24 Hours in Halifax

We took a quick trip over to Halifax on Wednesday, stayed overnight, and then came back yesterday. Here’s a quick recap of the trip:

  • The Hilton Garden Inn Halifax Airport is a wonderful modern hotel with excellent rates. It is, however, not actually in Halifax. I knew this going in, but I underestimated the hassle of the 40km drive from downtown out to the hotel. Next time we’ll bite the bullet, pay $100 more a night, and stay downtown.
  • Oliver and I test drove a Smart Car: here’s the photographic evidence. Verdict: in first and second gear it drives like a lawn tractor; at higher speeds it’s fine. The transmission — a sort of manual/automatic hybrid — is the weak point of the car. It’s positively roomy inside — lots of head room, and it doesn’t feel cramped. There is almost no storage space, however — not even a glove box. The sales guy O’Regans, which appears to have the car market in Halifax pretty well tied up, was very helpful, and very low-pressure.
  • Talay Thai, on Barrington Street near the train station, is an excellent Thai restaurant. It was packed on Wednesday night (every other Thai place we’ve ever visited in Halifax has been deserted) and the food packed a wallop. Service was on the slow side, but transcendentally nice.
  • The ferry is a much more pleasant way to travel to the mainland than bridge. And the photo ops are better too.
  • Cabin Coffee on Hollis (it’s tucked into the side of the parking garage) is a great place to hang out with kids. They also serve great food and drink. Very comfortable armchairs.
  • Brio is the best soft drink going.
  • Frog Hollow Books, inside the mall on Spring Garden Road, has an excellent kids books section, and a great selection of “armchair travel” books that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
  • Pete’s Frootique still rocks after all these years.
  • …as does The Italian Market.
  • Gasoline is very expensive. $53 to fill up!? See also Smart Car above.


Jevon's picture
Jevon on August 18, 2006 - 21:41 Permalink

I usually use priceline bidding to get The Westing Nova Scotian for about 50$/night. It’s a great deal and is usually around during high season. Priceline now takes credit cards from Canadians with no hassel at all.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 19, 2006 - 00:19 Permalink

At Dan James’ suggestion I tried the Priceline trick, attempting a $45 — $50 — $65 bid in Halifax for 2-3 star every day for the 7 days leading up to our visit, and came up with no results at all. I suspect it’s completely due to the week we were visiting — busker fest, etc. — causing very high occupancy, and so few or no rooms being dumped to Priceline.

Lola's picture
Lola on August 19, 2006 - 02:32 Permalink

You should try Steve-o-reno’s coffee the next time you come. The Mokas are divine. I’d also add Botticelli’s in Bishop’s Laning to your culinary exploits. They have awesome gelato.