shops, upper class restaurants
Across the Street will be Brewery Market, it has a Brewery tour and a few different restaurants in it. My favourite in here would be Cheelins Chinese. Best Chinese in Halifax, more authentic not your typical North American Chinese food.
- Waterfront Warehouse (big Restaurant never eaten there so can't give you a review, never heard good or bad about it). If your looking for Seafood, most Restaurants in Halifax have it.
- next up is Maritime Museum (http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mma/
) Lots of History here. War stories, Halifax Explosion (biggest man-made explosion, only Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bigger), and lots of Titantic (even some stuff from the ship). They also have two ships you can go on and look around, Acadia is a survey ship which helped chart Arctic Waters, and the Last surviving Corvette from WWII, HMCS Sackville.
- Next up are some smaller type tourist attraction shops/snack stands. Fish & Chips are pretty good, but I would highly recommend the Beavertail, they are awesome. This is where you book the Harbour Hopper.
- You will then cross over a pedestrian bridge, and will come to Murphys on the Water Complex, you can book your harbour tours here, shop in there gift shop, they even have a very good Restaurant built right on the Pier (I have eaten there ;-)
- Next Building you come to is the Harbour Ferry, for $2 you can cross over to the Dartmouth side, fine views of the Harbour but then again if your on a Cruise ship in the Harbour you'd have those same views anyways ;-(
- On you left will be a little strip mall, Stayners Restaurant (we really like Stayners), Perks Coffee Shop is here, as you go around it the side facing the street they have a few shops, one which rents Bicycles.
- Going back to the Waterfront, you will then come to Historic Properties. It has a bunch of small shops, and a upper scale food court. They even have a little Micro brewery in the Court.
- Next would be Salty's Restaurant (it's good too, we prefer Stayners however). Lower and Upper Deck are also in Historic Poperties. Lower Deck being Pub Food, Upper Deck being much Fancier/Expensive.
- You Now come to the Sheraton Hotel. you will have to walk for about another 5 minutes and you will come to the Casino. I'm not a gambler, and don't go there but I've heard they have really good food at there restaurants.
That's the Waterfront ;-)))
If you want to stay downtown, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (http://www.agns.gov.ns.ca/
)is just up from Perks. Historic Province House is across from the Art Gallery. If you keep on walking up from Perks you will go right up Citadel Hill.. It has a fine Museum, and a ton of History surrounding it.
Now if you want to do some shopping but not leave the downtown, head over to Spring Garden Road (about a 8 minute walk fromt the ship). As you walk along Spring garden you'll find lots of diffrent shops, Parklane Mall. You will come to the Public Gardens eventually (http://www.halifaxpublicgardens.ca/
). Very beautiful in there.
Mountain Equipment Coop also has a great store downtown (just up from Brewery Market). You can rent a Kayak there if you energetic enough to carry it back down to the harbour and back, (I would recomment this for serious Kayakers only, Halifax Harbour is not the place to go swimming
As for other stuff to see and do, the downtown is loaded with Restaurants and Pubs, we locals tend to eat more at the Pubs, good food at better prices. Argyle on Argyle St. is one of our favourites. Economy Shoe Shop (yes it is a restaurant ;-) also on Argyle is very popular as well.
If you want to head out from the downtown, Car Rental is the ideal way to do it.
Shopping - I would head over to Dartmouth and go to Mic Mac Mall. Halifax Shopping Centre is very good as well.
Experiencing Nova Scotia - Head to Peggys Cove, or maybe even Lunenburg (90 minute drive). Eastern Passage has a very quaint little tourist friendly Fishing Village. It's about a 30 minute drive from the Ship, it's on the outskirts of Dartmouth
Here's some informative websites about Halifax
has some excellent info about Halifax.
If ya need more specifics just email me!!!