Head to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for scenic beauty and historical fun

Peggy's Cove lighthouse in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Peggy's Cove lighthouse in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Summer is upon us, and for many travelers that means that it is time to head out and explore the world. For some, that means boarding a Canada cruise to see the Great White North up close and personal. While many tours and cruises will include stops in larger urban centers, spending some time in Halifax, Nova Scotia, can prove an interesting alternative to many of the better-known locales.

Halifax is the capital of the province and the largest city east of Quebec. Though largely a government town, the city also enjoys a great relationship with the sea, with the city being listed as one of the greatest natural harbors in the world and providing local restaurants with some of the freshest fish in the region.

The city was originally founded in 1749 as a British military outpost, seeing action in both the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, the town was later destroyed during the first World War when a munitions ship crashed into the harbor. Though from the ashes rose a powerful and prosperous city that remains an important hub for culture and industry.

Travelers can learn all about this extensive history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. This facility houses scores of naval and shipping relics that are sure to excite history buffs, including the world's foremost collection of Titanic memorabilia.

Sightseers may also want to book a tour that includes a coastal drive to Peggy's Cove, a small community just north of the city that has long been celebrated for its scenic views of the Atlantic. Key to the appeal of this city is Peggy's Point, an idyllic red-and-white lighthouse that lends a serene and classic appearance to the otherwise rocky coastline of Nova Scotia.

Closer to the city is the small fishing town of Lunenburg, a classic 18th century settlement that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. This classic burg offers visitors a glimpse of what life was like in historic Canada, and was once known as "the fishing capital of the world."

Other sites that visitors on Canada cruises will want to check out include St. Paul's Cathedral, the first Anglican church in the country; Province House, the country's oldest seat of government; and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a living museum that see actors milling about and living out their lives as if it were 1869.