Summer is almost here. With the weather getting warmer and the days longer, it’s time to start planning your summertime activities! One of our favorite budget-friendly things to do this season is camping. You don’t have to go far to find a perfect little getaway spot to pitch your tent and get a campfire going.
We’ve come up with a list of our favorite places to go camping around the Halifax area. Whether you call Halifax your home, or you’re just coming by for a visit, there’s a campground for every taste.
So it’s time to pack your tent (or trailer), sleeping bags and marshmallows, and head out into nature for a weekend of sleeping under the stars, marshmallow roasting and all around good times with friends.
McNabb's Island – Adventurous Campers
For the adventure seeker, McNabb’s Island is the perfect mini vacation! Located in the middle of the harbor, between Eastern Passage and Halifax, and with no facilities on site except for outhouses, this campground is all about roughing it!
You must bring everything you need, from camping gear to food and water. Once you’re all settled, make sure to take advantage of the hiking trails, the beautiful beaches and amazing views of the city. You can also explore the various historical forts that are located on the island. Remember, everything you take on the island, you must take back with you. Respect the environment and don’t leave your trash behind.
Another great thing about this campground is that there is no campsite fee associated! You do however need to reserve your site pass ahead of time, as there is a limited number of passes available.
To get here, you can take a boat charter from downtown Halifax, Dartmouth or Eastern Passage. Depending on pick up location, the boat ride takes from 10 to 30 minutes and costs will vary based on departing location and company providing the service.
Location: McNab's Island, Halifax, NS
Looking for free activities in the area? Check out our list of 16 free things to do in Halifax!
Halifax West KOA – Family Friendly
A great family friendly campground, Halifax West KOA is located just 30 minutes from the city and offers wonderful activities for kids of all ages. From a swimming pool to organized scheduled activities, arcade games and canoe rental, to name just a few, children will be able to find creative ways to explore nature in their new surroundings.
Outside of the campground, there are multiple hiking trails should you wish to do a bit of exploring. And if you decide to venture off into the city to enjoy one of the nearby attractions, you will be pleased with the simplicity to get into town.
Location: 3070 Highway 1, Upper Sackville, NS
Contact: 888-562-4705 (Reservations) or 902-865-4342 (Information)
Weather not cooperating with your plans? Take a look at 16 things to do in Halifax when it's raining!
Shubie Park Campground – Close to Town
This centrally located campground is unique in having its location within city limits. With its proximity to Shubie Park, it’s the perfect place to get out but stay close to home!
Shubie Park offers access to a supervised beach on a lake, where you can go swimming or simply relax and take in the views. You can also rent some kayaks and take a leisure float on a lake or wander over to the canal to see the canal locks.
Besides all that, you will be able to access all the commodities of the city within 15 minutes. From shopping at Mic Mac Mall or Dartmouth Crossing, to strolling around downtown Halifax, restaurants, pubs or anything else your heart may desire. You will be able to enjoy all of the city’s amenities and popular tourist attractions!
Location: 30 John Brenton Dr, Dartmouth, NS
Hubbard's Beach Campground – Beach and Music
Located about 45 minutes from the city, Hubbard’s Beach Campground is situated next to a great private beach, which is accessible to campers. Many of the sites are for seasonal campers and trailers, but there is still a great selection for weekend campers.
The main attraction to this campground is its proximity to the Shore Club, where every Saturday night of the summer months, there are live bands playing. So don't expect a quiet relaxing atmosphere in nature, but it’s also not a huge party.
This campground is perfect for enjoying some drinks, taking in the sunrays at the beach, and dancing the night away on Saturdays!
Location: Shore Club Rd, Hubbards, NS
Dollar Lake Provincial Park – Wooded Seclusion
The furthest campground on this list, Dollar Lake is about 1 hour northeast of Halifax. Its main feature is the popular beach at the north end of the lake, which is supervised during peak season.
A smaller beach is also accessible to campers, and the campsites are nicely wooded and private. Take note that the sites are unserviced (no electrical outlet or water), but amenities such as toilets, showers, fire pits and more. It's a perfect destination for a day outing in nature and camping alike.
Location: 5265 Old Guysborough Road, Wyses Corner, NS
Want to travel out of province? Have a read at our guide to finding cheap flights from Halifax!
Porter's Lake Provincial Park – Nearby Beaches and Hiking Trails
Situated a short 30 minutes drive east of Halifax, this campground is located by beautiful Porter's Lake. It offers various campsites, including walk up sites, some with views of the lake and many others offering great privacy.
A perfect place for canoeing, kayaking and fishing, you can also enjoy some swimming from the beach on the lake. This park is also close to many wonderful hiking trails and other beaches – including Martinique Beach, an amazing long stretching shoreline ideal for sun tanning, relaxing and long sandy walks.
Location: 1160 West Porter’s Lake Rd, West Porter’s Lake, Eastern Shore, NS
Contact: 902-827-2250 or 888-544-3434
Camping with my family is part of my most cherished childhood memories. It’s probably one of the reasons why I still enjoy it so much! Getting in touch with nature, exploring new beaches and forests, making friends, campfires and learning to swim are some of the things we used to do, that children and people of every age still do now!
Remember to respect the environment and wildlife when camping. Check the fire advisories for the region and make sure that you pick up after yourself. You should only leave footprints behind!
Do you have another campground to suggest? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!
Want to explore beaches? Have a look at these great beaches in Nova Scotia!
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