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How can you not have a good time in this bustling port city by the ocean? Just ask the dozens of stars who kicked back in Halifax last summer, including Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey, Liam Neeson and Dame Judi Dench. Follow the harbour for a two-kilometre walk amidst sailors and ships.

9:30 a.m.: Ships Ahoy! Get your sea legs at the oceanfront Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Sit in a replica of on of the only intact deck chairs in the world from the Titanic, examine 18th-century coins from shipwrecks in the Shipwreck Treasures of Nova Scotia exhibit and ask if the museum’s largest artifact, the CSS Acadia docked alongside, is open for a tour.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
1675 Lower Water St.,

Open Wednesday to Saturday 9:30 a.m.—5:30 p.m., Tuesday 9:30 a.m.—8 p.m., Sunday 1—5 p.m.

After May 1: Monday, Wednesday to Saturday 9:30 a.m.—5:30 p.m., Tuesday 9:30 a.m.—8 p.m., Sunday May and October from1 p.m.—5:30 p.m., June—September 10:30 a.m.—5:30 p.m.

11 a.m.—Noon: Stroll along the bustling Halifax boardwalk (about 30 minutes to one hour) to watch the famous Bluenose II (the original is on the Canadian dime), the ferries and cargo ships sailing in the world’s second largest natural harbour. Shop for a nautical souvenir such as a striped fishermen’s sweater at one of the seaside shops. Take a small detour up Duke St. to see the handcrafted wares at the shop run by students from the renowned Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.

Noon —1:15 p.m.: When hunger strikes, tuck into seafood chowder or a steak at McKelvie’s Restaurant & Bar across the way (10 minutes), 1680 Lower Water St. 902-421-6161. Or to catch some rays, eat outdoors with a view of the harbour at Salty’s on the Waterfront (2 minutes), 1869 Upper Water St. 902-423-6818.

1:15—2:30 p.m.: Start your afternoon by walking all the way to Pier 21, Canada’s “Ellis Island,” at the southern end of the waterfront (about 20 to 25 minutes). Don’t miss the moving multi-media show about immigration to Canada and the exhibits at Attractions Canada’s “Best New Attraction for 2001.” If your ancestors arrived by ship in Canada between 1928 and 1938, check out the Resource Centre for details and a photo of their ship.

Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Rd. (behind the Westin Nova Scotia hotel),
Open Wednesday to Saturday 10—5 p.m., Sunday noon—5 p.m. Open daily starting May 21 from 9—5 p.m.

2:30—3:30 p.m.: Walk past the cruise ship dock and back along the waterfront to the Brewery Market Place (about 10 minutes). Sign up at Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery for their unique animated tour. Have a look around the Brewery Market and perhaps order a mid-morning coffee with cinnamon buns from Mary’s Bread Basket. Then meet up with the costumed actors, who tell the story of beer and early Halifax in rollicking song and story. End the tour by quaffing a mug of ale and singing along with the brewery folk from the last century. Corny but fun.

1496 Lower Water St., Halifax (near Hollis)
Tours Friday and Saturday 5—8 p.m. every half hour. Summer hours Monday to Thursday noon—8 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon—9 p.m., Sunday noon—4 p.m.

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