Halifax is throbbing with bands ready to be the next big thing, single boys and girls looking to change their status and enough bars to please a fleet of sailors.
Elise Graham is a student at NSCAD, the arts university located in downtown Halifax. For live, local music, she recommends the Khyber Institute for Contemporary Arts at 1588 Barrington Street.
Gus' Pub at 2605 Agricola Street is another hot venue for local and visiting indie bands and the Company House at 2202 Gottingen Street presents more intimate shows.
"A place to go if you don't want to party, but want to get a drink, is Tom's Little Havana," she says.
The cosy bar behind Spring Garden Road at 5428 Doyle Street somehow maintains a smoky atmosphere, despite being smoke-free.
It keeps the music low enough that you can strike up a conversation with your neighbouring table if you want to make friends.
Trident Booksellers and Café at 1256 Hollis Street is half bookstore, half café, and a great spot to meet people. Flash your favourite book and compliment your neighbour on her choice to open a new chapter in your life.
The Farmers' Market —old or new — is so stuffed with Halifax's trendiest people that it's literally hard not to run into someone. The old location on Lower Water Street is a quieter spot since the shiny new Seaport market started this fall, but both spots mix it up like a game of musical chairs.
For a more exuberant version of the human meat market, put on your smallest outfit and descend upon the Dome. Halifax's traditional last chance for romance keeps the drinks flowing – and hopes alive – until 3:30 a.m. With 8,000 partiers a week, the odds are in your favour, if you like odd people.
Go sauce free
You don't have to get your drink on to have a good time. Here are five boozeless things to do in Halifax.
Picnic in the Public Gardens. Take a blanket, take a sandwich, take some friends, and you've got a cheap and cheerful Saturday morning.
The Clay Café on Quinpool Road provides creatively pottery and paints. All you need is a decorating idea.
The Anna Leonowens Gallery at 1891 Granville Street has a new student show every Monday evening.
Get crafty at The Loop (1547 Barrington St.), a knitting, crochet and embroidery shop that also serves coffee and tea.
Play dodge ball, ultimate Frisbee, or other sports at the Halifax Sports and Social Club.