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Visitors with even a passing interest in local history owe themselves a stop at this standout museum, situated on a prime piece of waterfront. The exhibits are well executed and involving—you'll be surprised how fast 2 hours can fly. Visitors are greeted by a cool 3m (10-ft.) lighthouse lens from 1906, then proceed through a series of shipbuilding and seagoing displays. These include the deckhouse of a coastal steamer (ca. 1940) where travelers learn the colorful history of Samuel Cunard, the Nova Scotia native (born in 1787) who founded the Cunard Steam Ship Co. to carry royal mail -- but established a travel dynasty instead. Another highlight is the shocking exhibit on the Halifax explosion of 1917, when two warships collided in the harbor not far from this museum, detonating tons of TNT; more than 1,700 people died, and windows were shattered 60 miles away.

Perhaps the most poignant exhibit here is just a single deck chair from the Titanic -- a reminder that 150 victims of that disaster are buried here in Halifax, where the rescue efforts were centered. Also memorable are an "Age of Steam" exhibit; Queen Victoria's barge; an interesting "Shipwreck Treasures of Nova Scotia" section with its stories and artifacts from more than a dozen local shipwrecks; and recreations of a ship's chandlery, sail loft, and carpenter's shop. This is a fascinating place for adult and teens to visit, especially on a rainy day.

and you'll be surprised how fast 2 hours can fly. Visitors are greeted by a cool 3m (10-ft.) lighthouse lens from 1906, then proceed through a series of shipbuilding and seagoing displays. Visit the deckhouse of a coastal steamer (ca. 1940) and learn the colorful history of Samuel Cunard, the Nova Scotia native (born in 1787) who founded the Cunard Steam Ship Co. to carry royal mail -- but established a travel dynasty instead. Another highlight is the shocking exhibit on the tragic Halifax explosion of 1917, when two warships collided in the harbor not far from this museum, detonating tons of TNT; more than 1,700 people died, and windows were shattered 60 miles away.

But perhaps the most poignant exhibit here is just a single deck chair from the Titanic -- a reminder that 150 victims of that disaster are buried here in Halifax, where the rescue efforts were centered. Also memorable are an "Age of Steam" exhibit; Queen Victoria's barge; an interesting "Shipwreck Treasures of Nova Scotia" section with its stories and artifacts from more than a dozen local shipwrecks; and recreations of a ship's chandlery, sail loft, and carpenter's shop. This is a fascinating place for adult and teens to visit, especially on a rainy day.