Header photo by Shaun Cameron
Where in Manitoba can you find hipster coffee shops, incredible art galleries, a vintage ice cream shop and lively music festivals? As Manitoba’s second largest city, it’s amazing that a culturally rich city like Brandon still remains as a bit of a hidden gem (especially to many Winnipeggers). Choose a season, any season, and set your sights west to this incredible prairie city. Here are 10 places in Brandon that you need to check out ASAP…
Fraser Sneath Coffee
1031 Rosser Avenue
Coffee and tea lovers will be right at home at this trendy cafe in Brandon’s downtown. Not only is Fraser Sneath Coffee a darling atmosphere to sip on a warm bevvie, it also sells locally made goodies and is the only retailer in the province to carry Lissa Bowie’s Manitoba-shaped earrings and pendants.
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
710 Rosser Avenue #2
Catch a glimpse of Brandon’s character and identity through its art at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. Dating back to 1907, this spacious and vibrant gallery focuses on contemporary art exhibits. Keep an eye on what’s coming up next in the main gallery.
637 Princess Avenue
Designed and constructed in 1911, the Old Central Fire Station on Princess is now home to one of Brandon’s best restaurants: Prairie Firehouse. This Brandon landmark is the perfect setting for gathering over creative food and drink, made using products from local Manitoba makers. In keeping with the fire station theme, the menu offers several smoked and fiery dishes.
Located south of Brandon on Highway #10, the Brandon Hills Wildlife Management Area is a must visit for anyone who loves hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling or simply the great outdoors. Trail loops range from 2.5 km to 7.5 km and provide picturesque views and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities.
12th and Rosser
When it comes to bringing arts, music and food to Brandon – Global Market wears many hats. On Thursdays and Saturdays, the Global Market is a flea and farmers’ market, offering everything from henna tattoos to the ever-so-popular Chez Angela booth. New this year was the addition of the Illume Night Market, held on Saturdays 4 to 10 pm and featuring cultural dance, food, music and more.
Summer Lights Music Festival
What was once a concert series has now expanded to include a festival! The Summer Lights Concert Series takes place three times throughout the summer, ending with an all-day music festival in September (2018 date TBA). Did we mention that the concerts also feature free bannock and honey and unique musician workshops? Yes please!
Crow’s General Store
33 17th St. East
You won’t find a general store quite like this anywhere else in Manitoba. From the outside, Crow’s General Store is something out of an eclectic western. On the inside, it’s a 50’s style parlour. What could be more fun than that? After enjoying a delicious treat, be sure to check out the trail system that connects the store to Treesblood Farm or in the winter, go on a snowshoe and cross-country ski adventure.
Lady of the Lake
135 17 Street N
Vintage furniture, crystal chandeliers, delicious eats and a pretty sweet ride out front make Lady of the Lake one of the most popular spots in Brandon. Shop adorable home decor and knickknacks in the shop before grabbing a bite to eat in the cafe and pub. It’s the perfect spot for a girl’s night out!
The Skating Oval
West of the Community Services Complex on McGregor Avenue
When winter lays its sparkling blanket of white over the city of Brandon, the Skating Oval comes to life with dazzling lights and skating galore. The skating trail usually opens in December, as does the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Waterfall of Lights, which remains lit from 5 pm to 11 pm nightly.
Commonwealth Air Training Museum
300 Commonwealth Way
Even those without a keen interest in aviation will appreciate the vast collection of aircraft and information at the Commonwealth Air Training Museum. It is, in fact, the only museum in the world dedicated solely to preserving the history of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and the airmen who served their country in the air war of 1939-1945.