When guests arrive at Best Western Plus Chocolate Lake, they’re greeted by the hotel’s resident chocolate lab, Cocoa. The 4-year-old rescue dog has been a celebrated member of the staff ever since the hotel underwent renovations in 2007; she even has her own business cards and is one of the most followed animals on Twitter. Chocolate Lake, one of Cocoa’s favorite spots, is just a few steps from the hotel.
The small lake overlooks Halifax to the east and is a popular spot for swimming in the summer and ice-skating or deconstructing snowmen in the winter. Its waters are visible from some guest rooms and the patio of the Lakeside Grill, which serves beer-battered haddock, braised-beef stew, and a complimentary hot breakfast buffet.
For indoor recreation, head to the hotel’s indoor saltwater pool. The water is gentle on skin and better for the environment than chlorine pools. It’s just one of the eco-friendly measures that earned the hotel a 3 Green Key eco-rating.
Halifax, Nova Scotia: A Capital “City” with Sea-Faring History
The city of Halifax does not actually officially exist. Although it was once the capital city of Nova Scotia, the government dissolved the city of Halifax in 1996, choosing instead to govern Nova Scotia as a whole. For being in a province that officially has no cities, however, Halifax continues to thrive. It’s steeped in history and filled with notable landmarks, but thanks to its large student population, the community feels youthful and progressive.
For a view of the harbor, head to the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk. The wooden footpath runs about a mile along the downtown waterfront, with plenty of opportunities to warm up in a pub or fish ‘n’ chips shop along the way. At its center is the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum. The city also encompasses hundreds of acres of public parks, including the beautiful Halifax Public Gardens and Point Pleasant Park.