Manitoba's second-largest city is a bit like an iceberg. You can't miss the amenities straddling the Trans-Canada Highway, but there's so much more beneath the surface.
Meander through downtown and admire a charming collection of historic buildings, some of which house shops and cafés that offer enticing culinary fare, vintage fashions, art and gifts. Daly House Museum, in the imposing home built in 1882 for Brandon's first mayor, has a replica general store, research centre and Victorian garden.
Keep an eye out for an urban nest of Peregrine falcons and head to the Assiniboine Riverbank Discovery Trail to spot Canada geese, green-winged teals and wood ducks - you might just come across a beaver, muskrat or turtle.
Serious birdwatchers will want to head east of Brandon to Douglas Marsh to seek out rare yellow rails. While you're in the neighbourhood, cruise the Westman Reptile Gardens and pay a visit to the RCA Museum, Canada's Artillery Museum. The award-winning attraction at Canadian Forces Base Shilo has a large outdoor collection of artillery pieces and five indoor galleries that have displayed everything from vintage weapons to art to a ball gown once worn by Queen Elizabeth II.
The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum at Brandon's municipal airport recalls the history of 14 Manitoba air bases where air crews and more than 50,000 pilots trained during the Second World War. The museum is actually housed in one of the original hangars and contains thousands of artifacts as well as original aircraft.
Known as Manitoba's Wheat City, Brandon hosts three livestock and agricultural fairs each year, along with winter fine arts and cultural festivals and the summer Folk, Music and Art Festival.